Friday, November 4, 2011
They say that the Holidays are the hardest time of year, I never really understood that before, I LOVE the holidays. You get extra family time, there is a chill in the weather (maybe even snow), people get very festive with decorations, You get holiday pay, Starbucks has the best coffee options ever... what more could you ask for? This year, short of the fabulous Starbuck's flavors I can't wait for the holidays to be over. My heartaches so much... We will start with Halloween...
I started getting anxiety over Halloween a few days prior. Wade was so excited about going Trick or Treating; he was going to be a Fireman...again... and could not wait to go get some candy. Thoughts of last year came rushing back, taking Bryce for the first time, watching him "help himself" to everyone's candy bowl and not being scolded because everyone thought he was so adorable. I started getting a little stressed over the whole event but Wade was so excited so... As we are getting ready to head out Wade asked for his pumpkin bucket instead of his bag, I grabbed the pumpkin and he turned to me and said "this is Bryce's pumpkin Momma, mine has the Mickey Ears". Deep Breath, yes indeed it was Bryce's Pumpkin. We had a great time Trick or Treating, the whole family and suddenly George stopped and said "which house is Shadow", Oh I had forgotten about Shadow... as we started to walk up the driveway I said "George this is it, are you ok". See last year when we went to this house the family’s dog "Shadow" came to the front door and ran right up to Bryce who proceeded to plop down on the ground to play with him. Shadow's owner was shocked, explaining to us that Shadow is a rescue dog and shy's away from everyone, he will come to the door but usually hides behind him he never "goes out to greet people" and here he was sitting with Bryce. As Shadow came running to the door this year, he followed suit... ran to the door wagging his tail got all excited until the door was opened and then shy'd back! Another Deep Breath!!!
Now as we head into the heart of the holidays my heart hurts! I am so thankful for the things that I have. I am thankful for George and Wade, for my family and my awesome friends. I am thankful that we have jobs, a house, cars and clothing. I am thankful that Bryce was able to make such a huge impact in so many lives and I am SO thankful that I was chosen to be his mother! But I am a very broken hearted Mommy. I miss my baby so much and I am not sure how I am going to get through this next couple of months.
Last year we took the kids to Disney World and on the Disney Cruise the first week of December, which would turn out to be our last family vacation. Upon return to Texas Bryce was admitted to the hospital where we spent the next 22 days praying for a miracle that never came. I don't know how I am going to be able to get through this... Most people have a single day, the day that their loved one passed away; most people don't have to live with the agony of knowing that it's coming but not knowing when. December 15-Jan 6 were the worst days of my life... the most agonizing and heartbreaking moments a parent could ever go through. Watching your child slowly slip away from you. Hoping for a miracle but knowing that even Hope had no "hope" here.
Tis the season and we are trying to figure out how to make it a good Holiday full of new memories and lots of love. My friend told me yesterday that it may take a little time but at some point you will give yourself permission to be happy again. Right now it's still very fresh as you are hitting all the firsts... but you will find a way to make new memories and move forward in life without feeling like you can't because Bryce isn't with you. With that said we have decided to go on the Disney Cruise again this December. We know that Wade will LOVE it and it is the Disney Dream so it will be an all new ship for George and I. A start to new happy memories on the very day that our world was rocked to the core! Bryce... I promise to find your hammock on Castaway Cay and take a moment to be thankful for everything you taught me! I love you Monkey...
Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence
Monday, October 17, 2011
Disney's Aulani Resort and Spa, sounds amazing right. Disney building a hotel in
The drive over to Ko'Olina from the airport was very easy, the roads are marked well and the directions are very easy to follow. For my DVC friends there is a Target, Costco, Denny's,Outback Steakhouse, McDonalds along with some other stores that I don't recall at the exit just before Ko'Olina so you can stop and get your grocery shopping done before heading over to the hotel. As you come off the highway into Ko'Olina it is simply beautiful. They have a security guard at the entrance that will ask which resort you are checking into and then he will check the list and give you directions, this was really the "call ahead" that we were on the way in. As we pulled up the Valets opened the car doors with "Aloha Mr. and Mrs. Raub".... Ooooooo nice touch. You are then greeted by a Cast Member that gives you Leis and a small tour of the lobby area, with a little history as they walk you to the front desk (yea don't know how but George and I missed them and they came running up to the front desk to give us our Leis as we were checking in apologizing profusely that we managed to slip passed them).
The hotel itself is stunning. Much like everything else in
We had a 1 bedroom Villa on the 14th (ok well 13th but...) floor 1458 and it was beyond words. We had gone to Disney's
Oh the pool... Move over Yacht and Beach Club your baby sister Aulani is giving you a run for the money. The pool is unbelievable. There is a lazy river with a plethora of tubes, single or double that you can float around. They have 2 slides, one you ride on the tube (again double or single) and one that you don't. There are several spas through out but the coolest on is an infinity spa at the back of the resort that over looks the ocean. There is also an actual pool behind the lazy river and an adult pool completely separate from it all. As for the kids section, what can I say...it's Disney... awesome!! It was so cool looking George kept saying we needed to bring Wade back with us cause he was his "ticket" into the kids section... LOL... Also in the pool area is the Sting Ray area where you can go and feed them as well as Rainbow Reef where you can snorkel with the tropical fish *Rainbow Reef is an additional fee but was a pretty good deal for the length of stay pass* My only complaint about the pool was, it is for Aulani guests only so you have to show your room ID and get a wristband everyday. I like this BUT the location to get the wristbands is not a central location and kind of a pain in the butt. You have to go through the pool area and around to the back where they give out the towels to get the wristband, it was just kind of annoying having to walk past the pool and back around to get them but hey, if that's my only complaint we are doing good. Also behind the pool is a shared lagoon which was really nice too if you like the swimming in the ocean.
Food... hmmmmm... We were a little, ok a lot, disappointed with the Buffet. Not the food but the price. The food was REALLY good, but the cost per person was a little outrageous for a buffet. The restaurants were all really good and the quick service (while not so "quick") was exceptional. And don't forget to get Shave Ice... The station is by the pool by where you get the wristbands, they are huge and super Yummy! Across the street from the hotel is a new shopping area that has food too, Ko'Olina Station. It just opened so there were only a few shops open right now but here they are, "Just Tacos Mexican Grill" , "Hawaiian BBQ", "Island Country Market Deli" and "Two Scoops Ice Cream". We ate at the BBQ and I will say you can pretty much order one meal and share it they are HUGE. And we saw the menu at the Deli and it looks really good. Also the Island Country Market is just that a little Market. They have a nice little store with the basics, bread, milk, cold cuts, some meats, sodas, Cereal, etc. The prices were the same as Target so something to keep in mind if you don't feel like going to Target or you realize you need something and don't want to go out for "just that one little thing" you can run across the street and get it. http://www.koolina.com/experience/dining this web page has all the restaurants in Ko'Olina in case you want to check out the other hotel options too!
Disney has done amazing things here in
So what can I say, I think I used all the good adjectives... Amazing, Breathtaking, Stunning, Georgeous, Beyond words, exceeded our expectation... THE BEST PURCHASE WE HAVE EVER MADE! I can not say enough about Aulani. The Cast Members were top notch. Hawaiian culture is amazing and they are all very eager to share it with you. Rod at the Shave Ice told us the best place to go and check out "where the locals go" just in general conversation while getting a Shave Ice... Aina at the Concierge became a friend in 5 short days, he was so awesome, and Hi'Ilani what can I say she is AMAZING. Hi'Ilani is one of the greeters she stands out among the rest by far. She is very tall, has a great smile and is so very personable. We pretty much attacked her on the first day because she had a beautiful flower arrangement (it wasn't "just a flower") in her hair, which we found out later Aina made for her! She shared so much with us, about the Iwa Bird, the Taro Patches in front of the hotel, The Totem Poles... little stories about
A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in. ~Robert Orben
Monday, October 10, 2011
As we return to reality after an amazing trip to
A few weeks ago we were standing in
Some things that I learned while we were there that you don't hear about in History books amazed me too...
The USS Oklahoma lost 429 men in the attacks,the memorial was created to represent the returning of a ship back to port, (from the memorial web page) The memorial’s black granite walls suggest the once formidable hull of the Oklahoma while the white marble standards represent its lost Marines and Sailors. Eachperfectly aligned marble standard symbolizes an individual in pristine white dress uniform, inspired from the naval tradition of ‘manning the rails.’ In full dress whites the ship’s crew stand at attention along the rails or in the rigging of the ship to display respect and honor. The marble standards of this memorial stand perfectly straight, ‘manning the rails’ of the
But what touched me most was a little known secret that made me proud that they made the acknowledgement ... the USS Utah lost 54 men and 1 infant... It was very touching that they acknowledged that. Baby
We spent 5 hours at
My quote today is from the "Fire Pit Storyteller" at the hotel, it is so true!
"You take a piece of every person you meet with you on your journey"
It is so very true, whether they were in your life for a moment or several years people leave a little bit of them with you forever, some people make a bigger impression while others just slip away into the back of your memory but you will undoubtedly remember a person that said something thought provoking, or a story that told itself in the way of a memorial as well as the crazy girls you saw in the lobby of the hotel everyday and will forever chuckle about when you think of them... SO when you are out and about in the world try and make sure that the "piece of you" that people are taking with them is a good piece!
*I will post all about Disney's Aulani Resort later, I wanted this to be about the emotions and the moments, the history and reflection of what
Sunday, October 2, 2011
For the first time since I started blogging, I am going to open up about ME. I try and always be upbeat and inspirational, yes yes there will still be some inspirational, crazy quote at the end, but today I decided to put out the other side. It is what makes me most vulnerable, it is what is taking me down, it is what scares me…problem is, I don’t know exactly what “IT” is.
Get out of my head… That’s what I keep telling myself. I can’t turn off my mind. I think I am going crazy sometimes as I obsess over things. Is it Post Traumatic Stress, Is it an anxiety or panic attack, is it something more that I just don’t know. Am I stupid for not taking my Dr up on a prescription for Zoloft or Prozac… This all really started a few weeks ago. I am having a really hard time and it is starting to consume most of my life and almost all of my thoughts. Has life just “caught up to me” or have I finally taken a moment to “try and breathe”? Here goes… Welcome to my “Crazyland”
A few weeks a go I started feeling a little anxiety, I figured it was just because the 46 Mommas Shave was coming up and I was not sure what that was going to bring, emotionally. I started having a really hard time breathing. I feel like I can not get a deep enough breathe. I don’t feel like I “can’t breathe” I just feel like I need to take a really deep breathe and it won’t come, my chest gets really tight and I don’t ever feel like I got enough air. Everything I have read on line about this points towards anxiety and stress but I don’t know how to control it. I get very panicked when this happens and every thought runs through my head. Am I going to pass out, Am I going to have a heart attack, Am I going to die… why can’t I get a deep breath. It is very scary and then my imagination sores. I told my Dr I feel like a hypochondriac going through every possible scenario in my head to the point where I freak myself out and can’t calm down.
As I sit here thinking about it I am like, um yeah—you have a “little stress” in life. I mean I lost my son, had a miscarriage, am dealing with regaining my relationship with Wade and George, trying to figure out a new family dynamic on top of working and trying to keep everything as normal as possible. Add to that the 46 Mommas Shave and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I am SO beyond honored that everyone changed their photos to Bryce on Facebook. It makes my heart smile to get emails from strangers telling us how much Bryce has affected their lives… I love that everyone wants to use his picture for fundraisers and awareness videos. I am SO proud that I am the mother to such an inspiring little man. But I think I became so overwhelmed with everything, going online and not being able to tell who is actually “on” line because every picture is Bryce. Looking at all the amazing photos that have been posted raising awareness and watching the videos… I actually get disappointed when I see videos and Bryce is NOT in them. It’s crazy, it’s amazing, it’s stressful. Then there was the shave. I am so honored to be a part of an amazing group of Mommas, I am so proud of all our accomplishments, the amount of money raised and the amount of people that have been made more aware by our presence. But as one of the 2010 Mommas pointed out, you don’t expect the Lows. You don’t realize the social anxiety that comes with the decision to shave your head. Everyone has told me that I am beautiful, that they are proud, that I am so strong and so amazing but truth be told I am hiding behind a hat… everyday when I leave the house I find the perfect hat to cover my head. I am an awesome advocate behind the computer screen, I can talk to everyone and anyone that wants to listen, but I can’t put the “Ask me why I’m bald” button on and walk out of the front door. I feel socially awkward instead of empowered and bold. I feel like everyone is staring at me and not wanting to ask, even though I have a button that says so. I feel like I want to start a conversation off with this was for my son. This was a $6000 donation of money and a wonderful gift of hair… But I can’t because then everyone WOULD stare at me and think… this chick is off her rocker! Will this pass, will I be able to get my identity back, when will I be able to breathe, should I take the medication (even just for a little while to get myself back on track)… or is there something else. Am I sick, is it not anxiety and stress, is it possible that I have something medically wrong causing my breathing to be labored… perhaps I am just the Crazy chic living in Crazyland trying to recover from 2 Crazy years and trying to recover from an unfair & heartbreaking experience!
Wow…I just laid my whole heart out…my thoughts and my fears. As I sat on the airplane heading to
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. ~Etty Hillesum
Monday, September 26, 2011
“Hair is just an accessory... Kids are forever"
~ "Momma" Bonnie Mulieri
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I have been having a hard week. A combination of things have been weighing heavy on my heart, several times this week I have told George I just wish that I could get out of my head for a little bit. My hormones are all over the place after the miscarriage, September 11 has caused a lot of hard questions from Wade, We are 8 months without Bryce (and it does NOT get any easier) and I really just want to go HOME!
Home is not where you live but where they understand you. ~Christian Morgenstern
Sunday, September 11, 2011
This is the September 11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine, TX. It is just outside of the DFW airport and can be seen from arriving aircraft when arriving on a South Flow...
Ten Years ago I woke up after having the strangest dream. A cessna had flown into the Showboat Dinner Theater, hmmmmm... that was a weird dream. Well, turns out that George was sleeping with the TV on and I was hearing the beginings of the September 11the attacks. As we sat their, like much of the rest of the world, in disbelief and horror all I could think was what the heck is going on. At the time George and I were both working at the hotels at Disney World and without questioning, without calling, without even saying anything to each other we both immediatly got dressed and headed up to the hotel. We weren't scheduled, we didn't need to be there but when it scrolled across the screen that Disney World was closing all the parks for Safety Reasons, we knew they would need ALL the help they could get keeping people entertained in the hotels.
As we move into the tenth anniversary I am challenged with explaining this to a 5 year old. This is really the first year he understands what is going on and boy does he have A LOT of questions. I believe I could get away with the basic parent answers and he would be satisfied IF it wasn't American Airlines planes. He doesn't understand why "mommy's planes" would do that. We have gone through the events, talked about "the bad people", explained that the pilot did not do anything wrong, but he is still very hung up on this! It is very hard to comprehend as an adult, I can only imagine as a 5 year old. The news keeps talking about all the people who died and he wants to know if "they are with Bryce"... WOW, talk about double heartbreak!
As we remember those that were lost, thank the soldiers and their families... I also wanted to take a moment and THANK the flight crews... MY friends, MY co-workers, the people that I have come to know and love that get up every morning to do what they love to do more than anything else... and that is FLY! Thank you for showing the world that we are strong, we can't be stopped! Love you guys <3 <3
"The American flag does not fly because the wind moves past it. The American flag flies from the last breath of each military member who has died protecting it. American soldiers don't fight because they hate what's in front of them... they fight because they love what's behind them"
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
"An Angel in the book of life wrote down our babies birth, and whispered as she close the book....."Too beautiful for earth." ~ Author Uknown
Friday, August 26, 2011
Are you Hungry? Are you looking for a way to help support Childhood Cancer? Do you have a Chili's Restaurant near you? Then you are in luck!
"Children with Cancer are like candles in the wind who accept the possibility that they are in danger of being extinguished by a gust of wind from nowhere, and yet, as they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those of us who watch their light"
Monday, August 22, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995
Monday, August 15, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Friends are kisses blown to us by angels. ~Author Unknown