Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday Travels: Grandeur of the Seas, Costa Maya, Mexico part 2

As I mentioned in my last travel blog, our family split up in the port of Costa Maya. While four of us discovered the rich Mayan history around DD and DSIL became beach bums for a day! While I wouldn't trade our Mayan experience for the world, I do think the next time I am in Costa Maya that beach experience will be calling my name.

Majahual (pronounced Ma-ha-wall) is a small coastal village about 2 miles south of the fancy new port of Costa Maya. There are some who complain that you have to travel to get to the beach...and the village is a fishing village and rather poor...but it is worth it!

My DD and DSIL spent the day at a beach club. I had done extensive research for them on the best choice and recommended Pez Quadro. I must have done well, because they returned happy and relaxed, with a glowing report of the establishment.

Now be warned, these are not the kind of beach clubs you will find somewhere like Cancun. This a small village, not a renowned resort least not yet. None the less, they had a wonderful time. 

A package was purchased for $35 per person that included lounge chairs, an umbrella or palapa, nachos, and an open bar for the entire day. They certainly got their moneys worth, and DD managed to snag a massage on the beach as well.

Though I only stepped on to the beach for a few minutes that day, I can report the following per my kids...

  • the beach was clean
  • the sand was white

  • the service was excellent
  • the drinks were wonderful
  • the food was good

  • the area was not overcrowded
  • the dancers/singers from the ship hung out there

  • the water was clear
  • there is a great view of the ships

  • you can buy from local vendors
  • you can buy great cigars

  • the bathrooms/showers are clean and quite nice

  • they have really cute menus

Really a great way to spend a relaxing day in port in a still fairly unspoiled area. Enjoy it before the big hotels move in!

Bon Voyage ~Marla

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Let Go and Swim

I have never consider myself to be overly materialistic. Notice I use the word "overly" in that comment. Most Americans are materialistic in nature. We are a product of our that bombards us with messages about what constitutes success and happiness...and invariably this leads us to believe that bigger, nicer, and fancier are better.

I bring up this subject because I have been thinking a lot about my home lately. My home is nice and it is big, but it also older. I live in a 1970's ranch style house in a neighborhood with big old trees. I have watched families with incomes less than our own (especially all the years I was working as an R.N.) buy fancy, expensive houses in prestigious areas of town. We, on the other hand, stayed in our much more modest home and were quite content. I admit to being pleased with myself at times with the fact that I was content to live in an older home. I saw this a testament to my non-materialistic nature.

I was living a lie. I discovered two things as I have started perusing the houses for sale in the Oklahoma City area. The first is this; I don't live in an older home because it is a sacrifice, I live in an older home because that is what I love. I admire the beautiful newer houses, many with big open areas and beautiful soaring vaulted ceilings. They have master bathrooms the size of my bedroom! They shout luxury and prestige. I love visiting them and admiring their beauty. But as I look at houses in my price range and I view the new homes alongside the old, I am invariably drawn to the old when I consider which I would want to live in. I simply love the coziness of the older home. To me they have a certain character I just don't find in the newer houses. What I perceived as not being wrapped up in materialism, was really just living in the style of home I preferred all along.

The second thing I discovered? I am extremely materialistic in nature. I am clinging to my home like a drowning man to a plank in the sea! I don't want to give up my home to move. I don't want to give up any of my possessions either! I like my stuff way too much...I mean, what if my husband has to take a pay cut in all of this? Then what will we do? Seriously? This is what I am worrying about? I know God will provide for us. We will have food, clothing, and shelter. Isn't that enough? It should be. I know God has a plan in all of this. I know I need to trust in Him. I know if that means leaving possessions and family to follow His plan, that it will be for His purpose. It is time to let go of the plank and start swimming towards shore. I may not know what I will find there...but I know the man I love will be there, and that God will guide our strokes. Finding contentment in every circumstance...that is my lesson in this. It is time to let go and grow.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Shot Heard 'Round Wichita

Today the announcement was made...Boeing Wichita is closing its hangar doors by the end of 2013. While hardly a complete surprise, it is still a blow for the 2,100 current employees and their families, our own included. Unfortunately it will likely impact others in the area as well. Increased unemployment and families moving out of the metropolitan area is a likely scenario.

So where do we stand in this? Well, our future is uncertain. The only certainty is that things will not remain the same. The programs that my husband works on are to be moved to either San Antonio, Texas, or Oklahoma City. His main priority is continuing his employment with Boeing, regardless of where that may be. Continued employment is not a guarantee, so prayers would be greatly appreciated.

If he is transferred with a program to Oklahoma City, he would likely commute back here on the weekends. If the destination is San Antonio then obviously we would both move. If he is not chosen to go with a program then he will seek another position within Boeing, regardless of the location. Seattle, St. Louis, Dallas, Virginia, etc. All would be a possibility and entail selling our home here and moving. As a last resort he would seek employment outside the Boeing Company.

At this point it is likely these changes will occur for us by September 2012. In the meantime prayers are coveted and encouraging words are appreciated. If you find yourself in Derby feel free to stop by and grab a slow painting project needs to be stepped up a notch!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Plans He has Made

January 2011 Cruise
With the holidays behind me it is time to rejoin the blogging community. The holidays, while enjoyable, are also filled with a myriad of chores that take up a great deal of time. Now I feel ready to take a deep breath and meet the challenges of a new year.

This past year was one of great change for me. Losing my mobility, leaving my job, becoming a true empty nester...those are not small things. Stress was great, frustration was high. But so was joy, self discovery, and personal growth. I learned a positive attitude is something you have to work at, it doesn't just happen. Joy and thankfulness are a choice, as are bitterness and self-pity. 

This year will likely be no different. Every new year brings a new set of challenges and changes. My husbands job at Boeing hangs in the balance as company executives make decisions over which we have no control. As such, this year may bring job changes, a move, and even possibly a change in income. Keeping a positive outlook can be difficult at times, but knowing God is faithful is enough at this point. We may feel we are in limbo, but He knows the plans He has laid for us.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
 ~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

So as we enter this new year, a year full of uncertainty and adventures yet to be seen, I wish you peace and joy. A spirit of thankfulness and contentment, and the knowledge that no matter what the future may bring, God already has a plan.

God Bless ~Marla