I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

23 Jan

greetings from paradise!

Hello my friends!!  It’s been too long … and quite honestly, I’ve missed you!  And thank you for the sweet emails & tweets you’ve sent saying you missed meeting me here too! ;)

I’m happy to be back and even happier to be back with a brand new look!  For those of you reading in google reader, bloglines, or an rss feed … hop on outta there and take a look at my purty new site!  Oh! and take a peek at my new twitter page too.  Thank you, thank you Jane for my fresh new look!

Are you curious to know how things have been going?  :)  In a word … fantabulous!  Couldn’t be happier we did this!  In fact, I was surprised as heck when CJ, in casual conversation, asked if we’d stay this long or longer next year.

This place really is a paradise.  There’s crystal blue water everywhere we turn.

CJ’s parents have owned this house for the last 25ish years?  I’m not positive as CJ’s story changes every time he tells it. :)  Anyway.  The house is located off the main road and on a cay {pronounced key} surrounded by water.  So every which way we look, we see nothing but the bluest of blue water.

The weather’s been super iffy.  Very cold the first week and a half.  And yeah … I know, I know … at least we don’t have snow and freezing cold temps.  But come on … we didn’t come here expecting to be dressed in pants and jackets!  Not to mention, there is absolutely nothing to do for “cold weather” entertainment.  And scuze me, but one can only play so many games of Apples to Apples, Connect Four, Zingo and I Spy … before said one goes crazy!

We fully intended to be entertained outside … so when the weather goes south, it’s a major change in plans.

Gee, don’t you feel sorry for me? ;)

Never fear!  The weather’s gotten better.  On and off, but probably just right or we’d come home looking like raisins, right?  Seriously though … even with some fair-weather days, we’re still having a great time.  The girls are incredible.  They find so many things to do and are seriously having the best time.

They’re just now starting to get a little homesick … missing their friends and animals back home.  But big bro and sis, Odinn & Skye are coming to visit in a few days and that should really fill the gap for them.

And Taylor’s here too.  I realize I don’t have any photos of her … but she’s having a good time coming “undone” {no makeup, no hair primping} and therefore won’t allow a camera near.  She left for a week … her dad got married and she also flew back home for the Nick Jonas concert.  Man, I miss her when she’s gone!

Anyway.  Back to paradise.

When we have a nice day, we do our best to take advantage of it.  We’ve gone on lots of boat rides and have been exploring a bit, which of course seems to be what my family is all about!

I’ve given my camera a major break … and it feels good.  Feels good to just treasure the moments and tuck them away without trying to get the “perfect” shot.

That said though, I have, of course, taken a few photos to share with y’all!

My little diva star, Hunter …

Oh! sorry … more of Huntie J.

Blue, blue water!  Our house is nestled about half way into the photo below.  This is the cay I mentioned and the other side of this small strip of land is nothing but water.

The girls on a new beach we found …

And the other day, we ventured out to a beach called Stocking Island, with a cute little bar & grill called the Chat n’ Chill.  Sounds like my kinda place!

This is a photo of the girls on our way to the dock.

This area is a big stopping point for sailboaters and sometimes, the occasional yacht.  The water across our bay is sprinkled with them.  And when the weather gets too windy or wavy … we’ll see a couple of the boats docked in our bay to shield themselves from the weather.

Here’s Hunter inside the Chat n’ Chill.  The place is covered in handwriting, used t-shirts and business cards.  People from ALL over the world leaving their mark.  It’s a lot of fun looking at everything and reading about who’s been there and where they’re from.

Hunter needed to get in on the action and leave her “mark.”  She was beyond thrilled when I gave her a marker!

We met a few families that are docked in the bay … here are the girls with a new friend.  One girl we talked to has been on her boat since September!

On the beach in front of the Chat n’ Chill, is this awesome sign.  I found Ottawa for my good friend Brig; Milwaukee, just over a thousand miles away; and Paradise … just steps away!

A few people have asked how I’m doing physically.  Worse, better, status quo?  Status quo pretty much sums it up.  I suppose that’s better than being worse, right?  I’ve come up with a plan though and will be sharing it in the next few days.  I’m excited and can’t wait to share.

And now … all the blue water and paradise aside … can I be brutally honest?

While this has been a most amazing experience and we’re seriously so happy we did it … it’s not quite what I expected.  I thought I would be completely relaxed … instantaneously … magically … in fact, we have a masseuse coming to the house for weekly massages.  And while I’ve absolutely slowed down, for some reason I still feel wound up.  And my hair is still growing in grey!  What’s that all about?

The good news?  I’ve been doing so much thinking.  Self-reflecting … on my life, my business, my marriage.  And I have loosened up.  I am having fun … being silly, enjoying life, the kids.  Somewhere over the last few years, I’ve forgotten how to be silly.  It’s cute, actually … watching Piper look at me with a little smile, sorta saying, “gee, I didn’t know mom could be silly.”

I’ve become more patient.  We have no where to go, no where to be … we can walk slow, look for lizards or rocks or shells.  No “hurry up!”

Heck, I’ve even forgotten to take my injection … twice!  I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it tells me I’m not focused on it and that I am loosening up and relaxing.  {and no worries, fortunately, I realized I forgot as soon as I woke up the next morning, so have taken the missed one right away … I definitely don’t want to make a habit of it, but no harm done}

This experience truly has been the best thing for me.

But now to work on that husband of mine.  Can I continue to be brutally honest?  There have been moments I’d love to ship that hubs of mine back to the States!  He’s definitely not a front runner in the relaxing category, so that’s in no way, shape or form helping me!  I’ve found myself so irritated with him.  And don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to admit, we have so much work to do in our marriage.  At times it feels like a marathon.  But what I’ve realized in the last few days?  It is a marathon.

Have you heard of the movie Fireproof, or the book that goes along with it, The Love Dare?  CJ and I watched the movie about a year ago.  And I started doing the Dare about a month later.  But after 3 days, stopped.  Based on the dates I had written in the book for the journaling part of it, I think we were out of town … so that’s my excuse.  And I just never picked it back up.

Well … I packed it for this trip, but again … just didn’t feel like picking it up.  As I became more and more irritated with that man of mine, I thought something’s gotta give.  And I’m afraid, it’s gotta be me.

So I picked up the book and am currently on day 6 … perfectly titled “Love is not irritable.”  Fo realz!  It’s only been 6 days, but I swear my heart is softening towards him.

I know other marriages are suffering too.  I’ve heard you.  I feel you.  If you want to change that, you need to change yourself first.  Such a hard lesson … concept.  But it’s true.  We have no control over others, only ourselves.  We need to be the change we want to see.  So yeah … I highly, highly recommend this book.

Anyway.  I didn’t mean to and don’t want to, turn this into a post about marriage. Just wanted to be completely honest with what this trip has been for me.

I’d be lying if I said it was all I thought it would be.  But has it been amazing?  Without a doubt.

Posted in exuma {1.10}, family photos, family thoughts