Our Vacation Through the iPhone Lens

My family and I just got back from a wonderful few days away on vacation on the Florida Gulf Coast. We had never (ever!) taken a vacation with just the four of us, so I was so, so excited to get some time away from our daily life with the people I love most in the world. To say things have been chaotic around our home for the past year or so is the greatest understatement of all time, and if I would’ve known the relief a few days of fun and sun would provide, we would have done this months ago! There is something about snuggling in a big hotel bed, with sand between my toes and everyone smelling of sunscreen, that makes everything in my little universe seem okay. I have a ton of photos to go through, but since we just got back, my plate currently full with everything we ignored while we were away. I’ll definitely be sharing in the near future, along with some tips for traveling and activities in the area, but for now, here are of my favorite iPhone photos of our trip. We certainly are the luckiest of ducks!

And we're off! #cbspringbreak #springbreak #365grateful #travel #yay

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A #latergram from dinner last night...what a great night! Oh, an also, we sat next to Hulk Hogan at dinner and I acted like a crazy person. No photographic proof though, because of my aforementioned craziness. Tidbit: He is huge! And his mustache is quite

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Vacation is so exhausting, little dude can't even stay up through one episode of Dinosaur Train! #sleepy #cbspringbreak #springbreak

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Sunset dinner, grown-ups only  #cbspringbreak #carettas #fancypants #sunset #springbreak  #love

Nice to know every once in a while he'll still take a nap on me ❤️❤️❤️ #365grateful #love #son #mother #nap #adorable #poolside

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Big day for our future marine biologist! #cbspringbreak #springbreak #clearwater #clearwateraquarium #dolphin #marinelife #joy

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Goodbye Clearwater Beach! You were awesome! #cbspringbreak #springbreak #clearwaterbeach #clearwater #horizon #blue #viewfinder #binoculars #ocean #gulfofmexico #water #sky

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Another Post About a Show for High Schoolers (with bonus aliens!)

Have you guys been missing my pop culture posts around here? I mean, lately it’s been pretty serious up in Crazybananas land with all sorts of immense growth happening on the homefront, and since I write about life and all it’s little missteps around this blog, that’s been the majority of the content lately. But I promise, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been indulging in the greatest of all of my loves, horrible sci-fi television. Which could be easily translated to amazing sci-fi television, depending on who you’re talking to. And if you’re talking to me, well, it’s AMAZING!

My newest favorite thing is the CW show Star-Crossed, which is ridiculous (read: AMAZING) as they come. You all remember my undying love for the early 2000s WB show, Roswell, right? Well, Star-Crossed is like an updated version of that, but since it takes place 10 years in the future, there is less glittery eye makeup, hot sauce, Snapple and low-rider jeans. (Michael, I will always love you and your glorious mullet most of all.)

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Star-Crossed has got everything that makes for a perfect teen sci-fi show. Or, you know, a teen sci-fi show that 31-year-old moms watch. Whatever. There is great music, a hot alien boy, a couple of cute side stories and a Romeo and Juliet-style love story at the center. The actors aren’t too shabby either, with veterans from some of my favorite shows (Friday Night Lights, 90210, Dollhouse) in leading roles. It reminds me a lot of The Vampire Diaries when it was in it’s early years, with a little bit of classic CW flair thrown in (I haven’t seen a Dawson-style ugly cry yet, but we’re only on episode four…fingers crossed!) Will this show save the world? No. But Jesus, stop being so serious and get over yourself already! Embrace the fun! And drama! And aliens! Especially the aliens!

Apologetic

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Dear Family,

Sorry I ate those two loaves of bread. In hindsight, that wasn’t a great decision. Sorry I puked all over after I inhaled said bread. My bad. Oh, and I feel horrible about chewing up Tate’s favorite train. And Lucy’s Totoro slippers. And eating that banana off the counter. That was dumb. I didn’t mean to pee on the floor that time. Or the other time. Or the time after that. I think you should probably invest in some heavy duty paper towels, you know? And while we’re talking, I should apologize for chewing on the back deck too. And dad’s chess set. And mom’s leopard print heels. And the carpet. I think those extra holes give it a little character, don’t you? It looks more “lived in” now.

I will happily pay my debt with some late night movie watching and feet warming. I will try not to puke on your bed. No promises.

All my love,
Theodore Roosevelt Peters

For the Love of Poetry

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“So what’s up with the blog?” she asked curiously. “I thought the plan was to use this time to grow creatively and work on all that stuff?”

The plan.

Plans are fickle things. You start something new and you have the plan in place, at least, that’s how I operate. There is a plan, a way, and things will go accordingly. I will work hard and keep my head down, and soon, very soon, the plan will come to fruition.

But life…life is strange. And just when you think you have it all figured out, BAM, it knocks you sideways and you’re left shaking your head wondering what the hell happens next. It’s confusing and disorienting.

I have learned so much in the last year, there is no way to gather it all into one blog post. But probably the most important thing I learned in the last year was I cannot function without self-care, and sometimes self-care doesn’t fit into one’s plans. For most of my life, I have ignored those signs that most people see easily. I was constantly busy, a fury of check lists and unread emails and calendar appointments. Most days I wouldn’t realize I’d missed lunch until around 4 p.m. I consistently got around 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night, so proud that I could sustain myself on such meager rest.

“How do you do it all?” they’d ask. I’d coyly smile and give myself a silent pat on the back for my amazingness. I was *almost* enough. If I could just finish that assignment or blog post or project, I’d really be a wonder woman! I chased that status like I’d die if I stopped for a sip of water or some fresh air.

The problem with living like that, especially for such an extended period of time, is it’s extremely hard to stop. It’s mind-bogglingly difficult for someone like me to sit down and rest. And it’s compounded by the fact that I have surrounded myself with people who think the same way. Friends, family, colleagues…they are all massive overachievers of the highest sort. So when I tried to stop or sit or breathe, I looked at them and felt guilt. Shame. Less than.

Here is the catch, and the thing I really learned in the last 11 months:

I am enough. Just as I am. I am enough with one blog post every 10 days and I am enough with 5 a week. I am enough with crisp, edited photos and I am enough with a quick iPhone capture. I am enough with late nights working and I am enough with a cup of tea and a good movie.

It’s okay to take care of myself. And it’s okay to be afraid of doing so. For me, it is scary, and I had to learn being scared wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was so afraid if I stopped, and took a breath, I’d find out I was a fraud. All the spinning around in my hamster wheel was a way I could avoid looking at what I was doing, and if it really made me feel good. When I finally did stop, I had to cut it all off in order to see if I missed it…to see if writing and photographing and creating was truly what made my heart sing.

Turns out, it does. I love to write. I love capturing people and moments in photographs. It makes me feel alive. There is poetry in my life again. I feel it. It’s a good thing.

I saw this commercial a while back, and I felt my breath stop, then slowly start again. A creative mind is sometimes a hard place to live inside. My brain isn’t rational…it seeks life and love and joy. It does not spark with items crossed off a list. Which, honestly, is why I believe I felt so lost for so long. I was forcing it to think in a way that wasn’t how it was built. Now, instead, I’m letting it go. It’s scary. But scary things can be very, very good.

A Birthday and Donuts

A few weeks ago, we got to celebrate the birthday of one very special Valentine! Our sweet niece, Brooklyn, turned 2-years-old this Valentine’s Day, and we celebrated with her friends and family at Varsity Donuts in Manhattan, Kansas. I think a donut decorating party is definitely one of my favorite party themes of all time! Probably because I’ m a bit of a donut freak, but that being said, I think this party was a hit for everyone who attended. I feel endlessly lucky to have such a fun family! Happy birthday, sweet Brooklyn!

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