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Singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was forbiddden and the rebel who broke the rule. But don’t tell.

Singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was forbiddden and the rebel who broke the rule. But don’t tell.

Growing up the youngest of three kids, I had my fair share of being picked on but I gave my share of bratty back so it evened out. My sister is almost four years older than I am and though it appears that I could take her down in hand to hand combat, you would be so very wrong to think that. She may be tiny but she is scrappy and tough as hell. So, between looking up to her as an older sister and being afraid knowing she could take me down if she wanted to, I pretty much did whatever she told me to do. Except when I didn’t.

There were several “rules” she made that I had to obey whether she was around to enforce them or not. And believe you me, I followed those rules no matter what because, honey, that girl could be pretty freaking scary when she wanted to be. I knew better than to mess with her. (I still do.) Respect, yo. But…(you knew that was coming, right?) there was one rule I just couldn’t obey. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t do it. I suppose you (or Gloria Estefan) could say “the rhythm was going to get me” eventually.

One of our all time favorite songs was “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” so of course we (and by we I mean she) got it on a 45 to play on our (and by our I mean her) awesomely cool blue record player. There was one rule. I was never ever ever ever never ever EVER never even if there is a fire and you have to call our for help with the song never ever sing ANY part of the song EVER except the background (Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh,etc). She was not kidding. That rule was law. In fact, it was the biggest rule of my childhood as laid down by my older sister.

2014-03-25 00.00.14But sometimes my sister would leave the house for sleepovers. Oh, those glorious sleepovers! I would sneak into her room, get out her radically cool record player, and her hip blue 45 record case. (Did you have one of those? We still have it.) I would carefully count each record until I came to The Lion Sleeps Tonight to ensure I could return it to the exact same spot. I was careful not to be caught. I’d close her door and play that record over and over and over and over. And you can darn well believe I sang every single lyric of that song. I sang on the top of my lungs. I sang as if the room was sound proof. (As a parent I can only imagine my own parents giggling at my act of rebellion that brought me such joy.) I sang until my voice was cracking and my throat was dry. (Or my brother came in and threatened me.)

I carefully replaced everything exactly as I found it, left the room with the biggest smile on my face and felt as if I had gotten away with something HUGE. To this day, I still hesitate to sing the lyrics. It’s not as if she is going to pop out from the back of my van and attack me. But still. It is THE rule I cannot ever ever break!

I was brought back to this when my former boss for years and good friend Elisa posted this awesome video on Facebook. And guess what? I sang the entire song. Shhhhh….don’t tell my sister. Seriously. She can still kick my hiney if she wanted to.

Vacation- All I Ever Wanted. Vacation- Had to Get Away

Vacation- All I Ever Wanted. Vacation- Had to Get Away

Ahhh, the bliss of going to the beach. No matter what is going on, I can find peace when it is just me, the ocean and a quiet mind.

My morning started like this:

My morning coffee

But I couldn’t stay on the deck all day so I eventually wandered down to the ocean to bury my toes in the sand and enjoy the calm of the waves while the kids played in the waves- laughing and having the time of their lives.

Toes in the sand...

Every night at sunset all 22 of us would gather either on the beach or on the deck to enjoy the beauty of yet another glorious sunset. There is nothing more beautiful than a beach sunset! (Even the night the woo-hoo girls went out to party. Since I know some of you were following the “would she go or wouldn’t she”  conversation on Facebook. No, I didn’t go. No, I do not regret it. Peace at the beach was more my desire but I was happy they went and enjoyed themselves. They really deserved their fun night out partying. )

Sunset

And of course, there had to be a night peace time. Oh, the middle of the night when everyone was asleep and the beach was quiet and dark was my favorite time. Just me. No stress. Nothing pulling at me but the waves as they crashed ashore. And each night I would sit in silence or tears on that upper deck alone and let the pain I was carrying crash through me like the waves hitting the shore until I found the peace I needed to crawl into bed to sleep.

My peaceful moonlit nights

The time seemed too short to be able to have the conversations I wish I could have had with my family. There were things I wish I had done but nothing I regret. I do know the kids loved spending time with their papa, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. It was a great time at the beach for everyone. (There is so much more to say about the good times we all had, but that is for another post. If I get around to it.) I will always cherish my time spent at this beach house over the years as we wind down this family tradition. It was bittersweet. The not knowing when I will see my family again is hard. Of course we have plans. We make them every year, but I know as well as anyone if not better that nothing is ever a certainty. And that? Breaks my heart. My family has always been my support in my past. And for that I am thankful. Okay, so… enough about the sad.

How do you cheer yourself up when you need a BIG SMILE? Is there a way to be even happier than at the beach? I think there is!

What better way to end a week at the beach than with a trip here:

The Happiest Place on Earth

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

Vacation- All I ever wanted! Vacation- Had to get away!

Vacation- All I ever wanted! Vacation- Had to get away!

I went on vacation and fell in love.  Yes, it’s true.  I went with expectations of enjoying some time with my family and maybe catching some good beach time but it turns out, I fell in love.  Many of you know Clint could not go with me on this trip.  It was me and the kids and a total of 23 people in one house.  Yet, each morning, I would sneak away to meet my new baby and we would spend a few stolen moments together.

We met here the first morning I was there.  I was just relaxing on the beach and he caught my eye.

"Our Spot"
"Our Spot"

It’s not like I could resist jumping up to see him and meet him.  I knew my eagerness would scare him away but it did not.  He approached me cautiously but didn’t flee.  My heart leaped with joy.  In 17 years of vacationing here, this had never happened to me. What I thought was a one time meeting became an every day experience.  At the same time every day I would race to the beach to meet him and there he was.  Even my son met him face to face.  I suppose my only regret is that we missed each other my last day at the beach.  Maybe he was too sad.  Maybe he knew I would be too sad.  Maybe it was the idiot teenagers chasing everything that moved in the water that caused him to stay away.  Perhaps it was for the best.  Goodbyes are never easy.  I tried to get a picture of him one day, but he raced off too quickly.

This is a rendering of him along with a picture that looks very much like he does:

Rendering of my ~Crush~
Rendering of my ~Crush~
~Crush Look Alike~
~Crush Look Alike~

What?  Like you never went to the beach and met a sea turtle that you had a crush on and then met up with him every day? Oh, please, it isn’t like that kind of stuff just happens to me.  Is it?

But it wasn’t just folicking with sea turtles.  Oh, no!

Everyday I spent laughing with people I love, sharing amazing food and spending time relaxing and refocusing.  I did a lot of writing.  This was the view from my office:

My Office View

Oh, but it certainly was not all work!  Not at all!  I spent some wonderful time with these people whom I love:

Who needs poses when you have laughter
Who needs poses when you have laughter

I think some of my favorite times were spent with my brother and sister.  We always laugh when we are together.  Always.  Being with them is so good for my soul.

Oh, the tales we could tell on each other!
Oh, the tales we could tell on each other!

Of course, I spent time with my amazing children.  And, well, you know the tale: Getting two teenage boys to pose for more than a couple of pictures is sheer TORTURE.  It is practially downright abusive to them.  But, I did get a few.  Here is one of my favorites with my and my babies:

Yes, my boys are that much taller than I am!
Yes, my boys are that much taller than I am!

At the end of the day, there was much to laugh about.  Especially for your kids when they knew that you were about to be attacked by a flock of seagulls.  And totally not the kind that will sing to you.  The kind that absolutely will poop on you.

The Flock of Sea Gulls didn't even sing to me as they flew over!
The Flock of Sea Gulls didn't even sing to me as they flew over!

But at the end of the day we all enjoyed beautiful sunsets together.  We knew another perfect day was ending when we saw this:

Another perfect end to a perfect day
Another perfect end to a perfect day

Though some of us night owls tended to get back up after the house of 23 was quiet and calm.  when we did, we were treated to beautiful sites such as this:

If you were a night owl,  you enjoyed nights like this
If you were a night owl, you enjoyed nights like this

So, there is a brief glimpse into my vacation.  Oh, there are tons more pictures I could share but the time, the bandwidth, the “that is so sucking vacation chill from me” is going to cut it here.  (I have many more on Facebook!)

THE END!
THE END!
Scary than Friday the 13th. More real than Survivor. It’s Bib!

Scary than Friday the 13th. More real than Survivor. It’s Bib!

You thought I was kidding when I said I was afraid of the Michelin Man.  I was so not kidding.  In fact, thanks to the amazing photographic talents of my good friend, lawyermama, the moment that I tried to overcome my fear was caught moment by moment on film.  Below the image collage is a play by play of the moment–with my personal commentary on each photo underneath the set.

Do not judge me.  Or I will sent Bib to your house to…under inflate all of your tires.  And that is BAD!

(photo set courtesy of lawyermama–who totally rocks!)

So here is the image by image captions:

  • 1- Go ahead and put your hands out, Bib.  I am not coming to you.
  • 2- Okay, I will come, but I won’t like it.
  • 3- LOOK!  I am grabbing hands with you and you are not trying to smother me with your white rolls of Bib horror!
  • 4- Awwww, see!  I can hug you.  I am totally okay.
  • 5- Oh My Gawd!  I hugged you!  I have to go. NOW.  YOU STAY!
  • 6- Please save me!  Don’t let him get me. Oh, the horrors of the puffy Michelin Man! Save me!
  • 7- You people are horrible to traumatize me like this!  I want my mommy.
  • 8- Okay, seriously. I am not crying. There is something in my eye.
  • 9- Well, maybe it was a little funny.  See?  Totally trying to laugh about it.  (Still? NOT FUNNY!)

So there you go.  I have outed myself as a total freak when it comes to the Michelin Man.  Deal with it.  At least my tires are fully inflated AND I got to drive like a professional driver on a closed course with Raymond.

Oh, and as a token of good will, I have and will keep my Bib (Michelin Man) keychain on my keys to remind me of our moments together.  (Not like I will forget.)

While you were doing that, I was doing this.

While you were doing that, I was doing this.

See! I still exist.  After nearly 3 weeks (or has it been 3 weeks?) off the grid, I am finally trying to jump back into the world that exists in this computer.  In fact, I am guessing that I will finally get in the groove just in time to head off to BlogHer in San Francisco next week.   So what kept me offline for so long?  Well, I was chillin at the beach. Thinking I would have no trouble getting hooked up and online, I never mentioned that I would be leaving. Turns out, getting on and being able to work and chat and check email and such was not the easy time I thought it would be.  Yet being offline for so long was just what I needed.  I know I owe way too many people way too many responses, email, posts etc.  Now that I am home, hooked up and able to connect with the outside world, I will do my best to catch up. Really. (Did you notice the “do my best” part?  Yeah, still out of my groove.)

But I am sure you understand can I understand why.

While you were getting ready for work, I was doing this:

And for most of the day when I would normally be home doing chores or trying to keep the kids busy, I was hanging out here:

And then as the late afternoon hit, I did a little bit of this:

And as the day drew to a close, I sat in amazement watching this:

Is it any wonder why it is tough to get back into the groove?

Next up: Taking on the jellies, BlogHer stuff and a way too late post about a book I was totally supposed to post about ages ago.  For now, a nap.  This blogging stuff is tough to get back into.  I need my beach back.

The onE where I take the quiz and my head explodes!* (Thanks for the catch!)

The onE where I take the quiz and my head explodes!* (Thanks for the catch!)

What have I my entire family and I been spending hours doing? Yes, HOURS. Putting in the hard wood floors we have been putting off since before the holidays? Nah. Laying new carpet in the hallways that I was oh-so-eager to finally get? Of course not.

We have been “doing” this “Impossible Quiz” which came from the very depths of the pits of Hades.

I would like to thank Busy Mom for sending me this way seeing as I had nothing better to do and did not follow her advise for my New Year’s Resolution. She owes me a bit of pain. Consider this payment in full, my friend.