August 17, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY BRANDON!!

Well, he's not a baby anymore....he turned 2 years old today. He and sister Mikayla (now a big 4 years old) made sure that all the
food and entertainment was up to par with what their friends expected of the big bash  And we had to miss the party!

I've decided to do this babble segment on the downside to cruising. Yes, we've met many nice people and have bonded with several
of them. In a sense, the cruising community becomes your new family..thank goodness for that support! However, we are constantly
reminded of those we left behind. We get email's, photos and the like. Occasionally we connect with the "other homeland" and hear
the local news, weather reports and get to browse those regions as vacation destinations. Ironic, isn't it? And personally, during those
times I reflect on my decision to cruise, leaving behind the family I love and miss. I long for a picnic, day at the beach or
Thanksgiving Dinner with my other best friends, my family. The reality is that as the families grow; they are busy with their daily life.
And, even if we had remained  there instead of cruising, it's not likely that we'd have been able to spend as much time as we dream of
with them. Or, at least, this is how I validate our selfish "extended" vacation. I think I'm being too hard on myself...daughter Christen
(and mom to Brandon and Mikayla) gives her full support to our trip and knows how hard we've worked to accomplish our goals to
get this far.  She is in touch with us via email several days a week and keeps us posted on the events. I miss our daily phone calls,
though, most of which were just to check in and be sure we were each ok. It wasn't what was said during the calls..it was just a
comfort session for each of us, I guess. Well, for now we'll keep cruising. Our pockets aren't lined with gold and the cruising dream
will end soon enough when the money runs out. Meanwhile, we'll stay in touch as we have, try to get back for quick visits and hope
that the combination will be enough satisfaction for all of us.

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday Brandon! We're glad you had a good time and took center stage at the party. We love and miss you guys!
Bridgie's Babble - August 17, 2007
Birthday Boy getting a hug from his sister
"This is the best birthday I can remember!"
Brandon's the water lover in the family.
We'll make a sailor out of him yet..right
mom?
Mikayla is the sweetest girl I know...she's just
like her grandmother!
Brandon making his birthday list,
using his fingers to keep count
Mikayla and her best friend enjoying a summer day
Mom and Brandon at a company picnic. Look at the smiles!
Mikayla turned 4 in March.
Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!
Mikayla opening her gifts while Brandon (patiently) looks on