Let's Chat: It's a New Year.

I've gone off the grid recently.  My family traveled to Florida right after Christmas (which I'll explain more in a moment), and during the trip I ignored my laptop and rarely checked my phone.  This was a wonderful break.  Now that I've been reinserted into my real life (by which, I mean my non-80-degree-poolside-lounging-life), I forget how to function.  But it's time to dust off the blog after my hiatus, and since it's been a while, we'll keep things casual.  Let's chat.  Let's catch up.  It's a new year! 

First Plane Rides. Until last week's travels, I hadn't been on a plane since my honeymoon, which was the summer of 2001. My two younger daughters, both of whom never have flown before, argued that they had waited longer to fly than me.  "We've never flown our WHOLE LIVES!" they argued.  Of course, I tried to explain that their math was suspect.  They've only been alive 10 and 8 years, respectively, but I haven't been on a plane for nearly 18 years, a time span significantly longer than their individual existences, but they, being 10 and 8 years old and bored by explanation of a world before they were in it, refused to be persuaded that, technically, I've held out longer to fly than they have.

Kids these days.

What pleased me, though, was when my youngest firmly held my hand during take-off.

(And check out my new gray Nike sneakers and warm-ups in that picture. When you travel to the Citrus Bowl with the PSU football team travel party, you dress the part.)

Changes of Scenery.  When we first arrived in Orlando, my immediate response was that it wasn't real.  Blue skies, sunshine, and palm trees in December?  Is this some elaborate (wonderful) hoax?  After a day, however, the tables turned and I began to believe that my real life in Pennsylvania where I'm an employed person who does mundane things like making grocery lists, rather than eating out every meal, wasn't real, either.  All of this was very confusing -- reality and alternate reality working at odds -- and I chalked it up to the fact that, apparently, I'm like an infant who can't remember that her hand exists when it's covered up by a blanket.

When I'm in Pennsylvania in December, places like Florida cannot exist. They are covered by a blanket.  And when I'm in Florida in December, places like Pennsylvania cannot exist.  Blanketed, all the way.  Then I stopped thinking about this, and I briefly dozed on a lounge chair under these palm trees while my children swam in the pool.

But, in seriousness, the change of scenery reminded me that other realities can, and do, exist, even if you're not inhabiting them yet.  It made me hopeful for 2019.  If 2018 didn't look the way we wanted it to look -- if it was more gray skies than blue, or valleys than mountaintops, or struggles than successes -- it doesn't mean that 2019 must look the same way.  There's something new.  It just might be under the blanket, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

The Secret to Successful Miniature Golf.  Our family played miniature golf two times at an awesome pirate-themed mini golf course.  I loved the attention to detail: awesome stonework, iron lanterns, and an elaborate pirate ship. 

I mean, can you even look at this without saying Aaaargh?

Even better, I might have had the most successful rounds of mini golf EVER, with 6 total holes-in-one, 3 each game.  The irony of my success wasn't lost on my husband.  "Go figure," he said. "The key for you must be frozen shoulder.  You're finally locked in."

And I didn't even suggest that he walk the plank after that comment because, well, the man's got a point.

Why the Contents of My Suitcase Seem All Wrong When I Reach a Destination.  There's really not much to say about this, except that when I arrived in Florida, the contents of my suitcase seemed all wrong.  Note to self: Self, no matter how you style them, your Old Navy shorts, tee shirt, and brand new gray Nike running shoes will not ever make you feel swanky while passing through the Hyatt Regency hotel lobby.

The Aftermath of Immediately-Post-Christmas Travel.  We left for Orlando the morning after Christmas, which means that when we arrived home late on New Years day I was visibly confronted by the relics of Christmas past that I already had forgotten about. (See my "hidden-under-a-blanket-therefore-no-longer-in-existence" theory above.)  Why are there little piles of presents sitting on my family room floor?  And what's with this decorated tree?  What about these now-inedible Christmas dinner leftovers in our refrigerator, or these still-entirely-edible Christmas candies on the counter?  These things still exist?

But since I had more pressing issues to tackle, like unpacking and doing 12 loads of laundry from the trip, taking down the Christmas decorations has been a work in progress.  Which leads me to...

Goals for the New Year.  I had lofty goals for eating cleaner come January 1, but I'm suspending this resolution until I eat the remaining Christmas treats.  THEN I will refresh my lofty goals for cleaner eating.  Priorities, people. 

Blogging Recap from 2018.  Ever since I began blogging in 2010, I've ended the year by archiving a few of my favorite posts from the year.  Not one to break tradition, here are several selections from 2018 that are meaningful to me, whether they captured a significant event, or were especially fun or funny to write, or received great feedback from readers.  I welcome you to revisit some (or all) of them!

Overwhelming, Never-Ending, Reckless Love

When Your Best Friend Moves Away

Three Lessons I'm Learning from Limited Mobility
Be Happy That I Didn't Pursue a Career in Medicine

I Wish There Was a Way to Know You're in the Good Old Days...

When You're Invited to a Classy Wedding

When Mama Snaps: The Story of Broken Microwave...

Robin Kramer Speaks, Too

As always, thank you for joining me here at Robin Kramer Writes!  You could be reading anything, but you're here, and I'm honored!  

And now.... 2019: let's do this!

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