Daily Prompt: Enchantment

When I saw the daily prompt today I thought, that will be easy! What expresses the meaning of “Enchantment” more than a beautiful night picture of the illuminated Cinderella’s castle from Disney World?  And, since we have been there so many times I have a plethora of pictures to choose from on my computer.

However, as I was going through my pictures I came accross this picture.  Taken over the summer, it is basic, not enhanced and just not very beautiful.  Even so, this is the one that expresses the meaning of “Enchantment” to me.  Why?

Because as soon as you walk through the gates of the Magic Kingdom and start making your way down Main Street USA in the early morning hours with hundreds of other families….a midst all the excitement and smiles…you are transported to a magical land.  One where the cares and struggles of the “real” world are tossed away and your only reason for being there is FUN.  My two kids…now in their early teen years, hormone ridden where every day is an emotional crap shoot…suddenly changed back to their childlike, carefree and happy selves.  My daughter skipped her way towards the castle.  I caught my son singing “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah” and actually walking close to his sister.  I was overcome with emotion and had to snap this picture.  It embodies the true meaning of “Enchantment” to me.  Thank you Walt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

images

Who has exciting plans tonight?

I remember the days my parents would watch the kids (they were just babies then), we would go out for the night, get dressed up and drink ourselves silly (well maybe that was just me) and ring in the new year with STYLE.

This is more of what our New Year’s Eve shennanigans look like now:

untitled

We’ll be ringing it in with Ryan Seacrest and his menagerie of celebrities.  Let’s hope Miley doesn’t make an appearance, I don’t need that visual leading me into the new year.

Whatever you are doing and wherever you are going tonight…be safe, don’t drink and drive.

Have loads of fun and Happy 20144!

Lazy Sunday

Happy Sunday friends!  Hope you are getting some relaxation in today.  I woke up late and found myself addicted to this show “The Haunted” on the Destination America channel.  That’s some creepy stuff!  The lady on the show said “then the voice said…you are all gonna die…” and at that exact moment my dogs leaped up and started barking crazy while running around the house.  I thought to myself….that’s it, I better find something constructive to do!  So instead of tackling this mountain of laundry I need to do, here I am writing a blog post.

I wasn’t sure what to write about today because not much has been going on but I thought I might tell you about the couple of “adventures” we have planned for the fam within the next upcoming months.  My husband and I couldn’t go to long without our Vegas fix so we have another trip planned in May too celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary.  We scored a great deal on a room at the Mirage with our players club benefits.  I’m sure I’ll have a fun trip report to post when we get back.  Could this possibly be the trip where we win the BIG ONE?  I guess we shall see….

Then, in June we are spending our family vacation at Disney World once again.  This will make our 7th or 8th trip since 2003. It could possibly be our last for a while since the kids are getting older and I see visions of exuberant expenses due to having two teenagers so I seriously doubt we will be able to afford it after this year.  Not to mention, Disney’s prices have gone up and their discounts have gone down.  A sign of the times I guess.

I just recently started working for an upscale hotel chain.  We have an awesome hotel in downtown Boston.  Because of my son’s love for the Xbox game Assassin’s Creed where the setting is in the old Paul Revere days of Boston’s history, we are planning a weekend in August to show him the sights.  I’m most looking forward to eating at Faneuil Hall and staying at this hotel that is supposedly haunted….

Lastly (so far) In September, Mumford and Sons are coming to a city in Oklahoma about 3 hours from here for a stopover on their “Gentlemen of the Road” tour.  I will be attending this 1.5 day music festival with my niece and I will be camping for the first time in my life.  I would camp out in the middle of the arctic tundra with no clothes on for a chance to see Mumford and Sons live but I won’t lie and say I’m looking forward to that part of it….it will be an experience.  I’m still trying to find out how I can keep my electronics charged the whole time so I can have pictures and video to share when we get back.

So there you have it.  The Dockfam travel schedule for this year.  I’ll be sure to take lots of pics and if you go ahead and add me on Instagram and YouTube, you will see my pics and videos there.  I put all of our vacation videos on YouTube and I’m trying to be better about Instagram sharing.  And if you add me, I will follow you back.

Have a great lazy Sunday and I’ll be back soon!

I’m Not Like You

I was going to just leave up one post today but I felt the need to vent about middle school parent night yesterday evening.  Let me start by saying, I live in an uber-suburbian area of North Texas.  Think big, blonde hair, bedazzled flip flops and jeans, botox, extraneous amounts of jewelry, Expeditions and fat wallets.  If you know what I mean…

I’m not knocking the neighborhood….we chose to live here.  It’s safe, decent and the middle school is excellent.  The kids aren’t so bad either.  It’s just the parents that drive me nuts.

As I’m sitting there last night trying to somewhat pay attention to a ruthlessly long PTA meeting, I can’t hear a word the lady is saying over the LOUD speaker because of two chatty Cathy dingbat twins sitting directly behind me. I put up with it for a while but finally couldn’t take it anymore and waited out in the hall before visiting my son’s first class. Before I left I took a look around and wondered how I ended up in an episode of the Real Housewives of Dallas.

Before you think I’m being hateful, keep in mind that these opinions and observations are coming from someone who prefers the elusive and long distance web-based relationships within the blogosphere rather than real life, tangible ones.  That is just me. You could call me anti-social, I just call myself careful and selective. At least I’m not fake.  I still have my real boobs, my lips aren’t any bigger than the ones I was born with, I prefer Jason Mraz to Justin Beiber, I don’t own any clothing with sparkles or sequins, I have a few extra pounds on me, I don’t wear much jewelry or makeup and I still shop at Walmart.  Yep, even for….gasp!  Clothing sometimes.

I guess I’m the odd man out.  I don’t dress to impress and I could pretty much care less of what others opinions are of me or my family.  We are good people and we are REAL.  I believe that friends or quality are more important than friends of quantity and that is why I have two best friends (who I call “lifers”) and their families who I hold dear to my heart.  No need to be fake to gain shallow popularity.  Unfortunately as I’m observing many of these parents and overhearing conversations, that’s what seems to be what was going on in that school last night.

In almost every classroom I moved from and to something struck me as funny and pretty much typical of the school’s demographic.  From the father trying to impress his new fellow football parent “friends” by thoroughly describing his entire middle school experience from centuries ago to the mom who somewhat yelled at the Video Tech teacher when he admitted that he was a bit behind in updating his school site.  I wanted to tell the father to shut the hell up, nobody cares and tell the mom to give the teacher a frickin break…it’s only the first week of school for crying out loud!

I just don’t get it.  Maybe I’m not supposed to, and that’s ok.  For now it is humoring me and giving me some great material to use on my blog.  So buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride as the school year gets rolling…this is gonna be good.  We have football games, choir concerts and band concerts approaching.  I’m sure that I will be dumbfounded and flabbergasted more than once and will want to share it with all of my loyal followers and friends out in Bloggerland who seem to understand all too well!

And just because no blog can be without a picture:

Image

No Where in the World Wednesday

I have to pass on Where in the World Wednesday today….boy has it been a busy day in the office!  I’m going to try to crank out this post before the sweet relief of 5pm comes along in T-minus 14 minutes and counting.

I had to take my daughter to the orthodontist this morning and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that her braces are not going to cost as much as I thought.  She will have to wear an expander for 10 months and then braces for 12 months after that.

Image

She gets the expander (above) put on in November right after her birthday.  Happy Birthday Amber… Oddly, she is a bit excited about the whole thing.

I’ve warned everyone not to ask for Christmas presents this year.  Because even tho it is costing me less than anticipated, by then I will look like this:

Image

Who am I kidding?  I’d love to look like this in jeans…broke or not!

A Safe Arrival and Warm Island Welcome

My Aunt picked us up at the airport and we were “leid” – greeted with authentic Hawaiian flower leis. It was SO nice to walk outside and not be instantly drenched in sweat. The weather was a soothing and cool 84 degrees. It literally felt like we had landed in heaven. We took the scenic route to my aunt’s house, as we were going to wait there until my parents arrived from their flight later that evening. Here are some sights we passed along the way:

The Fam in the Back Seat

Upon arrival to her house, we were welcomed with family hugs and lots of good food! My favorite surprise of all was that my cousins had picked us up a box of malasadas from the famous Lenard’s bakery down the street from their house. If you aren’t familiar with Lenard’s go HERE to see what all the fuss is about!

This is how they describe their malasadas on the website: “A malasada is sort of like a doughnut without the hole. We fry generously-sized balls of dough until the crust is golden brown with a light and fluffy inside. Because our dough is made with the finest ingredients, you get a malasada with a sweet toasted flavor, both crunchy and chewy. Ono, as we say here in Hawai’i!”

This is how I describe their malasadas: “A total party in my mouth!” Served hot and rolled in sugar, they are SOOOOO sinful and yummy.  You can also get them with custard filling tho I prefer the plain ones.  We had them again for breakfast later in the week. I would make the long journey to HI again just to enjoy more of these!

Along with those little pillows of doughy goodness, we had a plethora of salads, my favorite sticky rice and teriyaki beef/chicken for the carnivores. The evening continued and the kids got to meet new cousins as well as swim with them in the pool. My husband and I got to catch up with our Hawaiian family members who I haven’t seen in many moons!

My parents arrived later on in the evening, around 730 or so Pacific Time which was 1230am in Texas! By this time we had been awake for about 22 hours. Looking at my husband and kids, I could see through my blurry tired eyes that we were all fading fast. Mom and Dad caught some food and visited for a bit but then thought it best for us all to make our way to the condo for the night.

Once inside the condo all we could say was WOW. I knew this sucker was on the beach but this was literally ON the beach — 1st floor right above the Subway sandwich shop and snack shack. It had a lanai that wrapped itself around the condo with a panoramic view of the ocean and the neighboring park. When we arrived it was night but there is nothing like hearing the sound of waves crashing against the shore to put you right to sleep.

Inside the condo, living room with lanai outside over beach

Snack shack below

My Favorite Chair

Dark Picture but this is the beach/park view to right

View to the left

The owner of the condo had fully prepared for our arrival by preplacing goodies in the fridge for us. My son quickly found the ice cream and downed a few prior to going to bed. We all crashed pretty darn early for Hawaii time, even though it was really almost 2am by this time back at home!

Where are my “peeps”? (Mini Rant)

So as I’m browsing and reading across the blogosphere today I come to a very sad and lonely realization which deserves a mini-rant.

I had my kids young. Not young anymore, I’m 35 now.  My son is almost 14 — my daughter almost 12. They will both be in middle school this year.  Gone are the days of elementary school parties, PE, parent teacher conferences and Easter Egg hunts.  Instead, our school year is full of football games, band practices, homework battles and the normal struggles of dealing with two very different hormone-laden kids. And to make me really feel old…my son stands about 10 inches taller than me already and outweighs me by at least 80 lbs. 

As I visit other woman-written blogs throughout the day I realize that everyone is having babies!  Tons of talk about diapers, feedings, firsts, cute baby moments, sleepless nights and the like.  Where are my fellow mothers to teenagers?  Are we all just too busy to blog? 

I have nothing against the mommy bloggers out there who have little ones, I’m just feeling lonely.  I would love to read about the lives of mom’s like me that are entering what I call the “Challenge Years” and dealing with teenagers.  Moms I can identify more closely with. Unfortunatley I haven’t found too many blogs like that.

I loved my kids baby/toddler years.  It might seem like they are difficult to deal with at the time but as I warn friends of mine….it doesn’t get any easier unfortunately.  If anything I think it gets harder.  One set of worries and concerns get replaced with a whole new set.  One thing never changes no matter how old our kids get — that we are their parents and will always feel the need to take care of them…..forever.

That’s all, I just needed to say that. Have a Happy Wednesday!