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14 Aug 2014

I Love That I’m Not Alone

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I was sad to hear about Robin Williams death for a number of reasons. I believe depression itself is masked by many people in so many ways. And also can come on to anyone during any point in their life. I wrote this piece earlier this year and didn’t share but I think it’s a good time to share. It’s a scary dark place to be, kind of like being stranded on an island alone, but many never let on that they are or were there. I’m hoping that when others read they too will know they are not alone. Prayers and love to those who are struggling and to those who are now helping others get better.

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I love that I’m not alone on this while Mom-thing. It’s something that I feel that because I have personally been in the trenches, the actual trenches of motherhood, and to some of the deepest dark depths, I could relate to another mother, and maybe make her feel like she is not alone either should she find herself there.

I find comfort on my crazy days when I am almost in tears, that I’m brought to laughter by friends whom I haven’t spoken to in years, but via a comment that can have me feeling like they get it. They get that this crazy life is non-stop and always one crazy story after another and they get it. I love to read about them. I think that’s why Moms ( females) make up the higher percentage of social media users and blog readers. We love to read stories we can relate to.

It’s not empathy that we are after, it’s comfort, really. Knowing that we aren’t alone and that someone else gets us makes us more connected to each other as persons. Husband, boyfriends, etc… They are all wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the Moms who keep me afloat and remind me of how wonderful being a Mom can be. Sometimes being a Mom is everything we ever dreamed it would be. Sometimes…it’s not anything like we ever imagined. Moms understand.

Some of my fondest memories of this time in my life are of the Moms I call friends who are in this with me. I’m in it with them too. It’s not a war, but experiences like this will only be for a short while. Each stage of our children’s childhood brings with it unique challenges that I have no idea how to fucking handle. I look to those that have been there for advice and I idolize those who have been there and survived. I need help. It’s not always easy to say. And sometimes we don’t ask. And sometimes we just need to give the help to someone else, even if they don’t ask. A simple gesture might make another’s day, and maybe you’ll never know that what you just did, will live with them forever in their memory of this magical and almost mythical time of Motherhood.

I have felt alone before. It’s not a good feeling. It’s actually really sad to feel alone when you are, but you’re really not. And it’s something very real. But no one talks about it. You might with close friends. But not many. Not open. You hide it. Make everything seem ok. Back away from the people who love you. Stay quiet. The highs are high. The lows are low. And it’s hard to climb out of that darkness.

I recently learned about an organization and event called “Climb out of the Darkness” held on the longest day of the year, the first day of summer…an effort to shine the most light on this cause…postpartum depression. Their mission is powerful. It’s bringing together lots of Mothers who want to tell other Mothers that they are not alone. If it helps one person share their story with another, than that’s enough. Because when you are in the darkness, and don’t know why, and don’t know where to turn, you don’t know what to do, that’s when you need help.

This past year, on June 21st, the longest day of the year, millions of people climbed for others to know that they aren’t alone. I love knowing that I’m not alone. We are not alone. And that is a good feeling.

To read more about Postpartum Progress and how they help Mothers with postpartum depression and so much more, visit their official site here

12 Aug 2014

Easy International Travel: Visit Puerto Rico with Kids

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I love international travel. It’s amazing to visit new countries, experience new cultures and soak in the beauty of the world just by visiting some place new. International travel with children is something new to me. If you are wanting to test run international travel, I recommend visiting Puerto Rico. Being that Puerto Rico is a common wealth of the United States, you do not need a passport, different currency and there really is no language barrier upon arrival.  On an island about the size of Connecticut, you have the freedom to  soak up island life, explore, set sail or take flight to some place new. In a few short hours on a non-stop flight from the continental US, you will touch down in sunny San Juan and be on your way to paradise, minus all the hassles of international travel.

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All photos taken with iPhone 5c by Marisa Langford at El Conquistador Resort.

This is the first in a series of posts/ reviews that will be published on Trekaroo Blog. To read more about travel with kids to Puerto Rico come with me on my adventures via Trekaroo!

04 Aug 2014

Four Seasons Orlando Opens in Walt Disney World

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On August 1, in Orlando, Florida, Disney World opens the Four Seasons Orlando. Come take a look at this new hotel and all the magic that Disney World has to offer families. Make your family vacation that much more memorable!

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30 Jul 2014

Definitely Meant To Be

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Two years ago, I couldn’t wait to have my last baby. I was sure that it would be the last one…definitely sure. They say you’ll know when your ready to say, enough is enough. This was it.

I was definitely ready to move on to the next chapter in my own life. No more babies meant… well, I’m still not sure what that means. But I knew for sure I never wanted to be pregnant again.

I weighed in at 190 pounds on day 273 of this 4th pregnancy. With her foot in my ribs, my feet swollen like sausages, my “over this” attitude and the many battle scars that I will take to my grave, I couldn’t get to the hospital to get this show on the road.

But a few hours later, I laid my eyes upon a small child that I would do anything for. Safe in my husbands arms, was this tiny baby that was given to us for some reason. She would be the last baby to complete our family.

Two years have gone by and I definitely know that she was meant to be here. My biggest lesson learned from Abby will always be patience. We have all learned to slow down, smell the roses along the way and that nothing lasts forever. Abby Gene was definitely meant to be here and I’m so happy she’s ours.

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28 Jul 2014

Free Tampa Lowry Park Zoo Admission for Active Military in August

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is celebrating August — Family Fun Month — with a sizzling summer offer of free weekday admission for members of the U.S. military (active duty, retirees and veterans) and Florida-based first responders.* The month-long opportunity is the first of its kind for the Tampa Zoo, one of the Sunshine State’s top cultural attractions and a world-class family destination.

For more information and to register as an official first responder, visit the official Lowry Park Zoo website!

20 Jul 2014

A Little Life in Pictures: Tips for Better Pictures on Social Media

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Happy Sunday! I enjoy taking pictures, especially of my kids. It’s not an unknown thing as most of the time I’m the one snapping away. So it’s not surprising I have over 5,000 photos on my phone. So why not share! I obviously have enough to go around. And if I don’t, what good do they do just sitting on my computer. Maybe they will make someone else’s day.

Ameture Photo Tip:

All of my pictures are taken on an iPhone 5s. If you want better pictures, consider using a photo editor on your phone. I LOVE Fotor. Once edited, share on your social networks! Guaranteed you’ll love your photos.

And if you want to edit online, PicMonkey is da BOMB! You can thank me later!

xo~ Marisa

PS…Do you use a photo editor? If so, which one and why?! I’m always into learning new tricks too!

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08 Jul 2014

Marvel Universe Live Tampa Bay Giveaway

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Our favorite venue to go and see shows with the kids is by far the Tampa Bay Times Forum! The shows are of the highest caliber and we never have a blocked view!
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07 Jul 2014

Dear Summer…Please don’t end.

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Definitely one for the books. We are livin’ it up this summer in every possible way. Life is too short not too. I know it can be hard having the kids “home” but honestly, I have no desire to spend lots of money on camps, just to have them not want to be home with me. The time will come when they will want to hang more with friends and less with us. It’s around the corner and will be here before I know it. I’m sure I will blink and beg for these days to return. So I try to remember that when 4 kids gets the best of me and I want to do is wave the white flag for the day.

But for now, today, I’m basking in the sounds of little kids laughter… smiles for miles about frozen yogurt, pool dates, play dates and movie nights with popcorn.

Yes, it’s a challenge when one works, but for now, for this year, I’m going make like I won the lottery and keep livin’ the good life. After all, it’s called summer vacation for a reason.

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04 Jul 2014

Simply Summer: American Made

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My husbands favorite holiday. I think it is because it feels like classic summer time and childhood memories. Love this great country and blessed to raise kids here. Happy July 4th!

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28 Jun 2014

Summertime 2014: #kidsonvacation

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Summer is in full swing! Two weeks down! Photo dump Saturday! Lots of adventures and more to come.