A GETAWAY TO THE KEYS

I was exhausted…even before I knew that I would spend the day before our anniversary trip being delayed in a DC airport for 8 hours – coming home at 4AM…I was exhausted.  The month of March was crazy for me.  Work trips.  Conferences.  A week long family cruise (more on that later).  A week without my nanny, who was on vacation.  I was done.

I had big plans for our 5th Anniversary originally…but I was also dealing with low energy, very limited time, and definitely no desire to jump on another flight….even to a gorgeous island.  So my husband and I decided to do a quick getaway for 2 days, right in our backyard.

I’ve lived in Miami for close to 35 years…and I’ve never truly experienced the Keys.  I remember going to Key Largo a few times with my parents – but I really don’t remember its beauty.  Well, that changed on this trip. But even the 4-hour car drive all the way to Key West was too much for me to bear.  We decided to head to Islamorada, which was a short 2 hour drive from Miami.  The Keys was exactly what I needed.  Peaceful, tranquil, laid back and charming.  I just wish we had more time to spend…but we will be back soon.  I’m sharing a few of my favorite photos from our trip – shot by my personal photographer…my husband.

The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
Let’s start here. I can’t get enough of this photo. It just makes me want to breathe! And this was our backyard…literally….Our view in the morning and all day…just steps away from the amazing house we stayed in.
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys
We stayed at The Mooring Village and Spa in Islamorada. Its a beautiful collection of 18 cottages and homes – some beachfront…some not. Thankfully we had some friends that got us into the Blue Charlotte – which is the largest home on the property!
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
THIS is the Blue Charlotte…we walked in wishing we had our friends with us. Its a 3 bedroom; 2 story home right on the beach. With charming decor and a full wrap around balcony…this was a piece of heaven that came right on time!
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
Front view of the Blue Charlotte
Islamorada; The Mooring Village; Florida Keys
Front Porch Life
The Mooring Village; Islamorada; The Keys; Blue Charlotte
I am taking it all in…enjoying my breathing space.

15 THINGS FOR 2015

Going into a new year always brings about new promises to yourself…resolutions, goals, or however you chose to frame it.  For me – while I’ve gone away from setting “resolutions” that I’ll break in a week – there are a few things that I want to do MORE of this year that are easily attainable, with a little focus and balance throughout the year.  I thought I would share my top 15 things that I’m committing to do more of.  And instead of waiting til December 31st – I’ll make sure to check in from time to time to make sure I am on task.  Here goes:

15 things to do more of in 2015:  (in no particular order)

  1. Drink more water.  Just because it’s good for you.  I would love to drink at least 6-8 glasses a day.  Join me?
  2. Take better care of myself.  For me, that means working out at least 3-4 times a week. Whether it’s with my trainer, a yoga class or simply walking around the neighborhood.  Either way, I need to have a moment of focus on my physical being with the intent of improving my health.
  3. Eat healthier.  It kinda goes with 1 and 2.  I just need to cut out some sugar.  Drop the soda.  Subsitute juicing for a meal a few times out of the week.  All baby steps.
  4. More family dates.  We started this in 2014 and I would like to do this once a month. Whether it’s fun time at the park, going to a show or just going out for ice cream.  Even though we do things on the weekends with the kids – this would be a scheduled date with our family – once a month.
  5. Date night with the mister.  Same theory as family dates…except this would be just him and I.
  6. Try a new restaurant once a month.  This can coincide with date night with the mister.  The restaurant scene in Miami is booming and I think we should take full advantage.
  7. Clutter free sessions.  I usually do this but lately with two kids – its been tough. Clutter free sessions involve a bottle of wine…music…and cleaning out the house.  Purpose of this?  Helps keep the house organized.  And 4 of these sessions throughout the year will keep your house clutter free!  Schedule them around winter, spring, summer and fall.  Its like spring cleaning four times a year.
  8. Church!  I’ve been slacking!! And while I have a good excuse with two babies under two – I find time for other things. I should be able to figure out getting to church.  It’s already been discussed with the mister and we are working on a master plan. Starting this Sunday.  Bottom line – we have to keep our spiritual lives active and healthy.  Which leads to my next to do…
  9. Pray.  It’s hard, I know.  But we were doing this well for some time and then of course, the babies threw us off.  It’s always the babies fault.  Regardless, we need to pray more…as a family.  It’s time devoted for us to connect spiritually, and for us all to connect with the source of our strength.  And we need him as close to us as possible…the more we talk to him, the more we will hear from him.
  10. Return calls.  And text.  This was hard for me when I was single with little responsibility.  It’s even harder now.  And those around me know I am TERRIBLE at this.  So I can just promise to do better.
  11. Shop less.  On line shopping has gotten the best of me the last few years.  Between Amazon, Zulily, Gilt and more – it’s gotten outta hand.  I need to stop.  Or at least slow down.
  12. Organize my photos.  Seems trivial but with two kids – I am constantly snapping pics on my phone.  I need to print more photos to put around the house and not rely on instagram to be my life’s album.  I also need to organize photos on my computer via iPhoto.  I know I am not the only one.
  13. Read.  It’s so hard…I don’t have time – and I have so many magazine subscriptions that just pile up in the corner of my room that I convince myself that I will get to.  So many great books that I would love to dive into and not just purchase for my home library.  Anyone has any suggestions on how to realistically manage this one?
  14. Blog more!!!  I have this great vehicle to share my thoughts, experiences and journey. Sometimes I just don’t have the time…other times – I don’t feel like people really care what I have to say.  Regardless, I would love to blog at  least once a week and share my thoughts with the world.
  15. Celebrate life.  I think I did that more this year than ever before…and I want to continue on this path.  Life is to be celebrated.  Birthdays, holidays, anniversary, great accomplishments, small victories…take a moment…soak it up…celebrate…and be thankful for it all!

Would love to know what you’ve recommitted yourself to for 2015…please share!  Your thoughts will inspire others.

Here’s to getting it done…Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Lisa

SURVIVING LIFE WITHOUT MOM

There are no words to express the love between a mother and their child.  And definitely harder to express the loss of a parent.  My mother’s name was Margareth Joseph, we called her Maggie for short.  Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death.  She passed away at 4:08AM, May 10, 2004…..on Mother’s Day.  As if losing your mom is not cruel enough.

My mother battled with breast cancer for five years…I was 28 when she passed – she had just turned 50 years old….twelve days before her death.  I had a 50th birthday dinner party for her at one of her favorite restaurants in Miami…the Rusty Pelican. I surprised her with her sisters and brothers who flew in town.  She was quiet most of the dinner…she spent the time looking closely at everyone as if she knew it would be our last time all together.  For her 50th birthday, I presented her with a book of notes that I had people in the family write to her – letting them know how much she meant to them and their favorite memories of her.  It was something she wanted to know…I remember a few weeks earlier, laying on her in bed and she asked me what was one of my favorite memories of her.  I told her it was when she would take me to her office after school and I would sit back and admire how busy she looked on her desk.  She had so many piles of paper and she seemed to multi-task so easily.  I remember saying to myself…”One day – I wanna be that!  I wanna be a SECRETARY!!!!”  When I told her that story, she laughed so hard, she had tears in her eyes.  She loved that story and I knew the gift of favorite memories would be a perfect gift for her.

MY SISTER’S STORY OF SURVIVAL: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

My sister and I have always had a close relationship…we’re only 1.5 years apart – grew up in a home with parents who displayed love and affection…Married 32 years – we NEVER saw our parents raise their voice at each other.  My parents taught us to be strong, independent women, showed us the finer things in life – because they never wanted us to ever settle for less. So it came as a shock to me when my sister shared her story of being involved in a brutal, domestic violent filled relationship – for seven years.  And it all happened right under my nose.

To be clear, I knew something wasn’t right…I HATED the guy she was with…(yes, I know hate is a strong word…but I couldn’t find a stronger one to use.)  Anyone who was in my life during that time period knows that I was an emotional wreck…In 2004, my mother passed away, my sister was living in a different city with a guy that I didn’t like and I could not put my hands on what was wrong…and I was very scared for my nieces.  I would get phone calls from family members who lived close to my sister – they would tell me about incidents they witnessed that they felt was out of character for my sister…and when I would call to check in on her – she would always say that everything was ok.  In my heart and spirit, I knew this was not the case –  there was nothing I could do about it, but pray.  My sister and I grew distant during that time because to me, she just was not the same person I knew.