I WANT to apologize for missing so many Wednesday Weekly posts while I’ve been away on vacay, but then again, it’s possible that I may have gained enough inspiration and rejuvenation from these last few weeks to spark the next umpteen posts… and for that I am not sorry!
I’m officially beyond my “blogger’s block” and full of things I want to share with the world (so prepare yourself to be blogged out, or bored, depending on how worthy-of-being-read my next words may be)!
Painting the Background
Every summer since Jared and I have been married, we’ve spent two weeks in Palm Springs, fully embracing the financial advantages of having parents with a Marriott timeshare! It’s always been the highlight of our year – the place where we recover from our annual youth summer camp and escape from all the emotional taxes of pastoral work.
That is until two years ago, when vacation for my husband became riddled with fear and anxiety; he began experiencing pain and discomfort so unusual and impossible to ignore that he decided it was time to give the ol’ “self exam”. Poor guy, even after discovering a lump, I kept telling him he needed to stop being such a hypochondriac and just enjoy his vacation while it lasted because I was SURE it was a common cyst and that he was totally fine. He called our physician who scheduled him a visit for the day after we arrived home, and from here everything progressed very quickly. We hadn’t even made it out of the hospital parking garage when he was called back in to review his test results with a specialist… then just two days later, I found myself sitting in a waiting room while my husband was having surgery to remove testicular cancer from his body.
Being pregnant at the time, the surgeon warned us that we could have fertility problems in the future, but encouraged us to be thankful that we already had one on the way. The whole situation was so sudden and surreal that I found myself in denial of the words I was hearing. THIS HAD TO BE A DREAM; Just three days before I was laying in the desert sun, having a conversation with Jared about how it felt like we were FINALLY entering a season of rest in our lives after years of different trials, and we were so excited to be starting a family together. My… how life is unpredictable! Needless to say, that trip ended rather abruptly and two months later I entered the sleepless life of new-mommyville.
Last summer we tried the whole “stay-cation” thing… we had a 9 month old baby, still living in our cramped condo, and in the process of getting the newly purchased colonial move-in-ready. It seemed ridiculous to go out of town at such a time, so the whole idea of vacationing at home seemed to be the responsible thing to do. Now looking back, and taking into consideration the stress of the previous year, the wisest thing we could’ve done was get away and rest before taking on the HUGE task of a remodel! We used up all my hubby’s PTO, spent lots of money, and had nothing much to show for it besides exhaustion. Instead of shopping bags full of hot deals scored at the Desert Hills Outlets, we had not-so-hot bags under our eyes; Instead of using our two weeks of “extra” time making gobs of headway on the house as planned, we found ourselves quickly running out of steam (or rather discovering there was no steam left in our tanks to start with). We said, NEVER AGAIN!
Note: If you live in a remodel, you simply GOTTA GET AWAY, even if you don’t feel like you need it. Please hear me loud and clear, DIYers, I’m trying to save you from a burnout! #yourPOOFpoint
Our Renovation Vacation
Now that you have that bit of background, lets talk about the brutal irony of this year’s vacation from renovation…
I’ve always known that God has a real sense of humor, but now I’m asking myself, “What kind of humor is this anyway???” God! It’s cruel and unusual punishment is what it is! (Not really, but He gets my jest!)
There comes a time when even the most beautiful things need a little facelift in order to remain beauty-full, and THIS year, it was my palm paradise that was scheduled for upkeep. We ran away from the unfinished chaos we call home to be in a place that would bring some sorta “feeling of completion” or whatever, just to find ourselves amidst the renno of the decade! Totally stupid and ethereal sounding, but true…
Imagine laying out at the pool that first morning of your highly anticipated getaway, tanning your sun-thirsty legs thinking, “Now this, THIS RIGHT HERE people, is what I’ve neeeeeeeeeeeeeded!!! But wait, before you finish that fantastic thought… CRASH! CLANK! CLATTER! BOOOOOM! Wait for it… EEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRK! TAP-TAP! BAMMM! And don’t ignore the super sexy bulldozer to your left that loves to back-it-up like BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEEP! Then, the foul sound of **** swear words …………. “Oh sorry, is that coming from my face!?” Well ehhhemmm, excuse me, but maybe I wouldn’t have such a dirty mouth if there wasn’t a blankin’ work crew throwing windows and walls over the balcony into those eyesores called dumpsters right there! This is definitely NOT what I needed. If I hear one more drill I think I’m gonna lose my mind! WHAT’S THAT? Oh NBD, they’re just grinding out a giant hole in the concrete less than 5 feet away from my baby boy as he obliviously floats in the pool! “I appreciate the new safety railing, but in the meantime could you guys provide safety goggles for all the innocent bystanders too? Not professional, Mister Marriott!”
We had hoped it wouldn’t last long, but it continued on through day 2, 3, 4… Everyday until the day when we had to move rooms because our suite was next in line for renovating! In the end, the move was good because although we lost an amazing view, the worker’s outhouses parked in front of our building were starting to get a little ripe in the extreme heat! #ihatehoneybuckets I know I sound high maintenance right now, but when paying to stay in a nice resort, you feel entitled to a certain level of snootiness! Am I right?
It’s really the small things that matter when you live without certain luxuries – actual countertops instead of chopped up makeshift surfaces, finished closets and flooring, functioning faucets with adequate water pressure… One of the conversations we had on the 17hr drive down there was seriously about how much we were looking forward to using a shower that actually drained! AND.THEN.IT.DIDN’T. Because not being ankle-deep in my dirty body water was just too much to ask, apparently. “Yes, I WILL take some of that cheeeeese with my whine, thank YOU!” #notashamed
Being creatures of habit and tradition, it’s funny how dependent one can become on consistency and familiarity. There are a few things we do EVERY YEAR when in Palm Springs… but as I’ve been saying, this year things were just different.
Amuse me by reading some of these meaningless details:
The River – a development similar to Bridgeport Village that was built atop a manmade river, full of cute shops, nice restaurants, movie theatre, & more. This year, “The River” had no river. All the water had been emptied because they were fixing the drainage system and it felt like you were dining in an empty dam!
College of the Dessert Street Market – This is something we’ve always enjoyed doing on Sundays, usually full of 100’s of tents selling fun things like unique food/drink, clothing, accessories, knockoffs like Louis Vuitton & Chanel where I’ve found fake copies of designer purses and sunglasses for dirt cheap. This year… It was nothing but an empty parking lot with maybe 10-20 tents, none of which had anything worthy of buying… Unless you’re looking for some bad-smelling perfumes? Anybody???
Dessert Hills Outlets – Only the greatest outlets around!!! As if they weren’t big enough already, they were in the middle of expansion, so the walkways were all boarded up, much like being funneled through a rat race! But hey, at least they were still open! Actually, this was my favorite year of shopping to date! #deals&steals
Tanning – Normally there’s nothin’ but clear skies and blazin’ sun… This year there were days that were cloudy, rainy, and even a couple of flash floods! (thank goodness for iPhone emergency alerts!)
Sleeping In – Ezekiel normally sleeps from 8pm – 8am every night… But his California clock was set to go off every morning between 4a and 6:30a! I am NOT a morning person whatsoEVER!
Driving – Ok it doesn’t fall under “tradition” as much as necessity, but it seemed as though every major road to get from point A to point B was crawling with flaggers, cones, and gravel! Did the whole city get together and decide to have a giant work party!? The good thing is, next year should be better than ever! Right???
All things aside…
… We still enjoyed every moment!
In a way, I feel like my life has been under construction… some sort of “spiritual renovation” if you will. Every which way I turn, there’s always some blaring reminder that I am far too reliant upon circumstances, environment, and experiences for my contentment and peace of mind. I often find that REALITY FALLS SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS, yet, I continue to set myself up for disappointment by letting myself romanticize and anticipate the unknown. Not a healthy strategy for happiness! (My dad tried to teach me this lesson after a few major letdowns I had growing up… Yet it continues to be one of my silly struggles in life, haha!) So, I’ve decided that from here on out I’m going to try and focus all my energy on TODAY… Not tomorrow, not the next big thing, not where I’m gonna be or where I want to be; I need to learn to find JOY in the here and now, EVEN IF THE HERE & NOW IS LESS THAN WHAT IT COULD BE. (PS: this includes health, finances, relationships, parenting, ministry, business, My Colonial Remodel, all my many goals & dreams… oh and next year’s vacation!) Matt. 6:25-34
There – that’s my deep insight for your coming weekend!
Stay tuned for Wednesday’s “WIBD” (what I’ve been doing) Hint: It involves some MAJOR nesting!
Enjoy your Friday, Friends!