The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Allure Trip Journal Part 2: The Water Taxi and Embarkation Morning June 7, 2012

 

Water Taxi

Water Taxi (Photo credit: Joe@HIO)

Hello All!!  And we continue…

After stopping to take pictures with a few more little dinghies  😉 that would make my poor Dad pea green with envy, including one incredible boat named Milk Money, we made it to the Water Taxi stop, taking the long way around the back of the building, thanks to my spectacular lack of instinct for locations. Daughter S. was quite certain by this time I was the WORST navigator on the planet. She turned out to be quite good at finding our way around different places, and at ever-so-gently verifying with me whether or not I knew for sure where I was going before she started making suggestions. She’s such a wise child. J

*

The kids plopped down on the edge of the pier or whatever you call it, and started checking out the water below, arguing about whether their shoes would get eaten by an alligator if they dropped them in the water. I issued dire warnings that NOBODY had better drop their shoes in the water, and struck up a conversation with a rather perturbed lady sitting nearby, who had apparently been misdirected and had hiked all over land and valley to find her way to this stop, only to discover that the boat she desperately thought she needed to catch, being the last Hollywood Connection, or something, was too full to allow her and her husband to board. With many oaths and declarations of severe retribution, she sent her husband into the office to find out exactly where the next boat would take them and exactly when it would get there, stating quite firmly that she was not taking another unnecessary step that night! Eventually, the next boat came, and Happy Shirley was ready to go, but her husband was still in the process of getting informed, and besides, another boat was pulling up right behind this one. So we got on it and tried to make our way to the back where the empty seats were, without causing injury to the exposed toes of the other passengers. We found spots at the back and off we went!

  *

I definitely want to point out here that the water taxi was one of my favorite parts of the trip, mostly because it was the first step and it made us feel like we were having an adventure! We rode through several stops, listening to the tour guide talk about all the different houses, marveling at them and being amazed at the amount of money some people have. I kept glancing and smiling hopefully at the kids, like “Isn’t this fun? Isn’t this cool? You’re having a good time, right?” And they assured me it was fun, and cool, and they were having a great time. The tour was a bit of a torture, though, because we kept passing eating establishments with the most delicious aromas leaking out of them, and if I hadn’t been 99.99% sure they were outside our budget range, I would have happily jumped ship at any one of them. 

 *

We had been perusing the water taxi brochure for the whole ride, trying to decide at which stop we should disembark, and the kids thought Stop # 7 looked promising, because it had listed under it, a pizza place. Doughboys, or something like that. My kids can always be counted on to be in the mood for pizza, so we left the taxi at this stop and proceeded to walk. And walk. AND walk! We had asked the tour guide when she came to sell us our tickets where exactly this place might be, and she said something like it was just a little walk down the street from the stop. Now keep in mind, we didn’t know our way around, and ok, boys and girls… how is Mommy with directions? Terrible, yes, thank you! I kept telling myself, “If we don’t see it by the next corner… ok, maybe the next corner.” Finally, the children were getting hostile and we started to go around one corner, then changed our minds and decided to cross the road, and The Boy almost darted out in front of a car, whereupon words I don’t normally say issued from my mouth. 

 *

We joined another group of folks crossing the street (who happened to be CCers, btw!) and continued on a little farther. Finally, we turned a corner into The Shops on 17th Street or something like that, and desperately stumbled through the door of 5 Guys Burgers. My pizza-loving children were not exactly pleased at this point, but we were exhausted, starving, it was dark, and I. Didn’t. Care. Anymore! We threw ourselves on the mercy of the cashier, asking what was good and what we should order, etc. She was really super nice to us, coming over to chat a couple of times, and upon request, giving us the number to call a cab, and I paid it forward by asking for the manager or shift leader after we finished eating, and telling her that the girl was really great to us tired, hungry, out-of-towners, and that I just wanted the manager to know she was a good employee. I was trying to set an example for the kids that when people are kind to you, you try to be kind back.

*

Then we called a cab and took a short, uneventful, mostly silent ride back to the hotel. (Fare was $7 including tip, if you’re interested.) A little note about cab drivers here- remember when I said I feel l should at least try to make conversation with airplane seatmates? Same goes for cab drivers. I always feel guilty just talking to the kids or riding in silence, so I always asked the drivers how they were doing, in my whimsical, Southern Oklahoma way: “You doin’ alright today?” Some answered that they were fine, some barely spoke, and some were friendly and chatty. Mostly they seemed to want to just drive and not be too social, which I can understand. Back at the hotel, we checked out a few more things on TV, being very careful not to hit any channels that would result in having to pay more money. The girls showered, and we all eventually passed out. 

 *

I woke up early the next morning, like “isn’t this still the middle of the night?” early. The Boy and I had been sleeping in the same bed, and he was awake too. I had thought we might be up early enough to watch Allure coming in, (squeeeee!) and I had heard and read on CC all about going to the top of the tower building to do so. So I asked The Boy if he was up for an adventure, told him I wanted to go check out the tower, and as always, he was gung ho. We walked over (my borrowed camera takes less-than-great pics in the dark, I discovered) and went up to the top of the round tower of Pier 66. My son was a little concerned that maybe we weren’t allowed to be in there, but I assured him it would be fine. As we walked in, we were bowled over by the beautiful scent of the flower arrangements still on the tables from the night before- calla lilies, and I don’t know what else, but they were so lovely. We stepped outside, took some pictures, admired the wrong ship (I forgot my glasses back at the room) and posted a preservation of the moment to Facebook from my phone. (Internet Addicts Anonymous, remember?)

*

We decided to head back and stopped at the pool. It was very gradually getting lighter. He stuck his feet in the pool and I took my first “lounge chair” picture, despite the fact that it was 5:30 in the morning or so! (I’m such a dork!) We went back to the room and tried to rest a little longer. He fell asleep and I got up and showered, and I let them all sleep until the last possible minute. Woke them up, finally, and everybody put on their new Allure of the Seas t-shirts that I had had made at home, which many people asked about throughout the day. Daughter J. was peeved that her shirt was too long and her shorts were too short, and she was rather cranky and irritating, but we snapped some “happy family pictures” on the balcony and went to check out. Easily got a cab to the port, but the kids had been hoping for some kind of breakfast, it being about 10:30 a.m. at this point, and I asked the driver to stop at one of the pharmacies on the way. We stopped at Walgreens and I grabbed some Pop Tarts and similar items, a cheap plastic watch because I’d forgotten one from home, and some Gatorade. We arrived at the port, all excited and nervous, flashed our IDs at the gate, and he took us to the terminal.

Up next:  Embarkation, First Day aboard, and Sailaway!

 

Until next time,

D.

 

My Kids’ Graduation and A Dream Vacation: The Ultimate One-Two Punch! May 18, 2012

Pre-School Graduation!!!

These aren’t my daughters, but this is how big they should still be! Congratulations to my beautiful girls!!

Hello all!  Again, with the two months between posts!  I’m a sad excuse for a blogger, what can I say?  Things have gotten pretty surreal, pretty fast.  My twin daughters, my baby girls, those two beings I just gave birth to, what, 5 minutes ago?  They graduate from high school tonight.  Yeah.  Graduate.  High school.  Gowns, tassels, all of that.   I’m feeling ok right now, but hopefully I won’t be too over-emotional tonight.  I’ll get back to you after 7 p.m. Central time.

*

Oh, the other surreal thing is that in 9 days I will be on the biggest cruise ship in the world, Royal Carribean‘s Allure of the Seas.  Nine days, man!  That just blows the mind.  I booked this trip over a year ago, and it’s finally here.  I’ve done so much plotting and planning and daydreaming!  I’ve researched and made lists, and yes, spent a bundle on extras like ‘Formal Night’ clothes (and the undergarments needed for said clothes.)  I’ve stocked up on camera batteries and sunblock, I’ve budgeted for photos and tours and fruity drinks. 😀  Now it’s just a matter of getting there.  Thank GOD for my mother, who in all her magnanimousness is taking us to the airport, because her *cough*almost 40-yr old*cough* daughter is too big a chicken to attempt driving in Dallas-Ft.Worth!   (To be fair, my car really isn’t in any good shape for a road-trip to Dallas, so that’s part of the reason.  And yes, car repair and improvement is next on my spending list.  Right after celebrating graduation with the kids.)

*

So anyway.  Busy life, happy life.  Everything changes.  The week after we get home from the trip, my baby sister is getting married.  A couple weeks after that, we have a family reunion to attend.  And somewhere in there I have to find time to gather a ton of paperwork for applications that should have been filled out long before now:  financial aid for Daughter S., Vocational Rehabilitation for Daughter J., and online public school for The Boy.  (More on that one later.)

*

Look for my next post to be a full review of the cruise, complete with pictures.  It will probably show up in about 3 months!  (Not really.  I’ll get it out sooner, I promise!)  Wish me non-teary eyes tonight and then in a week it’s Sailaway time!  🙂  Wooo hoooooo!

*

Until next time,

D.

 

I Don’t Know Where I’m Going, But I’m Making Good Time December 27, 2011

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas luxury c...

Image via Wikipedia

Hello all.  Ok, so some of you might think that I’ve been taken back to my home planet or that I’ve run off and joined the French Foreign Legion (an expression of my Dad’s) or that I’ve become a goatherder at the top of some mountain somewhere.  Nope.  None of you are right, but thanks for playing.  The truth of the matter is… life is just busy, peeps!  What with everybody’s favorite ready-made excuse for everything, the Holidays (shudder) and changing jobs and all, things have just gotten away from me.  But here’s the deal:  I’m going to try.. TRY to start updating more often.  Shorter posts, more to the point.  I mean you guys don’t have to know every detail of what’s on my mind, just the highlights, right?

*

With that in mind, the new job is going great.  Things got smoothed out fine with my old boss.  Misunderstanding.  All good now.  Crazy co-worker, not so much.  She sent me a Christmas card with a sort of perfunctory apology for all the junk that’s gone on between us, saying she missed me and she wanted us to still be friends.  And I said, “Whaa…?!”  So I wrote her a little Christmas card, which I also did for everyone there, and I included a little letter that said, in effect, that I accepted her apology, but she needed to know how she had made me feel most of this past year.  I basically thanked her for making the environment there miserable enough to push me to get out of my comfort zone and try to find another job (which wasn’t hard, because this one just sort of fell into my lap) because I am much happier where I am now.  I ended by telling her I hoped that she found something that made her happy and joyful, and that she was a good homemaker and a great mom, both of which are true.  Overall, best response I could have made?  Probably not, but she needed to know that “Sorry” doesn’t fix everything.  I am definitely happier with where I work now, so that’s all that matters.

*

Job-related happiness aside, the children are causing all sorts of emotional turmoil for me at this point.  The girls are graduating in May, which is just one of those “Where have I been the last 18 years?” things.  You wake up one day and realize your job is almost finished, and you hope like crazy that you did it well enough.  Thankfully, I’ve still got…The Boy.  He is enough of a challenge to keep me busy for another three lifetimes.  His educational issues and mood issues and social issues, or rather teaching him to function in society despite those issues, is going to be the focus of my life for the next 10 years at least.  Getting him through high school alive and finding him a direction in life is going to be my main goal.

*

Despite the challenges in raising them, the kids are a lot of fun.  We had an awesome 18th birthday party for the girls.  We hired a karaoke DJ and decorated a local small meeting space to look like a club, sort of.  They had a great time.  We all did.  I discovered that I make dorky faces and dramatic gestures like some kind of Diva Wannabe when I sing.  Except I knew that already.  I’ve been a Wannabe singer my entire life.

*

Also under the category of Kids and Fun, I am really, REALLY looking forward to our vacation in May, when I take them on a cruise.  I could literally spend hours just looking through my planning notebook, staring at packing lists and flight schedules and touring plans.  I have read reviews of our ship and looked at hundreds of pictures, read Frommer’s Carribean Ports of Call backward and forward.  Just can’t wait.  Except that when it finally gets here, it means the girls have graduated and are now free to go make their own lives.  As tough as it is for me to let them be free, I hope they get where they want to go.

*

So anyway.  Things are good.  I have been working on what I want next year’s theme to be, so be watching for a post on that.  Life theme, I mean.  This year was action, last year was transformation… I’ve been trying to examine where I am in my journey and where I want to get to from here, and that is never easy.  But hopefully with prayer and hard work, I’ll eventually make a start at it, at least.

*

Until next time,

D.

 

Simply Recommitting October 10, 2011

Hello all.  You know, sometimes, when I’m going through my day thinking, “I REALLY need to write a blog entry, I really need to update, etc.” I’ll sit down and try to write an entry and nothing really comes.  Often, I will just keep writing, rambling, ranting, and I’ll post the result, whether it’s good or bad, like that’s a cure for writer’s block, but it doesn’t mean that what I wrote has any quality to it.  That post may not necessarily be my true voice.  There’s something wrong with that.  There’s something wrong with a lot of things, and I am in the mood to change that.

*

I went to a revival-type church service tonight that was sponsored by my sister’s church.  I had never heard of the speaker, a man named Ken Freeman.  My sister attends a Baptist church, but I got the feeling this man was inter-denominational in his preaching career, meaning he didn’t just go to one type of church.  His message was about the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great,’ and how we have to let go of certain things in order to fully accept God’s grace and blessings.  I realized there were a lot of things I have been holding on to, and I need to let go and re-commit.  I need to re-commit, not just in my spiritual life, but in everything- my job, my parenting, my health and fitness, and even my writing here. 

*

So that’s what I’m doing.  Starting tonight, I am re-committing my life.  I am going to re-dedicate myself to my weight loss, my writing, my parenting, and most of all to a life that is dominated by Love.  Love for God, and love for my fellow human.  I need to work on showing Jesus to others through my life.  I’ve been in an ongoing cold war with a co-worker for weeks now, and I’ve made weak, pitiful attempts to pretend I was reaching out to her, to delude myself into thinking I was the bigger person by praying for her, but in reality I wasn’t willing to let go and truly acknowledge that I haven’t always been the Christian I am supposed to be.  I gave it lip-service, but I wasn’t willing to completely let down the barriers.  I’m still not.  I know I can’t trust her to be real and honest.  She is an excellent actor and faker- I’ve seen it.  My point is that I can’t worry about that.  I have to just say ‘You know what?  I’m recommitting to living for Jesus, and because I am, I choose to love you.  You can think what you want about me, you can like me or hate me, but I choose to love you in Jesus’ name, whether I can trust you or not.’  And really mean it, because I didn’t before.  I wanted to mean it, but the selfish, immature part of me said ‘Why do you have to mean it?  It doesn’t make any difference.  She’s not accepting your overtures, your gestures, your attempts.  What difference does it make if you really mean it?’  But I know now that I have to forgive all that, I have to forgive what she’s done to me, the hurt she has caused me, and I have to love her in Christ, and I cannot allow myself to add anything else to that sentence.  My judgement of her is irrelevant. 

*

In addition to this, I have to be brave enough to re-commit to my health and fitness efforts.  I have done well.  I can say that.  I have lost almost one hundred and twenty pounds in almost 2 years.  But I have not been fully committed.  I have chosen to take easier roads- skip workouts, eat junk food.  I signed up for another 5k mud run as a volunteer, knowing I would be allowed to participate in the race for free as a volunteer, but thinking I wasn’t obligated to do the race if I chose not to.  That wasn’t committment, that was fear.  I completed the first one, the Dirty 30, back in July.  I did it on adrenaline, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what kinds of obstacles I’d face, but determined to tackle them no matter what.  In this next race, I know what kinds of things I might see, and I feared them.  I was afraid I didn’t have it in me to put that much effort out again, but now- I know I need to re-commit.  I need to grasp the fact that I have the strength to finish that race, complete the obstacles (or go around them if I have to) and finish.  I can’t be afraid that I might twist an ankle or a knee- I just have to take the steps. 

*

I realize this entry has had a serious tone.  I usually like to try to be funny here, and I hope I succeed at that sometimes.  But tonight was a night for seriousness.  I had a talk with my kids on the way home from the revival tonight, because I have been really concerned for them in their spiritual lives, because they have not yet obeyed the gospel and been baptized.  Despite what some people may say or believe, I truly believe what I have been taught, that baptism is the point at which we are saved, and I want my children to be baptized and commit to living their lives for God.  I believe it is on their heart to do it, but they just haven’t taken the step.  I am praying that they make that decision soon, but at least I took the opportunity to share with them what I want for them- the peace that comes with knowing they are saved. 

*

I’m not saying I have it all figured out, or that there aren’t sometimes brief moments when I question everything I’ve ever heard and wonder if maybe, possibly, it could all be crap.  But when it comes down to it, I’d rather just believe what I believe than buy into “something from nothing, for no reason, with no purpose, and nothing after, and nothing matters.”  It’s just not enough.

*

And in the middle of all this recommitting, loving, being brave, and trying to bring my kids to heaven with me, I am going to embrace all I can possibly accomplish in this life that is fun and joyful and meaningful.  To that end, I can announce that my daughters’ senior trip in May is a done deal!  I booked the airfare today, so Lord willing, we’re definitely going!  We’re going to be Royal Carribean cruising fools!  Wooo hooooo!  Allure of the Seas, here we come!

Until next time,

D.

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Broadside

Smart and surprising

Mostly Bright Ideas

Some of these thoughts may make sense. But don't count on it.

Mad Scientist.Crazy Mom

Welcome to my laboratory: five kids on a farm

A Clean Surface.

simplicity, organization, inspiration, minimalism, humor...and reality

Princess Nebraska

If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. If would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in a cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it. -Frances Hodgson Burnett

She Likes Purple

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Crazy with a side of Awesome Sauce

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

musings of a madwoman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Glam-O-Mommy

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

happily ever me

a life in progress

Our Little Geekling

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

mighty maggie

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Writing Finger

Translations of Poetry from Galician and Spanish into English

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

An Unexplored Wilderness

A writer's journey