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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Choosing Me.

Everyone deserves to be loved for who they are, not what someone wants them to be.

One of the biggest problems in relationships exists when we lose sight of loving our significant other for themselves. When we stop seeing that person as the extraordinarily unique human they are and start seeing the negative, that’s when the relationship shifts. We begin expecting instead of accepting.

Let’s be real here, it’s easy to love someone when things are perfect. When everything is wonderful and you’re blind to flaws and you’re on that honeymoon high. That point when infatuation tangles up with love and it’s all-encompassing. But, infatuation is petty, self-seeking, and a fragile imitation of love. It can be exciting but superficial. Loving someone when things get tough, when you realize you’re both imperfect when you keep messing up and getting everything wrong, that’s when you see what love is made of. Anyone can love someone who’s doing everything right and being everything you want and need all the time. But the exquisite thing about love is, it’s in the times when you are at your lowest when you feel so broken when you’re lost, but you see them standing by you no matter the challenge ahead, that’s when you know how real it is. That’s when you feel it the most.

The magic is when you begin to see the flaws and loving that person despite it all. Letting go of who you think they should be or what they should do and instead, choosing who they are is the key to deep and profound love. Creating a safe space for vulnerability and intimacy and finding that sweet spot. Finding your bubble and getting back there as much as possible, that’s the key.

So, no matter how many things I get wrong, how much I mess up I always want you to know how entrenched inside of myself, my love is for you. How many times over I choose you and how you love me despite myself. I know I struggle to get it right sometimes, and I know there are times that I don’t show you the love you deserve but I promise it’s there. I could never love another soul the way I love you.

Image may contain: Jackie Sexton, plant and outdoorThank you for loving me regardless of my flaws, for choosing me. And thank you for giving me another Christmas with you. You are everything I ever wanted, plus more.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Who are we to judge?

When you become a parent, I think it’s natural to have expectations and preconceived ideas of what the little person you have created, is going to be like. Imagining the future and what that could look like.

Image may contain: people sitting and textBut, as they grow, you begin to see them become this little person who is unique and special. At that point, you should let go of the idea and expectations you had in your mind at the beginning. You should grow as a parent. Because, this child, this little human being you are raising, is their very own little person. They have ideas and personality and a spirit all their own.

Accepting that little human is your job as a parent.

Your job is not to mold them into who YOU want them to become. 

Your job is not to tear down their spirit and build it up to your expectations. 

Your child is not your blank slate to create on, nor are they your clay to mold, nor a miniature version of you. Your child is a person, growing and learning and figuring out their place in the world. We as parents should open that space for them. We should teach, celebrate, guide and love. Simple.

Who are we to judge?

We are people too, imperfect and learning for ourselves. We have no manual, no copy of what life and parenting are supposed to be. We are all on this journey.

We, as parents, need to learn our children are who they are supposed to be. They are different from us and that’s ok. They are supposed to be different from us. 

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Cancun Family Vacation Review

There is no secret about the fact that I love traveling.

The world is so big and there is so much of it to see and I am determined to see as much of it as I can.

Image may contain: one or more peopleSo, this year when planning our big trip for the year we knew we wanted to include the boys and maybe get them interested in travel. We looked and planned and budgeted and eventually decided on taking them to Cancun. I am so glad we did. The experience of traveling internationally and seeing a whole new culture is something, I hope, they will always remember.

I am not going to lie, I was so nervous about traveling with them to a foreign country because it can be so stressful and a bit complicated. But, lucky for us everything went so smoothly. Other than a little hiccup getting stuck in downtown Cancun on Saturday night, the whole trip was perfect. So let me give you the highlights!

First off, we booked our trip with Cheap Caribbean  and got a fantastic deal. We were able to score the boy's flights' free with ours and book at Crown Paradise that was an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort. If you are traveling with a family and want to go a resort that welcomes kids, this one is it. From the multiple pools to the slides, and kids club, there was so much to do the boys never even uttered the word "bored" the entire trip. 

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Kids Club

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The beach at the resort

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Day 1: We spent traveling. Traveling with kids can be challenging but between extra chargers and some snacks we made it into Cancun without a hiccup. The biggest thing I read when researching was finding reliable hotel transport. I booked a month in advance with Olympus Tours so, when we arrived our driver was waiting with ice cold water and some info about the city. I highly recommend booking ahead of time to avoid going through the dozens of transport companies looking to sell you their services upon arrival. 

Once we were dropped off at the resort we checked in. Everyone at Crown was so nice, let me warn you though, they will try to set you up for a sales breakfast the next morning. If you aren't interested, don't do it. They may tell you it's for something else, but if they are asking for a reservation for breakfast, say no. 

Once we dropped off our bags, we admired the view and then set off to explore the resort. We ate at one of the snack bars and then hit the beach. 

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Day 2: We spent the day on the resort. Between the beach, slides, pool and kids club we stopped only when we grabbed food at the buffet. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted and ready for the excursion the next day.
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Day 3: We took an excursion to Tulum and a little dip in a Cenote. The Mayan ruins were amazing to see but my advice is, dress comfortably. There is a lot of walking and it is HOT. The excursion I booked with Get Your Guide , best place to read reviews and find a company that meets your needs. 

The perfect end to a hot tour was swimming in a cenote. Coolest experience of the trip. 

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Image may contain: drinkDay 4: Shopping in downtown Cancun. The best part of this is the negotiating prices. I love to haggle and find bargains and that's how the markets are. Plus, we found a Starbucks!
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Day 5: Our big excursion for the week was Xcaret. The park was a mix of a natural water park and Mexican culture. My big advice on this one, make sure you book transport. I spent an hour on the phone the night before because I booked transport and they couldn't find the reservation, talk about frustrating. But, the park was a great experience. After leaving the resort super early, we arrived at the park and immediately hit the underground river. An hour swimming through a river is super exhausting so, we hit the gorgeous beach at the top of the park that was filled with hammocks. Gorgeous. Snorkeling, sightseeing and lunch later, we headed back to the resort. The park was a great experience.

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Day 6: Cancun Marathon! So, I think it's best seeing a new place on foot. Plus, my wife is a BIG encourager so I found myself registered for a race. I'm glad I did though. What a cool experience! I had no clue what anyone was saying or if I was even in the right corral, but it is definetly one of those races I won't forget. After 13.1 miles of cancun heat, I felt accomplished and like I had a good ending to a fantastic week in Mexico.

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Travel day: After dragging ourselves out of paradise we made it home. Due to some wintery weather, we had a few cancellations and delays but we made it home. I think my kiddos first international trip was a success and we are already planning our next adventure. Image may contain: ocean, sky, cloud, tree, outdoor, nature and water