Monday, August 15, 2022

It's Been A While


Hello Again!!

It's been a hot minute since I've checked in.  I've started about a half billion posts but haven't published any of them.  I think it's because I owe you a lengthy catch up, but I have no idea where to start.  There has been so much life lived, so many changes, so many new beginnings.  New schools, new job, a new home, and a new adventure, which is actually my reason for popping on here.

If you've been around here for long, you know I love Disney really love it! It started as just a fun, one-day place to visit during our annual beach trip.  Then it transitioned into our favorite place to make family memories. Through the pandemic and seasons that my world was turned upside down, it became an escape.  

All along the way, I've had this crazy idea that I wanted to become a Disney Travel Advisor, but I never had the confidence to take the plunge.  Instead, I just watched from the sidelines and helped friends and family plan their trips...until now!!!  I finally took the leap, joined a travel agency, completed the College of Disney Knowledge, and started my own business.

I can't believe I finally did it.  Nor can I figure out why it took me so long.  It's amazing what a little confidence can do.  

As I have considered a business plan, and specifically marketing tactics, I have decided to use this space to record my travels, review Disney restaurants and hotels, offer tips and tricks, and give you my best advice.  I promise to always be honest and authentic.  Plus, getting back into the routine of blogging will give me an excuse to catch you up on all the chaos in the Watson home. 

I hope you will share my business with your family and friends when you hear of someone planning a trip and that you will follow along on my social channels, which for now will be Facebook and Instagram.  

For the record, my personal Facebook with still be for private use while my business page will be for promotional purposes.  My Instagram squares will become more "additorial" in nature for marketing purposes, but my Instagram Stories will be more organic. This blog will be completely authentic. Authenticity will always be at the core of anything I write or share on here. 

Whether or not you're a Disney fan, we could all use a little magic in our lives.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Letting Go of Yesterday

It's hard to believe but somehow we muddled our way through 2020.  I think most of us are little road weary, nursing our wounds, counting our casualties and rallying what's left of our resolve as we head into the new year.

I'll admit that while I have no have no room for complaint, this past year has been emotionally draining for me.  My family is healthy and thriving.  We're blessed to have our jobs, a new home, and so many adventures under our belts. Yet, there's been a heaviness that we can't seem to escape -fear, uncertainty, a sense of loss, a burden for those experiencing so many hardships.

I once heard a saying something along the lines of, "Anyone can handle a crisis but it's every day life that's the hardest."

I have found that to be true this past year. It's getting up every day and trying to explain to a tween boy why he can't hang out with his friends or why the sports season was canceled.

It's watching your daughter cry buckets of tears on her Zoom meeting because she misses her classmates so much.

It's missing birthdays, holidays, and family celebrations thinking that by the time the next event comes along things will be back to normal...then staring disappointment in the face when "normal" never comes.

It's looking at pictures of "this time last year" and grieving the loss of innocence and of simpler times. And grief is what it all boils down to for me. Things will never be exactly as they were pre-pandemic. Covid changed our world,  and if we're being honest, it changed us too.

That's what is so sacred about our breaking and our undoing.  As we rebuild, we get to choose what we carry with us into our new normal. I'm trying to choose wisely.  Will I continue to grieve what was lost or will I focus on what I've gained?

2020 was hard. For me, it was hard in a "daily living" kind of way.  There was fear and worry and pain.  Tempers flared and tears flow.  Disappointments knocked us down time and time again...and again.  But we kept getting up, and showing, and looking up. We kept loving and forgiving.  We kept putting one foot in front of the other and we never stopped believing that someday everything little thing is gonna be alright.  2020 was hard but I'm choosing to believe that we are all better for the wear. 

The things that "could have been" or "should have been" are no more. We've lost so much,  and we need to cry those tears and grieve those losses.  Then we need to take a our next step of the journey by letting go of yesterday and embracing the blessings of today.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The One Where I Got Covid

We'll we've made it through the first full week of 2021 and it's been interesting to say the very least.  Let's review, shall we?  School is still virtual.  Politics are more heated than ever and I was diagnosed with Covid.  Yep, you read that right.  It's such a bizarre story actually.  Before I get to that part, I just want to say that I am fine.  Bored but fine. I have lost my sense of smell and taste, but that's been my only major symptom.  

The whole thing started last Tuesday when I woke up with a very mild bloody nose.  This had been happening for several days so I thought maybe I was getting a sinus infection because that's typically how they start for me.  Not wanting to get quarantined with Covid-like symptoms, I went to the doctor during my lunch break to get an antibiotic. At first they told me that it would be a Teledoc visit because I didn't have any symptoms and they were already busy with Coronavirus testing.  They would go ahead and take my vitals and then the doctor would give me a call later.

My temperature was fine, but after taking my oxygen saturation levels, they said I needed a Covid test.  I was sure it would be negative because I didn't have any symptoms.  NOPE. I tested positive.  Luckily, the kids were with Eric's parents and I hadn't been around anyone at work for a long enough period of time to make them a "close contact."  

Here's where it gets crazy. The doctor said that because I was asymptomatic, my contact tracing started the night before and would lead up to the diagnosis.  Again, this put Eric as my only contact. When I called work to tell them, they asked me to go back 48 hour from the test, which made Eli and Ellie contacts.

If I can self-isolate at home, Eric can return to work after a certain number of days (I can't remember how many) as long as he has a negative test.  The kids can return to their activities after a negative test or after 10 days.  

If I am unable to self-isolate, their quarantine would begin after I am released from the Health Department.  That would mean two weeks from January 16th, they would be free.  NO THANKS!! 

I have been self-isolating in my bedroom, knocking out work, catching up on emails, planning for Disney and watching way too much Law and Order. 

Luckily, I had just done a massive grocery haul the day prior to getting diagnosed, so we have plenty of food.  My amazing colleagues have set up a meal train for us as well, and we are beyond grateful for their generosity.

I have to brag on Eric too.  He's made sure the homework is getting completed, the dishes are washed, and that the kids have everything they need. That's on top of sleeping on the couch and bringing all of my meals to the bedroom door. 

The kids have been troopers too...other than Ellie's daily proclamation that "this is all just so hard." Bless her dramatic little heart.

As I mentioned earlier, I have lost my sense of taste and smell.  This happened the day after my diagnosis but that's been my only real symptom.  Although, for the record, I also have a sinus infection that they are treating.  I was extremely tired the first few days as well, but I think that had more to do with the incredibly high amount of screen time I've had lately. 

The most bizarre part to me is that in the two and a half weeks leading up to my diagnosis, we only spent time with four people from outside of our household, none of whom have symptoms or are positive.  We ran into some stores, ate at two restaurants, and had carryout.  All of this while wearing a mask and sanitizing our hands until they've cracked open.  We have no idea where I picked it up, but we are so grateful that it's been a mild case. 

I will be isolated to my bedroom for a few more days, so who knows...maybe I'll do a little blogging. The kids are missing the first week back to in-person classes (Hybrid Schedule) but we just feel like this is the most responsible thing to do.  Vaccines roll out tomorrow, and I am scheduled for 3:50.  Of course, I won't be able to get mine now but that's okay.  We are so, so close to knocking this out and I truly believe that good things lie ahead for 2021.

I hope your year if off to a great start and you're staying healthy!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Back To The Bascis

Well, I've found myself in the midst another unintended blogging hiatus.  I very much go back-and-forth on my vision for this little space of mine.  Some days I want to throw in the towel because I am so far behind that I'll never catch up.  Other days, I have grand plans for a complete redesign and more narrowly focused content areas.  Maybe I'll be a lifestyle blogger, or a Disney blogger, or a home decorating blogger.  I write these posts, delete them, change the topic and ultimately end up with a lot of "drafts" sitting in my box. 

The thing is, nothing quite feels right. I'm just not comfortable marketing myself or my family.  I love all things Disney and have no doubt that it will be a regular topic for content, but that's not all there is to me or my family.  Same goes for home decor blogs. I read them daily, but there's so much more that I want to write about. Some days I want a big blog with lots of followers that brings in a little extra cash. But more days than not, I am uncommitted to posting because my daily responsibilities leave me spent by the end of the night. 

But throwing in the towel?  That's not quite right either. These kids are growing and changing like crazy and I already regret the years I've let slip by without documenting our sweet memories, family celebrations, and childhood milestones.  So..I've come the realization that it's time to get back to the basics. For me, that's documenting my regular, ordinary, yet incredibly wonderful life.  I'm my own audience...not readers I'll never meet, not coworkers, not family, not friends.  Me, Morgan, a momma who realizes that time is moving too fast and I need to do everything I can to preserve these memories of these days...good, bad and ugly.  

Sometimes that will mean a post about Disney or decorating and other days that will mean a recap of an adventure we shared as a family or a bittersweet milestone as our babies grow into young men and women, and other days it will mean a heartfelt post from a Momma who wants to hold on but knows that this journey is really about learning to let them fly. No matter what the daily content may be, it's time to get back to the basics, even if the only person who ever reads these words is me. goal is do a "baptism by fire" recap of our year by posting an update of pictures and major highlights by month.  That's 10 posts right off the bat.  Maybe once I have the big rocks down, I'll go back and write about the them in more detail...maybe not. The point being that once I am caught up, I will try my hardest to blog regularly..for me...because these years are going way too fast!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Kids Are Going To Be All Right

Tomorrow begins a brand new school year for us. Actually, we start on Tuesday "in-person" since our last name is in the bottom half of the alphabet, but the excitement is no less than it would be if we were walking through those doors tomorrow morning with the A-K kids. I sit here tonight among backpacks full of new supplies, first day outfits carefully selected and neatly laid out, and two sweet kiddos cleaned up and prayed up for what lies ahead. 

In spite of the uncertainty and unrest of the past several months, this summer has been one of the sweetest I have ever known.  That's the beauty of this dance we call life.  It's not all good, nor is it all bad.  It's a tender mixture of both, and it's when we learn to accept the messy presence of each of these that we are truly living.

The past few months have been hard - social unrest, economic hardships, an international health pandemic to name only a few- but these past few months have also been full of tender, precious memories that I wouldn't trade of anything. 

There have been days spent in a John boat floating down the river and afternoons filled with hours up on hours of jumping into the creek while the pools were closed down.

There have been lazy days in the pool and quiet nights sitting around a bonfire.

There have been late evening bike rides as the sun is setting and extremely early wakeup calls to hit up the grocery stores before all the meat was picked over.

There have been birthdays celebrated in quarantine and birthdays celebrated with trips out of town to enjoy our freedom from lockdown.

There have been vacations at the beach and weekends spent exploring the best of our state.

There has been life lived, and it's been lived to the absolute fullest. 

When the pandemic first began, I grieved the thought of my kids losing their innocence and having to grow up too fast.  My heart broke for the things they would be missing out on, friendships that would be strained for them and the fear that would undoubtedly come with so much change. Instead, they have learned lessons that have taken most of us a lifetime to understand.  They are strong, and brave, and adaptable.  They have learned to savor the simple moments and treasure the gift of what we already right in front of us.

This year will be different, but I believe our kids already have inside of them everything they need make through. Here's to 2020-21 and the journey that awaits us!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Sweet Summertime

The pools here in Kentucky are closed and will be through the end of the month. Normally I wouldn't care because we would just swim in the back yard, but we are in the apartment this year.  We even picked one with a fabulous pool. Go figure!

At first, I was super bummed out, but we've found the best little swimming spot.  The first time we went I didn't expect much because so many of these areas are packed with everyone else looking for a reprieve from the heat.  Luckily, I was very wrong, and we found a quaint little spot not too far where we live.

We ran into one of Ellie's friends from cheer and spent the afternoon, just us, enjoying the sunshine and water. I'm sure we will make good use of the pool once it reopens, but in the meantime, I anticipate many, many trips to the creek. Hearing the laughter, and splashing and playing was so good for the soul.

After working up a good appetite, we stopped on our way home for another summertime favorite...snow cones!!  The first one of the season is always the sweetest. Even the tween enjoyed it, he just doesn't want to let anyone know.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Girls Day

Throughout quarantine, Ellie kept talking about how she couldn't wait to go shopping once everything opened back.  No matter how may times I asked, she never once changed her mind, so once we were comfortable with new regulations, we ventured back into the world for a girls day.

She wore her mask like a champ! We eased back into things slowly and were on a mission to get some cute clothes for our beach trip later this summer.  First we stopped at TJ Max, but there was a line just to enter, so we stopped by Wal Mart and Target instead.  We didn't have much success, so we headed to a little consignment shop where we racked up.  She shares my passion for bargain shopping.

I have to say, that I very much enjoyed our girl time.  She was a pleasure to be around and we had some great conversations.  I really did have fun.  I look forward to many more days like this as she grows into a young lady and hope she will always let her Momma tag along.