Au Revoir

Summer is a time of “breaks.” Kids get out of school, families go on vacations, and even blog-land slows down a bit. I’ve been very content with my Tues/Thurs weekly posts, but I need a break sometimes, too 🙂

This was planned. I’m not burnt out. I’ll probably still bounce around all my usual blogs this week. I just want to decompress my brain for a bit. (Maybe catch me on the Insta 🙂 )

( I hope everyone has a Happy Independence Day! )

I’ll see you back here on July 11th with a #ShowUsYourBooks post!

Au revoir!

Monday Morning Gratitude

Last week I took a personality test that revealed my introverted tendencies. I use the word “revealed” loosely, since I’m already well aware of this trait. My head table consists of a husband, two best friends, and a very small handful of good friends. This weekend I was fortunate enough to spend my time with one of those best friends.

After work I kissed K goodbye and headed south to spend a girls’ night with my friend Kayla. We’ve known each other for a long time and frequented the same halls in high school, but our friendship solidified while we were in college. (Yay for mutual friends!) I love visiting Kayla because she’s one of those people that I can be 100% real with. We sing Justin Bieber (NO JUDGEMENT!) at the top of our lungs, waste hours in Target, and joke about the side-effects of our Indian food dinner. (TMI?) Not to mention her fur baby Ernie get so excited when I visit!

Saturday she made me breakfast and, since I don’t have a huge shopping center in my town, we took advantage of H&M, Lush, and The Disney Store. I always feel so refreshed after a weekend of girl time- it’s nice to unwind and relax with someone that’s totally ok with my weird, quirky personality.

I hope you did something fun this weekend! Tell me about it! ❤︎

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A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

What Happened When I Took A Week Off

A few months ago I put in a vacation request at my full-time job & at my part-time job for an entire week. The plan was to travel to a small resort just outside St. Louis, MO and spend the week with K, my parents, my brother & his gf, and my grandparents. My uncle lives in St. Louis so we’d be spending time with him, too. A week before the scheduled trip my husband told me that business was too good and he wouldn’t be able to take a week off. (K owns his own business.) I held out hope that we might be able to join my family halfway through the week, but K’s agenda just wouldn’t cooperate. He told me I could vacation without him, but I knew my absence would make for a miserable week for him and the pups. Last Sunday we waved goodbye as my family set off for Missouri… without us.

Last week I had a free week. No work, no part-time job, no family obligation. I am a Type-A planner so the idea of 7 days of “nothingness” freaked me out. I thought about going in to work. I thought about trying to figure out a way to join my family. I thought about filling my days with a strict schedule. But then I didn’t do any of that.

Lots of time for some adult coloring
Lots of time for some adult coloring

I slept in (even though I had intentions of doing early-morning hot yoga). I staying in athletic shorts all day. I didn’t touch the vacuum until Sunday and I let dishes pile up in the sink (for a few hours until I washed them…) I only did laundry when we ran out of clothes and I ignored my car that desperately needed cleaned-out. I completely ignored my blog and put aside all the other blogs I typically read. I only opened my IG app once or twice and I made 3 Facebook posts… two of them were just photos.

But I honestly feel like I got a lot done. I reorganized my craft room/office. I hung some photos and built some book shelves. I prepped some meals and make sure we had dinner and snacks all week. I went shopping and treated myself with coffee. I fed my parents’ (7) pets and spent some time relaxing on their back porch.

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I spent a morning in Amish Country with my mother-in-law and I took a trip to Columbus, Ohio with Enzo to visit friends. (More about our dog park adventure on Friday!) I took time to just lay in bed, relax on my couch, and sort through memories. For the first time in a long time, gave myself permission to do nothing.

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All worn out from our Columbus trip!

I’m back at work today and I feel incredibly refreshed. My family is home and safe, my house is clean and my laundry is done (thanks to some Sunday cleaning), and my husband is more caught up and feeling better about his work load.

I am so grateful for the past week. I’m so grateful to have the vacation time to spend doing nothing. I’m so grateful to start the week with a happy, refreshed heart.

Did you have a nice weekend? When is the last time you took the time to do nothing? Have you even been to Columbus Ohio? How about a dog park? I’ll see you on Friday for my puppy-park recap!

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Jamaica

I consider myself a polar bear-type person, but Ohio has officially beat me down and I am dreaming of warmer weather. More specifically, I keep having flashbacks to Jamaica, where K and I went on vacation last September.

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I need to be here again. Right now.

We were originally going to go on a cruise, but when our travel buddies found out they were expecting (a child) K and I decided we’d switch it up and find an all-inclusive resort. Thank to Travelocity Vacation Packages, I booked a 4 day trip to the Jewel Paradise Cove. Did I mention that K and I traveled to this resort- airfare, food, & alcohol included- for less than $1,500 TOTAL? Deal of a lifetime.

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Seriously, though. Shut up and take my money.

K and I didn’t really sleep the night before we left because he is a last minute packer (which means I have to pack his things at the last minute) and he needed to tie up all his business-loose-ends. We left for the airport super early so that we’d be able to get to Jamaica with as much time as possible to have fun.

So. Tired. (but still smiling!)
So. Tired. (But still smiling!)

I won’t go day-by-day, but we had some dinner that first night and then passed out for +14 HOURS. Hey, it’s called vacation for a reason, right?

We spent our days lounging on the beach and relaxing in the beautiful room. Our sleeping quarters were centrally located so we had the beach on one side, a yummy pizza/Italian food place on the other, and pools all over the place. There were 3 pools, free water activities, and +5 places to eat on site. And so. much. alcohol. Do you know how weird it is to get a meal or a drink and not have to pay?! It’s weird… (We did tip often, though.)

One evening we went to the fancy hibachi restaurant on-site. YUM!
One evening we went to the fancy hibachi restaurant on-site. YUM!

K likes to lay around and watch TV or sleep on vacation, but I am the person who hates wasting one minute of potential adventuring. (We had a little tiff about this while on the island, but I’ll get to that…) Because of my pushy nature, I got what I wanted and we signed up for two excursions. The first was included in our package: Climbing up Dunn’s River Falls!

James Bond scenes were filmed here!
James Bond scenes were filmed here!

Our second excursion was out-of-pocket and included zip-lining, a sky lift ride, and “bobsledding.” Honestly, zip-lining was the best part. It was AWESOME!

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I'm the little human flying through the jungle...
I’m the little human flying through the jungle…

 

The sky (ski) lift ride to Mystic Mountain
The sky (ski) lift ride to Mystic Mountain

It was a very, very good trip. Despite him not being much of a traveler, I love going places with K.

Oh yeah… our little fight…
Well, I was mostly mad because it was Day 3 and K just wanted to hang out in the room a bit and watch TV. I wanted to go play giant chess (which I don’t know how to play) or swing in a hammock or anything. Quite honestly, I wasn’t being fair since we’d already climbed a waterfall and zip-lined. Well, I got mad and shut myself in the bathroom and fell asleep on the (heated) floor. When I finally woke up an hour later, I discovered that the floor had burnt my thigh like a sunburn.

I am very, very careful to wear sunscreen and protect my skin (cancer runs in the family) so the only burn I came back  from Jamaica with was one I’d gotten from the floor. Yep. That’s usually how it goes for me, hahaha.

Another fun thing about traveling with K is that we make up nicknames and back-stories for almost everyone we meet. This is especially fun at a resort or on a cruise because you keep seeing them over and over!

Have you ever been to Jamaica? What are some of your favorite/crazy/wacky vacation stories? Have you ever burnt yourself on a heated floor?

-Louise