TMSM’s Adventures in Florida Living ~ Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Main Streeters! The Holidays are over and we’re getting back to normal! I hope you all enjoyed these past few weeks as much as I did. Truthfully, it all went by way too fast. My family and I were back home in Michigan, and I have a lot to fill you in on, so lets get started!

Driving home for Christmas is a long, grueling task. It’s roughly 18 hours when you figure in stopping for gas and such, and this time we decided to drive straight through instead of stopping overnight. It made for a long day, but at least it was done even though we didn’t arrive to my parents house till roughly 1 in the morning. We were staying for roughly two weeks and we had our schedules packed. It’s funny how “vacation” is back home now, and there are things that we like to do. Certain foods that we HAVE to eat too! We had a family night at Greenfield Village in Dearborn MI, where they do their Christmas celebration. It rained buckets but we made the best of it. We also went to Bronner’s Christmas store in Frankenmuth, which is a yearly tradition. If you’ve never been to Bronner’s…. it’s the world largest Christmas store, and it’s amazing! We did shopping of course, and did a dinner and martini night with friends too!

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Christmas Eve was spent with the entire family at my parents house. There’s always a rotation on whose turn it is for the annual party, and this year it was Mom and Dad’s turn. Being with my entire family means so much more now that I don’t live near them anymore. I value our time together and I don’t take it for granted. We ate lots of good food, played cards, opened presents and just enjoyed each others company. At the end of the night, I got teary when it was time for everyone to leave, because I knew it would be a long time before we were all together again like that. My family is close, we genuinely enjoy spending time together, and I sure do miss them all. I was sure to take pics of the boys with my parents and their Nana, MY Grandma. She’s the only Grandparent I have left, and I just love her so much. She’s a little Sicilian lady with tons of spunk and style, she’s the best. Overall, Christmas was wonderful and I was SO glad to be home!

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One thing extra that I wanted to mention is about my boys. My Mom and Dad run a soup kitchen twice a week for the Salvation Army where they live. My Dad cooks for the people there who need help, and my mom decorates and helps serve the food. They’re both retired and it’s a volunteer job they took on to try to give back. While we were home, my boys worked the soup kitchen two days before Christmas. They helped serve food, decorate, cleaned up, etc. I think it’s SO important to give to others whenever we can, and what better time than Christmas, when some people seem to need the extra kindness most. I’m always proud of my parents for the charity work they do, and to see my boys get involved made my heart swell. Another awesome part of our holiday for sure.

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After Christmas, we did more visiting, shopping, eating (of course) and celebrated New Years Eve with another family party at my parents house. We had a really great time, but like I said, it went fast. The night before we were going home, I felt sad, because I knew goodbye was coming in the morning. I hate that part. Before going up to bed, my Dad sat with me, told me how proud he is of me, and we cried. Yes, I cried myself to sleep that night too. Being away is so hard, and even though I know my family is proud of us for making the move to Florida, it’s still not easy for any of us. The following morning, I told my parents no more crying, because I just couldn’t take it, and they agreed. It won’t be long until I see them again, but it’s still not easy to walk out that door. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I made such a huge move, it’s surreal, I’m still not used to it. We headed out and made the 18 hour trip back to Florida, drove straight through again, then had our Florida Christmas the following day. It was a busy two weeks indeed!

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So here we are. It’s a new year, and we’re back in Florida getting back into the swing of things. The kids are back to school, and we are back to work for the site and such. We went to Hollywood Studios on Monday to get some pictures and do some testing on live video feeds. There is a lot that I want to do this year with TMSM and TMSMonthly, I just have to put those plans in motion. Breaking out of my comfort zone will once again be something that’s a challenge, but I think I’m up for it. I miss Michigan, but I also missed Florida while I was away. I missed being near Disney. It’s always a conflict that I haven’t figured out yet. Since I try to talk from the heart, I will level with you. Living in Florida is scary. I think part of the reason I cry when leaving home is because I feel like I’m leaving my safety net. Up in Michigan, there are tons of people who love us and are there for us all the time. Down here we’re basically alone, and it’s scary. Lonely too. I’m doing my best to overcome that, but sometimes I do wonder what the heck I’m doing down here and if it was the best thing to do. Only time will tell. The biggest reason for us to stay here besides TMSM is Andrew and Aidan. They LOVE it down here, they love their schools, they’ve made a lot of friends. Seeing them happy is huge for me, it’s everything, so I’m doing whatever I can to keep up our Florida stride. I wish I had all the answers. Heck, I wish God would send me an email or something telling me what his plans are, but that won’t happen either. Faith is key. What will happen in 2016? That I don’t know. What I do know is that I have some pretty big goals and things I want to accomplish for TMSM, and you can be sure I’ll be taking you all with me along the way!

Wow, this week’s update was long winded! There was a lot to talk about I suppose, and you know how much I enjoy our chats! As always, I thank you for following along on our adventures and for the feedback you send me. It’s good to know people care! Happy New Year to all of you, here’s hoping it’s a blessed year for all of us! Until next week…. sending you hugs and Disney magic! See ya real soon! ~M

P.S. A special thank you to all my family in Michigan…. Mom, Dad, Greg, Amee, Gram…. all my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and friends. Your support means the world to us, and we love and miss you more than you know. xo

Michele
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Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 5759 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele

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