Happy Sunday-Monday Journeyer! Happy (belated) Easter!
Another of my cherished holidays.
A time for friends and family to slow down, to come together, to share their fellowship, and to celebrate.
Some celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the message that He is our salvation.
Some celebrate spring break while others rejoice the earth’s awakening from a long winter’s rest.
Sometimes, like the Easter following the birth and death of my firstborn, we mourn a loss while hoping for healing.
Hope, Journeyer, that’s one of the things that comes to mind right now, something we can all relate to on this or any day.
Hope is at the essence of everything I do and feel and think.
Hope embodies my “big ambitions,” as fellow writer Liv calls them.
Part of those BIG dreams has been to spend more quality time with Warren, to participate in couple activities, actions that we neglected for far too long while we were raising children.
Hubby and I made good on that goal this past week, Journeyer!
We had four glorious days away, where we slept in, wandered the beach, sat down at a slot machine or two, ate delicious food, met some fabulous people, and just enjoyed one another’s company.
What those days away also mean, however, is that I’m going to be busy playing catch-up this week.
Before I dig in to these crazy days coming, I need to pay homage to some of this past week’s moments that fed my happy.
I’ve been writing this column for about four years now and I can honestly say that this practice of noticing and rejoicing those events that make me smile has truly changed my life.
Since Easter’s passing also means I have to return to work at the crack of dawn tomorrow, I’m going to shorten my long list of happy to this acronym: EASTER.
E is for Easter. This year marks the fourteenth years since our family began participating in our community’s Easter Dawn, sunrise pageant. A family friend’s church has organized and hosted this outdoor reenactment for more than thirty years! I think we’ve only missed one since that long ago year when our friend asked us to help them out. I never took the time to chart my children’s height and size in photos or on door casings. Someday I hope to put all of these pageant photos into a collage, so I can see the transformation of my children as they’ve grown!
A is for abiding love. Warren and I have been a couple for twenty-nine years this month and will be married twenty-six years in June. Few marriages survive longevity without some sort of strife, and Warren and I are no exception. Glennon Melton of Momastery recently talked about the fact that we cannot save marriages, we can only save people. I love that. Warren and I have saved one another time and time again, and now we are working to save ourselves, for when we feel whole, then and only then do we have enough to share without depleting love’s wellspring. I loved the little moments we shared during our little get-away this past week.
I am forever grateful for the existence of eternal love, bonds that transcend time, travel, and temperament…
A wooden bunny I made to put on Gavin’s grave at Easter; it has withstood twenty-two years!
A remembrance candle Big Guy brought me back from Notre Dame
Big Guy right before boarding the bus to begin his trip abroad
S is for Spring and Sleep. The northeast is finally seeing a little relief from a brutal winter. I spotted a few tulips pushing their way through the soil. Every day I feel joy as I watch these flowers rise up out of the ground little by little, the tiny buds pushing their way toward the sunlight, and then finally opening into their full color is a process.
As for sleep, I received training and my CPAP last Thursday. The woman explained to me my results: once every two minutes I either stopped breathing or had closing of the air passage. No wonder I’m exhausted all of the time. She also explained that it will likely take several weeks for my body to readjust to having plenty of oxygen, again. I am so looking forward to having energy again, even if it means sleeping with this thing attached to my face every night. It’s not really as bad as it seems, but if any of you know an alternative for sleep Apnea, please let me know!
T is for the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, NJ! Warren and I enjoyed a long-delayed getaway and a king-suite with ocean and bay views! We had many delicious meals at local joints and two dynamite dinners at the Broadway Burger Bar. If you’re ever in Atlantic City, be sure to check out Maria’s Luncheonette for a hearty breakfast, or Ducktown Tavern for lunch or dinner; I had a spinach salad with blackened shrimp that was delicious. Last, but certainly not least is the Broadway Burger Bar; they’ve got it all: ambiance, presentation, fabulous food, friendly service, and price points that won’t break the bank! We were so pleased we went back for a second night. Journeyer, I believe firmly in letting people know when we are grateful, in sharing those happy moments with others. I always try to leave a note on the receipt or a napkin, and when my experience is superb, I like to let manages know as well. That’s how I met the delightful Rose Ann, whose smile at hearing our happy made my experience that much nicer. When we told her how much we enjoyed our meals, she insisted we try the restaurant’s signature bread pudding. I’m so glad we accepted her offer to treat us to dessert because she was right, it is the best bread pudding you will ever sink your teeth into! If you ever happen to stumble upon one of their nineteen locations, be sure to stop in!
Palm trees! The whole reason I chose the Tropicana!
Rose Ann & Jaimie
Ducktown Tavern’s spinach salad with blackened shrimp is divine!
E is for entertainment. My week was filled with all sorts of entertainment, from playing the slot machines, to enjoying different dining options, to watching my children having fun and enjoying themselves.
Warren & I enjoyed this delicious dessert wine w/ fresh strawberries
Big Guy wore the wrong shoes for two-plus inches of snow!
R is for the bonds that build relationships and for the experiences that hold us to one another. This get-away was a great way for Warren and I to slow down, to reconnect, and to let our bodies remember the simple things we shared early in our romance. As Big Guy often laments, I will talk to any random stranger, which in my book allows me to meet so many wonderful people and to share in their journeys.
I couldn’t resist reaching out to Aaliyah and James, who I first spotted walking down the boardwalk and then at the ocean’s edge. Newly married on March 30, a fine, fine day…the day my own wonderful mother was born! Aren’t they adorable? And so kind to pose for this picture and allow me to include them in this post! So much happy rising from their hearts!
I overheard this woman in the elevator tell her husband he should be smiling because today was the first day of the rest of his life, his retired life! Journeyer, meet Kathie and Jerry! He retired from Boeing after thirty-five years of service! They were celebrating this new start with a little rendezvous at the resort!
We even managed to illicit a little smile from him!
All my best to these two couples as they embark on new and exciting times in their lives!
What about you, Journeyer? What moments helped your happy rise last week? Share one or more of them here!
Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,