Adventures, Beaches

Spring Break:Cocoa Beach

One week prior to the start of our vacation my husband says to me:

“There is supposed to be a cold front while we are at the beach, can we cancel it? It’s going to be freezing!”

Me: “Nope. Bring a jacket!”

After a year of canceling long weekends and vacations I didn’t care if it was going to be snowing on the beach, I wasn’t canceling again. We needed to get away from the house!

I made reservations at South Beach Inn on Cocoa Beach, we had stayed there once before and really liked it. It’s an older hotel and needs some TLC on the outside, but it’s small and away from the hustle and bustle around the pier down the road. All the rooms are very nice and clean, they have a kitchen, they allow pets, it has beach access and it’s affordable; it checks off all our boxes.

The evening before it was time to leave I started the process of packing and trying to anticipate everything. I went grocery shopping so we didn’t have to worry about it once we got there, packed up our kitchen, our bathroom, kid’s closets, beach gear, dog stuff, and I almost forgot my own bag. The morning of, my husband had scheduled to have our roof and patio pressure washed, so I finished packing the cooler, cleaning up the house, and trying to make sure I didn’t forget anything (which I did anyway). Finally around 1:00 we started our 2.5 hour drive and officially began our 5 day vacation at Cocoabeach.

When we got there the very nice man checking us in informed me that we would not have direct beach access because they just started pumping sand onto the beach so there was a lot of construction equipment. BUT, we could walk just a minute down the sidewalk and there was an access point there. This was annoying. But ok, What can I do, besides a little walking never hurt anyone. So we moved in changed and headed to the beach, well, me the kids and our puppy headed there. By this time we could already feel the cold air coming in, it was super windy and my husband just wasn’t feeling it.

The boys didn’t care, they hit the waves and Chase (our pup) loved digging and rolling in the sand. It was just us crazy’s on the beach. It was cold. It was really cold. For a moment I almost admitted my husband was right.

We were there long enough for the boys to get their fix and Chase to get used to ocean water and drink too much of it. Then we headed back, popped open a bottle of wine and some juice boxes, enjoyed the fab dinner my husband made, and got our relax on.

Saturday evening through Monday it was way to cold for me to get in the water, but I made sand castles and watched my little ones boogie board and get beat up by the waves. Monday we ventured to The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and walked a few of their nature trails. We were hoping we would be able to grill, but it’s picnic baskets only. The trails were nice though. It’s hard for me to get excited about Florida nature trails because they all are very similar. But it was easy for the kids to do and very well signed so you can’t get lost. The trails are well kept and the length of the trails is perfect for young kids. We spent a couple morning hours there then headed back to the beach after lunch.

Tuesday the sun and the warmth started coming back but I wanted to do something different, we tried the Brevard Zoo. I love zoos, always have. This one is small, but it’s very well laid out and had animal exhibits that I haven’t seen before. It wasn’t crowded and all of us really enjoyed it! Great day out and recommended!

They had a small pool for smaller kids, a petting zoo, bird and giraffe feedings, kayak rentals, zip lines, and a train that went around a section of the zoo. Plenty of stuff to spend a full day out and at reasonable price for a family.

Wednesday was a perfect day for the beach. At this point however we had to walk about 5 minutes to get to the beach in a different direction because they had closed several beach access points and there was trucks driving back and forth every 5 minutes on the beach. There was also constant beeping and banging from the construction trucks and vehicles all night long. This was very disappointing.

We found a good spot with no beach traffic and even though the water was cold, I was able to handle it and play in the waves with the boys. We spent almost 8 hours on the beach and it was great! I will warn though, the waves are ROUGH! This is a place surfers like to go, so I had to take them just past the “crash” zone and before the drop off where the current really sucks you in and we were able to jump and bob in the waves.

Thursday we headed back home. Overall it was a really great trip and much needed time away. The beach construction was very annoying and disappointing but we made the best of it anyway. The important thing is we all had fun and time together.

Just Outside, Lessons As We Grow

Rant Alert: Please Control Your Dog Better

So I’m going to rant, and I’m sorry if it offends some dog owners. But I’m tired of dodging other peoples dogs. I have had dogs my whole life. Mostly German shepherd pure breeds and mix and Gordon Setters, but I have also owned a cocker spaniel, and now I own a border collie/Aussie mix so I’ve had a range in dog sizes.

I believe that no matter the breed, size, or age of the dog, a dog parent should always be considerate of others in public places and have control of their pet.
I have always made sure to have control of my dogs when at the park or in public places. I don’t believe in retractable leashes and if we are at a picnic table that is around others I keep my dog on a leash, a real leash, even though he listens very well, I don’t take the chance that he is going to go after another dog, kid, person on a bike, etc. I’m very conscious and aware because I don’t want anyone to be bothered my dog. Even though all my dogs have been very well behaved and mostly docile, you just never know.
I expect the same consideration by other dog owners that are not part of our group. For them to control their dog(s).
So the last few times at the park, we go for short bike rides and I have Chase run along side of me, on a leash. He is outstanding! He listens to my commands, he doesn’t try to go after anyone or any other dog, we just do our thing and no one is bothered or startled by us. If they are, I correct the action immediately and apologize.

The last time at the park, a couple with (4) Boston terriers on retractable leashes didn’t lock the leash and soon as Chase and I (my boys on bikes right behind me) approached one of the terriers ran at Chase, who I had guided to be on the left side of my bike, (opposite side of the dogs to avoid problems) and I had to slam on my breaks to avoid running over the dog. My kids nearly crashing into me and Chase. The guy says “sorry”. I grumble under my breath and say to my crew “let’s go”

Then again today, twice within a 30 second window I dealt with uncontrolled dogs again.
All 4 of us riding bikes with Chase running beside me. We were all having fun not bothering anyone. I had Chase go on opposite side of people before passing anyone, just to be considerate.
Up ahead I saw a guy on roller blades with two dogs pull off to the side out of the way giving them water. Great, he’s doing the right thing so far. Again, had Chase go opposite side an we stayed on the far side of the path. As soon as we approached, his Pitt bull on a retractable leash got away from him and went after Chase, causing me to slam on my breaks and nearly crash.

Guy: “oh, wow. So sorry”

This time I went off, “it’s not ok, you need to control your dog”, and a few other words and then got on my way.
One of my kids stopped for some reason and was taking his sweet time getting going again, so I stopped to wait for him. Group of people at a picnic table near the high traffic pathway had a little dog off leash. Who of course decided to charge after Chase. The lady just stood there and watched, didn’t move a muscle to control her dog. Until I acted like I was going to kick it and started yelling and cussing them to control their dog. Literally 30 seconds after the last incident so I’m mad as hell.

Anyway. Bottom line. Please please please control your pets if you take them to a public place and be considerate of others. I am tired of dodging other peoples dogs. And for heaven’s sake, use a real leash and not a retractable one.

I let my dogs run free off a leash when we are at the park and away from people. I am also always aware of where they are and if other people are coming close to our space. Because I like to let him run free and play with the boys we choose spots away people. If we have no choice and have to be close to others, the 6’ non retractable leash stays on and we make the best of it.


Things happen. I get it. I am a dog person. I love dogs. And the truth is if we were walking or jogging, I probably wouldn’t be so pissed off about these incidents. I would continue being super annoyed but more passive aggressive about it. But we are cruising on bikes and I do my absolute best to make sure nothing happens plus I have my kids with me. If my kids crash because your dog is on a retractable leash or not a leash at all, someone might go to jail because I’m going to loose it.


Everyone is entitled to enjoy their adventures and time outside the way they want to, but at the same time be respectful and aware of others around you.

Adventures, Just Outside, Lessons As We Grow

Good Morning Backyard!

“Can we go camping? Please Mommy!” “We haven’t been on any big adventures in a long time!”

“I wish my love, but it’s really hard to travel and finding good camping spots here is really really hard because of alligators and horrendous amount of mosquitoes. “

“ well. Can we camp out in the yard mommy?!”

It’s about 10:00 pm on a Saturday night when we are having this conversation. I will admit, I’ve had several glasses of wine at this point and even though I’ve pitched and broken down tents hundreds of times, at this particular moment it felt like something that might wake all the neighbors. I sit there deciding what my answer will be as I play the scene in my mind.

Seeing my hesitation and basically reading my mind, my sweet big hearted manipulative boy continues his pitch.

“We don’t need tents Mommy, we can just get our sleeping bags and sleep on the patio. We have a privacy fence now. It’s something different mommy. Its a different kind of adventure. come on Mommy, let’s do something different” cue the big bright smile and sparkling blue eyes.

“You’re right, why not. Let’s do it!”

We went and got our sleeping bags, asked my other kiddo if he wants to join us. Of course he did. The boys, myself, and our dog all got “comfortable” on the hard concrete patio under the blooming mango tree.

We talked for a little while, I told them stories of my hiking days in Georgia and the time I went backpacking on the Appalachian trail for a few days. They talked about Minecraft and all of the details of it. They tell great stories to fall asleep to.

Being asleep didn’t last long for me. The different sounds in the neighbors yards and the temperature chasing to “it might rain” woke me up. I dozed thru the night, but mostly just took in the moment. I stared at my kids hoping this was one of the memories they hang on to. I watched them with bewilderment as they slept so peaceful on the ground. Mostly I just soaked in the love and happiness of being “us”.

As the sun started coming up I realized I have never bothered to be outside at this time, I am always to busy getting the boys up and ready for school or sleeping on the weekends.

Except when our neighbors had a rooster. The stupid bird from hell woke me up every single Saturday and Sunday at 5:00am. I live in South Florida. We have small yards and close neighbors. I consider it very disrespectful to have a flipping rooster cock-a-doodle-doing on the weekend next to my window. Literally because it somehow kept finding its way into our yard. I never allowed this evil bird to get me out of bed, unless Chase heard it and started whining to go out. In those moments, I couldn’t tell you if the sun was rising or not, all I knew was “cock-a-doodle-fuck-a-doo, hurry up Chase and go poo!” Then buried myself back under the blankets for a few hours.

My boy had a good idea as this was a nice change in routine and I got to see how our back yard wakes up on my terms and not some annoying farm animals.

Thankfully by this night the Rooster was gone. I don’t know what happened to it, but I am glad that something did.

I laid there, my spine in some pain and sending tingling sensations to my fingers. Our sleeping bags covered in leaves and flowers that fallen from the mango tree. I watched as the yard came alive.

Woodpeckers started knocking on the electrical pole, mocking birds singing, green parrots flying by on their way to find breakfast, blue Jays chasing away the singing mockingbirds, various insects emerging, silk worms glistening in the morning rays of light, lizards coming out to warm in the sunlight; yes it was a nice change in pace.

I gained some new perspective and reinforced my appreciation for the small things in life (as well as my bed).

About 7:00, I peeled myself off the ground and cleaned up my blanket. Stretched and popped and took a deep breath of morning air. Then I made myself some coffee and decided to open a book I haven’t read since I was a teenager, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” while the boys continued sleeping on the hard ground.

Wishing y’all a very Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, & Successful Day!

Lessons As We Grow

A End of Year, Yes I’m Still Here, Reflective Post

Are you still here?

I’m here, somewhere. Well not here, here. I’ve been absent from posting for quite some time. I’ve never been more tired than I have been this year….and I’ve been home the majority of it. All the stay at home parents are probably like “humph. Rookie!!”

It’s constantly something. There is more drama in this house with the 4 of us than any office or company I have work in. The drama is exhausting….so is the constant cleaning…..and cooking….and preparing snacks…..and breaking up fights, and having to scream at the top of my lungs for anyone to pay attention….. I want to go back to work.

I wish some powerful magic would happen when the ball drops on Friday, January 1st 2021 at exactly 12:00am. Like Covid-19 would turn into a bat and fly away, people would stop being so hateful, all kids could go back to school, and adults could go back to work and regain their sanity. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that’s going to happen. My kids most likely finish 3rd grade at home and I will continue to try and stay productive and relevant in my work. I love working, in all honesty that has been the biggest challenge for me, putting my work lower on the priority list…but not so low that I lose it. My kids come first and they are so high maintenance. They leave me with very little patience, energy, and emotion for anything else in life. Which has always been the case, but before when they were in school I could compartmentalize easier. Now I am with them 6 days a week 24 hours a day and on the 7th day, I get to go to work for 8-9 hours and feel like a normal human.

Enough of all that. Lets look at the positives for the year.

I have gotten to know how my ADHD/ASD kids think and react to school work and different scenarios better which will enable me to better help the teachers help them.

We have all learned how to accept each other and work with one another in the family in a way we never had before.

I wasn’t really happy in the position I was in at work, 2020 forced me to transfer to a different department that has allowed me to work from home. I don’t know that I will want to stay in this position any longer than necessary, but it has allowed me to take a step back and breath. It’s allowed me to look at my goals and recalculate the path I need to take to get there. Well, I’m still recalculating…..but I’ll figure it out. Like my last position, this one has humbled me and given me the chance to walk in other’s shoes. It’s good to gain perspective by working in other departments within your industry, to walk in other’s shoes and see things from their perspective. I understand better why they make the mistakes they make and why they do what they do. The insight will come in handy when I reach where I’m going.

I’ve spoken to and seen my extended family more this year than any year prior thanks to Zoom. I’ve hosted a couple of get togethers and we are hoping to make it a monthly thing.

Some down falls of the year, I’ve been drinking more. I used to only binge drink on Friday nights and have a few glasses over the weekend, now I have a couple of glasses of wine nightly. I can’t drink whiskey anymore, not really sure why but my body has been having a bad reaction to it. So, maybe it’s actually a good thing that I drink a couple of glasses of wine a day, no whiskey and no binge drinking.

I was exercising and doing really well with running, up until school started back. Once school started, my exercise routine slowly dried up. I need to get back into it. Otherwise, I may have to change the name of this blog site.

We are reading though. The boys have been reading on their own everyday and I read to them at night. I also read my own books. So, that’s good.

2021 I will get back into exercising, posting on my blog page, and determine new path(s) for goal achievements.

Is there anything you can be thankful for in 2020? It’s been challenging, I know. If you have any blessings (big or small) you want to share in the comments below, would love to hear them!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, and Successful Day and New Year!!

Lessons As We Grow

“I’m Givin’ Her All She’s Got, Captain!”

One of the many one liners that came from Star Trek. I feel like I’m Captain Kirk and my will power is Scotty from the original Star Trek series. I’m requesting warp speed away from being blown up by Klingons and my Scotty is just like “She can’t take no more, I’m Giving her all She’s Got Captain!”

I am one of those over the top happy people at the office that come in with a sing song “Good Morning Everyone!” everyday, but especially on Mondays. I don’t always feel like being that way, but I choose to be that way. There are some days I force myself to be that way because I know eventually it will be my truth. If I went in with a “leave me alone” or “fuck off” face, or if I complained about being low on energy or tired, then that would be my truth. For the whole day. Then probably the next day. Then all of the days that follow. That’s not the life I want. I want to be happy and I want the people around me to be happy. And if me being happy makes them unhappy, well they can fuck off.

That was me. Now I try to do the same at my “new home office” aka: the kitchen table. Being happy with twin 8 year old boys who struggle with school are ADHD and on the Autism Spectrum, and complete projects is much much much more of a challenge than anything my job can throw at me. My husband works full time and covers Fridays so I can go to my actual office and take a break, I mean, work.

This new normal has made me really work to be happy. I have had to learn how to control my anger, frustrations, and disappointments in a whole new way. In some cases just completely remove emotion when certain situations happen. I have to just apply the solution over and over and over until it takes root, almost in a robotic way. And I have to be ok with it. Because that is what my family needs to be successful.

One of my boys, Ninja D, is on the autism spectrum. Among several things, he has sensitivity issues with some clothes. But its only while he is focused on it. Socks and shoes are his latest reason for dramatic episodes. There is a lot of crying and tantrums and refusing to wear them, but it’s kind of a necessity in life so I make him wear them anyway and tell him that it’s something he is going to have to learn to live with. It’s the same with normal shorts or jeans. The thing is, once you get him to wear the clothes and then make him move onto the next thing like brushing teeth, eating breakfast, talking about minecraft, he forgets that he has this “issue” and it’s no longer a big deal. Sometimes he will remember later in the day and start again, but I move his focus to something else and it’s forgotten again.

The dramatic episodes over the simplest of things were making me so pissed off. They still make my husband pissed off, we are both getting better at handling situations, I just deal with it more often. That’s an example of what I mean by having to remove emotions from situations. I can’t be pissed off all the time for stupid shit that can’t be helped. His brain operates differently. But at the same time he is a kid. He is a human. He still try’s to get away with whatever he wants. It’s a very tiresome line to walk. And my other boy, he’s not causing many challenges at the moment, but he has had his time in the spot light.

Then there is work. I love work. It’s where I use to feel the most accomplished. I have had to shelf my feelings about work as well. I love working. But because I have to balance family and career more than ever now, I still get projects done, but not as well or efficiently as I know I could if I wasn’t sitting at my kitchen table being interrupted every 5-10 minutes. I have altered my daily schedule slightly, so I start later but work later into the evening in order to do better. Once the boys are done with school, it isn’t so bad. And it could just be in my head, I’m pretty hard on myself, but because I feel that I’m not doing as well as I should be doing with my projects, I feel like a failure. I can’t allow myself to feel like a failure. Because then tomorrow I’m going to feel even worse and then the day after and so forth. I will fall into a very deep hole that is very hard to get out of. I don’t want that for myself again. So, I shelf my feelings about work and complete what I can and hope that when I do return full time to the office that it was enough. Then I can take my emotions off the shelf and start feeling good and proud, and accomplished again. I can start taking steps forward and advancing.

Last night when I was taking a shower, I was thinking about personal shields. I was thinking about how I have to program and keep updating the software of my personal shield. I program it to keep other peoples problems and negative emotions from penetrating my spirit, but still be able to listen to their situations and help if able. My shield allows for positive, fun and inspiration to come threw though. Being near the people I care for and love the most, the battles are frequent and long and there is a constant barrage of torpedo’s., sometimes they learn how to hack the system, in either scenario I need “red alerts” to go off to put emergency shields up. When I feel that surge of anger or when I need to force my mouth to stay shut because I’m about to make someone feel really bad, which puts gas to the fire, I know they have broken thru and I need to think quick to get ahold of myself.

That’s when I call my Mr. Scott to get the shields back up on the double and warp speed out of the situation. Hopefully in the time that I’m having this internal episode of Star Trek, I’m not getting blasted by torpedo’s. Usually Scotty just in the nick of time gets my shields back up and I can be calm about what ever drama is happening at the moment and get through it in one piece. Rarely do I get to warp speed out until I have disarmed the Borgs or the Klingons.

We have love. At the end of the day, these are Lessons as We Grow and I know we will be better for them. But damn, its really really difficult right now.

I hope all of you other Captains out there stay Happy, Healthy, Smart, Strong, and Successful!

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER
Lessons As We Grow

Cocoons of 2020

What to say that hasn’t already been said?

This year has been something special.

This year has been transforming.

This year deserves a special name. Like “Year of Butterflies” or “Year of the Moth”. Maybe “The Butterfly Effect”. “Reflection of Human Nature” , “#NOWWHAT?” “#OMGSTOP” , “Year of WTF!!?!?”

I like “Cocoons of 2020” . Because I feel we have all transformed this year into someone or in some cases “something” else.

The majority of us have been cocooned up in our homes for at least 3 months of this year, many of us (like myself) have been inside for almost 8 months of this year. Sure I escape every Friday to go to the office, but mostly I have been home with the kids. Working and Schooling.

I am very fortunate that my work allows me to be home and still be productive (usually after the kids are finished with school or asleep) and my employer is understanding enough to allow me to do it. Being fortunate however does not mean I am without stress, it means that I have chosen, worked hard, and sacrificed to have positive circumstances around me up to this point. I am still with stress because I need to continue to work hard in order to maintain and grow in this environment; while being even more involved with my children’s education and helping them to find ways to grow and evolve in a positive way. I have ALWAYS been involved with their education and well being, but now that we are all home together, it’s more intense.

After having several anxiety attacks brought on by stressing about my kids doing their school work, constantly getting up when they should be working, fighting with one another, feeding them, making them clean their messes, and then deadlines to meet for work, my own health, and on and on on, I reached a point that I have to let go of the “worry” stop trying to control everything, accept that it’s a flexible schedule and just go with the flow. I bought a robovac to help clean the floors (best investment ever!) because one of my kids leaves crumbs everywhere. I don’t know how, but he does. I have had to learn patience on a whole new level as well as a deeper understanding of my kids personal challenges.

And you know what? I’m happy for it. I’m happy for 2020 even though it spoiled all of my travel plans and gave me several anxiety attacks. We have became closer as a family unit and the love in this house is even stronger than before. I think we have all become more comfortable with ourselves as individuals as well. This experience has helped all of us see the reflection in the mirror in a new way.

Yes, we all have definitely been transforming while in our cocoon. There have been “highs” and “Lows”. There has been crying, screaming, laughing, and smiling from all of us and they have learned some new words that cannot be used in school. We aren’t perfect but I think we are getting better and no matter how challenging or angry the day is, we always end it with goodnight hugs and kisses with the promise that tomorrow will be better.

I hope that when the time comes for you to emerge from your cocoon that you come out even more beautiful, strong, and amazing than when you went in. If you have already flown back out into the world, I hope you are doing well and staying safe. For those who have had a difficult time with transformation, remember that the only thing that is consistent is change. Everyone and everything changes in life, how you do it is up to you.

These circumstances will change to. The world will go back to what it was, hopefully better. America will prosper and get back on it’s feet no matter who is elected because that’s what Americans do. Kids will grow up, Parents will grow old. The sun will shine and the moon will glow. The world will turn and take us for a spin, some people lose while others win. I think what a person should ask his/her self is, What do I want my heart be filled with as the world changes? Then take action to make it happen.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Lessons As We Grow, Running

Running Thru 2020

It has definitely been a year to reflect and reinvent. Well, for most. For me, it’s just another year full of challenges. Helping my boys who have more learning challenges than most kids their age in the general population; every year is a year for me to acquire a new level of patience, understanding, and to continuously try to think outside the box to find solutions that will help them but also to find balance between “Career/Work Time”, “Family Time”, “Husband Time, Troubleshoot problems at School time”, and most importantly “Me Time”.

Successful people often say: “You need to prioritize. You can do everything, you just can’t do everything at once.” Well, all of those things I have listed are top priorities and I really have no choice but to do everything at once. What am I saying?, there is always a choice. I choose to put energy into all of those categories because if I don’t now, I’m going to be to far behind later. I may not be getting as far as I would like, but being able to move an inch is better than not moving at all.

This year has actually been less stressful than most. We as a family are in a better place emotionally, we all get along better. That in itself is a big relief and accomplishment that allows me to be able to balance better. Because I have to work from home, I transferred to a different department that allows me to be more flexible with my daily schedule, thus enabling me to help the kids with school (cry. sob. drink.) and for me to get on a better exercise routine.

Exercise is Essential. If I don’t run or at the very least walk daily, I feel absolutely miserable. Running has been a positive attitude life saver for me and has probably saved my kids from a Mommy Monster on a few occasions. Not to say that I haven’t lost my shit a few times this year, but running has alleviated and dissolved some of the chaos. I am getting a little pissed off that I haven’t lost any weight though. I have ran about 200 miles this year and cut out fast food but have only lost a few pounds. Another thing I have had to learn to be “ok” with to be happy. I feel better however. That’s the important part.

I have joined several running groups on Facebook and follow many runners/walkers on Instagram some of whom I chat with. Since I have started the blog site and joined runners on social media, I have come to believe that runners are the happiest most positive people on this planet. Seriously, they are so encouraging, supportive, adventurous, and for the most part, SUPER HAPPY people. I absolutely love it. The days that I feel drained and worn down, all I have to do is scroll through my social media pages for 5 minutes, it’s enough to make me say “Fine. I will get off my ass and give it a go”. 4-5 miles later, drenched in sweat, I’m feeling re-energized and happy I did it.

I’ve also taken a like to virtual runs. I don’t really care for the ones where I just get a medal. I usually join the ones where I get a tank top or t-shirt instead. the medals are beautiful, but they just end up in a box. My kids also like to do the virtual runs, but honestly they would rather have YouTube Minecraft Video time as a reward. Whatever gets them moving.

Getting into a running routine has been the biggest benefit for me so far in 2020, I am going to keep running thru 2020 and into 2021 with the goal of completing at least one half marathon next year.

We have each other. And we are making the best of a “lock down” situation. 2020 is only 365 days. It won’t last forever, as with everything in life.

Embrace the good and take note of the bad or Embrace the bad and criticize the good. I choose the to Embrace the Good.

Just some fun