Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nikolas's Birthday Weekend

We spent the past weekend celebrating Nikolas's birthday in the mountains at our usual spot "The Woodlands".  I was happy to see Nikolas is a reader. Despite Nikolas bringing his I-Pad, I spotted him reading a book in bed. 

Out of everything Nikolas could have chosen for his birthday gift, this is what he chose.
Yes. The mask talks.

We love traveling with the grandkids.
We really do enjoy ourselves and the kids always have a lot of fun.

We explored Boulder Field.

If you have not realized it yet, Nikolas is totally fond of "Star Wars". Here he is sporting his Darth Vader sweat shirt and the hood turns into a mask.

Shaun (14) and our soon to be (11) Nikolas.

My sister met up with us on Saturday. She brought along her four grandkids. It is our tradition and all the kids love it.

It is hard to look at this picture knowing that Ava should be a part of this group.
She is never far from my thoughts.

Another one of our traditions is eating birthday dinner at the hibachi grill. Nikolas had lobster. He is the only kid I know that loves seafood at his age. All the other kids ordered chicken. No surprise there! 

What is left of the cake!

After dinner and birthday cake, we took a hike in the nearby woods that are part of the resort.

Who are these kids? The one in front of Marianne is Christopher and the one in front of me is Sophia  whereas to my left is Nikolas, Shaun, Collin and Joseph.

Right to left; Joseph, Christopher, Shaun, Collin, Nikolas and Sophia

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fun Filled Weekend

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Aubree and Josh

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Food for Thought

If you push someone away enough times, they will eventually stay away.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

This and That

I do not hide the fact that I have struggled with depression since my thirties nor that I take Zoloft on a daily basis or that I have been to a therapist in the past. I did not cause depression. Depression happened to me. Call it genetics. I learned over the years how to recognize early warning signs that I am becoming vulnerable to a bout of sadness and the triggers that can lead to that bout of sadness. I also have learned how to counteract the oncoming bout of sadness. What I cannot do is stop the sadness from coming altogether. I know how to arrest it. Stop the sadness from paralyzing me. I know what works for me.

Sunshine and Exercise

 Being outdoors taking a car ride, hiking, walking, bike riding. It does not matter as long as I am outside. If I do not have the energy to get in the car, I sit out on the balcony until I can get into that car.


What I eat and drink makes all the difference. Lots of water to flush out the system and remain hydrated. I increase protein and vegetables limit sugars and stay completely away from processed foods. Truth be told, I stay away from processed foods on a good day. Vitamins B, C, D, Calcium, Omega-3!


Laughing is a great serotonin boost.


It is impossible to feel sad when you experience daily living from innocent eyes.

Stress is a trigger for me that leads to bouts of depression. When I am under a lot of stress because  I am working in crisis mode whereas trying to juggle the responsibilities of work, and home for extended periods of time without a break and/or sleep, I feel vulnerable.

When I feel vulnerable other feelings get magnified.

Magnified means I miss Ava more and the current situation with my youngest son overwhelms me. It is on those nights the nightmares come and the tears cried late in the night when no one can hear me. If anyone has ever experienced that intense feeling of loss and loneliness, they would be able to relate, however most people do not relate therefore I have learned to keep those feelings to myself.

It was the weeks leading up to Halloween that resulted in the return of my sadness. Halloween just meant the beginning of the Fall/Winter holidays where family traditions are implemented and the excitement of the upcoming holidays are anticipated. For me it just means another holiday season without my granddaughter and my son. It means I have to dig deep down within myself for the energy to keep the rest of my sons and grandchildren together. It means being "left out" of some family festivities. It means "pretending" I am alright when I feel like my soul is dying within.

It also means I will be grateful for what I do have and the people around me who love and care about me. It means I will concentrate on those less fortunate than myself. Those folks who still suffer with active addiction and have lost everything and everyone as a result. Being kind goes a long way.

I will be there for my friend Barb whose husband lost his battle with an aggressive form of cancer yesterday morning after only being diagnosed one month ago.

I will take my grandsons to our annual Woodland Weekend Trip for Nikolas's birthday later this month and I am planning a Canadian vacation for Spring break with them. I already booked the flights and one hotel in Toronto and another one in Niagara Falls. I am currently researching another place where we will stay in a more secluded part of Ontario where we can be in range of Moose and other wildlife. Maybe I will rent a cabin. I am not sure yet. So far we will spend one night and two days in Toronto to see the Hockey Hall of Fame then spend four nights in Niagara Falls and go to the indoor waterpark, Clifton Hill, and the sky ride as well as all the things one does in exploring the falls. Niagara Falls will be the most expensive part of the trip because I booked an upscale hotel room on the Falls with floor to celling windows that look out over the falls with a fireplace. When I travel in a new country I like to have three home bases in different areas and generally there is always one area that may be a little costly. When we went to Ireland last year it was staying in the castle in Donegal whereas we stayed in a hotel room in Dublin then a cottage in County Mayo. We always rent a car so we can explore the towns and avoid most tourist traps. We like to be where the everyday normal folks are. When we were in Italy, the most expensive part was the Amalfi Coast.

Anyway, we had Aubree on Saturday and she is growing fast and we have to chase her through the house these days.