I am so excited.
Today is an exciting day.
My first official trip to the south is wrapping up and I am starting to look forward to our upcoming annual wilder vacation (wilder is the family's last name, not the state of craziness we'll be experiencing).
This week marked my first day long road trip as a mother, with xander in tow and jake,brynn and bailey by our side.
I felt like such an independent adult planning and executing a vacation with my child far far away with friends.
This whole feeling of adult independence has been stunted significantly by my disease, but I now have evidence I can do grown up things, with a little help from my friends of course.
The list of firsts doesn't stop there, c and c's fun factory made sure I had the best opportunities of montgomery at my fingertips.
On the first day off "hilliard st" we went to a farmers market where I bought my first ever red velvet cake.
I had heard ravings about this cake but never tried it.
A cake if its infamy needs to be tried right: fresh from the south.
It did live up to expectations.
Red velvet cake is goooood, but I like the dill crisps more. And the fresh watermelon is to die for (but I won't be doing that)
I also ourchased jam made from a sweet southern fruit that's name I still can't remember. Blame it on the chemobrain, but my firsts on my first vacation day didn't stop there.
That was just the morning and just the beginning of the adventures. We hit up Jim and Nick's for that southern goodness called "cheesy bisquits.".
I have allready written how much I love these. I will be finding a way to make them at home. All this excitement prepared me for rest time, which we did in Casa de l'amaya's salt water swimming pool.
Talk about relaxing. Swimming in a salt water pool was also a first.
We hit up our first montgomery bbq that evening where I ordered chopped chicken and watched and listened to the chef as he shook the walls chop, chop, chopping until I thought his arm might fall off.
I would not stick my hand in his way. It would be shredded in seconds. Then we moved on to a montgomery bisquits game, our first AAA baseball experience where jake dove to win x a hot dog and we jumped around like raving lunatic fans, collecting every possible free momento and then some overpriced souvenirs we couldn't live without, like a #1 fan finger and camoflauge hat for x that I have taken an affinity to.
One size really does fit all.
That was the first night we crumbled into bed exhausted and in the morning, after waking up rested, x introduced me to the webkinz site.
A new fascination of his has now begun.
Apparently, webkinz are stuffed animals you adopt by typing in a code from their tag then you need to work to feed and clothe them. You also decorate their room by purchasing decor and gather friends to hang out. Kids can play games like checkers. It's facebook meets the simms for kids with virtual reality.
X has three webkinz, all with superhero names and special body signals to signify who they are when you say those names.
I am loving his new fascination.
Later that afternoon we ran to the montgomery center of fine arts and made landscape drawings with pastels and played in a cluster of twig houses that looked like it had jumped off the pages of dr. Suess.
How could you not love that? Running through twig dr. Suess houses was definately a first for me. As if that didn't overwhelm me with all the newness, after tearing through the bass pro outlet and some how coexing x into thinking it was his sole decision to buy the pair of binoculars I wanted him to have for camping (now that was a smooth motherly first. I'm getting clever with experience) we went to Islamorada for our very first taste of....... Alligator.
You heard it folks, alligator. I am not sympathetic to alligators. I think they belong on my shoes or purses or in this instance, in my tummy.
After a good night and morning of relaxing, we all went out to Lake Jordan to visit a cabin on Easy St, where we BBQ'd, fished, jumped, and swam to our hearts content.
Then on the way home I got to experience my very FIRST ride on a harley.
I am not going to lie, I was nervous about hoping on that bike, even knowing it was one beautiful piece of machinary. All the terrible messages regarding motorcycles I have been hearing through my whole life flashed through my head.
I clutched on for dear life.
I clutched on and I didn't even know was clutching on until my hands became week and I had to peel my knuckles off the steel, realizing I had dug claw prints into my hands.
My memory of fear has gone away though and has been replaced with the peaceful beauty of the southern heat and the breeze at sunset going down the highway.
Now that is freeing.
The following day xander and I went to our first southern baptist freedom festival, and I finally had the visual experience of seeing a megachurch, auditorium and all.
Well, it wasn't exactly a megachurch, but it was structured with the same idea. The pulpit was a stage with musical insruments and the seats were not wooden pews. That was for sure.On our last day, we took a trolley ride around downtown Montgomery and for $1.00 we were taken through sections that made history: the bus stop where Rosa Parks stepped on for her ride into history, the church where Dr. Martin Luther King preached, the fountain where the Emancipation Proclaimation was first read right alongside the White House of The Confederacy.
I didn't realize the cultural span Montgomery had. It was so much fun watching it leisurely from our trolley tour.
Here are some firsts for me that, though simple, made the week that much more memory packed: I played Life and scrabble! I had a childhood packed full of family board game nights, they just never quite included these two games.
Xander has clearly picked up on my affinity for boardgames, after introducing him to the original "Sorry" and teaching him the game of "Life," all he wanted to do was set up shop and play the day away.
I've all ready started packing our board games for the camping trip.
With all these simple new discoveries I enjoyed so much, how could I not want to continue to fight.
There is so much more the world has to offer. I have so much more to learn. Old and sick is a state of mind. I think I will be staying a healthy curious kid at heart.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."