Moving Part II -Family First – Chapter 1 – THE SHORE

After our road trip we had quite the little adventure around New Jersey.

For Better or Worse, I always make a point to see my family…correction, as my cousins would put it, extended family.

My cousin invited us down the shore. We ended up staying two nights at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a bit intimidating being with them since they’re all extremely competitive, with have very strong personalities and
usually I have my Dad there as a buffer.
But with that said, we really had a great time.

A little back story: My Grandparents were rather intimidating people as well. They were extremely neat, no nonsense with great taste. We used to go on fun summer vacations together with all the cousins around my age.

DAY 01

We went to the BEACH and swam in the OCEAN.

The first night we were there, my Uncle cooked dinner. My Aunt had me make the centerpiece for the table. She asked me to cut some fresh hydrangeas from her garden.
( Click here to see my Centerpiece! )

Then my cousins and their kids came over. We drank wine and joked most of the night away. After dinner there was a round of shuffleboard played.
My Uncle and the Granddaughters vs Stan and the Grandsons.

It seriously felt like I had taken a step back in time. Like I was glimpsing into my past and watching my cousins and me.

Something kind of odd that happened was when people would tell certain stories but get the details wrong. My Dad is a great story teller with the mind like a safe. So it was kind of annoying to hear the watered down versions of these great tales…

Afterwards, we rode bikes to my cousin’s house. We drank a little more and played pool. Then his really cool wife got home and the four of us went out back and talked. It was so nice and chill.

DAY 02

I feel silly writing this but I wasn’t sure what to do when we woke up, so I stayed in the room much longer than I meant to 😛 I know its a bit childish but do you ever do that when you’re in an unfamiliar place?

My Uncle took us to Breakfast where our waitress was a local celebrity. Everyone seemed to know everything about everyone. By the end of our 3 day 2 night trip, I knew this girl’s name, hobbies, her twin brother, where they were both going to College in the Fall and her charitable work. She knew that I enjoy Orange Juice with my Breakfast.

Afterwards we went back to the Beach, where I read Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by: Carrie Brownstein as part of Emma Watson’s Book Club “Our Shared Shelf.”
But more on that for another Post.

At the beach we met a lot of people who knew my Dad. Which felt really special. My Grandparents had a house down the Shore and my Dad used to be a life guard on the ocean Back in the Day…so I guess who could say he was a local celebrity 😉

Do you really enjoy hearing old tales about your Parents or Grandparents? Aren’t they just like candy or I guess more like stew for the soul? It just really fills you up and keeps you nourished and warm.

After collecting some sea shells for my Dad, My Uncle and Aunt took us for a boat ride with my cousin, her daughter (Calla) and some very special family friends. Which brought me back to when my Dad would take us on boat rides in Maryland.

After the boat ride, we went to this really great sushi place where we feasted.
We had so much food! I can’t remember the last time I was stuffed with so much Sushi!

After dinner Stan and I went for a very long walk around the neighborhood. It was so peaceful and such a sweet way to end the trip.

DAY 03

My Aunt and Uncle got us some bagels and coffee and sent us on our way.
I don’t know if we’ll get to visit again but I feel very fortunate having spent the time we did. I don’t know if you would agree with me but I was always raised to put family first. Which hasn’t always worked out for the best…but I can’t help it. Being an only child, I’ve always craved that feeling of being apart of something bigger than myself. Which I guess is why I’d like to have a Weasley sized family some day.
What about you?
Do you enjoy spending time with family or would you rather have fun with your friends?

Thank you for Reading!


Day 12 Twelve Things You Are Grateful For

Day 12 Twelve Things You Are Grateful For

June 12, 1942. Anne Frank received a diary for her birthday.

June 12, 2014. The last time I allowed the 12th to be a day of monthly mourning and depression for me. The next month, when the 12th rolled around, I chose to be grateful for the things and people I have rather than being depressed because of what I had lost.

Tell about a dozen things you are grateful to have in your life. It could be people, things, memories, etc. (Yes, I cheated on this one since I do this every month anyway.)


Sometimes I find myself to feel quite melancholy and to quote Professor Dumbledore “But you know happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” So here are twelve things that I am grateful for:

  1. My Parents
    I would not be who I am today without them. My Dad and my Mom are the kindest  and most thoughtful people I have ever met. I never thought of myself as being as kind and considerate as they are but the older I get, the more I realize just how similar to my parents I really am. 
  2. My Stan
    I know its a cliche to say that my significant other is my best friend, but I’m going to say it anyway. Stan is my absolute Best Friend. We have so much in common and our differences compliment one another very well. I honestly don’t know how I could possibly be married to someone I didn’t love, trust and admire as much as I do Stan.
  3. My Grandparents
    My Grandparents on both sides of my family are pretty Bad Ass.
    Unfortunately, my
    Dad’s parents passed away before I could really get to know them on a more adult level. They were both much older than me and had accomplished many amazing feats well before I was born. They were both extremely no nonsense people and I was never able to full be myself among them.My Mom’s Father passed well before his time, and well before I reached the realization of how similar we truly were. My Grandfather was a very strong person both physically as well as mentally. He had a strong sense of right and wrong and was not afraid to voice his opinion. Each day I try to be more and more like him.
    My Grandmother was always a hero to me. We’ve gone on countless adventures together alongside my Mom. Sometimes, I don’t give her the appreciation and credit she is due. But I love her to the moon and back and honestly wouldn’t be who I am today without her constant presence in my life.
    I hope that someday, I will be just as Bad Ass as all four of my Grandparents.
  4. My Cousins
    Being an only child my cousins were a huge part of my making my childhood amazing. Most of them are much older than me but each and every one of them means something dear to my heart in their own way. But three cousins in particular mean more to me than anyone else in the world. They are my siblings having spent weeks at a time together. I love them with my whole heart and even though we’re far apart, I honestly wouldn’t know where I would be now without them.
  5. My Aunts
    The women in my family are all extremely strong. My Aunts have always been there for me in their own way. From supporting me on a daily basis to being there on Family Vacations and supporting me on special occasions.
    My Aunts have always loved and cared for me as if I were their own.
  6. My Annie and all of my other Animal Friends
    My life as an Army Wife improved immensely the day Annie came into our lives. I am so grateful for animals. They bring so much joy, happiness and beauty into the world. I’m grateful for their companionship, love, trust and inspiration they have given me throughout my life.
  7. My Friends
    I’m not the easiest friend to get along with, there I’ve said it. I put my family first and I don’t like talking on the phone…but for those Friends who have stuck by me, they are one in a million. My friends come in all shapes and personalities. Some could be my twin and others could be my complete opposite. I’ve learned things from each and every one of them and they have pushed me in many different ways. I hope they know just how much they mean to me, even if I don’t call and talk to them or write to them every week.
    They are my pack and I will always have their backs.
  8. Walt Disney
    Disney has given so much to so many people. From the movies to the theme parks, Disney brings people together. Walt Disney World was the first place my family ever felt fully at peace. My Dad could relax from work and I could run out my energy. And when I’m home I can pop in a DVD and get caught up in the adventure. From the catchy songs to the breathtaking animation, no one can do it better than Disney.
  9. My High School
    I went to an All Girls High School and I will forever be grateful. Grateful for my Education and the opportunities I was given. I was floundering in Middle School, just one of the flock, but when I changed schools, I was able to be a part of something bigger. I was able to be a member of two Sports Teams, an Acting troupe and Student Council. I learned all different types of art forms and traveled overseas. I still had to audition and try out but I was given that choice. I was never once bullied into submission. Oh sure, there were “mean girls” but the school didn’t allow them to take control and for that I’m eternally grateful.
  10. The Army
    Yes, it can be frustrating at times, especially when everything is hurry up and wait but overall I like that I can be apart of something bigger again. I had always had the up most respect for the Armed Forces, especially since many of my family members have served at some capacity. My two Grandfathers were Army Veterans and my Husband is currently serving, making me an Army Wife. (Something I couldn’t be prouder of). Yes, I wish we weren’t so far from our families but the places we’ve been, people we’ve met and the experiences we’ve made are well worth it.
  11. The Written Word, Art Supplies and Freedom of Expression
    I am grateful for the Mediums of Expression. From Poetry to Novels, Screenplays and Letters. Paintings, Doodles, Pottery and Photography. From Musicals, to Ballads to catchy Jingles. I am grateful to the mediums we have at our disposal for ways of expressing our thoughts and our ideas. The ability to read our favorite books, watch our favorite films, visit a museum and listen to any song we want. I’m grateful for the people who have chose to express themselves in ways they seem fit and for the opportunity and freedom to do the same.
  12. For Being a Woman
    When I was a little girl I remember being thankful that I was a girl. I’m not really sure why I had this thought, perhaps my cousin/BFF/brotherfromanothermother was being a bit obnoxious at the time but I remember very clearly thinking how I very much enjoyed being a girl. From then on I became an unconscious Feminist, meaning that I didn’t realize I was a Feminist at the time. I was just being myself, on class projects I just naturally drifted towards the feminine. I chose female figures to present and questioned why my fellow writers were not making their female characters more well rounded. I never pushed that Women should be superior (thoughweallknowweare 😉 ) I just wanted equality. I wanted things to be equal. And even though I don’t have it as easy as men in some arenas, I am still just as grateful to be a woman.