Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

00241429-DB90-4AE4-9EC6-DB9473DD4693Here I lay at 11:00 PM in my bed sobbing. I had gobs of soggy tissues on top of me and laying all around me on the bed. It was the night before Christmas Eve, which is supposed to be such a joyful time of year and I was feeling extremely un-jolly and grinchy. Let me tell you, I was a pretty pitiful sight. After who knows how long, my seven-year-old daughter Shay tip-toed in. I felt a hand on me, and she whispered: “Mommy, can I come snuggle with you so you’re not sad anymore?” which about made my heart burst from my chest.

A Familiar Feeling

Backtracking just a little bit, to two weeks ago. The very same daughter who turned seven on December 10, started acting not herself. That entire week she kept having these spectacular meltdowns which nothing and no one could pull her out of. They would last anywhere from minutes to over an hour. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with her, and myself because it seemed anything I tried was not only not helping her but making things worse. To top it all off, my anxiety would go through the roof when she would get into this state, so I would just me a mess too and end up yelling and feeling terrible, and going to bed just feeling defeated. As I lay in bed one night thinking about her, this lightbulb suddenly went off, and I realized that she was displaying symptoms of anxiety. I was so mad at myself for not realizing this sooner since I have anxiety!  After scouring the internet in the wee hours of the morning, I was positive that was what she was suffering from.

The next day, when she once again had a meltdown, this time which was triggered by pain when she scraped her side, I tried to use some of my methods I have learned to help me calm myself down. I picked out one of her favorite stuffed dogs, (named Ollie after my sister and her boyfriend’s real life dog), to become her breathing buddy. The idea is to have her place him on her belly and take big deep breaths. When she sees him moving up and down she knows she’s doing it right. My heart was in the right place, but it didn’t work, and she just became more irritated and upset. It seriously just crushed me. I even have anxiety myself, so I should be the one to know how to help, and I felt helpless. Every night I would just feel defeated about it.

Thankfully, she was already scheduled for her seven-year check-up, so I talked in-depth to our pediatrician about what was going on. We have known him since I was pregnant with Calvin and chose him to be our kids doctor, so it’s been almost a ten-year relationship. He confirmed my suspicions and said all her syptoms are classics signs of anxiety in kids. So, he scheduled her an evaluation with their in-office psychologist in January, (which she is doing free of charge and this no insurance Momma is SO grateful), and she will hopefully be able to shed some more light on what type of treatment will help Shay.

The Naughty List

I was so relieved, and thought that we would be able to skip on into Christmas now arm in arm, singing carols and sipping hot chocolate together like the picture perfect Rockwell painting. Unfortunately, it was not to be so.

About six years ago I got one of those Elf On the Shelf dolls to try and help Calvin be good during the month of December leading up to Chrismas. If you’re not familiar with this concept, the Elf comes from the North Pole every December 1st, and leaves the night of Christmas Eve. He or she moves every night to a new spot, but is always watching the kids and reporting back to Santa if they are being naughty or nice. Calvin named him Thomas, since he was going through a Thomas the Train stage at that time.

This year, my kids could not give a rat’s patootie about that damn elf on the shelf. I’m not sure if it’s just something in the air, or if my kids are just possessed, but I have tried to keep it all together despite their rude behavior. Why don’t we celebrate Krampus here?! They have all been the naughtiest, meanest, whiniest, and most selfish kids these past few weeks. It would actually be funny if it wasn’t my real life! Yesterday, it all came to a head and this mom ended up having a meltdown herself. It was pretty ugly.

It all started when I had to finish some food shopping yesterday morning, which I wasn’t excited about doing. My husband had major Christmas shopping he needed to get done, so he was gone for most of the day. I had to take all three kids with me, but since I only needed a few things for a relish tray, I wasn’t expecting it to be too bad. Target was a nightmare, but I wasn’t surprised. It seemed that literally as soon as we crossed the threshold of the doors, Shay was asking me for some food. Annoyed, I complied and let her get a small bag of chips. As we grabbed the food we needed, Calvin started whining about getting a package of cookies, which we didn’t need. I told him no, and said he could get a bag of chips if he wanted like his sister. Instead of just saying no, he proceeded to yell at me and kick me in the shin not once, but THREE times. Yes, it hurt, he had his snowboots on. Cursing silently to myself, I kept it together, but upon moving the shopping cart again, I accidentally ran into Shay, who proceeded to go into a full fledged meltdown. I picked her up and put her into the cart and tried to get my shopping done as quickly as I could. As we headed towards the checkout lanes, Memphis found a Power Rangers Christmas Ornanment that was left abandoned on a shelf. I’m sure some other poor mom left it there when her toddler grabbed it. He of course wanted it, and when I said no, he too started having a meltdown. Thinking quickly, I had the cashier pretend to buy it and he hid it on a shelf unerneath his station. He then offered my kids stickers which magically made them all cheer up. Thank you Target worker, I didn’t learn your name, but in that moment you were a godsend. If only stickers could solve more problems.

Once home, I put a show on for my kids and attempted to lay down for 20 minutes because I now had a headache. I’ll let you guess if that happened or not. No, not it did not. Within 5 minutes there was screaming from downstairs and then crying. I had to go break up and fix a fight about a toy, and by that point I figured a nap just wasn’t going to happen. So, being the ever positive mom I am, I wanted to make sugar cookies with my kids. Making Christmas cookies was always a favorite memory of mine with my own mom, and I try to do it every year with my kids. They picked out what cookie cutters they wanted, and even helped me crack the eggs without shells in the batter which was a win. As I rolled out the dough I thought to myself “Wow this day is really turning around.” How foolish of me.

My top oven was not working. It has this error code on it “F1 E5” and when this usually happens I can fix it, but nothing is working, and I have tried everying on google to try and make it work again. If anyone out there could help me out, that’d be great! I had a chicken pot pie cooking in the bottom one so I attempted to bake the cookies at the same time, which resulted in the first batch getting really burnt and the children to riot. The second and third batches were fine, but when I told them we could only decorate them once they finished their dinner, they were greatly displeased. Not one of my kids wanted the chicken pot pie, and I was feeling so done at that point, that I made sandwiches for them and called it good.

My husband arrived home at that time, and I had him take over the dinner/cookie decorating duty so I could go take a shower. When I was out, I asked all the kids to get ready for bed and I would put on a movie in my room for them to watch in my bed. Not one of them complied and whined and made the bedtime routine just a nightmare. Finally, once I got them all ready and in bed to watch a movie, they started fighting over what movie to watch, and I was so done at that point that I picked the first one I saw on Netflix, and slammed the bedroom door behind me once it was on.

It was all quiet on the western front until the movie was over, and at 10:45 they all came bounding downstairs and I honestly was in no mood for them to be so loud. I asked them three times to go upstairs and get in bed, and after no one responded to me, and I turned around to see Memphis wielding around the dirty plunger from the bathroom I had had it! In a not so loving mother moment, I completely lost it on all three of my kids. They were in bed within five minutes, and that’s when I retreated to my bed feeling completely rotten and heartbroken.

Hallelujah

Shay climbed into bed with me and grabbed my hand. “This helps me to calm down Mommy, try it,” and she placed my hand on her belly and took some deep breaths. So she was listening when I told her to use her stuffed animal after all. Her efforts to help me were so sweet. I felt better the moment she was in the bed with me. She asked me why I was so sad, and when I told her that her and her brothers really gave me a hard day she softly said that tomorrow she would try to be better. For the next hour or so, we held hands and talked, and laughed. She told me some stories, and I told her some too. After that we watched a few funny cat videos on YouTube per her request, and when we both were starting to nod off I turned on some music. One of my favorite stations on Pandora is called “Twinkle Twinkle Little Rockstar”, and is based off of a music series of famous rock songs put into lullabies. Shay fell to sleep first, and was still clutching my hand to her. The song “Hallelujah” came on, which is one of my favorites. Altough it’s not necessarily a Chrismas song, it made me start to think of how grateful and blessed I am. Yes, these past few weeks have been rough on me, but no one ever said parenting would be easy. It’s hard, really hard! And even though I felt defeated, I needed to be a little easier on myself because not one parent knows what they are doing. I was reminded of a funny quote I had seen on Pinterest that said:

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. The Mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn’t notice.”

It made me smile as I looked over at my sleeping daughter next to me clutching my hand against her and peacefully dreaming. This is why it’s all worth it, the bad days are but a fleeting moment that lead to good ones.  I am so grateful and beyond blessed for my three beautiful kids, and even though being a mom is no cake walk I am happy to do it because of them.

My husband came in late in the night from painting the downstairs bathroom and found us both asleep still holding hands. My sweet girl and I are going to have many rough times ahead I’m sure, but she definitely has my whole heart.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette

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Just Ask the Axis

 “Anger he smiles towering in shiny metallic purple armor

Queen Jealousy, envy waits behind him

Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground

Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted

They quietly understand

The once happy turquoise armies lay opposite ready

But wonder why the fight is on…”

The lyrics to Jimi Hendrix’s famous song “Bold as Love” have been on repeat in my mind for about a week now. If you’ve never heard it, (and you are doing yourself a great disservice to not expose yourself to it), it personifies colors as different characters. It very descriptively paints this picture of the full spectrum of human emotions. Not only is the song great, but it has reminded me how prevalent colors are to us in our everyday life.  Colors have meant a lot to me as of late, and I have a strong belief that colors can influence your life.

Have you ever considered how great a role that colors play for you? If you sit back and really think about it, colors are involved in almost every aspect of our lives.

Making a House a Home

A room can literally be transformed with a coat of paint. Currently the house we are living in was painted in mostly tans, and my husband and I are just not loving it. So across the room from where I am currently typing in my kitchen there are three paint swatches of different greys we put on the wall to decide which one will work throughout the entire house. Even just the small paint strokes of grey against the existing tan are drastically different, and we feel it will brighten up our home while staying neutral.

Unfortunately, picking the perfect paint color doesn’t always happen. In our old home, we decided to repaint our master bathroom, and for whatever reason I thought a dark brown would work. After we painted it and put everything back up, I realized that painting the walls dark brown in a room where we do number twos was maybe not such a good idea. In fact, it was downright hilarious! In the end, we decided it was the “poop brown” bathroom and we called it that until we moved out. At least we could laugh about it.

Signature Color

Ever notice how a specific color can make you feel more confident? Or how when you are in particular moods you tend to wear colors pertaining to them? I know that I personally tend to gravitate towards certain colors in my wardrobe. Generally I like black, grey, neutral, and darker colors. I have very few pieces that are super bright because that’s just not usually my style (unless it’s a swimsuit). These colors tend to give me more confidence, and I generally feel the most comfortable in.

We associate certain colors for specific events or people. Brides traditionally wear a white wedding dress, inmates generally wear orange jumpsuits, and one in mourning usually wears black to a funeral. For my mother’s funeral I considered not wearing black, but my heart was just so broken and sad that black was the only solution. I did though, paint my nails a beautiful raspberry pink which I know my mom would have loved so it seemed fitting.

Colors are involved in every aspect of fashion. Can you imagine how unimpressive our clothes would be without all the beautiful colors?  We color our fabrics to make our clothes, and shoes come in all colors of the rainbow. There’s accessories like coats, bags, belts, and hats. We color our hair, we paint our nails, there’s blush, and bronzer, fake tanner, lipstick, and eyeshadow. I could go on, but you get the point.

In truth, it would be a whole lot easier to shop if everything came in one color, but what fun would that be?

Color Me Happy

Colors also have emotional ties to them. We can associate colors with memories, or people. Yellow for instance, was my mom’s favorite color. At her funeral we went rogue and got a gorgeous casket spray in yellow roses and other various yellow flowers in season. The florist said she had never made one before in yellow, but loved the idea. It turned out wonderfully, and looked just gorgeous on top of Mom’s casket at the cemetery. It was such a rainy and cold day in February so this bright light of sunny yellow in the midst of all of it was a tender mercy.

I can also vividly remember my dad’s blue Buick that he had when I was young. Not only was the exterior blue, but the interior was as well and it was plushy. Anytime I hear Buick it makes me think of that car.

There was a really good friend of ours in Philadelphia named Nancy Sowa. Some of you reading this have fond memories of her like I do. She was very loud, very funny, and loved those she cared for fiercely. I remember once when I was about nine years old I told her that I always knew she was in church on Sundays because I could hear her singing from the back of the chapel. I didn’t mean it to be rude, (although she did belt her little heart out), and she didn’t take it that way at all. In fact, she told me she was “tickled pink” by it. So, now should Nancy every arise in conversation or should I think of her,  I always associate her with the color pink.

Isn’t it funny how even just looking at a color can spark a memory?

Bold As Love

The past seven months have been a bit of a roller coaster for me. I wrote in a previous post here about my battle with anxiety. Through many prayers, therapy, medication, and good friends I can lean on I have been able to manage it, although some days are still a struggle. The past few weeks have been incredibly emotional and hard for me. Therapy, although extremely beneficial for me, has uncovered so many layers of myself that I have never dealt with. So, handling the emotions that are uncovered are at times pretty painful, and working through them is hard. Also the fact that its the holidays, and it makes me ache for my mom so much does not help.

I was at a place last week where I had so much inner turmoil from a particularly hard subject which we uncovered at therapy, (which I won’t be disclosing), that I didn’t even realize I was holding onto and was causing me so much pain. Those floodgates were opened and it had me feeling panicked and I was spiraling down into a bad place. I found myself backed into a  corner and not sure where to go. Cue fate.

This fall my oldest child Calvin played in a youth tackle football league, and through that team I was able to meet these two amazing parents, Cy and Julie, who’s son was also on the team. Not only are they just the coolest people, but I feel like we were meant to meet. I am a firm believer that people are put into your life right when you need them, and in this case, this couple definitely was. Julie, in particular. I had asked her advice about getting some help for my sister who is struggling after her volatile marriage and divorce, and came to learn that Julie is an energy healer. I was so intrigued that I set an appointment for myself too.

I am still fairly new to energy healing but I love the ideas behind it. It’s basically having to do with your chakras, which there are 7 main ones, and they are all associated with colors and different parts of your body. The Crown Chakra, on the crown of your head is purple, and is associated with your divine connection, as well as the central nervous system and deep brain functions. The Third Eye Chakra, in the center of your forehead, is blue, and it associated with your intuition, your sinuses, eyes, ears, and outer brain functions. The Throat Chakra, in the center of your throat, is turquoise, and is associated with expression and communication, your neck, jaw, teeth, gums, mouth, throat and thyroid. The Heart Chakra, located along your spine next to your heart, is green and is associated with love and compassion, your heart, lungs, upper torso, shoulders, arms, and hands. The Solar Plexus Chakra, located along your spine, is yellow and is associated with your willpower and ambition, your liver, pancreas, gallbladder, stomach, and spleen. The Sacral Chakra, located in your hips and genetalia, is orange and is associated with intimacy, creativity, desires, and sexuality. Finally, the Root Chakra, located at the base of your spine, is red and is associated with survival, safety, security, and fear.

During our session, Julie was able to assess what was going on with my chakras and help balance them. I was actually pretty nervous going there, and called Jess in Julie’s driveway on the verge of a panic attack. But I sucked it up and went in despite feeling this way, and Julie was super sweet and made me feel safe. I can say that when we were done, I felt so much relief. My burdens and panic were literally lifted away from me and I truly felt balanced and refreshed. All weekend I had the color purple with me, which I now know is associated with my Crown Chakra, and it comforted me to know that it was strengthened by my energy healing.

Even our inner selves can be associated with colors and it can alter our state of mind and emotions. After my energy healing this weekend I am wholly convinced of that.

Even if you think colors have no effect on you, I guarantee if you take a good look at your life you’d be surprised how much they really do. Life is much more beautiful in color!

May we all be more willing and open to let our true colors shine through.

“…all of these emotions of mine keep holding me from

Giving my life to a rainbow like you” – Jimi Hendrix “Bold As Love”

 

XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette

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Smoke and Mirrors

Scrolling through social media today, a thought occurred to me that our generation has become really talented magicians. With colorful pictures and filters, different fonts and backgrounds, funny memes and videos, suddenly it’s like “poof!” everyone’s lives are perfect and just like a movie. The finest magicians would be tipping their hats. We all like to magically make our lives seem perfect. I can say with confidence that I am proud of who I am. It’s taken me pretty much my whole life to get to a point where I really feel like my true self, and even still it will be something I am still discovering for the rest of my life. That being said, the present me feels like the most “authentic and unafraid to be me” me. With the world we live in, it’s hard to sometimes find the courage to be yourself though.

Why as a social media obsessed generation do we feel like we need to pretend to be someone we are not? I’ll admit it, I’m totally guilty of it too sometimes! It seems that with our lives just so out there for the world to see on the internet, it’s always easier to put your best self forward, and only the happy and good times. Being yourself is sometimes scarier than pretending. This is why it’s so easy to go on Facebook for example, and just feel completely rotten about yourself and your life. When all we see is happy, good, fun, amazing things from our friends, we feel like something is wrong with us and our life. FOMO hardcore.

In the time since my mom passed away, I have experienced a complete change of self. Unless you have lost someone so dear to you, you really won’t understand what it’s like. The loss was so monumental to me, that I feel like it literally changed my DNA, (I know it didn’t, but it certainly feels like it!), and I am a much different person than I was before she passed. Just the other night, one of my best friends who now lives far away called me around 10 PM. I immediately knew why she was calling- her brother’s birthday was that day, and he passed away about four years ago. She tearfully told me that she just needed to talk to someone who understood how she was feeling, and I know that feeling all too well. Sometimes it’s hard to describe to people just how devastating my mom’s death was for me, and still is.

This journey of self discovery I have been on the past almost three years has been an interesting one. It definitely has not been easy, and I’m sure a lot of my friends didn’t quite understand the things I was going through. Initially, I pushed away from everyone. It wasn’t because I didn’t love them or appreciate them, it’s just something that I needed to do. I fell into a deep depression and lost a lot of weight. I became dependant on sleeping pills to help my brain turn itself off at night so I could sleep. Nighttime was my most feared time of day because the house was quiet but my mind would race, and my anxiety and heartache would just overcome me. Jess was in Denver that summer, and initially I wasn’t going to go, but by May when he had been gone for two months already I decided that I needed to go. Getting up and leaving this place that was a constant painful reminder of my mom was much needed for me to start to heal. Going to Denver was the best thing I did for myself, because being away from what was normal everyday life for me was so cleansingfor my mind and spirit. We went hiking and on adventures every day that we could and I could really feel myself beginning to heal. I don’t think the pain of the loss of my mom will ever realistically be “healed” but I have gotten to a point where I can handle the pain better and remember the good times we had.

Today I feel like I am more me than I was before because the loss of my mom made me take a good look at what is important to me in life, and what’s not. Death has a way of making you question everything, and I did. I questioned my faith, my friends, my hobbies, my decisions, and my ability to be a mom. I basically disassembled and dissected my life as a whole. Most of these things I was able to salvage and strengthen, but some I had to let go of. It was a really good self-cleansing of my body and mind, and even though it was from something so traumatic, I am grateful for this new me I’ve discovered. I am much more confident now, I stand up for myself, and I don’t let things or people bother me that normally would have before. I have really tried to immerse myself in my faith, and also in helping others. Charity work has become a passion of mine. My sister Aly and I started a yearly donation fund, Kind Like Karen (in our Mom’s name), where we take goods to the patients at the Huntsman Cancer Institute where our mom spent a lot of time in the last 8 years of her life. Also, we have becoming heavily involved with the American Cancer Society in Utah, and have participated in two Gala’s, the second one where we were the co-chairs of the auction. I am honored to be a part of such amazing things, and hope to keep doing more charitable work. It makes my soul happy to be helping others and paying it forward.

It takes courage to be yourself, especially in today’s world. I’m not asking everyone to just stop posting their happy moments, because that’s one of the great things about social media. What I’m asking is that we be a little more real, and to be more authentic. Don’t be afraid to be you! Let’s spread some love and support one another in how unique we all are. Smoke and mirrors shouldn’t be something we feel is necessary with our identity online. You shouldn’t feel nervous to post how you’re really feeling, or who you really are. Obviously there’s stipulations to what’s appropriate, but you know what I mean! If you want to post a cute photo of your baby do it! Or if you want to post about how your kids are driving you nuts and you are just having a crappy day- do it! It’s a balancing act for sure, but let’s not tip the scales with one side or another.

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XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette

Alicante, Spain

We hopped on our first train and headed west from Barcelona. We knew we had wanted to go to Seville and the train trip would have taken all day, so we picked a city in the middle to spend the night. In the end, we basically put our finger on a map and ended up choosing Alicante. I knew nothing about it, but it looked pretty in pictures and it had a medieval castle so it all sounded good to me! So on to our second stop we went.

Our train ride was pleasant. The trains in Spain were nice, and this one even had a movie playing, (although in Spanish), and they handed out free headphones. Aly and I visited the cafe car and got some delicious croissant sandwiches which were made fresh and warm as you ordered. We were excited to get to Alicante and explore this once thriving Mediterranean port. Little did we know, that we would run into more than one problem while there!

We arrived in Alicante at about 2 PM, and needed to get to our Airbnb by 3 PM to check in. Thankfully, getting around was much easier on this trip because I actually had cell service, (it was well worth the money to pay for it!), and I figured out the bus line we needed to take to get to our place. Unfortunately, an incredibly nosy woman decided it was her mission in life to help us get to where we were going, and insisted we follow her off the bus at a particular stop. She made us get off at a bus depot, which was not where we needed to be.  Jess kept trying to ask her in Spanish why we were there, and she would just say over and over : “Bush!” (bus?) and gestured to the bus depot. She then waved us away and laughed maniacally while snorting when we asked her why she made us go with her there. We collectively decided she was insane, and then got back on the right bus and headed to our apartment and laughed about the twenty minutes we had just wasted.

We found the lock box which held our apartment keys, and walked another block to find it. It was a lovely little apartment but it wasn’t quite what we had signed up for. It was a studio apartment, and the queen bed that Jess and I slept in was literally right next to the front door. Aly’s “couch bed” ended up being a poorly made couch from wooden pallets put together with hard cushions on top, which was about 5 feet from the queen bed. As soon as we walked in Aly yelled: “Sleepover!” Aside from the odd sleeping arrangements, the apartment had everything we needed for one night. There was a full kitchen with dishes, pots, and utensils, and a washer. The bathroom was very nice and had a good sized shower with plenty of hot water this time! Adjoining the bathroom was a door to the patio where we could sit and hang up our wet clothes to dry. The main room of the apartment had plenty of natural light, since it was lined wall-to-wall with floor-to-ceiling windows with large wooden shutters. We were on the ground floor though, and we were directly across the street from a Kebab restaurant that was very busy and loud. There was a group of men and a barking dog who sat outside talking, drinking, and laughing until at least midnight. One man in particular, desperately needed to put a shirt on but thought the opposite. So, we mostly kept them shut when we were there to maintain our privacy.

Once we unpacked we washed some clothes, taking a quick cat nap while waiting for the cycle to end, and then hung them up to dry. The adventure of the day was to venture to the Medieval Castillo de Santa Barbara which seemed an easy 10 minute or so walk from where we were staying. Little did we realize, that the castle sits atop Mount Benacantil which is 544′ up. Doesn’t sound so bad, but once we started hiking on the only pathway that wound around instead up straight up with a very steep incline our legs were all but completely dead when we weren’t even halfway to the top. When we finally made it to the front gates we were out of breath and incredibly sweaty since it was about 82 degrees that day.

That view from the top though! It was breathtaking, and you could see all of Alicante, and beyond. It was sunset by the time we got up there, so we stayed and enjoyed the beauty of it for a while at the top. The castle itself was very old, and artifacts have been uncovered therefrom the Bronze, Iberian, and Roman ages which is pretty impressive! The origins of the castle itself dates back to the 9th century.

There was even a little museum of ‘Game of Thrones’ which got us all excited thinking this was a site from the show, but it turns out that HBO wanted to use the Castillo de Santa Barbara as Daenerys Targaryen’s castle on the show, and the city of Alicante said no (for whatever reason), but they still had this little museum. It was like a “We could have been on the show and said no, but still want tourism” museum that was really strange and pretty comical.

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We made our way back down to the city, and decided to hit up a local grocery store. We purchased items to make some spaghetti and made it at our apartment, which ended up being quite good. The food in Europe is so much better than what we have here in the states! As we were cleaning up dinner, Aly and I noticed some of the shutters were opened, so we proceeded to shut them. A few moments later we noticed they were once again open, and after shutting them again a few more times and finding them open we decided we had a ghost. We named him Ferdinand and apparently opening the shutters was one of his favorite hobbies. After dinner we were pretty tired, and all took turns showering and got ready for bed and Ferdinand’s antics kept going throughout the night. Jess is the deepest sleeper so he was not aware of any of it, but Aly and I kept waking up to the kitchen lights turning on and off, and objects being dropped in the kitchen. Between that, and the loud group of men who hung around outside until after midnight, and then seemed to come back at 5 AM, it was not a great night of sleep for anyone.

The next morning, we were supposed to make our train that left at 10 AM. We made the epic mistake of hopping on the right bus line, but going the wrong direction. If we had just crossed the road and waited for another one going the other way, we would have been to the train station in about 5 minutes. After about 15 minutes on the bus we did happen to get on, we knew we were going to miss our train. So, we hopped off at a stop, and asked a local where we could catch a taxi. He was very nice, but took us on a really long walk to find one, and once we got it and rushed to the station we had missed our train by more than 20 minutes. Defeated, we waited in line to book the next tickets to Seville, which didn’t leave for another 5 hours.

With an unexpected half a day in Alicante, we decided to walk down to the beach and check out what was down there. The city was surprisingly colorful, with incredible architecture and colorful artwork on many walls. The beach, (at least the one we went to), was not super impressive, but being down by the water was fun and we sat and relaxed for at least an hour on some steps leading down to it. We shopped in a cute little market, had some gelato, and then made our way back to the train station.

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Even though we had to change our plans up, we made the best of it and still enjoyed our extra few hours in Alicante, and if you happen to ever be in this region of Spain you should check it out!

XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette