As I prepare to head off into my last official vacation to Maine this summer (though likely some shorter ones into September, never fear!), I want to capture every moment, and sear them into memory because Maine has been my savior this summer, that one place where I’ve let go completely and just let myself be. It’s been a mental, emotional and physical boost and given me a layer of serenity I’ve needed for some trying times this summer. And let’s face it, Maine has been ridiculously amazing, and I couldn’t feel more blessed.

So, today’s quote Friday quote:

‎”See your surroundings with fresh eyes…the best way to find yourself is to discover where you are.”

I plan to do just that (and this)- plant myself firmly and really, really, really discover where I am and what I want to do with my life. I firmly feel as though I am at the cusp of something wonderful and I want to capture that and take control of where life’s leading me. I need this vacation for that, almost more than anything.

And as Erika aptly pointed out, sometimes life just ‘gets in the way’ of seeing things and enjoying them on a daily basis, and it’s hard to break out of that with all of the daily “clutter” there is. I couldn’t agree more. Vacations are meant for recharging, seeing your life with fresh eyes and soaking it all in.

And hell, while I’m at it, I’m going to nap, read, eat, drink wine and bask in the sun lakeside (with my sister and brother in law, and also so excited to have one of my favorite couples coming up this weekend – it’s going to be epic!!). But you knew that already 😉

Have a wonderful weekend/week everyone! I’ll have a couple of posts (and guest posts) coming, and promise to be drafting my blog series on my father as well. Stay tuned…

As I am just a few hours away from heading back up to my serenity – Maine – with my sister Jess, and my brother-in-law Scott, and one of my bestest, Amy, and Eric (woohoo!), I’m feeling pretty damn good, so I thought today’s quote Friday perfectly states it:

“Kick off your shoes, spread your toes, and ground yourself in the present.”

I plan to do nothing but that over the next 6 days and breathe it all in. I leave you with this pic – on the dawn of the last morning from my Fourth of July trip – it’s breathtaking, isn’t it? Serenity…is almost mine.

PS – this is my 500th post! Amazing. Go blog, go!

I went into this weekend hoping to capture serenity (and peace) amid the storm.

I came away from this weekend with serenity amid and despite the storm.

In short, not only is Nala continuing to improve, totally loved being in Maine (as did her sister Kayla), I got a pretty promising report back from the vet today. Bloodwork came back negative, and urinalysis came back noting an infection, perhaps bacterium in her bladder or kidney, but hopefully (and possibly likely) something that is treatable after all. Treatment is to stay in antibiotics for now, possibly ultrasound in the next few weeks. Needless to say, I am beyond happy about that, I feel some sense of relief and it was a full-circle weekend for me in that regard.

Now…as for the weekend itself?

Pure bliss.

Plain and simple, it was exactly what I needed.

It was filled with relaxation, floating across the lake in the best floatie around (note pictures below), jetskiing, reading dockside, and even a nap or two.

It was filled with calm, peaceful mornings, a few good runs, lots and lots of fresh, crisp Maine air.

It was filled with family. My grandparents summer at the lake and they love when we visit. We played a mean game of dominoes (so much so that when my cousin called from Minnesota, that we didn’t stop playing, we merely played pass-the-phone-when-its-your-turn – heh.), and ate cake (because ya know, Gram can’t go a weekend without baking some treat for us, and it would be rude *not* to have any, right?). My mom and Mark came up for the night with their dog Pepper, and my sister Jen and Josh came up on Monday for some sun, lake and dinner (with their two pups, Liam and Ladybug).

It was filled with wine. Mmm. Lots of it.

And food. The best Maine lobster roll Ever. EVER.

It was filled with moments that I will forever keep in my mind, as one of the best – if not THE best fourth of July weekends I can remember.

Most memorable? This morning...we decided to stay one more night, and leave super early for work. Got up at 5, the sun was juuuust rising over the lake and it was breathtaking. We did a quick 2ish mile run just to get something in, jumped in the lake at 6 am, drenched in sweat (it hit 100 here today!!), packed up and drove home. And it was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

I captured serenity.

I leave with you a few pictures…enjoy. And if you can capture serenity on a quick vacation, day trip, even and unplug and just flow…it’s so worth it.

Jess and me - first night at the lake!

Jess and Scott - at Ted's Fried Clams awaiting our feast 😉

Oops - almost forgot the lobster roll pic - mmm mmm good!

Me…also awaiting our feast 😉

Jess and me - jetskiing!

me and Jess floating!

me - attempting to get Nala to look at the camera

The breathtaking sunrise...ahh bliss.

Happy Quote Friday everyone!! This week started out relatively low, with Nala‘s latest vet visit, but has progressively gotten better, as I’m still riding the high of her weight gain and hoping it continues (she feels heavier and filled out, so maybe she’s gaining again! Still no word on bloodwork though).

Today’s quote is my mindset right now as I am about an hour away from heading up to Maine for a long weekend of much-needed serenity. Maine is my mecca for that, and my family will be there at various points of the weekend as well, and I can’t wait to just spend time with them, and unplug from it all (this goes back to simplicity!). So, today’s quote:

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.”

I’d be fooling myself if I say that I’m “escaping” the underlying worries in my brain about Nala (aka the “storm” in this quote), but I’m feeling hopeful right now, as she sits curled up in my lap, purring and looking at me lovingly (she may not have the same demeanor in the car for two hours, however!), but I am going to try my best to release myself from the storm of that, and the storm that life generally feels like right now and just enjoy every moment.

Why?

Because Maine…it truly is “the way life should be.”

So, my friends, I will unplug for the weekend, but will be back on Monday or Tuesday, with daily ruminations from the weekend, pictures a’plenty, and hopefully, a refreshed mental focus and one hell of a tan.

I leave you with my definition of serenity…the lake, in all its beautiful glory.

Hi all – back from my vaca to Maine – and it was near perfection. A wonderful five days, and I’m sad to see them go, though I am looking forward to the rest of my vacation 🙂 Here are my thoughts, day by day…

Day 1 – Maine.

Ahhh….this is bliss. We arrived at the lake around 12:30, after some traffic put us a bit behind schedule. But, that was only after a fantastically intense spin class, where CSB proceeded to flirt, glance, and be super chatty. Swoon 😉

So, where was I (wink)? It’s humid, hot, and sunny here….the lake is super warm, al is good in the world. Gram and Gramp were happy to see us, and are really excited we’re here until Thursday. Blueberry picking definitely in order for the week. Also on tap? A friend of ours (one of the sisters who came with us on the Road Trip) is coming up on Wednesday (she’s at a nearby lake) for the day – will be a fun day ☺

Not a whole heck of a lot to say today, except in describing the feeling I got as we drove down the bumpy “camp road” – pure bliss. I’m happy. The divorce date is set, I’m convinced my house will sell quickly and, I signed on a lease for a townhouse that I’ll move into October 17! I am really excited about it, it’s my real first sign of independence and damn, it feels awesome. Blissful, perhaps. Oh, and I’m rocking some cute pig tails. Why? Because something about this Maine vaca screams “whimsy” and what else says whimsy than pig tails?! Cheers!!

Day 2 – Maine.

Today was near perfection (and the evening still awaits! Wine and movies in the plans, perhaps an after dinner swim) – the sky was cloudless, it’s super warm, and the lake temperature is perfect. And, I must say – water floaties are the best invention ever. Next to individual wine “juice” boxes of course!! We were down by the lake by 9 am, and didn’t really come out (except for a quick lunch) until 2:30, where we then proceeded to play dominoes with Gram and Gramp, with a side of blueberry pie thrown in – yum yum!

What I so love about these Maine trips is how pure and peaceful they are. When you strip away the stress of work, the every day grind, traffic, stress, etc., and add in wonderful family and friends, you get a truly pure feeling of bliss (bliss being my key word for this particular Maine vaca – last month’s trip was serenity 😉 ) and peacefulness. I try to drink in these vacations for what they are, in terms of relaxation and fun, but also in spending a lot of time with my grandparents. I feel so lucky to have them in my life, and in good health to boot, it’s such a blessing. And they are wonderful, and fun, and we always, always have a good time with them. BLISS!!!

Day 3 – Maine.

Silence. Limited conversation. Some might think that would be lonely, or boring, but today, it was just what the doctor ordered! It was another scorcher today, and I spent the day mostly in the lake, with my sister and brother-in-law, in our floaties. It was nice to just lay there, not really talking, just being. Relaxing, quietly, not talking. Sometimes I think you need that, more than you know, to reset and rejuvinate your mind.

So that was day 3, for the most part. Beyond that, we went blueberry picking, got some ice cream, and are planning to kick back for the evening (and tomorrow, swordfish with Gram and Gramp – yum!!)

Day 4 – Maine.
Ahh, this is the life. Another hot, humid and sunny day by the lake. I think we made it a record – got in around 9ish, stayed in until close to 2! I burnt my legs a little bit, but nothing major. Worth it 😉

We had a delicious meal with Gram and Gramp. They made swordfish and a freshly baked blueberry pie! Who couldn’t be happier with that?! It’s just so nice to spend time with them, I can’t even describe. And, just being here is fantastic. I get a lot of time to just think about things, relax and let my mind wander. Way better than working 😉

On another note, I am going on date #2 with match.com boy #1 tomorrow night when I get back from Maine. On the fence on him chemistry-wise, so I figure date #2 should sort that out nicely. And, I have a few other dates pending with boys #3, 4 and 5, for next week or so. I may just be a pretty busy girl, huh?! 😉

Update: supposed to have a date with match.com boy #1, but haven’t heard from him today, so we’ll see if that actually happens…

It’s been an eye opening week or so, mentally. I feel like I am entering a new phase of “the situation” where I need to come to terms with the fact that we are both moving on (some faster than others…), that I need to truly be “okay” with being alone, and branching out, and that whatever life throws at me, I need to internalize, accept, and grow from.

I had another mini-funk yesterday where I just got unbelievably down, and was feeling alone, so I went for a bit of a drive (in my snazzy new car). I turned my iPod on and just drove and listened, and one of my all-time favorite Boyz II Men (don’t tease, they are a great group!) songs “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday” came on and I almost changed the song, because I was trying to stay towards upbeat songs, but the words captivated me:

How do I say goodbye to what we had?
The good times that made us laugh
Outweigh the bad.

I thought we’d get to see forever
But forever’s gone away
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

I don’t know where this road
Is going to lead
All I know is where we’ve been
And what we’ve been through.

If we get to see tomorrow
I hope it’s worth all the wait
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

What more can I say to those words? They capture exactly what I am feeling. I’m in this limbo of friendship and moving on with Pete, and while I do want to retain some kind of friendship with him, I need to let go of the past friendship/relationship we had and realize it’s going to keep changing and I need to find a happy medium – a friendship that I am comfortable with, when I am ready. So, I’ve given it some space and haven’t really talked much to him the past few days. I think I need that space to regroup in my mind, say goodbye to “yesterday” and say hello to the future.

Me. Single. Happy. An Individual.