Vacation Rewind Part 1: The Magic Kingdom

A few weeks ago my family and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Orlando, Florida. Our first stop was Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and we had a fantastic time!! Alex was thrilled, Lily was in awe, Kevin was father of the year, and I may have been the most excited one of all. 😄

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio

This is one of my favorite captures from our recent vacation. Disney World was magnificent of course, but something about these three, taken at Gatorland, makes me smile. 🙂

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EMBRACE HIS GRACE,

💜PATRICIA

 

Weekly Image of Life: Rekindle The Joy

Most of you know that I spent the last 2 weeks visiting my parents in their new home in Georgia.  We had an amazing time, and I felt so fortunate to be reunited with numerous family members and very special friends. 🙂

Since returning home I’ve been a bit consumed with that whole “back to reality” feeling, and I admit that as I decompress I’ve been fighting off the occasional wave of gloom.  I’m extremely happy to be home, but selfishly I wish all the people I care about could be held captive in my personal bubble.  😉 Nonetheless, I read these words from my dear, dear blogging friend IT (see the link to his page below), and I was reminded to appreciate the blessings of those I love, whether near or far!

“It was time to rekindle the joy of being around family. Family who shares their heart generously. Family who loves you for who you are. Family who makes you truly happy no material wealth nor Earthly glory can ever replace.”

As I looked through the pictures I wanted to share from our trip, my joy was overflowing!!  The time was well spent, and only the beginning of many more adventures to come!

On the airplane.  And away we go!!
On the airplane. And away we go!!

Meeting her Uncle Chris and Great Aunt Candi for the first time.  Just 2 of the host of family members who happily passed her around!

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My brother. Ain’t he handsome?!! 😉

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All the food was delicious, and oh how I miss the sweet tea!  It’s probably best that I can’t get these sweet treats at home though.  They could become an addiction!

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Honey-buttered croissants.  Licking my lips as I type. Lol.
Mother Tuskegee.  My alma mater.
Mother Tuskegee. My alma mater.

I gave my husband a tour as I walked down memory lane…

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Inside the chapel.

The choir room.  I practically lived here for 4 years!
The choir room. I practically lived here for 4 years!

Meeting the youngest cousin and newest addition.

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You can’t put a price on true friendship. xoxo

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Playdate with one of my besties and her 3 loves.
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Yep, we’re in Walmart, but we had to make it happen!
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Softball buddies and forever friends!

I know this house will always be my family’s second home!

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Nana and Pop-Pop’s place.

What experiences rekindle your joy?

The Weekly Image Of Life challenge is issued every Wednesday by The Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey. If you would like to participate and see other entries please visit here!

Let’s Celebrate!

Every 4 years an event takes place that captivates audiences from around the world.  The 2012 Olympics have finally arrived and we’re all abuzz with Olympic fever.  My excitement was solidified after  having the opportunity to attend the final day of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Trials, and although on vacation (pictures coming soon) you better believe we’re watching what we can!  You may tune in for the extravagant opening ceremony, the unification and pride displayed by your fellow countrymen, the intense competition, unfolding of heart-warming stories, or to see what lessons can be learned.  There are various reasons that explain why we’re so drawn to this occasion, but the sure thing is that we love to celebrate extraordinary achievements. It’s wonderful, but what about celebrating the small, seemingly insignificant accomplishments of our daily lives? 

As the mother of a 4 and a half month old, I am thrilled with every subtle nuance, growth and change in Alexandra’s development.  Oh the milestones are endless (first poop, first smile, first bath, rolling over, lifting her head, sleeping thru the night, etc.), and I love recording them because they mean something to me.  In all the wonder I see in her, I’ve realized I have a thing or two to be proud of as well!  So I’ve decided to list some of my accomplishments in motherhood, not with the intent of rubbing anything in or making someone feel bad, but simply as a reminder that it’s OK to give myself a pat on the back!  Here are some of the reasons (so far) why I should be a candidate for the mommy gold:

  1. I gave birth!!  After carrying this little one around for 39 weeks, 6 hours of intense labor, and an emergency c-section, she’s here!!
  2. Nursing exclusively.  She will take a bottle (for the most part, lol), but after a challenging start we’ve found the groove!
  3. My first major solo trip to the grocery store!  I was scurred, but we made it. 😉
  4. Going for a walk at least 2-3 times a week.  Soothes baby girl and eases mommy’s mind too.  Plus it’s the perfect opportunity to commune with the Lord!
  5. Taking a shower every day and applying some make-up too!  I love the little stinker, but she’s not going to derail my hygiene routine. Hahaha.
  6. One-handed multitasking.  Maybe it’s eating, cleaning, or typing (like I’m doing now!), but who knew I could do so much with 13 lbs 30z in my arms?!
  7. Road trip!  Hubby+baby+7 hours in the car.  Hollaaaaa!
  8. Parting with her at night so she can sleep in the crib in her own room.  Sniffle.  I’m fine, really, but you can read about it here.
  9. Universal Studios.  Nuff said.
  10. Nursing while walking around Universal Studios.  Ergo baby carrier, I salute you!
  11. Date night with the hubby.  We’ve had 2 so far!!
  12. Losing 3/4 of my baby weight and for the most part feeling confidant where I am now!  Got some new clothes, and I’ll let you know when I hit the goal of wearing my wedding band again.
  13. Changing her diaper any and everywhere. I’m also getting pretty good on my lap.
  14. Maintaining some level of consistency in my prayer life and study time.  CRUCIAL!!!!
  15. Getting away for some mommy me time.  A little bit of pampering goes a long way.
  16. Not being so hard on myself when I make a mistake.  Babies are resilient and God knows I’m doing my very best!

It’s your turn!!  What are some goals or milestones you’ve recently recorded for yourself?  You don’t have to be a mom, just willing to give yourself some credit!!  I’d love to hear from you and remember this:

I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV    

I hope you enjoy the balance of your day!!  God bless!