Being a Teen’s Mom is a Thankless Job

Hello my friends. How have you been? I hope life has been treating you well. If not, I hope you are enduring your trials well. A lot of times, that’s the tough part.

Life has been interesting for me. I know I mentioned in a previous post last year about me going off my ADD medicine. This has made life quite challenging. As a matter of fact, turns out quitting cold turkey is not the best way to do it. I gained weight which put me into a depression…I don’t usually need help in that department. It happens naturally. So, since last May I have found it challenging just to do every day tasks. It sucks. Thus me not blogging as much. Or doing much of anything extracurricular. I began a different medication in December that is not a stimulant. It helps to some extent, but it’s still not the same. I exercise, including running my 5th half marathon ever on New Years Day. I honestly can’t imagine how I would be doing without exercise.

I haven’t mentioned on here about my oldest Daughter serving a full time mission for our church. She’s been gone a year now. I have missed her greatly despite how proud and happy I am for her choice to serve. With her gone I am here in the home with my 2 youngest kids. My middle child, my Son, is finishing up his Junior year in high school, while my youngest Daughter is finishing her seventh grade year.  Life is certainly demanding with teenagers in the home. Not only that, the world revolves around them, their rooms are constantly a nightmare. It’s definitely a thankless job being a full time family manager. To be quite blunt, I’m tired of it.

I got in a lot of trouble last night with my Son. I was getting ready for bed and next thing I know I see the angry face emoticon on my phone screen from him. I go into the living room, where he is, and ask him why he sent that. Come to find out, his friend, who is a girl, began sending him photos of him she found on my Instagram feed. “Why did you follow her? I can’t believe you did that!” he says in a loud voice.  First of all, I hardly have very many photos of him period. He doesn’t like for me to take his picture. Yet, as a mom, I don’t want him to look back at my photos and see only photos of his sisters and think I didn’t love him.  Anyway, so he began to critique his younger self and say how awful he looked and he can’t believe I haven’t deleted those photos. Oh my goodness, I can’t win for losing. For real! I mentioned one day to my son about something he wrote on his twitter account and now he has blocked me.

I pretty much do everything wrong according to my teenagers and to them I know absolutely nothing. It’s a little difficult being surrounded by people like this all the time. I have set aside half my life to raise my children, to be there for them. And now, they don’t want to have anything to do with me. It’s a little heart wrenching to say the least.

I’m at a crossroads in my life. I’m about to start a new season. I’ve decided to go back to college. It’s time to upgrade my associates degree to a bachelors degree. I need and want to be around like minded people. It’s time to have a career outside the home. I’ve been blessed to not have to work while my kids were young (although I’ve doubted that on many days.) I remember my own childhood and would have liked to have had my mom or dad around more. Yet, they did what they had to do to raise our family. But because of that, and because my husband’s salary provided enough for me to stay home, I chose to do that. I have always had the best interest of my kids in mind. Doesn’t every parent want more for their children than what they had?

I’ve been juggling in my mind what I would like to do. I know I want a trade or a career. The majority of the jobs I’ve held over my lifetime have been in sales of some kind. I’m tired of that. I want to do something creative. I got online and decided to do this career assessment to see what insight it might provide. My youngest saw me doing the assessment and asked why I was doing it. Once I told her I was going to go back to college and start a career outside the home, she flipped out. My 12 year old who is a full on teenager already was really upset. She thinks this means I will no longer be her mom. Oh my goodness…sigh…again I can’t win for losing.

We shall see what will happen. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time,

I’ts My Birthday & I’ll Cry If I Want To

I’ve been on this earth now for 45 years.  It’s surreal.  I’m kind of having a hard time with that today.

It’s not really because I’m closer to 50 than 40.  It’s not the age thing.  It’s the lack of celebrating thing.  I like Birthdays.  I like to make birthdays special for the people around me, because it’s not supposed to be just an ordinary day.  It’s the day you came into this world.

When I was a kid, my parents held birthday parties for me.  I got a special cake, invited my friends, opened gifts.  As I got older, we would always at least have a family party of some kind, even if it was going out to eat at a restaurant.

As an adult, my birthdays, a lot of times, are just like any other normal day…especially if they are on a week day like today.  This morning my Son remembered and said Happy Birthday first thing when he saw me.  That was pretty special, as he didn’t really say Happy Mother’s Day on Mother’s Day.  I’ll cut him some slack since he just had broken his arm and wasn’t feeling well.  My youngest Daughter did her normal, I’m not a morning person yelling at me this morning before school.  She was actually a little stinker.  Right as she got out of the car for school she says, “Oh and happy birthday,” with a snarky tone to her voice.  Lovely.

No balloons or banners for Shannon. Nope.  Hubby was on call last night and not home.

For some reason there is tradition that we don’t open gifts until dinner time.  Well, I might have to break tradition today and go ahead and open the gift my mom sent, alone. Me. Party of one.

I guess I’ve learned I haven’t made good enough friends here to invite me to go have lunch for my birthday.  That stings.  I could have asked someone, but things have been a little crazy in our life.  I will have to explain about that later.

So I sit at the computer soaking up every one of the birthday wishes I have received on Facebook.  Thank goodness for Facebook on Birthdays.  It’s really the only way people would know my birthday.

A few years ago one of my friends surprised me with a huge banner in the front of our yard that her kids & she made.  That was super awesome! (Thanks again for that K!)

1919365_1248819140266_2035236_nOne year I thought to myself, “I’m going to throw myself a birthday party.”  And I did.  I was turning 36.  We were about to move from Tyler, TX to OK. It was kind of a goodbye/birthday party.  I decided to make it an 80’s themed party.  It was a total blast!  One of the best birthday parties I’ve ever thrown.  This morning on my walk around the neighborhood I decided when I turn 50, in 5 years I’m going to throw myself another birthday party.  It’s going to be big and hopefully make up for all the lonely & uncelebrated birthdays in between my 36th birthday party and my 50th birthday party.

I’m going to tell you a secret…I’ve always hoped someone would throw me a surprise party. To me, the surprise party is the ultimate in knowing you have friends and they care about you.  I’ve given up hope that is going to happen.

I ran into one friend while I was out walking this morning and a different friend called me. Neither one of them wished me a happy birthday.  Guess they haven’t been on Facebook.

It feels like I’m not special enough to celebrate.

This whole post feels awful.  I’m just being a sulking, selfish, crabby pants.  But this is how I feel.  And this is my blog…and I can whine if I want to. Guess I’m hoping it will make me feel better to get it out, but as I read back over it, I feel like someone will judge me and think bad of me.  I don’t think too many people read my blog anymore so it won’t matter.

Connecting with people is important.  Celebrating people is important.  Why do birthdays have to be this way for adults?  I’ve heard people say most of my life, “birthdays aren’t fun anymore when you’re an adult.”   I’ve also heard, “Birthdays are for children.”  But why is that?  Why can’t we celebrate we’ve lived as long as we have?  Why wish any adult a Happy Birthday, then, if it’s supposed to suck?

And one more thing.  Have your kids make an effort for your spouses birthday.  I remember my Dad taking us to the store and having us pick out a gift and card for my Mom for her birthday.  It truly isn’t the actual gift that matters, it’s the thought behind it…seriously, I’m not trying to be cliche. The act of DOING something for someone you care about.  It’s a way to show you care about that person and think they are special.

How Many Red Flags Does It Take? (The Very Bad Haircut)

I learned recently I have been blessed with good hair stylists for the majority of my 44 years on this earth.  Some may say that is completely debatable upon perusing through pictures of me at various points in my life.  However, I can’t recall having an experience at the salon where I have to hold back tears as the person is cutting my hair…until my last hair cut.  I’ve heard nightmare salon stories over the years, but I just think to myself, “hair grows.”

My many haircuts

FullSizeRender_3Here’s the deal…I have LOTS of hair.  When I say I have thick hair…it is THICK.  It is also coarse in nature, not thin.  This is not a complaint. This is merely a fact and is partly the reason why I like having a short hair cut.  The times in my life when I’ve had long hair…oh my goodness does it take a LONG time to shampoo, condition and DRY.  Not only that, if I want to pull it out of my face, say by using a pony tail, I will have a headache by the end of the day, due to the weight of the hair pulling on my scalp.  In addition, I would usually end up with a little sore on my scalp.  My hair grows super fast, again not complaining.  Since I have a pixie haircut now, I usually have to go to the salon every 4 weeks to have my hair cut and colored.  I’ve earned every one of my grey hairs, but I’m not ready to be entirely grey haired.  I’ll save the “I don’t like growing old” post for another time.

Now that you have a better understanding of how my hair is, let’s proceed to the story at hand.

When I moved to Oklahoma (remote small town) I went to 2 hair stylists in which I came to the conclusion I might need to travel (two hours) to Tulsa for a hair stylist.  It wasn’t uncommon, as many other women there also traveled the distance to have good salon experiences.  After making the two hour drive every 4 weeks, for about 6 months, I was ready to find someone local to do my hair.  Fortunately, I found someone!  I asked a friend of mine to share who cut her hair.  She referred me to the lady I ended up going to for about 5 years.  She was the one of the owners of the salon and extremely talented.  Oh how I miss her!  I did travel to Oklahoma to get my hair done after we moved back to Texas in July for a couple of months. The following is the before and after of when my stylist from Oklahoma cut my hair from a bob to a longer pixie cut.

from bob to long pixie3 familybringsjoy.com

I finally decided I would take the leap and find someone here in North Texas.  I figured, I’m in the big city now, it shouldn’t be so difficult to find someone to cut my hair.  Well, I figured wrong.

The following is a sample of photos I showed the hair stylist of how I liked my hair cut:

Instagram Hair Collage familybringsjoy.com

bad cutIMG_5625My first salon experience back in Texas was an ok experience, but I didn’t like how she cut my hair.  The stylist came highly recommended by several people.  She was super sweet and I enjoyed our conversation.  At the beginning of our appointment I showed her pictures of my hair the way I liked it.  My hair was longer because I had gone 2 months without having it cut.  I also noticed the next day after her coloring it…there was grey still showing.  She was super nice and recolored it for me at no charge.  I just didn’t feel like it was a good fit.  The photo to the left was the one I texted to my husband after the appointment…way too short for my taste.  The black and white photo to the right shows how long it was before she cut it. :(

I promise I’m getting to the real story. I felt the need to share a bit of background first.  Okay, so we ended up spending some money at the Aveda store on products for my oldest daughter’s naturally curly hair.  When we checked out, the Aveda sales representative {because of our sale} gave us certificates for 2 free haircuts to a local Aveda salon.  Now let me tell you something…I used to go to an Aveda salon in my home town (Arlington, TX) when I was in high school.  I had an excellent hair stylist who cut my short hair back then.  I was so excited to think I could find someone at an Aveda salon again!

RED FLAGS:

  1. When I called to schedule me & my daughter’s appointments they were able to book us for the very next day.
  2. The hair stylist called me the morning of our appointment to say they were out of electricity. (Not the salon’s fault. Workers for another business in their complex cut the wires.)
  3. The hair stylist did not look professional. She was wearing worn out jeans, a t-shirt and boots. Nor did she wear makeup or do her hair. Her hair was pulled up into a ponytail.
  4. She looked extremely young.
  5. She asks me, “Do you know what color your stylist used on your hair?”
  6. She asks me, “So how much length do you want taken off here and here and here?”  (after I show her pictures of how I like my hair)
  7. She didn’t set a timer after she put the color on my hair.
  8. It took her an hour to cut my hair.  We were in the salon for a total of FOUR hours! It usually only takes about an hour and a half to color and cut my hair.
  9. “What kind of styling product do you use in your hair?” she asks.
  10. It was free.

too good to be true
Red flag number one: I should have realized right off the bat, it’s not a good sign if you can get an appointment for the next day.  Usually, good hair stylists can not get you in right away because they are booked weeks in advance.  My daughter and I were in desperate mode so we thought we were lucky she could squeeze us in.  Can’t blame us for trying to be optimistic.

Red flag number two: The fact the electricity was out should have been another sign…warning!  It’s not their fault at all, but walking into a salon which is dark with extension cords running through out, hooked up to a generator does not make for the best salon experience.  Fortunately, the electricity was restored while she was applying my color.

Red flag number three: If someone is going to do my hair, which has to do with my outward appearance, I kind of would like to see they care about their own appearance.  She looked as though she just got out of bed, pulled up her hair in a messy pony tail, threw on the first thing she could find, and went to work.

Red flag number four: Looking young is not bad at all.  However, it told me she may not have very much experience with doing hair.  I found out she had been a hair stylist for 5 years…but for some reason I don’t know if that was the truth.

Red flag number five: If I am paying someone to color my hair (which I did actually pay for the coloring service,) I would expect them to know how to match my hair color.  It was lucky I did know what color my previous stylist had been using.

Red flag number six: Again, if I am paying someone to cut my hair (lucky enough I did not have to pay for this particular haircut,) then I expect them to know how much length they should take off.  She also asked me what kind of scissors they used…seriously?!  I have no idea!  If I knew how to cut my hair, I would do it myself.

Red flag number seven: While the stylist was coloring my hair, she cut my Daughter’s hair.  Fortunately, my Daughter liked her hair cut (she has long hair.)  However, she spent about an hour cutting her hair and I was beginning to wonder if I would have any hair after leaving the color on for so long.  I asked her about it and she said, “I’m watching it.”  Hmmmm…that doesn’t make me feel any better.

Red flag number eight: I know because of my thick hair, my unique cowlick at the base of my neck, and the pixie short style, it is a little difficult to cut my hair.  This is why I want someone with experience cutting short hair or cutting hair in general.  I’m not sure she has cut very many short hair cuts, but normally someone can cut my hair in about 30 minutes.  It was complete and utter agony watching this girl cut my hair for an hour.  I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to yell, “STOP CUTTING!” and get up and run out the door.  I didn’t.  I didn’t want to hurt the poor girl.  She was doing the best she could, but inwardly I was crying and holding back the tears.  Four hours was way TOO LONG for the service we had done that day.

Red flag number nine: I expect my hair stylists to know what products they should use on my hair.  I’ve never had a stylist ask me what to use on my hair before, ever.

Last but not least, with red flag number ten, which technically should be number one, I should have known, if it’s free, she must need business…which means she is not very good.  Bless her heart, I feel bad for her.  And I can only write that now because it’s been 3 weeks since she cut my hair.  I was livid after my haircut.  I know everyone has to start somewhere.  Thing is, maybe this occupation is not best suited for her?  I’m grateful I did not have to pay for the haircut which made me go home and cry like a baby.

My Facebook status on November 25, 2014extremely bad hair day facebook status

FullSizeRender_1I would like to mention one other aspect I did not like about this salon in particular…the music.  Music is a very powerful medium.  I’ve been known to walk out of stores that are playing the music too loud.  I also don’t feel you should play only one genre of music in a store except for in the case of a spa.  It is completely acceptable and encouraged to play soft relaxing music in the background at a spa.  This particular salon (and no I will not be sharing names) played the same Christmas CD 3 times before I asked her if they could play something else.  Normally, it might not bug me, but this was the day before Thanksgiving and I don’t really like to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  They replaced the Christmas CD which included 4 songs.  Ok, I don’t care what kind of genre of music it is, even if it’s my favorite 4 songs in the whole wide world, I don’t want to hear them repeated over three hours.  The four songs on this CD were Gospel Worship songs, with one being a live concert version.  Here’s the deal…I’m a Christian.  I really like Christian Contemporary music.  Worship music is different.  I didn’t mind listening to the songs the first time I heard them, because I am a Christian.  However, I am not accustomed to listening to the Worship genre of music, as my church does not play those songs in our worship service.  Putting that aside, what about the clients in the salon who are not Christian?  Wouldn’t that be kind of a problem with them?  When I go to a salon, I feel like not only am I paying for the expertise of the stylist, but I’m also paying for the atmosphere in the salon.  When I go, I want it to be a pleasant and relaxing experience.  I want to feel confident my hair stylist knows what she’s doing and I will leave feeling good about how I look.

hair salon chair familybringsjoy.comI recommend salons and stores play a variety of music (with the exception of heavy metal where they are screaming the lyrics, one of the major reasons I don’t shop at Hot Topic.)  This way everyone will hear a song they might like and enjoy listening to the music.  Volume of the music is important as well.  This particular salon had their music volume up so high we had to raise our voice to speak.  Background music should set the mood and be in the background, not in the fore front.  Being the ADD person I am, if I’m shopping at a store where the music is so loud, I can’t think or focus on finding what I’m shopping for, I want to leave and I do.  The store lost a customer.  I also leave stores playing the same genre of music (especially the ones I don’t listen to as much or care for.)

This experience was sort of traumatic for me…enough for me to write about it.  It has me feeling somewhat hopeless about my hair, which tends to have me feeling a little self conscious.  I want to explain something about me.  I’m the type of person who does her hair & makeup in the morning and then doesn’t look at it in the mirror throughout the day.  I’m not a vain person.  This horrible haircut has me looking at myself in the mirror throughout the day to check and make sure the shorter patches are not sticking up.  I was hoping after it grew out some those pieces would lay down more…nope.

Here are the pieces after 3 weeks of growth without styling product on them to flatten them down. (don’t look at my roots!)

one side with more grey edited

yuck haircut

back of my head

Sometimes even the styling product doesn’t keep them from sticking out.  I guess I’m going to have to say goodbye to my pixie haircut because I can’t keep reliving this horror story over and over.  That makes me sad.  I like my pixie haircut.  Just last night I dreamt I had several wigs I wore. :(

I didn’t realize this post was going to be so long.  I’ll stop ranting now.  I hope this finds everyone enjoying the Christmas season and doing well.

#firstworldprobs,

It’s Time For A Change

Texas editedBig news coming at you today…we are moving back to Texas.

There’s a saying, “You can take the girl out of Texas, but not the Texas out of the girl.”

This is true.  We’ve been living in Oklahoma for 7 years now.  And even though it is only one state north from Texas, it’s just not the same.

Much has happened while we have lived here.  My oldest graduated from high school.  We built our dream home.  We paid off loans and got out of debt.  I’ve made relationships which will last even after we move.  Yet, it’s time for this city girl to move back to the city.  It’s time to be closer to my family in Texas.

While I am ready to move on…I wish I could take my house with us.  Leaving the home we custom built will be the most difficult part of moving for me.  I realize to some it might not make sense.  Some people might see our home and say, “if I had that house, I would never move.”  However, a house is just a house.  It is the people you share it with that matter.  There is a scripture I have been pondering about much lately from Matthew in the New Testament:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

treasure scripture familybringsjoy.com

This reminds me to keep my heart on what really matters.

All last week I purged and cleaned preparing for the realtor to come and take photos of the house.  After picking up my youngest from school I realized one of the outdoor throw pillows, which had blown over to our house, belonged to our neighbor across the street.  Their front porch had a chair with a pillow that matched.  I decided to walk it over to them.  After I placed the pillow on the pillow-less chair, I turned around to see our house.  There it was.house taken on may 16 2014 familybringsjoy.com  Of course…I was just across the street.  It looked beautiful and a feeling of sadness washed over me.  I know I was exhausted from all the work I had been doing that day.  It could have been the amount of stress had built up and the emotions just over took me.  I took a picture with my phone and posted it on Instagram.  It’s not that I was wanting to gloat about my house.  It was more about wanting to share the feelings I was experiencing with the sweet friends I have made on the community of Instagram.

I find myself wanting to explain how I feel, but then this ongoing argument plays in the back of my mind.  “You don’t have to explain how you feel.  But, people might not understand.  That’s OK if they don’t understand, they aren’t you.  You don’t have to justify your feelings.”  I guess part of me wanting to explain is a challenge I want to take on.  The other part thinks it might be therapeutic for me.

Being a full time stay at home mom has been challenging for me.  I have creative tendencies which went on the back burner for many years while my kids were young.  As a matter of fact, it’s been the past few years, while my kids have been at school full time, I have realized how much of myself I kind of “put away.”  I thought to be a good mom, I needed to let go of things I loved doing for the sake of the family.  I’m not sure where I got this idea, but it doesn’t matter now.  Anyway, when we built our house, it was like a full time job.  I quickly became an amateur architect and designer.  It took over a year to build our house.  We moved in and then it was a full time job putting things away and decorating.  Over the past 5 years I have truly enjoyed sharing my home here on Family Brings Joy.  I like sharing my DIY projects and seeing them pinned on Pinterest.  I like it when friends tell me they have seen my laundry room or craft room on Pinterest. {Thank you to all those who have pinned!}  So, I guess I feel as though the process of building our house and making it a home, I kind of found myself again.  Plus, it is a HUGE accomplishment.  I don’t want to feel like I’m throwing away this accomplishment or myself.  I know I’m not.  But maybe that is where part of the sadness is coming from?  However, truly most of the sadness is knowing our dream home has not appreciated in value.  Due to the failing economy, we will not regain the amount of money it cost for us to build our home.  This is what really brings me grief.  Your house is supposed to be an investment.  Right?  You shouldn’t have to LOSE money when you sell your home.

Listen up…I know it depends on where you live and what the market is like, but if you are considering building a custom home, you need to be aware of some key points before building.  (And let me throw in here, we built our house with the intention of not moving.  However, you never know what life has in store for you.)

1. The cost your builder quotes to build your floor plan is only an ESTIMATE. (plan to pay more)

2. The builder will not include the concrete for your driveway in your estimate.  This is an extra expense and is not cheap.

3. A custom builder does not include landscaping.  Landscaping, including grass sod and flower beds are an additional cost.

4. Other additional costs for us we had not considered before building were the cost of a septic system and propane tank because we live outside the city limits.

The above points are not including the cost of the land.  And I guarantee adding a pool will not increase the value of your home even though it should!  I think having a pool is a huge selling point.  So however much money it costs to build a pool, plan on throwing that money away.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is much value in having a pool, but that will be a post for another day.

I’ll stop my ranting now.  I just think people should be informed of the cost of building a custom home.  I guarantee the supplies to build a home have increased in cost since we built over 5 years ago.  This means to build our house, just like it is today, will cost substantially more than what we paid to build it, not to mention the stress and time it takes to build.

So, if by chance you have come to my site because you are considering purchasing our home…you are getting an amazing deal!  Go to the tab at the top of this site titled House Tour and take a look around.  The majority of the house has already been photographed.  However, I am going to go into more detail with future posts about unique features of our home.  If you are not looking to purchase our home, that’s okay.  You are welcome to tour the house and receive some great ideas for your own home or a future home.  Be sure and pin what you like on Pinterest for your future reference. 😉

Change can bring joy,

Friday’s Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

1. The Disney Character I’m most like is Jessie from Toy Story.

There’s a place in the California Adventure park where a computer asks you a bunch of questions to see what character you are most like.  Turns out I’m most like Jessie.

Book about me at disney familybringsjoy.com

photo 1 (2)

I found this info out AFTER we met Jessie.  If I would have known of my special kinship, I would have gotten a photo with her too!  Below Jessie signs my daughter’s autograph book.

Jessie signing book familybringsjoy.com

2. There are special cutting artists on Main Street of Disney Land who can cut your silhouette by hand.

You might not think this is cool, but I do!  The lady who cut my kid’s silhouettes has been working this craft at Disney Land for 40 years!  I could not believe my eyes as I watched her.

3. If you feel something in your hair at Toon Town in Disney Land, don’t pull it out of your hair…it might be a bee!

DSC08933Yep, this happened to me.  I felt something in my hair.  I pulled it out of my hair to find a bee.  As soon as I figured out what it was I let go of it…too late…it stung me.  I haven’t had a bee sting since I was 4 or 5 years old.  It’s pretty painful.  We found the first aid station and they had some good numbing gel for it with an ice pack.  Thank goodness!  For future reference, if anything like this or any other unfortunate accident occurs while you are visiting Disney Land, tell the nearest cast member (worker) and the nurse will come to you.  We had to walk a little ways to get to the first aid station.  The nurse told us she could have came to us.

4. Spending money on an experience is completely worth it! (I already knew this)  In this case it was the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disney Land.

This was my daughter’s chance to be prettied up like a Disney princess.   The sweet beautician treated her like royalty doing her hair, nails and makeup.

Disney Boutique collage familybringsjoy.com

Daughter was able to choose what dress/princess she wanted to be.  At the end of the beautifying process they open the curtains you see behind her.  A special mirror is revealed with animation and music. (I wish now I would have taken video)  Here she is…Snow White.

Snow White at Boutique familybringsjoy.com

Next included a photo shoot in Cinderella’s carriage!

Photo time at boutique familybringsjoy.com

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

DSC08887

The photographer let me take a few photos with my camera.

snow white in carriage familybringsjoy.com

DSC08884

That’s not all…time to meet other princesses!  First is Cinderella.

Cinderella and daughter familybringsjoy.com

Another favorite…Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

Ariel with snow white familybringsjoy.com

I am so glad we did this.  I will forever have this time etched in my memory…and more importantly I think it will be something she will never forget.

my princess at Disney Land familybringsjoy.com

5. I don’t like roller coasters, crowds and kids who complain about wait times.

I used to like roller coasters when I was young.  As a matter of fact, I would purposefully ride in the very front and put my hands in the air.  Not anymore…it’s another sign of me getting old.  Boo!  I got motion sick riding Space Mountain.  I hate motion sickness.

teacups with dad familybringsjoy.com

son & I at Disney Land familyI thought going in February was a good time to go to Disney Land…meaning less crowded.  Turns out Valentine’s Day/President’s Day is a popular time to go.  I mean honestly, we could hardly walk through the parks.  Thursday was the least crowded of all the days of the weekend.  I’m so glad we took the kids out of school that day.  Disney Land was more crowded than California Adventure, yet I was very disappointed with the amount of people there.

If I didn’t already know how impatient my kids are already, I do now.  Sigh…it was incessant whining and complaining about waiting in the lines.  Sometimes they wouldn’t want to go on the ride if they saw how long the wait time was.  And let me tell you, most of the wait times were around an hour.  We learned to use fast passes as much as possible.  The last day we were there my daughter and I only rode one ride all day.  Instead, we went to lots of shows, which I love.

This was our first family vacation without our oldest daughter.  If you are a new reader, she’s a college freshman at an out of state university.  It was weird not having her with us.  This is a different stage of life for all of us right now.  K, if you are reading this, know how very much you were missed.  We thought about ya while searching every shop for a plush Flynn Rider.  I’m sure there will be other Disney opportunities for us to vacation together in the future.

As Tigger says, “Ta ta for now!”

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way by Disney to write this post.

Disney Brings Joy,

Nothing Backwards About This Day…Just Reality

Hey there.

It’s me.

Yes, I’m still here.

I know it’s been a while.

I’ve got the doldrums.  It’s not a full on depression episode…thankfully.  Hopefully it’s not the beginning of one.  I had such a good beginning to 2013 last year, yet it ended up being probably one of the worst years of my life.  So maybe this year it will be the opposite…since it’s starting out kind of crummy maybe it will end up being good.  A girl must hope.

Really the only reason I know last January was good is due to a new app I happened upon. {Thanks Sara!}  It’s called Timehop. (I’m not getting paid to advertise this app.)

Wait a minute…

I need to take a little time to rant, so if you don’t want to hear it, skip the next paragraph.

Can I  just tell you how much I hate that I’m supposed to state every time I mention a company whether they are paying me to write something or not?!  I hate blogging has come to this.  Honestly, as I have mentioned before, even though I have tried a bit of affiliate marketing {based on what I value and think my readers would value only} it has brought in absolutely nothing in the way of monetary value for me.  As a matter of fact, the last company I worked with for affiliate marketing sent me an email recently telling me my account is going into dormancy mode due to inactivity.  Well, OK.  I might be destined to be a purist {a blogger who has no ads on their blog} for life when it comes to blogging.

Back to Timehop…it’s like having an online scrapbook or journal.  Each day it sends me posts from this exact day up to 4 years ago from all my social networking sites.  I have enjoyed seeing what I wrote, how I was feeling {if I shared that, as you might imagine, I do that from time to time} and the pictures I shared.  This is how I know what I did last January.  I organized my closet {which is back to being a t-TOTAL mess,} participated in a craft swap, visited my Dad, had a date with my husband.

It’s not fun comparing my year ago me to my present me.  People say we should be happy no matter how productive we are…well I say to those people…take a walk in my shoes.  It’s not fun having ADD.  Most days I WANT to be productive, yet it’s like there’s a barrier that keeps me from doing so.  Besides, it is important to not be idle.  Think about the questions we receive from our family and friends: What did you do today?  What have you been up to?  We are measured by what we do.  If we go to college, we are more likely to be considered more valuable in the job market than if we don’t go to college.  I could go on and on, but I don’t want to.  It’s starting to get me too agitated.

I worked on cleaning my craft room for a little while this morning and then got overwhelmed and stopped.  Oh my goodness I have to stop writing now.  This is quite a miserable little blog post.  I probably shouldn’t post it, but since I haven’t posted in a while, I will.

I’ll be ok.  Life certainly could be a lot worse.

One of those days,