Forty One

sup-beach-view nell-hat-on-beach rock-climbing sup-selfie nell-and-kiddos 41 single-wave abc-breakfast sup bike-ride

So, this is 41. Supposedly once you’re over 40, then you’re considered “over the hill”, right? Well maybe, maybe not. In my 20’s I did consider the 40’s as being “over the hill” and I had a picture in my head of what that would look and feel like. This is not at all what I expected. Man, am I glad.  I choose to make the most of every day.  I choose to do the things that make me feel alive. So, here’s to the 40’s. Bring it on!

*A special thanks to my three favorite people; Steve, Danica and Trey.  Steve made me feel special and let me do anything I wanted all weekend while he did my chores for me.  Trey went rock climbing with me and we had the best time.  Danica gave me the best present by coming home for the weekend to hang out with me.  To each of you… thank you for being you and thank you for being amazing.  You made me feel so very special. 

 

Sixteen

Danica and Trey Po Disney SignHot Air Balloon Danica in Zero Nell 1970 Nell and Dee Matching Shirts Typhoon Lagoon Trey and Grumpy Donald Nell Flower Wall Steve and Trey Donkey King Trey on Bus Nell and Trey Pop Century Nell 70

This amazing young man is now 16. I remember very clearly the day that he was born. There wasn’t much toil. There wasn’t much labor. In just five hours short hours he made his appearance into the world at 10:35 on a Tuesday night. I couldn’t believe that I had a long, skinny, blonde hair, blue eyed baby.

As I’ve mentioned here on the blog previously, when I was raising my babies, I looked too much into the future and did not enjoy the moment. This is definitely one of my regrets. That being said, one of the things I did right was when Trey was a baby. I had a sinking feeling that he would be my last and every single night, when I rocked him to bed, I held him extra tight and extra long and just gazed at him as he slept in my arms. I didn’t want to put him in the bed before I absolutely had to. I treasure those deep longing moments with him cuddled in my arms sleeping. If I close my eyes and think really hard, I can still see that sweet baby face in my mind.

How to fast time flies. It seems that you blink and suddenly your baby; your youngest is 16 and and in high school.

In those younger days we was all boy and very hard to keep up with. He made us laugh all the time. I guess looking back he’s always been the “funny guy”. This kid was ALWAYS hungry; so hungry, in fact, he wanted to eat every 30 minutes yet spit out all of his vegetables.

Today, he loves football, working out, laying in bed and watching TV,  playing video games, going to water parks and eating.  He is a thoughtful, considerate and kind young man.  He considers my feelings.  He thanks me every night for cooking him dinner.  He apologies when he thinks that he has upset me.  What mother of a 16 year old boy can say that? Not many! I am blessed beyond measure.  Trey is excelling academically, socially and athletically.  I am so very excited about the amazing young man he is becoming and am so grateful to be on this journey with him as his mom.  I think he is just down right pretty darn awesome!

Happy 16, bud!  Here’s to many more together.  I love you!

*Since he loves water parks, we did a weekend trip to the Disney water parks in Orlando to celebrate.  

Sixty

60 sized

This sweet mama is 60 today!  This is certainly a day worth celebrating.  One thing I will never do is take her life for granted.  I will celebrate it and what better time to do it than today.  Join with me in a big celebration of this amazing lady’s life, God’s miracles and grace all around.  She is my miracle mama and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for her life.  She is truly a blessing to all of us.  Happy birthday, mama!  I’m so glad you are here bringing us your sweetness and that beautiful smile each and every day.

Mexico :: Day 4

Nell Yellow House Hand Up Small Caribbean Couple Small Nell Top of Tiki Lifeguard Stand Small Steve Mimosa Bar Small Nell and Steve on Wall over Beach Small Nell Close Up Small Steve Standing on Golf Cart Small Carnaval Dancers Purple Small Kissing in the Caribbean Small Barefoot in the Streets 1 Small Nell & Steve Up Close Beach Bed Small Steve with Mexican Man Statue Small

Last days are always hard; soaking in the final bits of your destination before you head back home to reality.  We took in as much of the island as possible.  One really cool part of this last day was sitting on a second story balcony of a little Mexican cantina watching the super bowl in Spanish on the TV while watching carnaval parades on the streets below during commercials. Well this was cool until the following morning.  I knew not to drink the water in Mexico.  It’s a well known fact that the water is not at all drinkable.  This was ingrained in my brain.  Little did I know that the ice in my drink at dinner while watching the super bowl (and carnaval) was not filtered.  I woke up the next morning stupid early to the sound of an alarm feeling all kinds of horrible.  I didn’t realize right away what was wrong with me.  I literally vomited my way back to the U.S.  I threw up in the airports multiple times and had to repeatedly jump out of the customs line to run to the bathroom to vomit.  When in the United States customs line, you see signs everywhere stating all these different symptoms and their related diseases.  I made sure to force my happy face when getting to the front of the VERY long customs line in the U.S. I did not what them to suspect anything strange.  I just desperately needed to get home to my bed.  Needless to say, it was the worst travel experience I’d ever had.  After thinking it through and talking to a few people who had traveled to Mexico, we narrowed it down to that one glass of ice.

Isla Mujeres was quaint, authentic and breathtakingly beautiful.  I would go again in a heartbeat but will NEVER have ice in my drink again!  Adios!

Mexico :: Day 3

Nell Hammock over Water SmallNell & Steve Underwater SmallNell Swimming Down to Car SmallReef Fish SmallSteve MUSA Swim Down SmallSteve Snorkeling SmallSteve Walking down wavy Pier Front 2 SmallWavy Pier SmallSteve Underwater Upside Down Selfie SmallSteve MUSA Swim Over SmallReef SmallNell Swimming Up SmallNell Posed on Wavy Pier SmallMUSA Statues Up Close SmallNell & Steve Swimming Up Small

The snorkel trip had a very interesting beginning.  We went to what we thought was the dive shop that I booked the trip with.  After several back and forth trips and stringing us along, we found out that this dive shop was not who we booked with.  They were apparently trying to scam us into booking with them instead.  Luckily, a sweet lady that represented our dive shop, Isla Mujeres Trips, called our hotel to say that we were late to check-in but they would wait on us.  When getting on the boat we were a bit surprised to be the only English speaking people.  Our tour guide didn’t even speak any English. Yikes!  Steve and I looked at each other and said, “well this is going to be an interesting trip!”  After a bit of time, we found out that a young Spanish couple on the boat lived in New York and could speak English so they translated the important stuff. Thank God!

This was the only day I had actually booked ahead to do an excursion.  The only thing that I didn’t want to miss was MUSA, an underwater art that lies between the shores of Cancun and our little island.  I have to admit that I half heartedly booked the trip not expecting to see much.  Because we are not certified divers, we could only snorkel and the museum was 30 feet beneath the surface.  I thought we would be able to see hints of the sculptures at best.  Man, was I ever wrong.  The beautiful water had certainly impressed me the first day, but that was nothing compared to our snorkel of the museum.  When jumping off the boat, the first set of sculptures were the grouping of statues.  The statues were so visible and clear from 30 feet that we could see the details of their faces.  It was so clear, I felt like I was in 5 feet of water. AMAZING!  From there we went on to see the VW bug sculpture and the sculptures of people in prostrate form.

Even though the snorkel trip was MUCH colder that I liked, it was all worth it.  I love snorkeling and have seen many reefs but this snorkel trip took the cake.  It was by far the prettiest and most memorable trip of all time.  We ended the day at a restaurant (with the wavy pier) for a nice fish dinner.

Mexico :: Day 2

Nell Looking over Cliff Small Nell & Steve Kissing over Cliff Small Nell Flying Small Nell Palm Stump Leaping Small Reggae Band Small Zipline Platform View Small Nell on a Cliff SmallSteve Sitting over Cliff 2 Small Nell Zen over Ocean Small Nell Corner View Small Steve Tiki Swinging Small Steve Beer to Go Small Nell Joint Surfboard Small Ocean Cemetary Small Steve with Golf Cart SmallPina Colada in Cocount Small

Day two was shaping up to be a fairly cloudy and somewhat chilly day so we rented a golf cart and toured the island.  Isla Mujeres is so small that you can see the entire island in 2 hours via golf cart.  How cool is that?  We set out on the adventure with no agenda in mind (quite unusual for me).  There is almost no possible way to get lost since there is only one road that goes around the island (with ocean views, I might add).  We rode in the golf cart and simply stopped when we saw something of interest; a roadside restaurant with a very unstable “wavy” pier, intriguing B & B with the best piña colada I’ve ever had, random reggae bar with a live band, beautiful rocky oceanside views and a surprisingly colorful and beautiful cemetery (never thought I’d think of a cemetery in that way). It was the best day and I fell more in love with this beautiful little island and the golf cart driver.  😉

Mexico :: Day 1

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After a flight, a shuttle and a boat ride, we landed on this tiny island just off the coast of Mexico.  Isla Mujeres was all that we thought it would be and maybe even a bit more.  I was immediately taken by the views. I assumed all the pics online were touched up but I was completely wrong.  The water was a bright, crystal clear, fluorescent, turquoise dream; amazing! We were ready to start the “becoming 40” celebration.

What’s in a Decade?

Last Day in 30s

Today is the last day to be in my 30’s. Overall, this decade was pretty good to me. I was much wiser, made better decisions and accomplished more goals than in my 20’s. My 20’s was a decade of navigating a new marriage, having babies, finishing college and starting a career.  They were years of indecisiveness and uncertainty but they were the building blocks for what was to come.  My 30’s was a decade of accomplishment; moving 1,000 miles, pushing the career envelope and it paying off (thank God!), raising one child successfully to adulthood, getting another to a successful place in high school and establishing a very happy marriage.  The 30’s was also a decade that drew me much closer to God which has made all the difference in my life.

I have been told that the 40’s are even better; that life begins at 40. Well, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to take it on. I’m excited to see what this next decade will bring.

Tomorrow

Isla Mujeres

Tomorrow, tomorrow; I love ya, tomorrow.  You’re only a day away.  This time tomorrow, this will be my view.  Let the 40th birthday celebration commence.  Vamonos!


					

Becoming 40

Isla Mujeres Pier

Let the celebrations begin!  In my last post, I mentioned that 2016 is the year of celebration.  It will kick off in exactly one month.  One month from today, I will be sitting right here on this beach.  I will be spending the last week of my 30’s in style!  How do I prepare for becoming 40?  By going to a very small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Mexico.  Isla Mujeres, here we come!