St. Croix Easter Weekend – Going Home

I wanted until the end of the day, as we drive home to write this post. Why? Well I wasn’t sure we were going to make it home.

We had taken a layer flight than our friends because we wanted a few extra hours on the island. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to turn in our rental car and head to the gate to pick up our boarding passes. It was a smaller airline so pre-boarding was not an option, which makes me nervous.

This was the line upon our arrival.

Lines aren’t such a bad thing. It was as beautiful day. The sun was shining and the breeze always blows on St. Croix.

However the line didn’t move.

And it didn’t move again and again.

An hour passes and we are still standing in the same place. The same families were standing at the counter the whole time. I assume they were having difficulties and as as they were done, we would begin to move. However that didn’t happen and there was talk of a cancelled flight.

Uh oh. Cancelled flight means we miss our connecting flight and it goes down from there. My thoughts go wild. We will have to sleep in the airport in San Juan, etc. Dang it. I wore a stupid dress and that means sitting up all night. I had all kinds of thoughts rambling around and in the end……. it wasn’t our flight so all those ramblings were for nothing.

Small airports crack me up. All the gates are seated in the same area and the planes look like they are parked in the back yard.

We were flying from St. Croix to San Juan for the first leg of our journey home. I was concerned about the size of the plane since it was a short plane ride. I’m not my most comfortable self while riding on airplanes. I’m a little bit of a chicken.

So as we boarded our “puddle jumper” my poor tall husband had to fold himself over as we found our way to our seat.

And then there were propellers that I could actually see.

Not a fan

One final view of St. Croix as we fly over

Does anyone else overeat junk food while on vacation. It’s ridiculous and I’m ashamed…..

We made it onto our last flight and unfortunately we weren’t able to sit together. My seat partner just happened to snore

The

Whole

Way

Home

Thank goodness for ear buds.

We now are heading home via the turnpike and will soon find comfort in our own bed.

Vacations are so fun and I love them but there is truly no place like home.

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St Croix Easter Weekend – He is Risen!! (Day 3)

We left the condo at 5:30am to attend sunrise service. The moon was still pretty high in the sky but we were excited to share and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord!

Church was held at the Judith’s Fancy Sugar Mill. It was the 43rd year, they had held Easter Sunrise service.

‭Easter service included a 9 year old INCREDIBLE singer and a Pastor and his wife that I could have listened to for days.

It began to rain for a few moments and afterwards, the clouds parted for a spectacular view.

Becky had wanted to surprise us with the steel drum player that had participated in the sunrise service for many many years. We noticed in the program that he would again be attending but mechanical difficulty left him stranded. The service proceeded with disappointment.

Near the end of the morning, the pastor prayed and during the prayer, the steel drums began to play from the back of the seating area. Becky and I looked at each other and she mouthed “he’s here!!” The morning was filled with beauty and wonder of such a beautiful place. It was filled with friends and fascination and an overwhelming experience. But the best part of the morning ? The celebration of our Lord and Savior. The one who died for us and rose again. What a glorious morning it was.

We returned to the condo and had bacon, eggs, cinnamon rolls, OJ and coffee.

Soon after, we headed to the beach/pool area and enjoyed a few hours of pure relaxation.

Easter dinner was the most memorable meal of the weekend. Hotdogs, deviled eggs, pork and beans pickles and Oreo cookies for dessert. The dinner of champions and it was perfect.

Easter concluded with an evening kayak tour of St Croix’s Bioluminescent Bay. One of only seven super glow biobays left in the world. The St Croix Biobay was a great way to end a fantastic weekend.

Thank you Glenn and Becky for inviting us into your home away from home and for your friendship. Here is to our next adventure together.

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St. Croix Easter Weekend – Day 2

Rise and Shine!! Coffee and cinnamon rolls await

We had to get our snorkel gear at 9:00.

We were headed to Point Udall which is the eastern most point in the United States.

This monument is a giant sundial was titled Point Udall Millennium Monument. It was built for the New Years celebration January 1, 2000. The tradition is that people celebrate at this monument the first sunrise of the new year .

We hiked down a dusty trail for about 1/2 mile towards the water carrying snorkel gear, towels and our lunch. Going down was fun! Coming back up? Not so fun.

The water was super wavy and it was a difficult time to snorkel. We were still able to see some fish, coral and some beautiful sea life.

We spent our lunch under (some in) a big tree talking about anything and everything from what we would have told our younger selves to Abraham and so much in between.

We drove around the South Island.

We caught a glimpse of “The Castle.” It’s for sale for $9 million. Any takers?

What an incredible view this little house has

We spent the afternoon at home just sitting on the back porch. Not a bad way to spend our time. It wasn’t hard to nap as the ocean breeze blows.

We had dinner at Flyers, grill/bar place right on the water.

Dinner was fabulous but the homemade ice cream was out of this world. Lots of flavors with 4 spoons.

Happy Easter Eve Friends.

Tomorrow is going to be an incredible day. It’s going to be an early morning for us here in St Croix but what a glorious day it’s going to be.

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St. Croix Easter Weekend – Day 1

When Becky moved to St. Croix for her job, we spoke often of a visit.

If it’s not on the calendar it doesn’t happen……..so a trip was planned for Easter weekend!!

Plane tickets were purchased, a rental car reserved and fun things were planned.

Our flight left from Orlando International Airport with a short layover in Miami before landing in St Croix around 2:30 Friday afternoon.

Look at that water!

How fun it is to see your people.

A quick stop at the condo and off to Christiansted.

St. Croix was hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 both Category 5 storms within 2 weeks of each other. Becky is here working to help with recovery and restoration of the public utility and roads.

As we flew over the island there were many blue tarped roofs as well and obvious destruction caused by the storm. The island is slowly recovering.

We walked the streets.

We fed the Tarpon hotdogs.

I love love LOVE old buildings, brick laid streets and just plain old stuff.

These steps led to the front doors of a church built in 1734. I can’t even…..

I don’t know what this building was but I needed to hug it’s beauty.

The stairs that led to nowhere

Becky has made us reservations at the Wardroom, a restaurant located upstairs at the Hotel St. Croix.

Inside the hotel was the first caged elevator ever in St. Croix. Just look at the brick wall 💜💙❤️

Steve’s dinner included a pork chop from The Flintstones and Becky spoke love to her ribeye. Obviously we were hungry .

Our first day was a huge success and tomorrow is going to be so fun!

We have to pick up our snorkel gear at 9am!!

Happy Easter Weekend,

Charma

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Does it have to be labeled?

I’m preparing for book club. We are reading Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.

It has slapped me a few times but today, as I re-read a chapter in the section titles Legacy, this paragraph spoke to me:

“Some of us are made to write songs and grants and novels, all different things. I’m finding that one of the greatest delights in life is walking away from what someone told you you should be in favor of walking towards what you truly love, in your own heart, in your one secret soul.”

I’ve not felt myself for a long time. I have struggled as many do with “life things.” Deaths and births, moving, new friends, old friends, jobs and no jobs and so many more I can’t begin to list.

Everyone deals with things differently and not one is right or wrong. For months, I have felt like something is wrong. I’m not a depressed kind of person but if I had to describe my feelings, I would have titled it some sort of depression. I don’t like to be labeled and I don’t like to label others. Why does it have to have a title to be real? It doesn’t.

I’m missing some things that are incredibly important to me, due to changes in our weekly dynamics. I refuse to wallow in self pity because of things that are uncontrollable. It’s ok to mourn but I can’t just stay there. It’s important to move forward. Disappointment is real. So is grace. I have listened to two sermons in the last two weeks. The first was what to do with all the extra grace and the other was how to deal with disappointment. Sermons that speak to my very core. I am so incredibly blessed and I feel as if Grace has dumped a whole load on me. I’ve also dealt with disappointment lately and I not only want to move ahead but I need to.

Do you ever feel like a new day comes and the lights come on? The sun hits you just right and the days seem to be just a little happier.

I sound dramatic and I’m not meaning to. I just feel more like myself than ever before.

I have people who have asked if I’m ok and of course it’s always yes. However I know they aren’t dumb and know there’s more.

Thank you, you know who you are, for allowing me to live through the pain in my own way without pushing. Allowing me to wallow a little. Be sad when sad is necessary. I want to be that to others in my life.

Two friends, out of no where stopped Saturday at our house. They both apologized for just showing up. The best part of their visit? They stopped without calling. That means that we are open and welcoming. Nothing could make me happier.

Being present over Perfect is not easy for me. I want to be both for goodness sake. However I also want to sit where my gifts are and use those gifts where they belong.

Spring has sprung and it feels like I have entered my spring. New growth, a brighter day and abundant blessings.

Be intentional friends. If your gut tells you to call someone, call them. If you get the urge to invite people for dinner, DO IT. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Listen, I’m preaching because I’m the one who is listening the hardest. Just do it.

Be Present.

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A Dirty Path

Our back deck is the main entryway to the house.

Park your car

Up the stairs

Across the deck

Into the door

Of course I didn’t take a picture of the dirt path but here you can see the light color it was previously painted. And how gross it was.

And how I recruited Mom to help me paint.

I started by picking out a new color.

I decided dark to hide the dirt. It’s still there but at least it doesn’t show!

Painting all the slats is not fun.

I had already decided that I wanted to do something special with the floor after it was painted.

A pretty rug would be nice but they get wet and soggy.

Then they smell and it’s impossible to clean.

Nope…… no rug.

At least not a fabric rug.

I painted a border in white to create the illusion of a rug on the floor.

There was a little bit of measuring but this girl doesn’t do math so fingers crossed, everything would fit.

I purchased a 12 x 12 stencil from Michales for $6 (with my coupon of course) and used exterior house paint to paint it on.

I liked it a lot when all the rows were completed but it just needed a little more.

So I added some of the center rosette in the empty spots randomly around the rectangle.

So cute!!!

I had many hours of touchups ahead of me and I might not stand erect for a while but it’s so worth it.

No more dirt path!!!

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The Hideout – Finally Done

In 2015 as we began renovations and reinvention of the stairs were a must.

Could they be any grosser? Is grosser a word?

Steve said when the new stairs were being installed that one day, a space under the stairs should happen. Not knowing we would have the cutest little grandson, it immediately became a place for him. A place that one day, he would want to play in, a place to nap and maybe even spend the night when he’s older.

The news stairs are not gross and actually so very the opposite of grosser

My wheels started rolling a few months ago.

Enter the master bedroom, make a hard right and behind the door you will find the entrance to the Hideout.

Before it was obviously a pillow storage.

But now…..

We still need a door, but that’s coming and it’s going to be a doozy!

Immediately to your right as you enter, is a book/toy nook.

Jack loves little toys so the baskets will hold his toy animals and of course his favorite, cars.

There is no electricity so I had to be creative and used @nestingwithgrace magic light trick. Regular sconces with puck lights installed. Remote controlled allows for instant lights.

The first section holds a twin size bed. I purchased a piece of foam so it could be cut to exact measurement required. Sewing sensation Mom/Nana made a “beddy bed” like cover for the foam. It has a fitted bottom sheet just like a regular bed with a cover on top connected with a zipper. No blankets scattered and no cold children. All snug as a bug.

To the left of the first space is a play wall which now holds a magnetic board for our ABC practicing and a chalk board.

The left wall is just for fun. I wanted whomever was in this space to feel loved and empowered.

Immediately behind the first space is an opening that leads to the second space.

As you pass through the first space, the second space holds a queen size bed, with the same zippered bedding, the same lights but has rope lighting all he way around the space.

I admit to crawling back into this space with a book and relishing in the quiet and the comfy cave feeling.

Claustrophobic? This space is not for you?

I’m so very proud of the space we have created for Jack and for the next babies that come along.

Making a space from nothing is part of our DNA and I think we did good.

Enjoy little boy.

You are incredibly loved💜❤️💙

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