Whoops! Where did I go!?

I have been a major blog slacker. Mostly because my writing itch is getting scratched every day by journaling—- believe it or not, I actually DO have SOME private thoughts 😉 I think I am also feeling embarrassed because at the end of June I joined a weight loss group called “Phit n’ Phat” and I feel like every time I start something, everyone collectively groans, “Oh boy….. here we go again!” And I defend myself with… “NO GUYS!! It’s different this time!  It really is!!”  And guess what. It really is. I knew it was different when I went away with the kids and Lonnie to Boston for the weekend and had no trouble sticking to the plan I made because it included everything I wanted!

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My FAVORITE seafood mac n’ cheese from MMMacncheese in Quincy Market

 

 

But enough about that!

I wanna talk about my GO-WITH-THE-FLOW-AMAZING-FAMILY!!

We are not rich or well-off by any stretch of the imagination. And right before this Boston trip, we got wiped out by unexpected car repairs. I talked to the kids about the trip being all about fun and togetherness

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Soju! A popular Korean alcoholic beverage we have been dying to try. Spoiler alert– yikers are we sure it’s not actually battery acid?

and not shopping an eating out, and rather than groaning, I got, “Oooh! Can we just go to Trader Joes and stock up and hang out in the room and by the pool and stuff!?” Hell yeah we can!!

So we get to Boston. (Well… we stay in Burlington– HOT TIP: Burlington hotels are  MUCH, MUCH cheaper and it’s only a 15 minute drive to the Alewife T station and $7 to park for the whole day!) Karen at the front desk of the Hilton Garden Inn says, “I’m sorry. Priceline sent the reservation through for one king bed and the hotel is completely sold out (thanks a lot Taylor Swift), so I can’t even make a switch.” Great. So we go to the lobby to figure it out. Lonnie and I talk about seeing if we can get a room (that we can NOT afford) for the kid in a nearby hotel, as I overhear the kids talking and Sean is saying he could sleep in a chair or on the floor and Jessi could sleep across the bottom of the bed. Suddenly, Karen (aka my Hilton Hero) came over and pulls me aside to whisper that she made have found a solution, someone had checked out early and they had a 2 Queen room– but it wasn’t a done deal because she didn’t know if housekeeping would be able to turn over the room because it was so late, but she would do whatever she could to make it happen.  And as the kids say…  “Yo Yo Yo….Karen CAME THRUUUUUUUUUUUU”  The only hitch was that we needed to disappear for a few hours to give everyone time to clean the room and make the changes…NO PROBLEM!  I took this pic as we headed back to the car to kill time feeling all mushy and completely in love with my awesome bunch of drama-free travelers. 20180728_2001303055483676479125732.jpg

We had an AWESOME, CHEAP(ish– let’s be real) weekend!  We even indulged Sean in his “dream” to go to a Tesla showroom and into all the fancy stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton (He listens to waaaayyy too much rap music). The Tesla showroom in Boston actually turned out to be a fun highlight of the weekend.  While Boston trips can EASILY break the bank, because of all the tourist attractions, cheap eats, people watching, and shops to browse, it can actually be a  bargain!

Metaphysical Friday

First off. Let’s pretend I didn’t just spend 15 minutes finding a title for this series. Thesaurus.com anyone? Alliteration anyone?

I had a great discussion with my bff today about dreams after listening to this week’s Oprah Supersoul Sunday podcast and thinking… ‘Shit. I’m not sure I HAVE dreams! What does that even mean!?’ (As in the ‘hopes and….’ – – not the nighttime ones. I have PLENTY of those!)

Our talk got cut a bit short because of stupid work and life, but I’m still a little hung up on the difference between dreams and ‘stuff I want to do someday.’ I think the ‘stuff I want to do someday’ list could be endless!

  • Swim around WILD dolphins (Don’t even get me started on those horrible ‘swim with a sad caged creature ‘experiences’)
  • Live in someplace other than Maine, and then maybe someplace other than that!
  • Travel to Europe, Thailand, the Philippines, India (maybe), Iceland, the Galapagos (will never happen), the Island where they filmed Jurassic Park (could happen but that boat ride is a DOOZY)
  • Slide down a hill in Switzerland on that little roller coaster thingy!
  • Be less fat
  • Squish grandbabies
  • Have a parrot (Also probably will never happen)
  • Have a Jeep Wrangler
  • Ride bitch with Lonnie on a Harley
  • Sit in those cool recliney seats in first class with the screen in-between so when I annoy Lonnie and his Sudoku too much with my chatter, he can close the screen on me 😀

…..like I said, that list could go on….. and on……..

Dreams seem like they should be BIGGER.

The only “dream” I could come up with is that I would like to write a book someday. This is why I blog. I love to write and cannot wrap my head around the giant task of a whole book. My blog is my half-assed book.

Then there are daydreams. Are those dreams? My most common one (the one I fall asleep to many nights) is Lonnie and I living on a small island as caretakers of a small resort or estate. Catching fish with spears and digging for shellfish to catch our dinner to cook with stuff from our garden 🙂 No internet. Naps in hammocks. Occasional trips to civilization for supplies. :::::sigh:::::

EMBRACING THINGS!

 

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As I do not have a selfie of “44 years old.” please instead enjoy this snap Sean sent me while I was away LOL

EMBRACING 44 –Let’s start with the fact that today is my birthday.  I woke up feeling like 44 feels much different than 43. It’s so much closer to 45, which seems like basically 50. But as with most things, I am (mostly) blessed with the ability to embrace change rather quickly. This morning I woke up and forced myself back to sleep thinking a crippling depression in my now old age may be fun. An hour later I woke up again and for about 5 minutes continued to wallow in the sorrow of being elderly before getting bored and up and at ’em, sneakers laced up, and back to working out after 2 weeks of slackery!

 

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EMBRACING RUINED PLANS — Last week we had to cancel our yearly trip to Mexico for numerous reasons (drug cartels, ferry bombings, the US govt warning against travel to playa due to a ‘credible threat’), but the nail in the coffin was a blizzard canceling our flight 2 days in a row.  So in typical Colleen style, the day we ended up canceling due to the flight issues, I took an extra long mopey-sulky nap, woke up, and embraced it by taking control of the situation, canceling the trip and planning a new one!

 

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While appreciating this photo, consider the time taken to ensure full bubble coverage.

EMBRACING THE TRASH WE ARE —  If going to Whole Foods and stocking up on wine, craft beer, cheese, crackers, & macarons and then spending a couple days mostly locked up in a steamy motel room eating, reading, and watching Law & Order and Modern Family reruns, while in a hot-tub full of bubbles and lush bombs appeals to you, have I got the place for you!! Our new trip was to a motel we have been to several times on Old Orchard Beach. It’s a clean, family-run place we love because it’s right on the beach, there is a jetted tub for two RIGHT IN THE ROOM by the bed, and in the winter they offer a buy-2-nights-and-get-one-free deal. It’s kinda trashy while trying to be classy and WE LOVE IT BECAUSE SO ARE WE!!! It’s called the Seacliff Motel and we highly recommend— unless you are Mr. or Mrs. Fancy-schmancy Pants.

 

On the drive down…….

Me: “OMG HONEY!!  On the way there, I want to stop at TJs and get some margarita glasses and we can make margaritas and I can take a super cute Instagram pic and be all, ‘Heyyyyy….. Margs on the beach, y’all'”

Him: “Ok. You want me to swim with one too?”

2 hours later…..  IMG_20180315_182339_160.jpg

A perfect illustration of my life…. Super cute big plans. Mediocre follow through, AND I EMBRACE THAT!

 

Back in the saddle again

Screenshot_20170925-141542Bro, I was KILLING it before my vacation with diet and exercise. I was exercising at least 5 days a week and had lost 10ish pounds using MyFitnesspal.  I had planned to keep on slaying the game while in Nashville. Hahahahaha, I love it when I am delusional! I DID exercise (once), and I did a LOT of walking, and a LOT of chores (since the whole point of the trip was to help my mom get some big stuff done around her house), but I also ate cupcakes, a giant bag of my beloved Trader Joes white cheddar corn puffs, ALL the saltines …and a whole lot more!

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If I could marry a food.

 

It’s SO HARD to get back “on it” when you fall off. After several “tomorrows,” Lonnie and I committed to Monday. <—no air quotes because it actually happened! It feels great to be back in control of myself. I need to remember this feeling next time I want to go off the rails. There is that stupid saying, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” and while this is just the shittiest, judgemental,  dumb phrase… there is a hint of truth hidden in there as none of the stuff I have OVEReaten since returning home from vacation (note the “since returning home— I regret NOTHING I did while I was away on vacation!! Not even stopping at Krispy Kreme en route to the waffle house, LOL) tasted as good as it feels to have control over my mind and body.

So HEY! If you want to be “ON IT” with me… hit me up on My Fitness Pal. My username is colleenj74…. (shit… I should probably change that “j” out… Can I even do that??). I even keep my food diary public on there for FULL TRANSPARENCY!! Fair warning: I eat a LOT of marshmallows that I roast over the stovetop 😉

P.S. You CAN change your username ONCE, so my name is now Colleend74!

Trip Reflections

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Percy Priest Lake, Nashville (well technically this photo is Antioch)

See what I did there with the photo and title?   Fun fact: There is only ONE natural lake in all of Tennessee and all the rest, including this one,  are man-made! And either Mom or Chris told me that some of them were towns they just flooded over. So… like… are there houses down under the water?  That’s hella creepy.  Another fun fact: because I am me, thinking about houses under the water immediately led to thinking about mermaids and possible mermaid towns in the lakes of Tennessee.

Recon

This trip, like all of our trips, was part of our quest for future places to live when Sean graduates in 2020. This trip gave Nashville a very strong lead. We got to experience the “icky parts” of Nashville life, like heat/humidity and having your life revolve around traffic patterns and both felt that the benefits of having THINGS TO DO and PLACES TO EAT appear to outweigh the drawbacks. The cost-of-living seems about the same, possibly even a little less than here. It’s also nice to consider moving somewhere you already know people!

Confessions

  • I will probably get into country music if I move to Nashville. Dancing and singing and listening to music downtown was so fun that I forgot to hate country music for a few hours.
  • I think I want to become a Zumba or Dance Fitness instructor but struggle with that whole, “Girrrrrl…. you fat. How you gonna show me how to exercise?” thing. (I know that seems random, but I was thinking about it a lot in Nashville because there are no many more opportunities to do stuff down there, and also because there is SO MUCH MORE good food to eat and try that exercise will be even more important than ever…lol!)
  • 20170922_180232Piper (my 1yo german shepherd) is the devil. We knew she was naughty untrained, but I think we were in ‘bad pet owner denial,’ until our friends dog-sat her for us and she was a holy terror. She is a high-energy, uncoordinated, moose-in-a-china-shop of a dog and even before our trip, we’ve had some hard discussions as a family about possibly finding her a more appropriate home. After the trip, we had to face the truth about our little angel giant monster. BUT, we are not giving up on her. We are buckling down and making a commitment to improving her behavior by improving OUR behavior! WE CAN DO THIS! (I hope).

That’s about all I’ve got for today. I think I want to be a better blogger and blog shorter and more often. I think. Maybe.

 

 

 

City Vibes

20170624_151103We are laying in the park. Lonnie is reading. I’m watching sailboats float around on the Charles, people jogging and biking past, birds hopping around is search of… whatever birds search for. I’m listening to birds singing, wind rustling through the trees, the hum of traffic and sirens in the distance, and a crowd of ladies and babies on a blanket nearby laughing and gossiping. I _LOVE_ this. And just when I think I can’t love the moment any more, Lonnie looks up from his kindle and says, “I can’t wait until we live in a city and this is our life every day.” I know he doesn’t mean Boston, for a multitude of reasons, but I was so happy to hear he was drinking in the moment as much as I was. And even though I know we are on the same page about moving away from Maine in a few years, it’s nice to be reminded that he wants it just as much as I do.  (….another of those cobwebs left behind from my first marriage completely unrelated to anything Lonnie has ever said or done).

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Even a rainy day in Boston makes Colleen a happy, happy girl! Spoiler alert: The sun came out about 5 minutes after I bought this umbrella.

 

3ish more years until we can move to ___??___!! CAN’T WAIT!!!

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