October has been quite a month. There isn't a word to describe its awkwardness, other than the fact that it has been awkward. I've also, unfortunately, put my camera down unless it is for professional events (weddings/portraits/etc.) Deacon's life is at its busiest, yet I don't have pictures to prove it. His baby book is at a standstill and I just feel crummy about it.
To sum up the good things in October I'll write in my favorite form...lists.
1) Family Reunion. Every year the Wolking family reunites in October in Tipp City, Ohio. The day is quite simple. Its an hour-ish drive up there, you sit, eat, talk, walk, and play. It is always so nice to catch up with all the Wolkings, especially the ones I don't get to see that often. One the way up, Doug's mother quizzed me on the family members, their children and other important details. Being an "in-law" is tough work! Tipp City is striking. It reminds me a lot of Falmouth, Kentucky. Small, quaint and charming. There are tiny storefronts with unique gifts, furniture and other nick-knacks. The park in Tipp City is nestled in between some of the most beautiful mature trees I've seen. The trunks of the trees twisted up high meeting their branches to the beautiful amber colored leaves that would wrap us in their sun-kissed glory, bringing some warmth to an otherwise chilly day. The younger kids played, the older kids gossiped and the adults teased, drank, laughed and remembered the "good ole' days". It was a peaceful day and a good reminder of how lucky I am to be married into such a wonderful family.
2) Cancun. Doug and I were fortunate enough to go to Cancun for 3 days/4 nights with my co-workers Jason and Vicki Crawford. This meant we had to leave Deacon. He was perfectly safe and sound with his Grandmas Wolking, but that still didn't make it any easier for me to get on a plane, fly out of the country and not see my little guy for what seemed to be an eternity. The first 2 days were fine, almost as if Deacon didn't even miss us, but by Saturday and especially Sunday, Deacon (accounted to us by Doug's mom) would cry and ask where we were. It was heartbreaking to hear that over the phone knowing there wasn't a whole lot we could do about it. The sad part is that I planned this trip to be easy for him. We had a letter for him every day we were gone with a picture to color and an activity that he could do with his grandma, but it just wasn't "us". By the time we landed in Atlanta airport on Sunday (while trying to kill 4 1/2 hrs before our flight home) Deacon refused to talk to us. tragic. I sat there in Fridays eating my overpriced burger in tears when I heard Doug sigh and say, "he is so upset that we aren't home he doesn't even want to talk to us." That 4 1/2 hour layover suddenly became 24 hours. Its endless--I never thought I would make it home, plus with a thunderstorm in the forecast I was also frightened that our flight could very well be canceled. Luckily it wasn't. We were home by midnight and it was heaven when I crawled into his room after I heard the little pitter-patter of his feet. I opened his gate only to see his huge smile--that moment is etched in my brain forever. Doug and I loved the opportunity to go to Cancun, but when it was all said and done, we were SO SO SO happy to be home.
I guess I should back track so you can hear about the trip, huh?! After a smooth 2-flight jaunt, we landed safetly in Cancun, hopped on a bus and rode 20 minutes to the RIU Palace Las Americas. It was stunning. You walk into the lobby, look out the sliding doors to see an infinity pool practically bumped up next to the ocean. Our rooms were nice, the shower was amazing (I have a thing for hotels and good showers, most of them are crappy!) and the fridge was stocked. This was an all-inclusive resort: food/drinks/non-motorized sports were all included. I looked at Doug on Friday and said, "I haven't been this bored in years...and I like it!" I read a book in three days (unheard of for me) and sat in the pool the other times I wasn't reading. The food was decent---not incredible or memorable, but definitely better than Ok. That should surprise anyone, especially if you have been to an all inclusive before. They are cooking for for THOUSANDS of people--can't expect it to be gourmet. There were certain food groups I stayed away from: Dairy being the biggest. The milk was made from powder, the cheese was different and the eggs had a really weird sheen to them! My diet consisted of Bread and fruit and pasta (aka assortment of carbs). There was a swim-up bar, lots of great music, amazing sea breeze and just enough wind to keep the heat off your skin. It was such a nice time, but again---glad to be home! We didn't bother with the excursions because of the cost, and well it is just smart to stay on the resort. We did manage to walk across the street to go to the mall (aka indoor market) which reminded me of the Gatlinburg strip! Walking out of the beautiful hotel and onto the real streets of Cancun made me realize how much they rely on tourism. Here we were in this palace, but right outside of those walls were shanties with tin roofs, locals begging for our business and a mall that is a joke (in American terms). It is a little depressing part of my trip. It must be such a hard life to stand on the streets begging to get innocent travelers to buy into time shares do fake excursions or try and sell random crap we'll never use. It's their way of life and if they don't ask or sell, they don't get to feed their family. Their just doing what they have to in order to survive--I just felt terrible, again--it did serve a reminder for me to be grateful for what I do have.
3) Mass. I've been trying to get back in the habit of going to daily Mass. I forgot how peaceful it was and how it fueled me for the day. I hope to carry my October "good habits" into November, because I like the way Mass makes me feel, and I want to continue to feel that way!
4) Deacon. He is a character. He is holding "real" conversations. He uses hand gestures and hysterical facial expressions. He is using bigger words and best of all, he is singing---all.the.time! My little boy has a sweet little voice on him and it is our favorite thing to sing on the way home from school. Sometimes he even tells me to turn off the music so we can see it by ourselves--precious. Having my own personal concert from my little rock star makes my heart so happy.
5) Work. It challenging, scary, questionable and rewarding all at once. I am not going to get into much here, but professionally I am being challenged more than I ever thought could be possible. I am happy that I am growing professionally (new department, new job role) but also have to admit to myself that it is an uncomfortable transition as well. I went from knowing what to do, to praying that I don't skrew something up! Not really that extreme but to say that my confidence has been stirred is an understatement. I am so lucky, however to have a boss that understands my situation, supports me immensely and motivates me to continue to do what I am doing. She is the difference and I'll be forever grateful!
So there you have it. That's the good that came from October. More good than bad, but plenty of awkward moments in between. But, I've come to the conclusion that if I didn't have any awkward moments, I'd not have any good moments--You have to have some awkward phases in you life in order to get great outcomes.
Hopefully I'll be a better blogger for November--I can already tell you I'll have lots to blog about!