Gulf Shores Vacation

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I am proud to say that our daughter is a happy traveler. 1600 miles traveled and not one single melt down. Even when we were stuck in line to board the ferry to Foley Alabama for 4 hours. Yes, I said it, 4 hours!

We stopped in Jackson, Mississippi on the way down. The “We” in this scenerio was Zalyn, my brother Tom and myself. Daddy was unable to go on vacay with us due to work issues. So, Tom was our driving buddy. And what a good buddy he was. When we got to Jackson, we met up with our brother, John and his family. They were just a couple hours behind us. We stayed at the same hotel. It turned out to be an amazing idea because we caravaned the rest of the drive down from Jackson to Gulf Shores. Having another car to hop into during that dreadful ferry wait and having 3 cousins to entertain Z, made it seem so much less painful.

We finally arrived at Big Blue and Little Blue sometime in the evening. A mere 4 hours past what we had anticipated. But it was a beautiful site to drive upon the beautiful place we would call home for 6 days. Our brother, Jeff and his family had already arrived. They were a few hours behind us but opted not to take the ferry.

While waiting for the rest of the family to arrive, we decided to hit the beach before the sun went down. My little girl loved the water. I couldn’t keep her away. But throughout the rest of the week, she wanted nothing to do with the water. Just the sand. The sand was like heaven to her.

I’m happy to say that the week went by slow. Each moment was cherished, nothing went unnoticed. We made the most of every little second we had there.

Our drive back home went just as smooth. We stopped in Memphis and made excellent time. Z was a complete dream for both trips.

Millions of kisses for cousins and aunts and uncles.

Long naps.

Yummy food had and cooked by all of us.

Dance parties that seemed to last an eternity.

Karaoke like you’ve never seen before. My sister-in-law is the S*&#

That beach smell lingering in your nose all week.

Hearing laughter every which way, all around you.

And of course, pictures.

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Her First Crush

Zalyn’s little blue eyes just light up when she sees her daddy. But there’s a certain sparkle she gets in her eyes when she sees Christopher. She just loves him. These were taken yesterday.

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Friendships

A couple months back I received a phonecall from an old friend. It was a belated “Happy Mothers Day” phone call. It wasn’t a text message. It wasn’t an email. It wasn’t a Facebook wall post. It was a phone call. And that little “slide to answer” on my phone meant the world to me.  It warmed my heart.

Marlon and I celebrating my 28th Birthday in New York

A couple weeks prior to that, I received another phone call from another old friend. “You inspire me. I wanted to hear you voice,” Is one of the things she told me.

My boy, Marlon. My girl, Tia

Although I don’t see these friends on a regular basis, they still are close to my heart. I spent a great deal of my “growing” years with them. Growing to become a better me, growing to learn more about who I was. They were there through this process. They helped shape the way this punk became (random, music reference. A prize will be rewarded to who can guess what it is from…)

I can’t go so far as to say that making friends was hard for me, but I can say that sometimes it was a struggle. I can’t exactly put into words what that means. But looking back, I was never part of the “in” crowd. I never felt as if I was “part” of something. I made close friends but as time went on, those friends drifted away. And now, in my 30s, that fact remains the same.

I look back at my wedding album. I look at the guestlist from that day. And as much as it pains me to say this, more than half of those friends in attendance, I barely have any contact with. Most of them have not met my daughter. Shoot, some of them may not even know that I have a daughter. This makes me quite sad. I’m not going to sit here and place any sort of blame on anyone for that. It is just a fact of life. It’s what happens as we move through this spectrum of light we call life.

And I am proud to say that I’m ok with that. I’m able to say that I’ve been in the most beautiful of friendships. I’ve met some of the most amazing people. And although some of them, I’ve lost touch with, I am honored to be able to have once called them, “friend.”

So, to all my friends that I’ve made through the years, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to share my time with you. Although this time may have been cut short, it was magical to me.

And to my friends that I have currently, may you be new or old friends, thank you. Thank you for sharing in the current magic of my life. The magic that is my daughter. And although some of you may not know that same magic yourself, thank you for still sharing it with me.

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And to my friends that I will come to share life with in my future, thank you. I look forward to our bond that we will share. And thank you for waiting for me.

Splish Splash

I’ve been wanting to take Zalyn to The City Garden in downtown St. Louis ever since it started to get hot out. So, when a failed mission to take her to the Circus occurred, we took the opportunity of being downtown to head on over to this glorious park. (The Circus attempt failed because I was a dummy and didn’t buy the tickets when I should’ve weeks ahead and the performance sold out. Duh!)

But we took advantage of it being an early Wednesday morning and not having to beat the crowds and drive around for hours for a parking spot. It was perfect. In spite having her morning nap skipped, Z was still her excited and happy self. We played in the water for a good half hour then she started walking towards the stroller and climbed in. She was ready to go. It was so cute.

So, how about some photo’s eh?

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Fathers Day

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A few things about our day:

Zalyn loved chasing my brothers dog, Meeko, around the house. She’d yell, “Dawwwg! Dawwwg!”

I would say to Z, “Zalyn, where’s Papa?” She’d look around and when spotted, she’d head right for my dad saying, “Paw Paw Paw Paw.” It melted my heart.

Seeing that little girl walk around the grass was hilarious. Who knew walking in grass would cause so many stumbles? My parents front lawn has a bit of a slope. Seeing her stumble and get back up and stumble again and get right back up again… priceless.

Zalyn does NOT like Trader Joe’s veggie burgers.  A gagging child is not a happy one.

My sister-in-law believes that Z will be an outdoorsy child. Considering the fact that you couldn’t pay me to camp, I’m a wee-bit weary of what I would do with a child that earns for the great outdoors. I suppose I could be a changed woman. Anything for my daughter!

My dad was able to relive a little bit of one of his favorite childhood past times through Z. He loved climbing trees as a child so he let Z explore that excitement just a bit. It was awesome to watch as he put her down after letting her reach for the branches and she would reach up to him wanting to do it again. A-Dor-A-Ble.

Z loves her daddy.

And I love my daddy.

Enough said.

Tagged

Minty Fresh

Minty Fresh
I’m just loving all of the Mint that I’m seeing online and in stores. Such a great color for the summer. Here’s some stuff I’ve found across the internet
4. Sally Hansen from Target
5. Asos
7. Asos
8. Asos
10. Etsy

Currently

Let’s get back up to speed, shall we?

Currently…

Z’s favorite thing to do– Wander around the lobby and hallway of our building. It’s hilarious. It’s probably the safest place for her to wander because there is virtually nothing for her to clunk her head into. So, we wander around a lot. It gets us out of the corridors of our walls and she gets to interact with all the neighbors, who just adore her. Yesterday, I took her out there to take her weekly photo. Our dear friend made her this darling tu-tu so of course I dressed her in it for photo’s. Needless to say, my face hurt from smiling and laughing. She’s such a hoot. And I might add, this girl skipped walking and went straight to running.

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Obsessing over– Meal planning. I am on the hunt for the perfect day planner so I can map out our weeks a whole lot better. Nevermind using my iCal or my phone. I want it all on paper in front of me. I’m going to stock up on cooking magazines and get to planning our meals for the weeks ahead. I want to get back into the kitchen. Not only for hubs and I but for little girl too. I can’t just feed her grilled cheese everyday. Although it is her favorite.

Working on– I made Z an organizer for her bows and hair clips. Our nanny loved it so much that she asked me to make one for her granddaughter so I’m going get started on it.

Thinking about– moving into a bigger place. It’s been on my mind for quite sometime now but now that we have a very very VERY active little one, the idea sounds so much more appealing.

Anticipating– Our big beach trip to here.  All of my siblings. All of the nieces/nephews. All of us will be together. So many of us that we had to rent TWO houses! I love that. I absolutely LOVE my big family. And the moments we will share at the beach, the pool, in those houses will be absolutely unforgettable. It can’t come soon enough. We’re going July 27-August 4. Counting down the days.

Listening to– I’ve been listening to a lot of older music lately. I hit the thrifting jackpot a few weeks ago and got a ton of classic vinyl. Big Chill Soundtrack, Beatles- Abbey Road, Blondie, Janet Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Carole King. But I’m also listening to some old stuff that was on my old computer. It’s coming up on the 10 year anniversary of my move to New York so listening to that music is really bringing back a lot of memories. One artist in particular is Jarrod Gorbel/The Honorary Title. Haven’t heard of him? Shame on you, go buy any and all of his stuff right NOW.

Learning– Tons of amazing new haircutting techniques. At work, we have class every Thursday. We invite models who are open to explore new styles. I leave work every Thursday evening feeling so inspired and challenged. It is remarkable how far I have come in my career in just the few months that I’ve been at Nova. I’ve never been so happy in a job. I’m happy to call it my career.

Watching– Ok, don’t make fun of me. But the new season of So You Think You Can Dance is awesome. The auditions have been amazing. I mean, this guy? Come on. It doesn’t get much more powerful and incredible than that. His performance just brought tears to my eyes. Ignore the cheeziness and just check out what he can do with his body. And aside from him, there’s so many others with similar power and artistry in their movement. There’s another audition where a mother of two did an amazing performance and her little girl got up there and danced. It warmed my heart.


Eating– One of my favorite sandwiches. I take a spin on grilled cheese. I HATE chedder. Completely despise it. But I LOVE brie cheese. So I do, brie, pear and apple sauce and grill it. So yummy.

Wishing– Still wishing the same thing from last time. 

Consistency

For someone who is constantly craving consistency, I’m not a very consistent person. I suppose that makes me a hypocrite. And for that, I’m sorry. I can’t stand hypocrisy!

Let’s start with childhood. Constantly surrounded by something, everything, complete and beautiful chaos. Whether it be a siblings constant ranting about his soccer games. Or my mothers constant rants about said soccer games. And the feelings I had about these particular activities. Mostly said feelings were of, well, let’s just say, “I don’t care but love going to the games but I just don’t want to hear about it, but the games are so fun, but will you stop talking about those darn games? But mom, can I go to the next one because I like the concession stand guy, he’s cute.”

See, I was all over the place, even then.

And let’s not forget abot the countless times I attempted to learn an instrunment. I believe I went through 2 piano teachers and probably 3 guiatar teachers before I was even out of high school. I never practiced but when it came down to my lessons, I expected to know the entire power chords to Smells Like Teen Spirit. My instructor wiould glare at me and say, “Julie, you will never learn if you don’t practice and keep playing.” I would nod my head and agree. I’d get home from each practice and play for a few minutes then stare a my spin magazine and go into la la land about eventually ending up on the cover. But not doing a darn thing to get there.

Flash forward to now (with many inconsistencies in between) and I’m here with a blog that I adore and a brain that just won’t produce what I want it to portray. I get my wheels turning and I’ll go on a blogging tangent and just blog like mad.  Then- BAM- I lose focus, I lose my spark. I tried having weekly features. That didn’t work. I started a blogging journal. That didn’t work.

I know that if there’s things in our lives that we don’t like the only thing to do is change them. But what do we do if one of those things is something that has been a part of us for our entire lives? What if one of those things is basically giving up, quitting and the only thing I know is that? So, it just makes sense to quit trying to quit. To keep up with my inconsistencies. But if it’s that simple, why am I not content with it? Why do I constantly dwell on it?

Do I just suck it up and deal with the fact that I’m flieghty? That some things in my life will float in and out? That I suppose my inconsistencies are what makes me who I am? That despite the fact that it drives me mad how I stock up on apples in hopes of making that killer apple pie recipe only to end up with 10 rotten apples in my fridge? Do I be hard on myself and call myself “lazy” instead of glamorizing it and calling it “randomly awesome?”

I’ll stick to being randomly inconsistent with a spark of awesome.

Cue in (hopefully) many blog posts….

Summer Essentials

Summer Essentials for Me and Z
one- Saltwater sandals I got for Z at Nordstrom 
 two- sunhat I adore from here
three- adorable little shorts for Z from Zara
four- one of Z’s many swim suits she has for this summer. This one is from Target.
five- another goodie from Zara
six- oh Modcloth, how I love thee
seven- The first swimsuit I’ve bought in 7 years. I ordered it from here
eight- Bag from here
nine- I should have a pair of Saltwaters too, don’t you think?
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