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!!