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Why Our 2016 Summer Vacation Didn’t Suck

For a long time, I resented you and your family vacation. I didn’t really have a quintessential family growing up, think broken home and raised by wolves, and there were no vacations to be remembered. Your pictures of yearly fun at the seashore and by the lake house were just a reminder of my lack of a life like yours.

But then I created a chance for a Mulligan, a history do-over. One where I had my own family and my own kids. I knew that ever elusive family Summer vacation was one of those must-haves for my children as well as for me to heal and begin again.

Fast forward a few more years and we have just returned from our 2016 Summer beach vacation. It was a pretty big hit for the littles and big both.

Mark and I were in a chillaxing mode on the way out-of-town. We’d both gotten our homework done and were ready to just unplug. That set the tone for all of our unrushed choices for the next three days. The meals, the unlimited cartoon cable network watching, And the swimming swimming swimming all the time time time.

I wasn’t blogging yet I wanted to have an outlet to do something creative for me, so I told and posted our unfolding story on my Instagram feed. If you are not a social media user or an IG follower, I have included those posts from our beach visit in the order I posted them so that you can feel caught up. It’ll make you feel like you are there with us. Almost.

Just so you understand how special our time here at the beach is for me, I didn't get vacations as I kid. I barely got a childhood. And although I've risen like a Phoenix from those ashes, it means more than the beautiful Solstice moon to me that my children have this memory. And that my husband and I can weave it for them with calmness, good humor, no anxiety, and generosity to ourselves and them. Driving here I said to Mark, "Imagine what it would be like to have someone anticipate your every physical and comfort need. That someone cared enough to get your favorite things for you at the store and cheer you on at every endeavour." He said Yeah, Wow, and I said ,"When you grow up, that person is you. You are your own parent. Whether you are a good one or a bad one depends on how you value your inner child.". You know what she loves, when she needs firm comfort, and when she needs a pass. Be a great parent to yourself and you will reward yourself with trust. Love to all of you who wished us well on our vacation. You are dear to me, each and every one of you. #OceanCityMaryland #fionamariepeach #poolside #atthebeach #taleswithfriends #Soul_selfie

A video posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

Here’s to hoping for the same fun vacation next year for these kids and for their parents who deserve a break too. There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you’ll be, what you’ll be eating, or where the best arcade games are. And it’s fun to discover new stuff every year.We found there was a sushi place nearby and a Chinese carry out that had Indian Food ! And although they built a Starbucks across the street from our hotel, we still had our traditional Dunkin’ Donuts’ morning coffees courtesy of my early bird husband. Such predictable goodness!

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Relentlessness of Motherhood

My go to word in describing parenting is relentless. My baby daughter, ungrateful and miserable, can cry at me at least ten times today, what feels like 70 percent of the day, beating me down further and further into defeat. The relentlessness is daunting.

You’re review is in. Fifty percent of today will not meet with her satisfaction and, according to her, you suck at parenting.

My top seven words to embody my experience with motherhood are:

  1. Chaos
  2. Temperance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Relentless
  5. Confusion
  6. Patience
  7. Exhaustion

All problems could be solved, you think, if only I had their money or their family. Those people with their 5 extra family members to spread out the stress of the 16 plus hours a-grueling-day of care-taking and giving. If only I had their time and money to buy nicer clothing to cover up my ever-widening butt until I could hire that trainer to help me widdle it down. For now, I wear my ill-fitting sweats, placing my greying thinning hair into something up-ish. My nails and cuticles dry and ragged for lack of care. I have that look of survival and neglect. That wild look that says I’ve thought about fleeing in my fantasies. The dull look of disbelief that this will get better no matter how many times people insist it will. Beaten and hopeless is all the rage in the truthful Mommy circles.At the grocery store years ago on Shalavee.com

If only I had the money to buy a SUV that I could comfortably load and buckle my child into without having the rain soak my back. Then I’d slip into the front seat and drive smoothly away to drop my privileged child off at that member of the care-taking team whose day it was to take them. Or I’d hire a housekeeper/child care-taking person as a stunt double so I could escape and make art or do lunch or have beauty salon time. Where’s my miracle money? My large ever-loving family? Where’s my get out of hardship free card?

No I won’t be looking forward to “taking care of myself” with a kale and flax smoothie tonight. Instead I’m thinking of making pasta with gravy, cheese, and deep-fried potatoes and a side of beef so that I can feel an ounce and moment of comfort that I never feel in my day-to-day existence. Wash it down with a 12oz glass of Shiraz and pray I can stay awake to watch any escapism television.Baby Fiona on Shalavee.com

Why is it wrong to want it to be easier than this? To want the release of the hardship and grinding daily agony. I want to feel light and unencumbered. I want privilege instead of lack. I want a child who doesn’t make me constantly feel like I’m failing her. I want to stand here in the winner’s circle and not the survivor’s circle. Like my mother did. Like hers before her. Because deep down I don’t believe there’s any other way for it to be but hard.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

We’re All An Event Planner for Christmas

If you were told you’d been volunteered as an event planner and decorator for a royal ball, you’d laugh your butt off right? But regular people across the globe did their best to plan and execute a special event, otherwise known as Christmas, on their own this past month mostly without professional help. And I’m darn proud of all of them.tree and mantlepiece on Shalavee.com

feather wreath and teacups on Shalavee.com

Christmas dinner table on Shalavee.com

We pulled it off you and me. That once a year special event for which we have to send out a hundred invitations, cater quantities of food, and decorate huge floral centerpieces for (aka Christmas trees). We spend lots of time and/or money to gift everyone we know with the right present as if we’re all having a birthday at the same time. It’s truly a miracle we all don’t lose our minds feeling overwhelmed and incompetent. But then the end comes and you sigh with relief that it’s over and think perhaps there’s a better way to execute it next year. Until the next year comes and you have the same game plan as always.paper houses on the mantle on Shalavee.com

the top of the tree on Shalavee.com

At my house, I make it all look so easy to accomplish. Deep down I do love it. But I also would love if anyone could do the majority of it so I could just make the wrapped presents pretty and decorate the house for many many uninterrupted hours. The cleaning and card sending and even the cooking I could farm right the heck out. Alas this year, I accomplished the musts but fell short of the wannas.

Christmas morning faces on Shalavee.com

Christmas morning on Shalavee.com

Christmas morning on Shalavee.com

But the kids were treated to a Christmas just as they should with sweets for breakfast and Santa gifts and stockings brimming with stuff. They played with their stuff, bickered about sharing each other’s stuff, and played at a couple playgrounds.

Playground post Christmas on Shalavee.ccom

Christmas movie watching on Shalavee.com

Oh and watched multiple movies. And there’s still one more holiday get together to go.

Pooped out for Christmas on Shalavee.com

Hoping you made sure to get your needs met during the siege of the event season. That your gratitude for being surrounded with the ones you love surpassed the anxiety of cookie baking and clean toilets. I’ve found relief and rest finally after the chaos and look forward to having the brain room to get back to regular creativity. And exercise for this ever growing bloat. Next time I talk atcha, it’ll be a New Year so Happy New Year !!!!!!!

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Halloween 2015

Twas the last night before Halloween.

Sometimes they're mice.

Just thought I’d throw you snippets of our day.Hidehmindd szzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz hou sote tou tahetrieAnd say fare the well to this long long month of promises kept.

See you on the 2nd and back to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday posting. ShewCarving pumpkins on Shalavee.com

Pupkin went well on Shalavee

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Silent Sunday

*****
playing with blocks on Shalavee.com

Fiona in her bedroom on Shalavee.com

Making breakfast on Shalavee.com

At the playground on Shalavee.com

 

pushing the babydoll in the swing on Shalavee.com

Shalagh and Fiona on Shalavee.com

Caitlin and Fiona on Shalavee.com

Rob and Fiona nextdoor on Shalavee.com

Silent Sunday.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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