Exhale. Breathe.

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Last weekend I spent some time in Myrtle Beach, SC for a little bit of rest, relaxation and fun for my family.  This was my view for the extended weekend every morning, from the balcony of my bedroom.  I’ve never had a balcony from my bedroom and now I swear it is on my bucket list to ensure I have one at one point in my life.  It was absolutely divine waking up and sitting out in the crisp morning air with my chamomile tea and looking out over the lake.

It was complete bliss.

This trip was designed to help me hit the reset button.  After my father’s death, my Grave’s diagnosis, and then the past few months of working roughly 12 hour days on a project for a new client, I feel like I’ve been beat with a stick.  Spring break came at the perfect time because also at this time I learned:

the project I was working on was coming to an end and my participation was no longer needed

my most recent bloodwork showed my thyroid levels are normal

So now I’m on a mission to recuperate, finally take a bit of time to collect myself, catch up with loose ends, and enjoy my life and family.

It seems completely asanine that collecting myself and enjoying every moment is not the way I’ve been spending each day, but that is absolutely what has been happening.

So just in time for spring, an opportunity for renewal, I’m ready to renew myself.

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My Broken Thyroid

It has been a few months since I last posted.  Life has taken several unfortunate turns for me, but I know that my life is still blessed.  December included me accompanying my father to California to see his oldest brother who was dying.  This led to my dad being admitted for several days in the hospital in Pasadena.  Then coming back home to feel a bit better, but then fall into renal failure.  The holidays passed with him getting better in the hospital and admitted to a rehab center.  A few days after being there, he passed in his sleep.

Then a few days after his funeral, I started seeing an endocrinologist for bloodwork from December that indicated I had hyperthyroidism.  Months prior I had been experiencing extreme fatigue, weakness, hot flashes, and dizzy spells out of nowhere.  After more bloodwork and a radioactive iodine uptake test, I was diagnosed with Grave’s disease.

There is nothing wrong with my thyroid.  My body is just attacking it for no reason.

Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder.  I’m thinking it may have been triggered by either my last pregnancy or just stress.  There is a genetic component to it, but I unleashed the predisposition for it.  It will be something I have to manage for the rest of my life.  There is no cure for Grave’s, but I’m hoping to put it in remission some day.

I’m just starting this journey and the recent events have made me reevaluate life.  I don’t know too much about Grave’s.  I don’t know how much my life will be changed.  God has his plan.

Pray with me!

~Lani

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Last Weekend to Go to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream!

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream
Yes, those are bats!!

This weekend is the last weekend to go to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream!

Go!

Wait…you have small kids?

Go!

Halloween weekend may not initially come to mind as the most ideal weekend to go to Busch Gardens renowned Halloween event.  You may be thinking of tons of adults and teens, running amuck, crowded lines, and way too much horror and scariness for your kids.

But I’m speaking to those families that aren’t too into the haunted houses…

…the ones with smaller kids…

…or the ones WITHOUT kids…

Why?

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream is a perfect DAY event as well.  I took my family there (yup, including my infant and 2 year old) and we had such a fun time despite our intent on not staying after dark (it would just be too scary for my kids…okay, and maybe me!).  Especially if you are annual passmembers, it’s a great way to celebrate Halloween!  Here are 5 reasons why we enjoyed it!

  1. Good chance for parking within walking distance!  Get there when the park opens (10AM) and there is a very strong chance you’ll get parking walking distance to the park.  Most visitors for Howl-O-Scream come for the haunted houses (This year they have 3 new ones including Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge made by the producer of the Blair Witch Project!).
  2. NO LINES!!!  Again, since most of the guests are arriving closer to dark hours, the park is practically empty prior to 5 or so on average.  With it being Halloween weekend, you’ll still probably have the park to yourself prior to lunch.  However, if you are coming with kids who are really young, expect Sesame Street Forest of Fun to be empty!  It still will be significantly less crowded than if you’ve ever been to Busch Gardens in the summer.  All of the rides are still open (including coasters).  So my hubby and I actually used the short lines to our advantage and actually rode some coasters by ourselves because it only took us 5 minutes to be in and out of the line!
  3. Shows!  There are three Halloween-themed shows and not all of them are 100% family friendly, but they are all fun!

Night Beats at the Fest Haus is completely family friendly.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a lunch or dinner show with the family and get out of the cold.  The show spans several decades of popular music all with the backdrop of spooky vampires and ghouls.  My favorite part of the show was that it used a live band along with the live singing and dancing…so you know the music is awesome!

Monster Stomp on Ripper Row is another fun show  that combines story, singing, dancing, and percussion!  The music has big nod to popular rock songs that you’ll love, many in “mash-ups” if you will.  The whole family will definitely love the percussion using everyday objects and drums throughout the show!  There is a disclaimer for the show saying it may not be appropriate for children.  After watching it, I’m concluding it is because of the beginning of the show where they set the story of someone being murdered and “crossing over” into a dark world.

Fiends – okay, this show is probably the one I would definitely consider not appropriate for the whole family. That being said, we loved it!  HEAHEAH!  Okay, my kids were too young to understand, so it was fun.  This show is reminiscent to the Rocky Horror Picture show.  Think mad scientist, naughty jokes, scantily clad female assistants, and lots of alluding to the improper.  Again, there is lots of great singing and dancing.  The story is hilarious.

4. Food!  This isn’t the same summer fare you are used to.  Sink your teeth into some new bites at the all-you-can-eat buffet Blood Banquet or mom and dad can sip on a libation from three “Spirit Bars” throughout the park.  We had some yummy cocktails that came in cool light up cups!

5. So Many Photo Ops for Halloween!  Although you probably can find some great general fall photo ops for your family, there are too many fun freaky and spooky settings to enjoy.  Snap a pic with a variety of monsters, creatures, ghosts and more!

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Look how empty the Fest Haus is!
Look how empty the Fest Haus is!
This reminded us of the filipino mythical creature, the Aswang!
This reminded us of the filipino mythical creature, the Aswang!
Yikes! He's headless!
Yikes! He’s headless!

Again, this is a fun way to celebrate Halloween with the family.  Come Friday the 30th, the 31st before you go trick-or-treating, or Nov 1st as a last Halloween hurrah!

Let me know how you liked Howl-O-Scream this year!

~Lani

 

Disclaimer:  I am serving as a 2015 Busch Gardens Thrill Chaser ambassador.  The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.

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