Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care.”?

THE LIST for 2015 is FINALLY complete & I’m excited to start checking off all the fun things on it before 2015 is over. Last year I managed to check of 45 of the 99 things listed. This year will be even more.

Thankfully last night, I was able to make a dream come true & strike off one thing from the list as done!

I finally sprang for a class in Aerial Silks!

(cue the Glitter in the Air song)

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I will be honest, when I walked into the class my plan was to get some pictures & write a blog post about my introduction to aerial silks. Had a friend who signed up too & thought how easy to just snap a couple of action shots? Would have been had I not entranced from the moment one of the students hung up the contraption to the huge hook in the ceiling. The braided fabric beautifully falling the height of the room and puddling its excess on the floor.  I may have internally squealed as the teacher tested the stretch & give of the sash.
We warmed up and she went over a few basic stretching & things to know like terminology and facts like how much weight the humongous single piece of fabric could hold (note: no fears here. All 7 of us could have climbed on & it still wouldn’t have been strained from the weight!).

It was scary for sure, trusting that the fabric wrapped in a particular way would hold us from falling on the wooden floors. Not being the first to go was a practice in patience and helped to make it a bit easier to feel confident in the wrap. Once I did get my chance, it felt amazing! Although we might have looked graceful and at ease in the poses, they were challenging to get into. The tension in my muscles battled with the desire to stay swinging. The stress seemed to fall from my body as I inverted and let go of the fear of falling.

The names of the poses also thrilled me.  Mermaid.  Angel.  Star. Flamingo.  Peter pan. All great things in my eyes.  I left imagining signing up for as many classes as possible to fit in.

Today it all definitely crashed back down to ground. Seems there was some mix up from when I signed up. The studio offered a discount rate of $5 off when you signed up early. So in December I made the decision to go on and treat myself while I had the cash. Logged in to their website, found the class, entered my information & excitedly told friends about it in hopes they would sign up as well. Which worked.

I thought anyway. Tonight I get a voice mail with a snippy message saying that while they hoped I enjoyed the class, they wondered why I was there last night since they didn’t have me enrolled. Huh? It went on to elaborate how people had to enroll to go to any of the classes… blah blah blah. The point was very clear.

I called back as requested. Thankfully I had saved the email showing when & how I had paid. Unfortunately I also noticed I had been charged the full rate. The person on the phone went into some tirade about how I shouldn’t have been there taking up space last night since I wasn’t enrolled. Only after I mentioned the emailed receipt did she seem to realize I didn’t just show up & get a free class.  She could see their records showing that I had paid in December.  Are they used to people just randomly paying you without any expectations? Turns out their system will take the payment yet you still need to enroll separately.  She tried to explain how I had messed up.

No apologies. No refunds. No going back.

Certainly I had messed up.  In spending the cash to try something new and expecting their system to work.

Mercury is in retrograde and it feels like it for sure. Communication breakdowns left and right. I’m hanging on & trying to see the positives but at times I just want to scream. Tonight I am trusting that the wraps will hold tight and that tomorrow will be easier. At least I got to enjoy dangling for a little while.

As for getting back into the air? Thankfully the teacher runs her own company and holds classes in several locations around town.  Now I just have to make sure that next time, no one considers me as the tag-a-log extra freeloading. I may not have much cash at the moment, but I draw the line at stealing. Oh life. Why do you test us all so much?

Thankfully day 5 is in the books. Only 95 more days of working out & writing left to go. Then the real magic – Disney! For now, I will just strive to catch a few dreams in my sleep & hope that the morning light brings a new outlook. Until then…

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Once Upon A Time….

….there was a little girl who read stories of perfect worlds, with perfect people and perfect lives.  She listened to tales of true love and happily ever afters.  She watched movies where the characters would do anything to bring about the happy endings.  She grew up.

Along the way she realized a few things.  The princes had flaws.  The princesses underestimated themselves and down played their powers and talents to attract those princes and make them feel needed.  What guy can resist the damsel in distress?  The women in the stories who did end up speaking up for what they wanted were often shunned & rejected.  Those who lived up to their truest potentials and didn’t rely on anyone else even were sometimes called a witch.  Even if all they really were casting were shadows.

She found a tale that resonated with her.  One of a girl, who defied the standards of princesses.  the girl even dared to wear pants instead of dresses.  The girl made friends along the way as she fought to get to the castle to rescue her brother.  Yes she fought.  Yes she was the rescuer not the rescuee.  She passed on the offers & temptations of the perfect life in the perfectly floating bubble with the magical prince.  The girl made friends unlike herself along the way. She stayed true to herself & knew that power lied within.  No one had power over her without her permission.  She couldn’t control others’ actions, but she did control her reactions.

Empowered with a sense of a new breed of princess, she lived life on her own terms.  She went through life making choices based on her own heart & her own goals instead of trying to fit into the molds laid out before her of what “should be”.  She held on to her dreams.

But alas some days it felt that she was trapped in her own castle.  Sometimes she even wished to be rescued by some handsome prince.  She played with her animal friends & reminder herself how lucky she was to not be tied down to the standards. Lived in the moments & followed her bliss.

Still part of her longed to meet her match.  The one person in the world who would see her for her true self & love her for it.  The one being that would accept her and not try to change her.  The one man who would stand beside her in a fight rather than try to hide her away & suppress her abilities.  One who by connecting with, would be lifted up as much as she in their meeting.

After many encounters with princes (& paupers who acting in no way princely), she began to wonder what it all was really worth?

But deep down, the little princess that still lived alive & well within reminded her that without hope, nothing was possible & that only by keeping dreams alive would they ever come true.

So will there be a happily ever after?

ABSOLUTELY.

the real question is will there be a prince? that is still to be determined.

One thing was for sure.  The princess came from a long line of lucky ladies who managed to find the one true loves that were determined to be by their sides til the end come what may.  This thought alone gave her the most hope in the darkest days. That & she was empowered with a beautiful gift.  She had been taught along the way by these couples that no matter what happens she was worth waiting for.  She was blessed beyond settling for anything less than perfect (& that she would be the one to see it as perfect, complete with all its flaws).  Self love would get her everywhere.

…..& for that she was eternally grateful & knew she would eternally be loved.

A Year in the Life

This time of year leads people to do a lot of thinking.

{Warning up front this post has no food in it… just me & my life}

Thinking of what should be, could be & is.  But also of what was.  The year ahead is effected by the year behind.  The past can hold us back or shove us forward towards our dreams.

Hoping that we all find ourselves skipping to our own version of the end of the rainbow. Bliss in 2011.

For me, last year was one of the hardest & most intense years I have ever faced.

At the beginning I admit I was a total mess.  I had just lost my uncle, a man who very few people knew really & I was one of two people who cared about him in the end.  It lead me to really think about life & the importance it is to have people who love you for who you are in it.  Being honest & open about who you truly are is something people are still struggling with.  Its sad how the secrets rob us of life.  At times literally.

I also was coming to terms with being attacked.  Refusing to play the victim, yet feeling more vulnerable & scared than ever.  Amazingly it wasn’t the fear of a repeat act.  I feared myself.  The fact that I still do not remember the events scared me – & even now knowing its part of the concussion, not my fault, it still frightens me to know there are pieces of life we keep even from ourselves.  I also found myself relying on others in a way that I hadn’t done since I was a child.  My independence felt ripped from me.  Not just physically, but my spirit was broken. The habits I developed in my years of fighting & falling into agoraphobic & anxiety tendencies seemed to be a natural fall back, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be.  The battles won were too precious to lose ground on. Especially not due to some random act.

Coming to terms with my own fear of medical anything became all to real.  The surgeries & endless medical appointments did not make 2010 appear inviting.

BUT I have made it.  Sure the struggles to get back to me are ongoing.  There are still medical appointments & daily battles to wage…. but I have hope.

I have become stronger.

& I have memories to remind me of where I have been.

the fact that I made it through 2010 leads me to believe, I can move mountains when I am stuck in a hard place.  Lessons are still to be learned, but I am open & trusting that “the universe is unfolding as it should”…. just like in one of my favorite poems, Desiderata.

2010

January:

Healing with a new friend in need as well.

I have no clue what I was thinking rescuing a dog while recovering, but it was one of the best things I could have done. He rescued me.  How can anyone be upset with that face. Made a bit of the pain go away for sure.

February:

Surgery & Support

The 1st surgery & having to have my mom do everything for me. Two weeks of having to open up to help….& remember to take the pain meds!

March:

Finally about to drive again. Brave in blue.

Driving again & going back to work was a HUGE step for me.  Regaining some sense of power in my own life was exhilarating.  Also made me realize there was a long road ahead.

April:

 

No more BUTTON!

Freedom by the button being taken off!  One was attached to anchor the string that helped hold the reattached ruptured tendon together while it healed. Was a HUGE day when it came of.  (& yes it did look like a regular old button) This was a big step to getting life back to normal. My body proved to be pretty amazing in the miracles it could achieve.  So why do I doubt myself so much at times?

May:

 

Rediscover

In April I joined a camera group & found new friends.  I let go of the hobbies I was limited in doing & developed new ones I had wanted to try… like photography.  Focused more on the able instead of the “can’t do”s.  (& I kinda love this picture of me on a day I didn’t feel so pretty.)

June:

 

endurance

The therapy continues on & on & on… people come & go, but I am a constant at the Ortho office.  Dedication, determination or dementia?

July:

 

Begin again

In July I learned just how much my sister loved me as she took a turn caring for me.  I also learned that pain meds administered directly into the vein work way quicker than any pills.

August:

 

Sneaky Healings

By the end of August I had moved in to a small brace to work on the extension of my tendon.  MUCH easier to feel a bit more normal in public! Progress.

September:

 

GAME TIME

Highlight of my birthday month was getting to Bank of America stadium to watch the Panthers play! A few years back I never would have been able to stand in the parking lot with the people for 20 minutes much less have sat in a stadium & watch an entire game with that crowd.  Also was lucky enough to have my cousin come up from Florida to go with us.  (forgive his Bengals jersey… he roots for the wrong team)

October:

 

Where Dreams Come True

Disney, with my parents, sister & brother in law? I never would have thought it would happen at this time in our lives, but the stars came together & it happened.  Those memories will be cherished forever.

November:

 

Family Time

November brought me back to family.  This time at their place. It also brought me a break from the medical appointments.  My doctor decided to let me take a break til February on all the rehab/therapy & appointments. Certainly celebrated & began to feel more like myself.  Sure physically & mentally there are scars but I am feeling like me.  And smiling.

December:

 

Celebration

A full year since the attack.  A full year since Baxter came into my life. A FULL YEAR INDEED!

 

If only we knew what 2011 holds!  But where would the fun be there?

One thing is for sure… I am hoping it brings much more relaxing, calm, peaceful time spent in joy & laughter than this year brought, for us all.

Dining all over Disney

In my family there are a few things that always come up when we talk of Disney trips.  The Magic Kingdom, Mickey Ears, Monorails & the food.

Granted there was a time where it seemed to be the same overpriced hamburgers or chicken nuggets anywhere we went, but things have changed over the years!  There is a lot of variety to be found & more food to eat than stomach to hold it.  Especially if you are brave enough to try something off the beaten path or willing to spend more than you normally would – which my family wasn’t.  I swear one day I WILL dine in Cinderella Castle! 😀

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is a family favorite & I remember being dazzled as a kid as Sunny Eclipse would entertain us with his lounge act featuring nothing but hits & jokes about the universe, cosmos, galaxy….you get the idea.  This is THE burger joint of our memories!  BUT it is much more than a burger place.  There are 3 bays to order from – one features chicken items, one burgers, and the final one is soups, salads & sandwiches.  I reliving my memories went for the cheeseburger & topped it with lettuce, some bbq sauce & more cheese sauce from the massive toppings bar.  I love it.  Not in a its the best thing I have eaten way, but in a I feel like I am 7 again & estatic way!  And no back then the apples were not an option for the side, but I think grapes were.  Still I went all out & opted for the fries….with a drizzle of cheese sauce of course!

Another Disney legend is the Mickey Waffles.  What kid doesn’t want a waffle that looks like Mickey?  For the 1st breakfast I got a waffle that was topped with bananas & warm salted caramel.  Alas it as delicious as it was, it was no Mickey shaped.  Bummer.  So the second day, I got my Mickey waffle.  I also realized I needed a bit more than just carbs & sugar to fuel me along, so I went for the breakfast platter.  WAY more food than I wanted, but it had my waffle – a mini version anyway, which was okay by me!  The eggs were what I needed.  It also came with a biscuit, potatoes, turkey sausage link AND 2 slices of bacon.  I quickly gave the bacon & sausage away since they aren’t my style.  Over all I left stuffed & didn’t finish the plate.  Especially since we got a chocolate croissant to share!

Later for dinner we went to a place that is pure bliss – the Rainforest Cafe.  I remember being young & being just amazed at all the animals, stars, the storms… & I still am!  Just feels magical.  I’m a sucker for all the atmosphere.  Plus the food was divine.  I got the Jungle something or another… it was coconut shrimp skewers, shrimp scampi, steak with butter on it, garlic mashed potatoes & mixed grilled veggies.  HEAVEN ON A PLATE!

Right before I jetted off to catch my flight I was lucky enough to meet up with my cousin for lunch.  We were tight on time, so we thought something light – sandwich.  Where else does a sandwich better than the Earl of Sandwich?! So we went.  I immediately knew what I was getting after a quick glance on the menu.  The Holiday Special!  Something about warmed turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce & stuffing just sounded amazing.  It also comes with mayo, but I don’t like mayo & it seemed unnecessary anyway.  Now the bad thing is, I LOVED IT.  Where on earth am I going to find a way to get the fix of this craving? Might have to find a way to recreate this one at home.  Either that or just move on down to the Orlando area.

The most spectacular dining memory is by far the late snack we had sharing a funnel cake from Sleepy Hallow while watching the Boo To You Parade float by across the bridge.  We had a great view, all had comfortable seats & delish nosh to share together.  Family memories just seem better with food it seems.

So what foods remind you of Disney?  Anything you just feel like you haven’t had the Disney experience without?