Monday, January 2, 2017

PRESENCE > PRESENTS

I would like to apologize for my lack of posts at the end of December. Although I sort of gave you all a heads up that it would happen (especially with all of the time and effort that went into making the #12DaysOfCarleesChristmas a HUGE success), I still wanted to issue a public apology in case you were checking in and left with silence.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw my goal for the week and a half that the hubby and I were back in Michigan spending the holidays with our families...

Posted on my Instagram account before we left for Michigan

Yup, BE PRESENT! We get to see our families very infrequently (both families live in Michigan... about 2,000 miles away from us in Southern California), so when we get a chance to see them, we want to do our best to take advantage of every moment we have together (even if that means less sleep or neglecting social media).

We were still able to take a couple minutes for ourselves here and there (both the hubby and I had to work a bit while back in the Mitten State, as well as get in a couple workouts and runs), but for the most part we dedicated as much of our time to those we were physically with! #NoPhones #NoEmail #NoSocialMedia

Source

If we were a bit absent, whether it was over text message, on email or over social media - I am sorry! I am sorry for not giving you the heads up that we were giving our families our full attention. If you are waiting on a reply, please know that I will get back to you ASAP (especially now that I am finally getting back on a regular routine).

In case you were wondering what we were up to while we were gone, here are some pics from a few of our adventures:

We went with the nephews to a trampoline park. This was my first time going and I had a blast (as did the boys). Unfortunately my fibromyalgia has since flared up (I suspect this was the originating cause) and I've been in major pain.


While at my mother-in-law's house, I snuck out one morning to get in 5 miles on the snowy trails. I give MAJOR PROPS to all of the runners out there running in the elements (I don't know if I lived somewhere that wasn't 70* and sunny 350 days of the year if I'd be as dedicated to running).

If you watch my IG stories you saw me acting like Snow White and having
conversations with deer along my morning run ;)

The hubby and I love walking around Downtown Rochester whenever we're back. All of the businesses deck out their storefronts for Christmas and it forces you into the holiday mood! (The lights go on for about five blocks, it's AMAZING!)


We wanted to go to a Detroit Red Wings game while we were back, but there was only one home game and the ticket prices were outrageous. Thankfully the Toledo Walleye were in town so we went to a game with my parents and brother.

This is "Cat Trick"... sort of like Patrick...

My cousins, who were hosting Christmas for my dad's side of the family, live in Ann Arbor. The hubby and I both went to the University of Michigan (we met our freshman year, when he liked the girl who lived across from me in the dorms), so any time we get the chance to visit Ann Arbor we gobble up every moment! Obviously we stopped by The Big House to snap a quick picture (and, yes, I had season tickets to the games all four years - it was FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC!).


Since we did our family time on Christmas Eve in Ann Arbor, my mom, dad, hubby and I decided that on Christmas we would throw the sleds in the car and head to Maumee Bay. (It was supposed to rain, with the temps in the high 50s, on the day after Christmas, so we knew we had limited time to get in some sledding while we were back.)


My mom 'found' yoga a few years back and has always told me I would love it. Once I finally gave it a go, I knew she was right. We ended up doing the SeaWheeze Yoga Practice that I am loving lately and both felt great afterwards.


We try our best to give back to our community. This year the mission in Toledo didn't need help serving any meals, so we went to the animal shelter to volunteer for a couple hours. We walked pups around and gave them lots of love. We could have stayed all day, but with the wind chills in the teens it was rough to play outside for too long.

Funny story - this animal shelter is run by the sheriff's department so we actually
all had to have background checks before we could play with the pups.

My mom had heard of this yummy bar in Toledo that she wanted to try. Little did we know (well, my brother and his girlfriend did, but we didn't) there was an old school arcade attached and as long as you were eating or drinking there, you could play FOR FREE! Of course I had to take full advantage of Pac-Man and Super Mario Brothers!


While we were at my parents I decided to run from their house to the soccer stadium I used to play at, and then to the high school football stadium. My parents bought a brick when the school was fundraising for the stadium so obviously I had to snap a shoe-fie. Oh yeah, and there was some sort of mule sculpture I found so of course I had to try and ride it.


One of my favorite traditions over the holidays is to go to the Toledo Zoo to see the Lights Before Christmas. This year we weren't able to go before Christmas, but thankfully they were open till New Year's Eve and we were able to spend the evening before we flew back to California taking in the sights (and it wasn't pouring or freezing like in year's past).


As you can see, we had some great times and made some amazing memories! Hopefully you were able to be present with those you spent time with over the holidays... because, let's be real, PRESENCE > PRESENTS!

How do you intentionally stay engaged with those around you?

2 comments:

Sandra Bond said...

No need to apologize for taking a break from the Interwebs to enjoy time with family. I agree: presence > presents whenever possible!
Glad to see what you had such a great time!

Paula said...

Apologize for turning off social media & choosing time with loved ones? Not at all necessary at all. Glad you had a great time. Love how you volunteered at the animal shelter. Now that is wonderful!!