My reflection

I participated in this Slice of Life challenge last year. Last year’s writing was more thoughts than a narrative/small moment. I truly enjoyed the writing challenge this year. I looked forward to reading certain Slicers every day, and found myself in the middle of the day thinking, “I’m going to write about this moment!” I found myself growing and challenging myself as a writer. For this reason, I am reminded how important the practice of daily writing is for my students. Congrats to all who completed the challenge!

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Shell hunting

For years I spent my entire Spring Break bent over looking for special shells and sand dollars along the shore. Some years the sand dollars were everywhere, other times not so much. I was queen of the shell and sand dollar hunt.

I have little interest in hunting now. However, I see so many beach goers with a bag in hand hunched over, I can’t resist to slow my walk and begin to look carefully.

Over and over us shell hunters spot a little something, hoping to uncover it to find it complete. The bigger the shell, the less likely it’s the whole shell.

I see a shiny hump covered in the sand. The waves graze over it slightly. It’s the first shell I’ve picked up all week, and it’s the last day of vacation. Whenever you pick up a shell, it’s looks can still be deceiving as you begin to turn it over to see if both sides are complete. It’s big. The size of my palm. The front spiral is complete. I turn it over. No cracks. No chips. My first thought, someone must have put this here as a prank. I look around. Nope, it’s legit….

“*anonymous* will love this!” I am tickled. It’s the best shell I’ve ever found and I can’t wait to give it to one of the younger girls that travels on vacation with our entire crew. She’s about 9 years old and has been shell hunting all week.

Charlie and I are on a walk toward the young girl’s condo. As we get closer we see them out on the beach hunting for shells. Surprise surprise. “*girl’s name*! You are going to love the shell I found!” I hold out my hand to display a small dinky shell, more common, but still beautiful. Gotta play it up a bit!

“Oh, that’s nice.” She’s sweet have responded so kindly to the almost thirty year old that’s proud of a tiny shell.

“I’m just messing!” And whip around my other hand to reveal the show stopper. Her draw drops. “It’s for you!” I cheer.

Kelsey and Shelby (the girls my age) ask if I’m pulling their leg. “Brittany, did you really find this or did you buy it?” Kelsey asks.

“Kels, I am seriously just a shocked. When I picked it up, I looked around to see if someone had put it there on purpose… To make someone think they randomly found a good one.” The shell has the slightest imperfections and you can tell it wasn’t purchased at a souvenir shop, and we are all still stunned.

“You’ve always been the best shell finder.” Kelsey laughs. And I laugh too.

Rally Cap

“We can’t just see him one time.” I mutter.

About 6 years ago while my family was vacay’ing here, they came across a great musician. Mario Mena. The year they discovered him was a year I couldn’t go. I heard about Mario all the time throughout the following year. My twin was even a little smitten for him. She bought his music on iTunes and every year since my family looks to see where he will be playing the week we are in Gulf Shores: the Hangout, Pink Pony, and Florabama. We typically see him at least twice.

We arrived in Gulf Shores Saturday morning. Mario was playing at Florabama that night. We laid low and planned on see him Sunday. It’s hard to describe Florabama. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. There are at least three different areas for live music. I’ve seen Mario perform in all three areas. Signatures, bras, and pictures of artists that have played there line the walls and beams every where.

On Sunday our crew does a lap before we settle into the area that Mario will start playing at in about 30 minutes. As we are perusing the scene and run into Mario. He gives Dad and Brooke a hug. Yes!! My dad is a big fan but he’s more subtle about it. Mario has a Darius Rucker sound to him, and we love singing to every cover song he sings. He’s got some great songs of his own out, too.

Fast forward to today, around 8:15pm. My parents, Charlie, and I are playing the rubber match of our euchre game. The guys end up winning. Lucky. We’ve eaten and everyone is in their comfy clothes.

“I can’t believe we’re only going to have seen Mario once this week. Just doesn’t seem right. He’s prolly going to wonder why you didn’t come back and see him, Dad” I say with a smirk. Mario plays again at Florabama at 10:00. I could fall asleep right now.

“I could find my rally cap.” Dad says back, no real enthusiasm in his voice.

“Shoot, I’ll go in what I’ve got on right now. Just throw on a ball cap and go. Char, you in?” I give him the same look I gave my dad.

“If you go, I’ll go.” Charlie says with a sigh.

“Mom and Auntie! The guys are in! Can we rally?” Now I’m excited.

“You guys go. I’m fine to stay back.” Auntie says. A few minutes later Auntie grabs her shower towel… “Well, I need to shower regardless. So, maybe I’ll find my rally cap while I’m at it.” Oh she’s definitely going.

Of course I’m not really going to wear a ball cap and lounge where. I curl my hair, pick out an outfit, and slap on some makeup. By the time I’ve picked out my putfit, Auntie’s picking out her outfit too.

I peer pressured my entire crew to go see Mario. It’s an easy challenge.

We arrive at Florabama. “One more time!! One more song. Let’s close it out!” my dad cheers!

And now it’s 1:15am. We came, we saw, we rallied. See you next year, Mario!

1-on-1

Charlie and I had some great 1-on-1 time.

I say that because for the most part we’ve done our own thing during vacay. I’ll layout in the sun, while he goes for a run or watches a basketball game. I’m glad we can both find comfort in doing our own thing.

Today, we went for a walk on the beach together, versed each other in a 2-person volleyball game we made up, enjoyed a few cocktails, and took naps in the sun together. Nothing fascinating, but I love moments like these. Tomorrow will most likely be back to our own thing, but today was perfect.

Santa’s elf

“Can you do my a favor?” Brooke asks.

“Whatcha need?” I reply. I’ve only been up for 15 minutes. I’m sipping my coffee, and I’m on vacation. And you need me to do you favor? You know I’m not a morning person, right? Give me an hour, or at least another 15 minutes.

“Can you fix my phone?” She asks timidly.

“Sure!” Of all favors, she asked a good one. I like tasks like these, and she knows it.

She hands over the phone with a crack in the corner and a plastic bag with a small shard of glass from the screen. Brooke told me before we left for vacay that she would be bringing her phone for me to fix.

“You have the hands of an elf!” Seriously, she is so witty as clever, and she’s right. I’d be great in Santa’s workshop. I’ve always enjoyed getting the knot out of anything, especially necklaces, and fixing anything anyone else has already tried to fix. Within a few minutes I have the piece back in place. “You’re done already? I tried forever to put that piece back in.”

I hand it back over for her to move on to step 2 of the process. She wants to cover her screen with a phone protector to keep the tiny piece of glass in place. We read the directions and she asks if I want to do it. Well sure I do, but I’ll let her try first if she wants to. Not long after I can tell she’s ready for me to tap in.

Slowly I begin to center the screen protector. I press down in the center and begin smoothing out the bubbles. When I’m almost done, I glance down In my lap to see the small shard of glass. Sometime between centering the screen protector and beginning to smooth it out, the piece fell out. great. “Dang it!” I shout.

“What?”

“Somehow the glass piece fell out.” I respond slightly aggravated.

“That’s okay, Britty. Don’t worry about it.”

Ha! That’s not how I operate. Knowing the package she purchased has an extra back up screen protector, I begin to lift up the protector that I had just smoothed out. I replace the piece of glass and start over. Carefully I make sure the piece of glass stays put as I smooth out the screen protector. Success!

Finish strong

Finish Strong. Charlie’s favorite saying. He’s worn a black rubber wristband with white letters with this saying since we started dating in college.

“It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.” he chuckles after our first round of euchre. It’s ladies versus the men. My mom and I are on a team. Charlie and my dad are on a team. I grew up playing euchre. I know the game well. Charlie and I have always played spades. There are plenty of similarities. But still, euchre is new to Char. We aren’t on the same team, but I feel the need to explain strategies to him. He’s not interested. This him, super competitive, ready to figure it out on his own.

Through round 1, we (my mom and I) took it easy on the guys and still kicked their butts. Round 2, the men won. We play best of three games. Pizza break time. Reenergize and we will be back it. Who will win? Time will tell. Finish strong!

Greeting the Morning Sun

I went to bed last night contemplating if I should get up for the sunrise, which was to be expected at 6:48AM. I opted out and set my alarm for 7:40AM instead. It’s Spring Break, and I’m sleeping in… Charlie had other plans. He truly is a morning person. Typically, I don’t hear him in the morning (which you would be well aware of if you read my Uncertainty post. Ha!).  Drawers opening and closing. Plastic bags scrunching. Zippers unzipping. I toss and turn. He exits our room, forgetting something he enters shortly after. Alrighty! I’m up. And why not? There will be plenty of naps to be had on the beach all day long. I walk out our room to my “other twins” chatting at the kitchen counter, coffee brewing. Brookie is sleeping on the pull-out couch just across the room. She won’t be sleeping for long.

“Who wants a lemon cake ball with their coffee?” my mom asks.

Plain black coffee with something sweet. It’s my favorite combo and it’s definitely not Whole 30 approved. “Me!” I reply. I’ll restart up Whole 30 when I get back. I’m on vacation!

Brooke is awake now and we all cozy up on the balcony to greet the sun. Today will be another blessed day with my favorite peeps.