Dream Body, Dream Trips, Empty Nesting, Healthy Lifestyle, Travel, World Ventures

I found myself in the jungles of Costa Rica

I dream of traveling.  So many of us do, I know.  I have a bucket list of places to visit that is so long I fear that I will never get to the end of it.  Well, I started checking places off of my bucket list last week, and thanks to what I learned while I was gone, I’m now very sure I will get to the end of my list with no problems.

HELLO COSTA RICA

COSTA RICA DT WATERFALL

My husband and I spent 6 days, and 5 nights in Costa Rica at the amazing Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center where we started each day with the sounds and views of the Costa Rican jungle as we participated in our very first yoga classes.

After yoga we ate breakfast overlooking the hills and jungle, watched iguanas run around, and listened to and watched the most amazing colorful birds fly all around us.

Each day was a new adventure both at the resort, and off site.  At the resort we had daily massage’s, nutritional consultations, and beautiful hiking around the resort.  Off site we took beautiful excursions, traveling on skinny mountain roads, one lane bridges, and winding roads with scenery that just took our breath away.

We went to the top of an active volcano.

COSTA RICA DT VOLCANO

We went to an animal sanctuary surrounded by 5 different waterfalls.

We hiked deep into the jungle and had our own private waterfall to climb up, jump off, and swim around in.  The water was perfectly cold, and so pure you could drink it.

COSTA RICA DT WATERFALL 2

And all the while we ate delicious organic foods prepared for us from plants and animals mostly grown, or raised on site.

Topping it all off we met a group of fellow travelers whom we have now formed great friendships with as we were all there in the same travel club.

The new friends we made were the perfect present on top of being on our first Dream Body Dream Trip.  Now that we know how easy it is to be a part of our inexpensive travel club, and experience these Dream Trips at locations all around the world our bucket list is going to be completed before we know it.

We are thinking about Greece in October now…….  I can’t wait.

Empty Nesting, Life, Tips and Hints, Uncategorized

The Top Two Rules for Happiness in Paradise

There are so many things that go together to make a marriage work, but there also has to be those top things you do 24/7, 365 without fail.  Things that after time come naturally, and are so ingrained in your relationship that it changes your personality.  In our home “Paradise” as I call it, we have two rules, or guidelines, that we established 26 years ago that we live by.  They are ingrained, and just something that we do without thinking.

yelling

  1.  We NEVER yell, or raise our voices, at each other.  UNLESS, the house is on fire, or I need MSP (Mr. Sexy Pants, AKA: my husband) to kill a bug of some kind.

My Mother had a sign in our house growing up that said “Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire”, and it made an impression on me.  I can remember back to the exact day when MSP and I yelled at each other the last time….. it was 2005.  The house was not on fire, it was a rare, but bad argument, and it’s also been 11 years since it happened.  I remember it because it was so rare.

The higher the decibel of the argument does not increase the odds of your being right.   In fact, instead of having a conversation in a normal tone of voice to work out the issue at hand you have now made the entire situation into an screaming match.  Can you think better when someone is yelling at you?  Can you be rational when you are waiting for them to stop yelling so you can scream at them?  In my experience, the answer to both questions is a big NO.  There is no argument or problem that cannot be resolved at a normal tone of voice IF you really want to work it out.

cursing

2. We NEVER curse at each other in anger, or 99% of the time in our day to day lives.  Very rarely you will hear one of us do this just joking around, and it’s so rare it will stand out if you really know us.

In my opinion, again, when you curse at the one you love, it is a HUGE sign of disrespect.  I love my husband too much to ever want to disrespect, or demean him in any way.  When it’s done in anger is the worst.  Calling the one you love a bitch, or an asshole (or all the other great one’s out there) when you are trying to work something out is demeaning, disrespectful, and childish.  Again, I can remember the EXACT day, time, and where we were at, the last time MSP and I cursed at each other.  It was in 2005, during the same argument in which we were yelling at each other.  I still remember how hurt I was hearing those words.  The yelling was bad enough, but the words we said burned a hole through my heart.  No matter the outcome, neither of us won that day.  I think we inflicted more damage on each other trying to resolve our issue than any damage the issue had done before we even started speaking to each other.  Eleven years later I still regret every horrible thing I said and the way I said it.

 

broken-heart

 

No relationship is perfect, but these two rules, or guidelines, have helped us for the better part of 26 years and I wanted to share them.  Let me know what you think, and if you have any rules, or guidelines that have helped keep your marriage, or relationship strong.

Muah,

Jeanie

 

Empty Nesting

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You…. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend

I Love You, I Hate You, I Love You……. The Journey from My Daughter to My Friend.

Being a mother is tough…. I mean TOUGH.  Being a mother to a little girl is a roller coaster ride.  There are exceptions out there I know, but for the most part I know I am not alone in my journey of up’s and down’s, love and hate, happy and sad, and good and bad days.

Twenty-four years ago I could not have imagined where I would be today, hell…. 5 or 10 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine it, but here we are…… ta-da…. We are finally friends.  Here are the stages that we went through:

  • the cute 0-4 year old “Mommy is the best” stage,
  • then came the 5-11 year old “I’m my own little person” stage where Mommy cannot comb my hair, dress me in cute outfits, or tie my shoes for me anymore.  This was also the stage where Daddy’s little girl emerged in our house.
  • Then the 12-16 “Hormone stage” hit like a giant Tsunami and left a wake of tears, you don’t understand me’s, anger, and slamming doors in its wake.
  • 17-20 brought with it the “You are the person I hate the most in the world” stage because you are always wrong, have no idea how life works, and continue to not understand me at all.
  • Then came 21-24 and some mysterious magical switch has flipped and all of the sudden Mommy has brains again, and isn’t such a bad person anymore.

It’s such a relief to be able to stay in the same room together and not fight…..  To be able to have a conversation with each other and no one leaves the room crying.

HOW TO

Hey, babies do not come with step by step instruction booklets.  All the parenting books in the world will not prepare you for the “You are the person I hate most in the world” stage, and the sense of despair and failure that comes with it.  Despair because this beautiful child-woman is looking at you and saying horrible things to you; you can feel your heart break as you try to reason with them and yourself that everything is going to be alright, and failure because you can’t find the right words to make both of you feel better combined with the crippling “what did I do wrong” feeling that if you had been a better mother this wouldn’t be happening at all.

WHAT

My list of regrets is long, I mean long……. I could torture myself for years upon years every minute of the day with the “what could I have said or done’s” that would have made things easier or better for both of us.  I can’t even honestly say that if I had a “do over” that anything would be different because I am just as confused and mystified today as I was 24 years ago about being a mother, but as of right now I’m just glad we both made it to where we are today: alive and sane.

ME AND SJ img_2080

I sit here today comfortable in the knowledge that my daughter and I are friends….  That she loves me and I love her… That I raised a strong willed woman who could take over the world if she wanted to….. That she has a beautiful and amazing heart, will fight for what’s wrong in the world to make it a better place, and anyone who is lucky enough to be called her friend is in a pretty fortunate group of people.

I just look back at all the funny, happy, silly, crazy times we have had and hope it will be enough to not have me featured as the “worst mom in the world” on some reality TV show one day.  So, here’s to the good times ahead, and to mothers and daughters everywhere just taking it day by day and hoping for the best.

Remember to say “I love you” every single day, even if it’s through a closed door or at the top of your lungs as the other person walks away, because that is the one undeniable truth that will never change and the one absolute starting point for every new day.

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Scarlett and I’m sure we will be pulled over by some bored police officer near you very soon.

Empty Nesting

Did you know Empty Nesters are at a higher risk of divorce?

Empty nesting Week #1

Did you know that “empty nesters” are at a higher risk of divorce?  Did you also know that the latest National divorce statistics are down, but “grey divorces” (those over 50) are actually shown to be up by double digits!

RV-AG170_DIVORC_G_20120302124502

I’ve heard of this before, but after talking to friends it seems that this is a thing.  A HUGE thing!  Statistics that I have read show a surge in couples age 50 and up divorcing due to their adult children leaving home.  This really surprises me since my thought is that when kids finally move out of the home the couple can get back to all the fun things they used to do together before parenting took over their lives.  This apparently is not the case because years of parenting turns husbands and wives into very different people than they were when they first got married.  They discover that they have nothing in common, and their children were the one thing holding them together.  They are “mom and dad”, and that’s it.  Not a couple in love with each other.

empty-nest

I’m interested in this topic because it’s such an absolute reverse of my life with MSP.  (MSP = Mr. Sexy Pants- aka my husband for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook).  For example.  MSP and I spent this past weekend (our first empty nesting weekend) Doing all the fun, silly, sexy things we’ve always done.

We went out to a show Friday night and hung out with our friends.

We woke up Saturday morning and went to breakfast together.

We went grocery shopping to buy everything we needed to hole up at home all weekend.

We pulled a mattress out into the living room and spent 12 hours “camping out” on the living room floor “picnicking” and binge watching Netflix.

We spent time just talking to each other, and cuddling with the animals.

We woke up Sunday morning (on previously mentioned mattress on the living room floor) and did yard work for hours.

We took a bubble bath together.

We had friends over for dinner, and to watch Game of Thrones together.

All in all a perfectly, perfect weekend…… BUT not out of the ordinary for us.  We always have weekends like that.

13221309_10156943097935284_1068845175015010366_o Picnic 13243944_10156941787855284_1097530636010809418_o Camping Out

I read something recently that I totally, 100% agree with.  I am not “in love” with my child.  I AM in love with my husband, and I love my child.  I miss my Baby Girl terribly, but there has always been two parts of my life.  My marriage, and my family.  They are not the same thing.  I married my husband to spend the rest of my life with him as my mate, my partner, my everything.  Our daughter was this amazing gift from God that came along later to make us a family.  Now that Baby Girl has moved away to start her own life her Daddy and I are gonna be fine.

“Grey Divorces” happen for multiple reasons, and I hate the thought of this happening to anyone.

JS51566748

  1.  Problems, resentments, issues of the past were put on the back burner, and once the kids are gone, the buffer is gone, they all come back with a bang and seem too overwhelming to deal with
  2. Husbands and wives now look at each other and think they don’t really know the other person, are not sure they even like the other person, and start deciding if they really want to spend the next 30-40 years with this person
  3. The marriage, that has been put on hold to raise their children, now has to be restarted all these years later

I think the key to this not happening, and full disclosure, I am NOT an expert, is to keep up with your marriage when the kids are still home.  Don’t let problems fester.  Fight that shit out, and resolve it.  🙂  Remember why you fell in love in the first place, and do the things that you did before that made your spouse say “I’m going to be with this person forever”.  Read this book that changed my life 15 years ago.  The 5 Love Languages:  The Secret to love that lasts.  I was doing almost everything wrong, and after reading this I was able to correct, and get back on track.

So, as I start empty nesting week #2 it is with a lighter heart.  The sadness of our daughter moving is being replaced by joy in hearing how happy she is in her new life.  I’ve reaffirmed that my marriage is strong, healthy, and not in danger of the “grey” problems, and I really cannot wait to camp out, picnic, and take a bubble bath with MSP again.

Muah,

Jeanie