Friday, January 18, 2013

McInelly Insults

We have (proudly) tried to keep our kids as innocent as possible- we know that it won't last forever, but we'd like them to be kids as long as possible.  One example of this is in their insults.  For instance:

"What do you think you're doing, you fool?"

"You're not my best sister!"

"She looked at me mean!"

" 'Mom, Daddy said the S word!!!'

'Really?  (I think about it a minute.)  What is the S word?'

'Stupid.' "

And just in case you were wondering, the D word is 'dumb.' 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas 2012

I have been very vocal over the years about how I refuse to travel for the holidays- how with small children, presents, weather, and desired comforts, it's just not logical.  Ah yes, how I yummy those words were when I ate them last month.

Knowing that this probably my mom's last Christmas, Kaylon and I made the decision to drive (uh, hello, 1000$/person plane tickets) nonstop across the United States to Arizona over Christmas break (Kaylon needed to get back to work before Jan 2).  We left the Friday before Christmas- the goal was to leave at 8pm, with the girls ready for bed and one of us to fall asleep while the other drove.  Of course Murphy's law had to come into play- Moira got her fingers closed in the hinge side of the front door and Yoda tore off a nail at the neighbor's house 5 minutes after dropping him off.  Lots of ice for Moira, a 150$ trip to the vet, and a 2.5 hour delay later we were in the van driving southeast. I'll save you the details of the drive- let's just say it was horrible at some moments- tolerable in others, but we managed it in less than 48 hours.

Christmas was wonderful- All of mom's eight grandchildren were there at some point Christmas morning, where my sister's Christmas tree was completely surrounded my presents.  The cousins had a great time playing/fighting with each other, and are finally at an age where they will remember one another.   Mom had a great week health-wise.  She was up and about, ate well (for her) and had more energy than I expected.  We got to spend lots of time together- even got to go to the temple with Angela, while Kaylon watched all 8 grandkids (Thanks Honey!).  We had grand plans of taking family pictures which didn't happen, but we did manage to get some before we got back on the road for Virginia.

I swore I would never do it, but I will never regret driving to Arizona and spending Christmas with my mom.  Not even the drive home through snow, rain, fog, and cold would do that.  It was a week to be remembered and totally worth everything I did and more.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


 In November Kaylon and I got to take a trip- sans les enfants- to Jamaica.  It was the first such travel for us ever- even before kids the only vacations we took were to go see family.  We are forever grateful to Grandma Elyse for flying out to take care of the girls- and I guess they had a good time, since she keeps telling them to send us on another vacation.

Needless to say we were excited and we lived it up as much as possible.  We arrived in Jamaica on Friday afternoon and took a 1.5 hr resort shuttle to Couples Tower Isle- a couple only (no kids) resort in Ocho Rios.  Our driver gave us a lot of information on the island, showed us landmarks, and really helped us feel welcome.  We were amazed by all the goats on the side of the road, and saddened by the general poverty everywhere.

The resort itself was beautiful.  A private beach, small garden, old fashioned charm- we fell in love immediately.  We must have confused them by constantly turning down the included-in-the-price- alcohol, but oh well.  The Jamaican lemonades were amazing.  We sprang for one of the best rooms in the place, and we were glad that we did- beautiful view from our private balcony, and most importantly for Kaylon, a huge hot tub.  It was used every day.

I've heard that in some all inclusive resorts that the food is lacking, but that wasn't true here.  We loved everything we tried (unless it was too spicy for me, but I'm a wuss that way).  We dressed up every night to fully enjoy the atmosphere.
We tried ordering in breakfast the first morning to eat on our balcony, but then we saw the breakfast buffet later, and always ate at the restaurant after that- the variety of food was incredible.


Our goal was to do as much as possible while we were there.  Saturday we signed up right away for snorkeling that day as well as scuba classes for Monday.  They had lots of small boats to try out, and we had fun paddling around trying to avoid direct, extended views of the nudist island.  And of course we swam, and sunned, and lounged on floating cushions, enjoying a warmth that no longer existed in Washington DC.   Saturday night was the Gala- a huge buffet and mixer.

Through some research we discovered that Sunday was the best day to climb Dunn's River Falls, since the cruise boats didn't come to shore that day, so we dedicated our morning to our one excursion.  The guides make it fun and safe- you climb in a chain the entire way up- holding hands, male/female to even things out.  

After the falls we had our spa appointment- Kaylon got a massage and I got a peppermint wrap.  I would have enjoyed mine more had I not already been sunburned... Still enjoyable experience and we both had wonderful attendants.

Monday was our busiest day!  We showed up hoping we had been bumped up from waiting list to join the scuba group, and we had!  It was an introductory dive- we did some book learning, we practiced in the pool, and then went of the afternoon dive.  One of the best non-dive moments of the day?  When the dive master was jotting down our sizes, asked Kaylon his, and then just put down 'Small' for me.  THAT was when I felt all my hard work (15 lbs in about that many weeks) really pay off!

We were both nervous, but excited.  The hardest thing for me was believing that I could breath underwater- it's one thing to hold your breath- something else to take that first breath and not get water in your lungs!  We absolutely loved it all though- if we lived someplace warmed we would have gotten certified, but we figure it's not worth our money- for now... :)  I did get stung by something on the way back up the rope to the boat- still don't know what it was, but it caused a lot of pain for the rest of the day until we figured out of the extract the barbs and got some medication to apply on it.

We made it back in to to go on our sunset catamaran cruise.  Halfway through they stopped in a cove and let us jump in a swim.  They coerced me into getting up and dancing, though I sat down as soon as possible.

Monday night was the big beach party- they set up tables in the sand and served a huge Jamaican buffet outside.  Traditional Jamaican dancers and acrobats entertained- Kaylon even got chosen to participate in some bamboo jumping (ask him to see the video sometime).  We sat at a great table where we met another couple that we ended up hanging out with later.  Then near the pool they set up vendors where we did all our souvenir shopping- well Kaylon did.  I'm no good at negotiating, so I showed him what I liked and then left so I didn't mess up his deals.

Tuesday was more snorkeling, swimming, delicious food, and fun.  We tried to go on a night snokel trip but it was cancelled due to weather.  We went to the open air fine- Chinese cuisine restaurant instead, enjoying our last romantic night in a more low- key way.

Wednesday morning was sad.  While we were excited to see our girls, whom we missed like crazy, we knew that reality would come back as well- no one making our food, cleaning our rooms, or making sure we were entertained.  No beautiful tropical view out our window, or warm tropical breeze.  So after packing we took off our shoes and put our feet up one last time- soaking up those last rays of sun before our shuttle whisked us back to the airport.

We had a fantastic time- we can't say enough good things about the Couples' brand, or the people of Jamaica.  We especially loved the all adults/ all couples aspect of the resort- not having to worry about kids underfoot or singles trying to hook up created a really calming, romantic atmosphere. We realize that we should have been doing this a long time ago- getting time along every once in a while, and we look forward to doing it more often.   

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Too Real

Have you ever resisted writing something for fear that doing so would make it reality?

Have you ever stopped writing everything because you feel like a fraud if you don't mention the unwritten truth?

My mom is dying.  The cancer is in her brain, abdomen, bones, and lungs now.

That is my too real reality.

Now I can write again.