Posted in Uncategorized

The Cobblestones went to Grafton…

This weekend was set to be an exciting one! Post Gulf Shores vacation we planned a trip, for grown ups only, to Grafton, IL to partake in a bit of life’s rewards for the mature, drinking. Wine, beer, mixers, water and flat soda combined with a few good friends, tasty foods and a cool atmosphere, yep! This is what being a responsible adult is all about! Let’s throw a few of these back and forget all of our troubles and act like teenagers for the night! 
 

I wish I’d taken more photos of the beauty of Aeries Winery in Grafton, Il. It’s posted atop a Mississippi River bluff, only a couple hundred feet from the flood of 1993 river crest, and gorgeous! The day was hot, but we were appointed a fun and energetic young waiter, Tyler, who put up with us as we changed tables not one but 3 times to afford us the luxury of getting into our prime seats!! Yes, you may be thinking now, I bet these people were obnoxious, and yes! You are most certainly right!!! 


But here’s the thing, it’s been a long hot summer already, and we have all just returned from family vacations, and we were so looking forward to this night. The majority of us have been neighbors for 15 years ish, there’s been so much life lived together on Cobblestone, our home street, that sometimes we just need to bust out of the court and let loose on some new ground! So often we speak to each other in bits of broken sentences through the screaming of children and barking of dogs, these little weekend trips are where we find who we are again, as just us adults. Don’t we all need that sometimes? Just a little reminder that we are actual people, who like to play our own games, and drink our own sort of juice boxes and listen to our own kind of music without fear of forgetting to download the censored version. To be ourselves for a bit, uncensored! Sure, I ate hamburgers on buns yesterday, and drank more beers than I will admit to my fitness pal, but all of it was worth it! I came back home with these same people and we have something to carry us through until the next time. Thanks for the memories Cobblestones!!

Posted in Beach, mom, Uncategorized, Women

Goggles and Girls…

So we just returned home from a much anticipated beach vacation! My girls are 11 years old and 15 years old so we were happy to have a friend for each of them join us. We booked a condo at a resort-style community in Gulf Shores, Alabama, which we loved so much, and we were happy to take advantage of the many amenities they had to offer. Five pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, A café with a Starbucks, and less we forget all of that divine beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico! This was our fifth year of travel to Gulf Shores, and after a one-year hiatus to visit Disney World, Gulf Shores was beckoning us south in anindescribable way.
It’s funny though, I yearn to hit the ocean, and feel the crash as the tide slaps against my Midwestern body, to feel the sand slip from beneath my feet as each wave rolls out and the next slams in. I love watching my babies hop over the waves on the shoreline as they beeline toward the depths where they can leisurely float on their boogie boards (deemed useless in Missouri). Once they’ve settled into a spot worthy, I find myself admiring the beauty of that moment, after 12 hours of driving through the night, and a years worth of saving and planning, we’ve made it to the Gulf! How grateful I am to afford this opportunity to our family, and my two newly-adopted-for-the-week “daughters”.

That’s when it hits me! And it never fails, salt water in the eyes and along with that, the sting of reality…we are surrounded by wildlife! Fish and sharks and jellyfish, oh my! All of the “eeks” I’m bottling up behind the smiles as I wave to those 4 beauties I’ve just watched frolic into the home of these ocean beasts, sound like a thousand sirens going off inside of my head. I’m quietly, and irrationally paranoid, though rational paranoia is also appropriate. They come floating toward me as I looked toward the shore, oh! Here comes my husband with a flotation device and four sets of goggles! 


Goggles, yuck! I think to myself how annoying they are, all of the adjusting and wiping fog and sand, they just aren’t worth a crap … or so I thought. My Katelynn, 15, thought it would be funny to see how I looked in her goggles. So for fun I slip them on and suddenly I’m knocked to the Gulf floor as I am caught off guard by a wave. I go under, facedown, with open eyes and just like that my entire world changes… Goggles!? They are amazing!! How did I not know this? All of those sensations I felt I could now see! And it doesn’t hurt! Somehow I, a 36-year-old woman, found security in these magnificent spectacles! This was an unexpected turn of events… Sure I look ridiculous, but a day looking ridiculous in the depths of the Gulf that I previously felt uncomfortable in, puts a lot into perspective for me.I’m suddenly aware of all that I’ve missed while being nervous, and fearful on the shoreline. Watching my family wave to me as I conceal fears with smiles and wild waves no longer! I’m now equipped with goggles!! Who knew they’d change the way I vacation for the rest of our lives!!

Posted in Uncategorized, Women

Oops! There’s Ink on this paper…

My entire life I’ve been a “writer“. OK, maybe not always as poetically as that sounds, but even at the tender age of three my mom walked into the living room to discover I had drawn the letterA all over our new “paper chairs”(which were actually white leather chairs). I’ve always loved writing, handwriting ya see, and when I learned to turn those A’s into a string of words that may or may not make sense to anyone but me, I ran with it! Over the years I’ve dabbled in run-on sentences, letters, poems, doodles, scribbles, journaling, meal planning, grocery list making, and a multitude of other forms of “creative” writing (most recently charting as a nurse). And now here I sit with a pen and paper attempting to begin a journey as a blogger? Wait, how do I write that on this virtual notebook? I digress.

I filtered through 1000s of topics in my head trying to narrow down what I want to lend to the world, pieces of advice? OK. Mommy frustrations? Sure. Wife complications? Why not. Nursey-ness? Of course. I figure I’ll practice a bit of journaling of sorts, and see where this takes me. I’ve always found that writing about what’s in my head, good, bad or indifferent has been very cleansing for me. Hopefully some of y’all will be able to relate to some of what I’ll have to say. If not that’s fine too.

So a little about me… I am Amy, a wife of a city police officer, a mother to a 15-year-old daughter who loves to run and an 11-year-old soccer/basketball/runner girl, a dog mom of my little Corbin, a nurse, a friend, a daughter, a woman. I think this is where I say something like “in my spare time I like to …” but ha ha! Spare time? Nah. It’s cliché to say there’s no spare time these days, so I’ll do you the favor and admit that I am the mom that joins other moms “complaining” about being so busy, when the reality is I’m so busy being busy on purpose. It’s laughable to think I’d want it any other way. I signed up for activities and conferences and pay hundreds, if not thousands to afford my daughters positions on various sports teams. Every time my husband sends me a text saying “I just sent off another check for X dollars for soccer” I reply “it’s worth every penny ” because I ❤️ it more than I ❤️ complaining about being busy. So why don’t I stop complaining to people and just delight in the beauty of being blessed enough to do these things?
It’s almost a social faux pas to be happy with your life sometimes. It’s so odd and just when I thought I’d grown up, I find that if I’m not careful I’m sucked right into the trenches of negativity in an attempt (subconsciously) to fit in?! It never ends, when you’re a kid you try to fit in or you learn to be OK with being different, and as an adult it’s the same thing sometimes isn’t it?

The truly crazy thing is that as I sit here writing about how I don’t want to be that, how I really am OK with being this woman, this wife, this mom, this friend, this daughter, inevitably I’ll be sitting across a fire pit in a camp chair, in my driveway relating to another mom about how we are just too busy all the time. I’m a problem. It’s OK, I’ll get better.

So what do you think? Can you relate? Is it only me who gets uncomfortable about being too happy or too grateful? Please share a story of yours with me. I’m dying to hear it! I hope you’ve enjoyed your time with me and that you’ll stop back in to see what other things may spill from this “pen”.