Small Success: Vacation Edition

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800 Thursdays at begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

We went on vacation last week, so I missed out on the Small Success fun. It’s good to be back!

My successes from the past week–

  1. I took the week off. I’d worked very hard to get everything done ahead of time at CatholicMom so that I could take the time off and not leave stuff for Lisa Hendey to have to handle. That success is not all on me, though–it’s due to all the writers who stepped up and got their articles in early so I could do that. I’m really grateful to all of them; I stayed off the “work” end of the website but did visit the site so I could leave comments. And Monday morning, I was refreshed and ready to jump back into my job.

    NMB storm cloud 1c
    It was kind of hard to leave this view behind…
  2. I planned ahead. Getting that work done meant a lot of advance planning–but so did the family logistics that go with a week’s vacation. We stayed in a condo so that we could make most of our meals there. Not only is this a money-saver, but it’s also a comfort when you have any special dietary needs in your family. Since TheKid is diabetic, I planned our meals ahead and did most of the grocery shopping before we left. I packed a large cooler with milk, butter, vegetables and meats. Here’s the pile of non-perishable food (and a few other necessities) we brought for our 7-day stay:Vacation food packing 2015 1c
  3. I didn’t get “how I get” on vacation. Usually I last about 3 days before I start getting anxious, and believe me when I say that’s no fun for everyone. Maybe it’s because the kids are older and more independent; maybe I’m just getting better at reining that in (or letting it go); maybe it was our agreement that, for the most part, we didn’t ALL have to do All The Things. While Hubs and TheKid played mini-golf one night, Daughter and I went to the shopping center to hunt for souvenirs; we all met for ice cream at the end of the evening’s activities. And some days, I didn’t stray further than the edge of the beach where I could pick up scallop shells.


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Last Saturday, Hubs announced that he wanted to go on vacation to the Outer Banks.

Pretty much immediately. Except he didn’t want to miss his Sunday visit with his mom in Assisted Living, or his Sunday-night Adoration hour. So we had 36 hours’ notice to get out of town.

I did a good bit of scrambling in those 36 hours, but it was worth it, because from Monday to Friday, I got to look at this:







Little Brother and Hubs savored crabs they caught themselves.

I just savored the view.

…and they’re back!

We got back yesterday, but it was just too crazy around here for me to write.

I am currently recharging my camera battery so that I can plug the camera into the computer and retrieve my photos. Rechargeable batteries might be more “green” and everything, but the cost of having a second one is prohibitive. I JUST made it through vacation with enough battery life. Next time I guess I’ll have to pack the charger.

For our vacation we went on a 5-day cruise to eastern Canada. The ship stopped at Saint John, New Brunswick as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a little hard to tell where the ship stopped, however, because of the fog. We sailed into the fog sometime Tuesday and spent the next three days listening to the foghorn every two minutes and fifteen seconds. Middle Sister and her friends timed the intervals between foghorn blasts. If you were up on the mini-golf course with Little Brother (who bugged TheDad to take him to mini-golf approximately every two minutes and fifteen seconds), the blasts could practically knock you off your feet. Most of our vacations involve bad weather of one kind or another, so this year’s fog was really no surprise.

Tuesday was my birthday, and waking up on my birthday with an ocean view was pretty terrific. The food, of course, was also terrific, and I’ve given a rundown on the food at my Fridge.

I brought you back a souvenir from vacation! I wish I could have gotten enough for everyone. Since I couldn’t do that, let’s have a contest. The souvenir is a cookbook! To be exact, it’s a church cookbook from Saint John, New Brunswick, titled “Come Join Us in our Maritime Church Kitchen.” Anyone leaving a comment on this post is automatically entered in the drawing for this cookbook. If you’d like two bonus entries, email me with your favorite church-cookbook recipe (not just the title of the recipe–the whole recipe). My email address is available on my links page. The contest deadline is Friday, August 7 at NOON Eastern time.

Terra Firma

It has been an interesting week.

We decided to go on a short cruise to the Bahamas. I said I would only go if there were no storms out there at sea.

When we booked the cruise there was nothing out there. The next day, Fay blew up out of nowhere.

Fay followed us around all week and she is still sticking with us. We are back on land although the ship had to dock at a different port and we were bused back to our cars. The bus ride was scary.

We had reservations at a hotel near our friends in Ormond Beach, but when we got there the hotel was locked up tight. The lights were off and nobody was home. After we visited our friends we headed north to Palm Coast where we found a place to stay.

It’s going to be a long, wet drive north.

TO COME: Middle Sister gets a 2-tone cast, and a rant on shipboard child care. PLUS: thoughts on wastefulness inspired by the cruise buffet.

We Are Here

This was worth waking up early today! Pardon the reflection. I hope I got a better shot on the “film” camera–yes, some of us still use them. But beautiful sunrises like this are just like a present, in my book. Nothing like starting the day with Morning Prayer in the dark of the porch, my coffee in my hand, and later a view like this.

Middle Sister calls this the Spooky Pier. Little Brother wants to get a Really Big Ladder and climb on it.

The lower porch of this house is where we are staying. The fabulous luxury car in front of the house does NOT belong to us.

However, there is a fabulous car that does not belong to us parked in our driveway. We had a bit of a glitch on the way here. Since we allowed both of the Big Kids to bring a friend on vacation, we needed to take both our cars. 10 minutes into the trip I noticed that the air conditioning in TheDad’s Hyundai was not working. 5 minutes later I realized we were on our way to overheating, so I had the girls (who were riding with me) open the windows, and I turned on the heat. We pulled into Cracker Barrel for lunch and to figure out what we would do. Being only 20 minutes from home, we called our regular mechanic and he sent a tow truck for the Hyundai. We also called a car-rental place and the girls and I drove here in style in a Hyundai Santa Fe.

I’m the Designated Driver while on vacation because I’m the only one who can back the Santa Fe and the van into our driveway, and it’s really hard to back OUT of the driveway.

TheDad was up way later than me last night, watching videos and playing games with all the Big Kids. When he finally decided it was bedtime, he woke me up to ask what kind of bagel I wanted this morning.


“What kind of bagel do you want in the morning?”

The strangeness of that question in the middle of the night woke me up, and I just stared at him and said, “Do you really think you’ll wake up before me tomorrow?” Then I went back to sleep.

He’s still not awake. Good thing, too, because I’m still not sure what kind of bagel I want.