Friday, September 2, 2016

"What God is preparing you for is worth the wait"

Yesterday was 9 months to the day that I was in my wreck, and the day I finally agreed to have injections in my neck. For 9 months I have been in constant neck and shoulder pain. Some of you know, many of you don't even know I was even in a wreck.  I have been to months of physical therapy, chiropractors and massages (don't let that fancy word fool you....torture sessions). I've been sad, thankful, frustrated, cried A LOT and more than I'd like to admit, ANGRY!

I write all of this because as I lie awake in the middle of the night in extreme pain (more than I was the night before, due to the soreness of the shots) I recall the words of my doctor yesterday as I was begging him to ensure me this was the key and I would finally be healed, he gently placed his hands on my shoulder and said, "Jesus is the ultimate healer, but I'm hopeful this will help you!" I was encouraged.

I do believe Jesus is the ultimate healer but if I were to be real with you....I have been pleading to feel as "normal" as I appear to all of you. With that said, I do still have and faith that he is going to somehow use my months of pain for his glory....I just can't see it yet.

Earlier this week one of my students informed me of an app called Sprinkle of Jesus. )Praise Jesus for students who are bold enough to talk about their faith and these types of apps in your class!!) Yesterday she said, "Mrs. Moulton, did you get the app yet?" I had totally forgot! Grabbed my phone and immediately downloaded. Well, as I was writing this blog the app alerted me at the top of my screen for the first time, "What God is preparing for you is worth the wait" ha-gosh, he is so faithful in time of need that he reminded through an app.

In closing, I'm in pain, my family and closest friends have encouraged me it will get better, and I believe it....but sometimes it's just hard! Please pray for my complete restoration AND that I will use my story when and how God has planned.

Be blessed.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Cabo - First International Family Vacation

It has been a Looooooong time since I last blogged, but prior to our family vaca one of my cousins encouraged me to start blogging again. I figured this trip would be a nice place to start. 

Here we go...

Daron and I try to travel internationally once a year to celebrate our anniversary and just get away .... Typically we end up at an all-inclusive somewhere in Mexico as it has been the most cost effective for us in the past. Those of you who know us well, we are always trying to get our money to go as far as possible--even if it takes me hours (40+ researching hotels and deals) I literally need a vacation just from searching for a vacation! 

Last year we decided that the kids were old enough and we wanted to take them with us. They are accustomed to our mini vacas and ski trips, but a Mexico/all-inclusive would be new!

I began researching at the beginning of the year and each time I would look I would HATE the price...leading me to not book anything. Well, April came around and I kept seeing advertising for a Cabo vacation on Facebook and I thought, there's NO way it's that cheap! After a week of it continually popping up I finally called about it and got ALL the details--AND THERE WERE A LOT OF RESTRICTIONS, just shy of giving up our first born child! Daron and I discussed them all and decided we could abide by their 432 rules! So we booked! We then kept it a secret for over two months until we surprised the kids with their trip. 

This leads us up to one week ago, last Saturday, August 6th! It was finally time to travel! We had a flight around noon which allowed us time to wake up at a normal hour, load up, and stop at Chick Fil A for some breakfast before arriving at the airport. Once we arrived Daron dropped the kids and I off at the curb with our three suitcases and three backpacks. In my head I thought I was doing awesome packing in three even though we could have four---that was until we went to check in. As many of you know, the weight limit is 50 pounds per piece of luggage. We were carrying on our "just in case suitcase" (just in case the other two don't make it, we still have stuff), then one of our suitcase was 54 pounds and the other was 47....doesn't it all basically average out???? NOPE!! So here I am in my cute, comfy, travel dress on the floor up at the kiosk unpacking one into another, zip it up, put it on the scale, now they are both off by a pound or two so I throw them both back on the ground trying to calculate in my head (not a strong suit of mine) my belongings and relocate, re-zip everything back I seriously have NO clue which was at which weight, because of course the suitcases are almost are now cracking up at me...I'm sweating my butt off...finally after 10+ minutes we got everything appropriately rearranged. *You know the rest of the line just loved  me :O

About that time Daron meets up with us and we head through security, we're doing great, still have almost two full hours before we are to take off.  This is when Daron and the kids realize there are like 10,000 Pokemon's in the airport OMG!!!   So I follow them around like a lost puppy with our carry on suitcase in tow, because you know...they need both hands to find Pikachu After 45 minutes or so I tap out and say I'm going to wait at our gate. So I leisurely walk I go to the restroom, walk around a little more (I am too ADD to sit still for longer than the plane ride) then walk to the gate again where they are loading Group A, tons of people are lining up and standing around (we were flying Southwest--first time in a LONG time and we are Group C 30) so I call D and I meet them by the food court and we walk to the gate *this is maybe a 5 minute timespan, 40 minutes before our flight. When we arrive at the gate there's not a single person waiting and the attendants say, "Hurry! Y'all are the last four! We have been waiting on you!" First thought through my head was, You're lying! Next was, where in the world did all these people go in 5 minutes?! Third thought was, our flight is not "scheduled to take off for another 40 minutes" So we get on the plane, y'all, NO JOKE, we were the last 4 people on the plane. You guessed it, not ONE seat this moment I can't help but chuckle because yes, we are the Moulton's, flying with our kids for the first time internationally...hey kids, just sit with that stranger one row up and to the left....totally NOT normal!! Well, we finally settled in...thankfully I could see Faith from my seat and Daron could see Will from there's was like 2% of comfort there. 

Flight was good. Will made instant best friends with the older couple he sat between, Faith enjoyed her book and minded her own business...Daron enjoyed his isle seat with a ton of leg room on the first row and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the middle seat between to large men...but hey, we were in Cabo now!

The hotel had a private suburban pick us up, this was so nice for Daron and I because we typically share a van with 40 other hotels and takes 2 hours to get to ours because naturally we are always, conveniently the last stop, or first on our return. LOL

The 45 minute drive from the airport to our resort in the marina area of downtown Cabo was beautiful! Daron and I went to Cabo two years ago, so we were in just as much awe as the first time. Faith was vocal about how breathtaking it all was. We arrived at the resort, they ask us what we would like to drink and then took Will with them to the bar. Daron was like, uh, Will just went with them into the bar, the lady checking us in says in her thick accent, "Es're in Mexico!" ahahahahahahaha!! That's right....totally normal and acceptable for 9 year olds to be in bars here ROTFL!! Will walks out with a huge smile and a virgin concoction of some sort...

Once we get checked in, we went to our room where I unpacked all the suitcases and put them in drawers and hung up in the closet, I don't like living out of a suitcase when I travel...Well, there wasn't quiet enough drawers for everyone to have two of their own so I said, "hey, I put daddy's underwear in y'alls underwear drawer." Faith immediately laughs out loud and says, "That's're going to see my zebra panties with daddy's zebra marks!" **Disclaimer: his zebra marks are only on the one pair of underwear he wears when he gets on the roof to put up Christmas lights, yes, both his pants and underwear are stained from our roof!

Then off we were to the pool, for little did we know, it would be one of the only two days it would be pretty. Once we got to the pool we explained to the kids they could eat/drink whatever/whenever because it was all-inclusive. They were so excited, particularly Will. We told them the different restaurants they could choose from for dinner and Faith said, "Can we do something tonight that's not too the cupcake place?" haha! This cracks me up because both of our kids are pretty experimental eaters and have a fairly mature palate. We ended up at the Italian restaurant, it was okay...

Sunday - Day 2:
We had breakfast at the buffet, again, Will was in heaven as he is a huge breakfast eater! Then we went to our timeshare presentation (this was one of those 432 rules we had to abide by to have our cheap vacation, however, this was no problem for Daron and I as we are pros at doing them and saying NO! They just love us!! NOT!)  afterwards we just hung by the pool, had dinner, then went to one of the resort shows. 

Monday - Day 3: 
Tropical Storm Javier was rolling in. It was super nasty and raining. The resort had basically shut down at this point, workers were sparse, all the outdoor chairs and furniture and been moved...but the Moulton's were in we went to the pool! I mean, we were going to be wet regardless and it wasn't lightening or thundering so it was all good. Y'all, I'm not kidding....we were the ONLY 4 people at the pool!! We hung out for a couple of hours and then headed to our swim with the dolphins excursion. Now, it was monsoon raining, COLD rain...but, hey, it was memorable! Faith had wanted to swim with dolphins for years, the grin she had from ear to ear will never be erased from my mind!

Later this evening while at dinner workers were hurriedly installing storm shutters. Meanwhile, all the workers were telling everyone everything was fine. To be very honest, I had not looked at the weather once! This may have been irresponsible, but in my eyes it was going to change the fact that we were where we what did it matter....well, when I saw storm shutters being installed, plexiglass being carried up 7 flights of stairs to cover other windows I became somewhat alarmed...that's when I texted a close friend at home, who I knew would be on the up and up with weather...she confirmed it was going to be pretty bad....We finished dinner, went to karaoke, then turned in for the night as that was when the brunt of the storm was expected to hit. Winds were high and tons of rain, but we were all A-okay!

Tuesday - Day 4:
Mine and Daron's 13 year Anniversary!! And Outdoor Adventure Day!! We were headed to zip line and ride ATVs! We were told to be there at 7:45 am and that it was a 40 minute drive and a 3.5 hour excursion...tired as all get out, we rolled out of bed at 6:20 am to ensure we had breakfast before our fun day! We had about a 10 minute walk to get to the place where the bus would pick us up and take us to our excursion. Once we got there I confirmed all that we were doing and all was well...we were informed there was an additional charge per driver. We both became frustrated because even in the email confirmation it didn't say that...but whatever, it's a tourism industry....we have all the money in the much do you need?? Please, I'd love to pay more, NOT!  We knew we for sure wanted to ride the razors so we paid-up. What we were told would be a 40 minute drive ended up being a 2 hour and 10 minute drive. So this is where I admit, I am NOT PATIENT!! I am also the type that I expect you to do what you I am very much trying not lose my $h*t at this point! I kept hearing my parents in my head from my childhood, "we're going to have a good time!" LOL! This was something usually said after there was some sort of sibling argument, tears and possible spankings....however, I was the only one of the four on this trip that felt like a toddler...for real! I literally wanted to stomp and scream! 

So we arrive on the mountain, 5 lightyears away, get suited up and jump on a 4-wheel drive to drive further up a mountain where we begin our adventure. Peeps, they weren't kidding about "adventure!!" Daron and I have zip lined in Cancun and Alaska and never hiked and climbed like we did on this trip. All I could think about was how incredible Faith and Will were and what troopers they were because, I'm talking and NOT exaggerating, miles of intense hiking and climbing in between lines...

Well, I am as adventurous as they come and line #2  was zip down upside down....I strap in and go...well, that was a poor choice!! Did I mention since I had kids my equilibrium is off?? I had a headache and I thought I was going to puke! So the rest of the hiking and lines, I had talk myself up that I was going to get through it, after all, I did not want to miss out! So almost 2 hours later, we finish all the lines, get back in the 4-wheel drive to the razors. It was a four seater and Daron drove us. This was seriously the highlight of my entire trip! Because of all the rain Javier brought there was tons of mud! Daron would wait for the other vehicles to get out of sight, then he would drive us 30-40 mph hour zig zagging through muddy paths --this is where all my tomboyism came out! I have always loved: ATVs, going fast and the dirtier, the better! I know my mom and dad are reading this now nodding there heads...bless their hearts, they always had so much dirty laundry from me #sorrynotsorry Unfortunately the ATV portion of our excursion was only 10 minutes or so, but it was SO WORTH IT!! When we returned at the base we were SO dirty and everyone stared at us like we were from another planet! Literally, we were the only people with mud on us! Hahaha! I guess it's hard to get muddy when you are only going 2 mph. After that they had snacks and then we loaded back up on the van for our short 40 minute ride back to the resort...ahem...I mean 2+ plus hours! At least I was fully aware this time around so I took a nap for an hour or so of it which made everyone a lot happier haha!  By the time we returned it was approximately 4:00 pm and the sun was finally starting to show its face so we went to the pool for a couple hours before dinner.

Wednesday - Day 5: 
This was supposed to be our final day in Cabo and we had originally planned to lounge around the pool all day but due to the poor weather conditions our boating excursions was moved from Monday to today. We again woke up early, met at the marina (about a 10 minute walk from our room) for our Snorkel and Sea Adventure. We got on an inflatable speed boat where they took us to see the famous Land's End Arch, Honeymoon Beach, Divorce Beach, Sea Lions, Sea of Cortes, then we sped away for Chileno Bay where we road sea scooters, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaked, snorkeled, fed the fish, and got bit by fish . Again, my favorite part was speeding across the ocean effortlessly with the salty breeze in my face! Ahhh....speed is so freeing! This was a really fun adventure. It was the only fully sunny day we had on our entire trip so we were all sun kissed for sure!

That evening there was a beach party where for the first time the entire trip the sky was gorgeous and full of color. It was cool and breezy and we enjoyed good food, good drinks and good entertainment. (Ecclesiastes 9:7) It was a nice way to end the trip!

Thursday - Day 6: 
We were all packed and ready to roll. Had breakfast then headed to the airport. This time we watched the time and got to the gate know, so we could board as a family and sit together. Flight and travel went smoothly, when we got back to Richmond we went to dinner at Ritas. Did you know there are a TON of Pokemon stops in Rosenberg??? Well, I learned quickly that there were...after 20 minutes of slowly weaving in and out of the streets I asked if they could take me home so I could start laundry...Silly me...that would be out of the way... :P so I had Daron stop so I could get my book from out of the back of the car...45 minutes later we got to go home....ay yai yai....

So that was a glimpse of the Moulton "vaca" I say "vaca" loosely, because I do not feel it was rejuvenating at you will hear me say "memorable adventure" instead :) 

The Highlights:
- cute tiny birds

- time with Jesus
- family laughter
- gratitude
- beautiful views
- thankful for the opportunity to have this family time and experience