Saturday, February 18, 2012

flying solo for a week

Recently, I headed out with 2,000 collegues to Hollywood, FL for an annual work conference. Four thirty in the morning came much too quickly when it came time to leave for the airport that Sunday morning. However, I have to admit that once I got settled into my seat with my Chai Tea and new book, I smiled a little. I do not remember the last time I flew without my two little fellas. Flying with kids is quite the adventure that I do not mind; however, it is nice to spoil yourself by flying solo on occasion. :)

My roommate and co-worker, Nancy, had quite the laugh as I admitedly took a bit to get adjusted to this new way of travel. I am so used to having everything thought through ten times over prior to heading out our front door when I am traveling with the little ones, that I thought by going solo I could relax a little and not worry so much about every little detail. Ha! This girl learned that I had better stick to my routine from here on out. While Nancy was texting me to see where I was and to let me know they were about to close the doors, I took the esteemed honor of being the last person to run on board the plane before the doors closed. I had been dropped off by the taxi at the wrong terminal. Has anyone ever walked from the Lindberg to Humphrey terminal? Well, let me tell ya...I have. More times than I wish to count. And it is not a quick commute.

After sliding into my seat breathless from the run, it wasn't too long after that that my full glass of water slid right into my lap drenching me from crotch to toe. Nice Carrie. Thankfully, by the second flight, my pants were totally dry...and my clumsy airport mishaps were no more.

We arrived in humid Florida mid-afternoon and were greeted at our hotel with Voss water and a very long check-in line. Two hours later we were headed to our first meeting and had not even seen our room yet. It was well past dark when we caught a glimpse of our pillows that evening; however, I could not help but first take a glance at our view from the 22nd floor of the Westin. Not too bad. If I had not been nodding off for the last couple of hours from the long day, I could have stayed on that balcony for hours.

Good morning Hollywood, Florida! Each morning we were out the door by 7am to make a quick breakfast and our first meeting, but that didn't stop us from taking a quick peek at this view.

This was about as close as I came to the ocean most days; however, late Tuesday afternoon just before the sun was starting to go down, we got a break...a break that was longer than 15-20 minutes. During the short intervals throughout the days, I would happily hit the balcony to catch a breath of fresh air and listen to the strong waves. What torture! Monday afternoon, I truly contemplated taking off in my suit (that would be business suit..not swimsuit) and diving head first into the ocean blue. Hmmm, I really do wonder if they would have ever missed me at that meeting. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so much of a good girl. ;)

Aaahhh. But then there was that brief hour or so on Tuesday. Just me, my Voss water, Good Girl book, and old school cd player with some favorite cds. Don't laugh. Well, go ahead. It is ok if you do. Who am I kidding? Truly, I would not care. Before leaving on this trip, as I was packing my bag, my husband roared as he watched me load my trusty cd player with my AA batteries and 7 cds into my carry-on. He guaranteed I would be the only individual on that airplane or at that conference with an "ancient" music player. I did not argue, because I did not care nor did I disagree. I was silly giddy that I was going to be able to listen to my tunes (versus Wee Sing Sing Alongs and, don't get me wrong; I love those kids tunes, but it's nice to pull out some of my own style every so often.)

On that Tuesday afternoon, I dug my toes as deep in the sand as I possibly could, closed my eyes and listened to my music and the waves. And then I took the headphones off to stare up at the breathtaking view above and listen soley to the waves. And then I read my book. And then I drank more Voss water. hehe! I made that hour last as long as I possibly could.

Though I never made it into the pool or into the ocean, they both looked quite inviting. I can honestly say that this was first for me. I have never in my entire 28 years gone to the beach and not gone for a swim in the ocean. Hmmm...ok. So, this trip totally does not count in my books as a trip to the beach. Period. Moving on...

I have to say that the two things I was most excited about with this trip was sleeping in a big, luscious bed with no sounds of crying or thirsty kiddos in the middle of the night (though the nights were way too short by the time we got out of our meetings and headed up to bed, I was very much excited for the guaranteed solid sleep!) and the fact that for one week, I only had one person to tend to: myself. It was grand. I ate meals and actually visited with adults during those meals with no interruptions. No little hands reached for my food. (I actually did catch myself moving my silverware and dishes around at one point to be out of the reach of my collegue. She laughed and asked if I was afraid she would steal my food. Old habits die hard.) The break from routine was nice. Every mama needs a chance every once in a while to actually apply each piece of her makeup in the mornings without the 5 minutes hassle of fearfully avoiding little hands in the Brown eyeliner or the Storm eyeshadow. I felt like each morning I was getting ready for some grand event as I actually took the time to piece together matching and coordinating jewelry, makeup, clothes and shoes. Everything went together! It was fabulous. Dare I admit that I felt like a capritious 19 year old each morning as I donned my very best business attire without a smidgen of food, dirt or boogies lingering on my sleeves. I felt sharp and very well put together.

Here's the other side to this story --you had to know it was coming-- I was TERRIBLY missing my family. There were several times the moms teared up as we saw cute little kids with their parents (although there weren't too many families vacationing at this particular place). I had not even made it off the plane in Atlanta when I discovered a Hot Wheels Car and teething thingy (is that a word?) in my purse. And when I opened up my sunglass case after arriving in Ft. Lauderdale, instead of my Fendi's, I found a surprise from my four year old...a  rescue pad for his helicopter. Hearing my boys' sweet voices over the phone each day made me yearn to hold and hug them. I wanted us all there together playing on the beach each day. As nice as the break was, that was truly all I needed - a break. I was ready to jump right into the swing of things when I returned.

I snapped this picture of our hotel before leaving...we were in the busy, business section of town but where city was on one side, the beachside view was on the other.

The flights home offered quite the scenic view.

Late Wednesday night we flew in to Minne, where I got home just in time to fall into my bed and snooze before a busy two days of work.

Where were the boys you might ask? The Great state of Texas...having a blast. I wish I could say that they missed me terribly but I don't know that they did. :) There were so many fun things to do with their daddy during the day and their Nana, Poppie, Ashee and KK at night that I am not sure they even knew I was gone!

Saturday, I had some catching up to do around the house, but still found time to indulge in some homemade chocolate covered strawberries before snoozing one last time before my boys made it home. It really was a nice and relaxing day.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later and we are back to our "busy as usual" routine. Work, Dinner, Play, Sleep...laundry, dishes, etc. etc. etc. Though I might not be donning my best jewels or leaving the house without a little milk, juice or food smudge on my outfit these days, this mama would not change it for the world. I love every little smudge and each drool-y grin that I get!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

playing catch up this weekend and missing my guys...

We have been busy lately...

This past Sunday at 5am I headed to the airport to catch a flight down to Florida for a work conference. Clay was holding down the fort and decided he would take the boys down to Texas to see family for a bit.

I would have posted some of the fabulous pictures that I took on my trip earlier in the week but unfortunately time did not allow for that. One of these days, when my hubby finally talks me into getting an iphone, I will find posting while in flight and when out of town to be much easier. ;)
I will post a few pictures from my trip soon...thought about it today but opted to work on the boys' albums instead, made and ate some delicious chocolate strawberries, went to the movie theater to see "The Vow" (still can't get over the fact that a movie costs a whopping $10 now...just to get in!!!), listened to some favorite tunes while I went through and threw out a bunch of paper junk, worked out, did laundry...definately took advantage of the full 24 hours I had at home by myself to accomplish some fun things! ...still playing catch up from the holidays and from life in general. :)

Missing these guys..."Can't wait to see you so soon!" :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

hello from the Sunshine State!

Hello from Sunny Florida!

(Flew in a couple of days ago for a work conference...this is about the closest I have actually come to the beach since our schedule has been pretty tight with meetings. Don't you worry toes will hit the sand and water before heading home. :))

Friday, February 3, 2012

our day in Mississippi with family

In case everyone has not caught on to this yet...the one thing that we do not like about living up North is being so very far away from family. Clay and I are both extremely close to our family and if it were up to us, we would live in the same town as all of them. We would love every crazy little minute of it. :)

We missed not being able to go down to Mississippi for the holidays so we had planned a weekend trip down South for January. Though my original plan did not work out to be able to stay a few days, we were thankful for the funfilled and precious day that we had in Grenada this past weekend. Clay and I got off work on Friday afternoon, and we quickly headed for the airport to catch the last flight down to Memphis.

Saturday went by far too fast, but how much fun it was. We saw 1 grandmother, 2 sets of great-grands, 1 great aunt, 1 cousin, 1 uncle and 1 aunt.

The kids had a blast lounging in their pajamas for a couple of hours Saturday morning, getting into all of Rassie's exciting "new" toys.

I love the familiarity of being at my mom's home.

One of the highlights of of the trip was Uncle Taylor, Clay and Parker's outing...shooting on Saturday morning. This was Parker's first time to shoot. (He shot with Jonesie's gun) When our little man walked in the house from their little adventure holding a bottle of Sprite and proudly chewing gum, I did not have to wonder whether or not the morning went well. He was one proud little man.

My husband and brother both have a thing for not only slightly worries me. ;)

...notice the proof that Parker did indeed shoot a gun. (He wouldn't wipe the smudge off his face for hours after they got back! ha!)

The ear protection that daddy bought for Parker and that he brought for himself came in handy on the plane ride back Sunday. We luckily got the very last row of the DC9 and had the privilege of hearing the mighty engines at their greatest.  These earsets helped our little angels sleep almost the whole way back. Thank you Lord.

Someone was hungry and thirsty after his nap on the plane, so we had to stop on the way out for a snack. This made the little Mr. Mr. happy. (We are working on weaning him from the bottle, but I have to say, he really looks forward to his "BaBa" in the evenings before bedtime.)
Sunday afternoon..."Minnesota, we are back!"