Levi and Hali Do America

Levi and Hali Do America

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Salam, guys! God willing, everyone is doing well!

This summer has been pretty good to my son and I. We have gone to the beach a few times, gone to the park, went on bike rides through the neighborhood and take the dog on long walks. Despite the Humidity that South Florida has to offer, we try to do an outdoor activity every week. To most, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I share 50\50 custody of my son with his father, so, we each have 3.5 days with him, and only one of them falls on a weekend. I was talking to one of my closest friends on the phone on a Monday, and we decided there and then that Levi and I would come for a visit. He and his wife live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a single parent, driving isn’t easier, but it is the cheaper option. By hundreds of dollars! I spoke with Levi’s dad, got an oil change on my car, bought a small cooler and Wednesday morning Levi, and I were off for our first real adventure together.  Here are some tips!! I hope you enjoy!

Visit as many people as you can along the way!

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My family is huge. My friend base is huge. I was in the Military for six years, and I am pretty close with even the third cousins in my family. Close enough to call them the day before the trip and say ‘Hey, Levi and I are going on a road trip, can we visit?’ And it is not a big deal. We have loved ones all across the US and it was such a blessing to be able to see most of them. I hope to see the rest on our next big adventure! Levi got to hang with cousins he’s never met, meet aunties and uncles he’s never seen and visit two of my closest friends with whom I have been friends with for ten years or more. It’s also fun to see cities you would have never considered visiting. I (and a country singer I can’t remember the name of) call those ‘Fly over states.’ Had I never driven to Colorado, I would have never gone to Junction City, Kansas, I would have never stopped and spent so much time in Tennessee with family, and I wouldn’t have swooped over and visited friends near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I wouldn’t have eaten cheese Kurds in some random city in Kansas; I wouldn’t have realized exactly how crappy of a state Missouri is (there were a lot of Trump stickers, Southern pride flags and the abundance of anti-abortion signs was kind of a huge bummer).

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Take as many pictures as possible

Self-explanatory, but just in case, it’s because #memories.

 

Pack a cooler (I have no pictures of the cooler)

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Eating healthy is kind of difficult, especially if you are on a time crunch. I packed a cooler with fruits and healthy snacks, along with water bottles and cold brews (coffee, not beer, for me). It kept me from having to stop at the gas station every time the little man wanted to snack on something, which saved money and time. We only stopped for actual meals, potty breaks, and photo-ops.

Don’t let the long drive make you grumpy!!dontbegrumpy

I chose to look ugly instead of being grumpy, instead of doing makeup I slept the extra 30 minutes. Also, I chose to drive, no one made me, so don’t be a dick! They all know you’re tired.

 

Be in the moment.

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I have never had so much one on one time with my son. We talked a lot. We argued a lot. We saw a lot of spectacular views. I told him as many times as I could to enjoy this. Enjoy the moment because you never know what tomorrow will bring and next summer we might not make it to the Rocky mountains or the Smokey mountains. We held hands as much as possible, I explained as much about what we were looking at as I could, and we really just connected. He was such a champ that I have dubbed him ‘Road trip buddy.’ He hardly complained. By the end of the trip, he knew what getting in my car meant and would ask for his Tablet and water bottle as soon as he buckled himself into his seat.

I wouldn’t trade that trip for the world. The look on my son’s face when he saw his first mountain is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

 

Xoxo,

Hali and Levi #LeviandHalidoamerica (Instagram).

New Year, New You?

Every time the New Year rolls around we are overloaded with Facebook status updates that say things like “New Year, New Me,” “Taking no Ls next year” or my favorite lie “2017 will be MY year.” 

Let’s be real here, turning 2016 into 2017 will not magically transform you into You2.0, nor will it fix the mess that is known as 2016. New Year’s Resolutions are stupid. Yeah, I said it. 

I know as a blogger I am going against the grain by not giving you a list of 20 things to put on your New Year’s Resolution list but the truth is: New Year’s resolutions only add pressure. 2016 has been rough on us all. 130 celebrities died, Brangelina split, America sold its soul to an orange con artist, and worst of all, the killings of unarmed people of color were at an all time high.  We deserve a break. 

How about instead of “New year,  new me” try “New year, same me, different outlook.”

We live in a world where people don’t go out and experience things just to say they’ve done it or for adventure. They go out to take a damn Instagram pic or check-in on Facebook to say “look at me and all the cool shit I do in life. Hah! My life is better than yours.” There is all this pressure to be  the perfect, photo ready, super mom, who has all her shit together. 

But the jig is up ladies: no one has their shit together. That is why we call it the human race. We are all just running around trying to get our shit together!

So in 2017 let’s not add pressure on ourselves to loose weight, find a husband or whatever. Let’s just follow three simple rules that any Mom Jawn can follow:

1. Learn to say “no” to people who expect too much from you and don’t offer anything in return. 

2. Be okay with saying “no” to these people. They will find someone else to suck the life out of. Trust me, you will thank me later. 

3. Cut out anything in your life that is not making you happy. 

Cut off Examples:

Shitty lovers: cut off

People who post things online that annoy, offend, or bring you down: cut off/unfollow 

Friends you have outgrown (people who have been in your life forever, but now bring you down because they are full of negative energy or limit your potential by not being supportive of your ambitions): cut off

Toxic people / relationships: YOU NEED TO CUT IT 

Unnessary spending: cut it

Excuses: cut it.

Saying “I’ll see you next year” at the end of December: cut it, that shit is played out.  

So since 2016 was the year of stupid freaking internet challenges I have a Mom Jawn challenge for you that may actually bring some positive change in your life if done right: 

Instead of writing down your New Year’s Resolutions, write down your Cut Off List of 2017. Post your Cut Off List on twitter and tag me in it @momjawn #MomJawn, or write your Cut Off List on your Facebook status sharing this post. 

Maybe next year I will write a list of resolution ideas for my readers, but this year I want everyone to take the pressure off themselves and just be happy. Happy with themselves, happy with their lives, happy with their parenting, happy in their relationships. Above all I hope you Mom Jawns truly have a HAPPY New year! 

.Bucket List.

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Here is my Bucket List, someday, somehow I will check off everything on this list.

* Indicates a checkmark

  • Live in another country *
  • Sell all my worldly possessions and move to an island*
  • Graduate College
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Meet Jennifer Lopez
  • Take Pictures with my Kids at the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine
  • catch the bouquet at a wedding
  • See the Heart Tree in the Sequoia National Park
  • Go to the Ágitagueda Art Festival in Portugal
  • Explore El Yunque*
  • Punch my daughters father in the face
  • Take a picture with every state sign in America
  • Learn to ride / own a motorcycle
  • Learn to tap dance
  • Eat every meal on a Chinese restaurant menu (not all at once, over time of course)
  • Walk the Skydeck in Chicago
  • Take my kids to Disney
  • Write a letter to myself and open it in 15 years
  • Visit India for the festival of colors and love
  • Celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico

This list will be expanded on as I think of new things I want to do in my life. Feel free to comment with suggestions.