#WorthRevisit: Unplugged Vacation

Last week we were on vacation. I didn’t tell you we were going.

There’s a reason for that, as I explained last year after our family vacation, in a Tech Talk article at CatholicMom:

We just didn’t want to let the whole world know that nobody was home at our house. It’s a safety thing.

You might think that if you mark your Facebook posts “friends” instead of “public” that you’re safer. And you are. But you never know who’s looking over your friends’ shoulders. As for Twitter and Instagram, everything you tweet and ‘gram is broadcast for the whole world to see.

And it’s not like we have a common last name. So we chose the “better to be safe than sorry” route this vacation. My photos never did make it to Instagram. That’s OK.

Caribbean Sunrise, August 2016.
Caribbean Sunrise, August 2016.

I just pulled the vacation photos from my camera’s memory card this morning. It’ll take a while to go through them, but I do hope to share more of the beauty we experienced.

As for the tweets, I’ll bet you didn’t even miss them.

I actually stayed unplugged (no cell phone except for the camera function, no Internet, no text messages, no email) for over 7 days. No, I didn’t get the shakes! I read 7 books, played board games, ate too much fancy food, admired scenery, napped, and stayed out of the sun.

Good times. Even without Instagram.

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

Back to It

Christmas Vacation is over, and I never even got to watch Christmas Vacation.5e717-christmas-vacation

I also never got to Inbox Zero (or even close). Not for work email, and not for my personal email either.

I didn’t make the meal plan for the month, or the week, or even for tonight.

My desk is clean, though. It started out looking like this:


Yes, that’s my Corner Office right there. The Christmas tree is right behind me. There’s nowhere to go but up. Yesterday I took every single piece of paper off that desk–the clipboard, the notebook, the planner, and that entire organizing thingamabob, and decided whether that paper deserved desk space.

3 baskets of papers went out to the recycling bin. About 2 hours into the project, I was down to the last few items. There’s the basket I was using for recycling, on the right.


Cleaning my desk turned out to be a great way to brainstorm; I’d stop and write down some ideas for things I want to do/write/set up/organize. I set a few goals for my recipe blog.

And tomorrow is back to routine. Back to school for TheKid, though he has an endocrinology appointment in the afternoon, so he’ll only be there for half the day. Back to work for Hubs and me (for the morning).

I’m rested (mostly). My desk is clean, even if my inbox isn’t. I’m ready.

Small Success: Vacation Edition

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800 Thursdays at CatholicMom.com 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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There Are No Coincidences, Even On Vacation

Last week my family and I went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC, where this was the view from my office, located on the 19th-floor balcony of a high-rise hotel:

View from My Office 08 2015c

I could sit and look at that all day. And a lot of the time, I did exactly that.

We arrived late Saturday evening and after unpacking, got set to find a church for Mass the next morning. It made sense to go to the closest one after spending many more hours in the car than we’d planned (traffic on I-95 in Virginia was terribly slow. For hundreds of miles.)

After Mass, we were handed a bulletin on the way out, and I idly scanned it on our way back from church. That’s when I saw a familiar name in the list of announced Masses for Monday morning.

The Mass was for one of my great-aunts. She had moved to Myrtle Beach a few years ago to be near her only daughter.

She’d passed away the year before at the age of ninety-something, predeceased by her husband and daughter. Another aunt (my mom’s sister) had made a few trips to SC during Aunt Marge’s final illness to help arrange things, so I texted my cousin to tell her about finding Aunt Marge’s name in the bulletin. My cousin said that one of the parish priests was faithful in visiting Aunt Marge in the nursing home, praying with her and giving her the Sacrament of the Sick. After Aunt Marge’s death, my mom’s sister sent a donation to the parish in gratitude. She received a note of thanks that stated that the priest had dedicated that donation to several Masses for the repose of Aunt Marge’s soul.

Hubs and I made sure to get up early the next day so we could attend that Mass for Aunt Marge.

What are the odds that we’d have chosen that vacation destination, putting us closest to that church, during that very week? We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried.

Good thing we weren’t the ones with the plan.


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.