Monday, November 5, 2018

This is 50

So this is 50 or 350 years in dog years as I was kind enough to point out to my Mom when she reached this new age. I always thought 50 was OLD.

I've always been embarrassed to share my age because well, honestly, I really don't know why.  I just was. 

I spent my twenties largely being stupid. Making poor choices and burning bridges. Believe me when I tell you that I am so thankful social media was not a thing.

I spent my thirties fighting myself, trying to smooth bridges and found my hockey nerd and settled down and had Mighty and Mini. 

I spent my forties in varying degrees of chaos.  It's the decade that I started to  narrow  down what I want to be  when I grow up. Because I'm not there yet. This last year has brought me growth and peace. 

Peace to be me and to thumb my nose at those who chose not to see my worth.  Rather than obsessing with the WHYS.
I have faced cancer, miscarriages and surgeries.  I have faced insecurity and anxiety.  I have earned my big ole forehead wrinkle and my crows feet.  

I can choose not to age quietly and protest my double chin, my occasional mustache and my puffy synthroid face. 

I will wear glitter, play with snapchat and have funky taste in hair color and do all the things that I'm not "supposed to do" because I have reached a new decade.  

I am stepping out, being brave and confronting my fears and doing what I want to be doing. Even if I am the only person who thinks I can do it.   

So this is 50, and I think I'm really going to like it here. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Take the Trip

There's this girl I know.  You might recognize her too. She loves her family something fierce, a large part of her social media feeds are of her family and maybe a selfie or fifty because, well she normally takes the pictures of everyone else.  

She works hard, plays equally as hard.  She is mom, chauffeur, counselor, physician.  Equal parts disciplinarian and comedian.  Attempts to keep schedules in her head and quite often makes mistakes. Boy does she ever make mistakes 

She used to have a hobby that she loved, that hobby would take her to fun destinations to meet friends for weekends here and there.  But this specific girl, lost her love for that activity.  Started thinking about the whole "you have eighteen summers" thing and upon realizing that she was getting closer to the smaller end of that countdown decided to take a break for a bit. 

You might have guessed it by now, this girl is me.  But really I think any Mom/parent/adult figure can see parts of themselves in varying degrees/aspects in my story.

I used to get so worked up leading to weekends without family that I couldn't sleep and would have panic attacks leading up to and during my trip. I was often asked about "leaving" my family on the regular.  I was met either with a hard judgey side-eye or a high five.  Neither of which should be warranted really. 

As I'm typing this I'm on a plane home from a crazy short weekend trip to where else? Orlando. 
I met a friend, mostly flew by the seats of our pants but I checked off an agenda that I had in my head, that I didn't even know that I had. 

I did a bunch of new things, revisited some old favorites.  Enjoyed amazing food and great company.   I'm coming home exhausted but recharged.  Relaxed but energized.  The best part anxiety and guilt over what other people think did not weigh me down. 

There will be more I want to share from this weekend.  But if you've gotten this far and see yourself in any of this, my recommendation is this, take the trip. 

Do you, be unabashedly you, the non-parental figure you, grab a friend and go have some fun.  It is so worth it.

Sunday, May 27, 2018


Hi! It might be time to reintroduce myself and why I'm here in my little corner of the Internet.

When I first started Suzanne Ran it was to chronicle my running journey. Then I got all wrapped in runDisney, new friends,  and other things I thought I wanted to write about and my focus changed.

None of the above are bad and change and new adventures are always good.  But I tried to turn myself into someone I wasn't and lost my voice and the fun of writing at the same time. The same could be said for my love of running too.  

I lost sight of me in the process. I was so concerned about how people perceived me and my faults that I forgot how I perceived myself was just as important. I found myself constantly apologizing for being quiet, being weird, being occasionally awkward or whatever.

Now that Mighty and Mini are older how can I expect them to embrace who they are and to do what they want to do, if I am not wiling to do the same myself? Every morning before Might is dropped off at school, I tell him to "focus, focus, focus, focus" and it's time for me to do the same thing. 

So here I am.  My name is Suzanne and I am the chief nerd and my family's biggest fan. 

I love Marvel in any incarnation, Star Wars and road trips. Road trips that often lead to Orlando and Universal and Disney World. My favorite place in the world right now other than my home is the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando and the pool and its nachos bring me joy.

I can't say that I will write on any specific schedule.  I can't say what I will write about specifically  but I hope that you will stick around for  my thoughts on fandoms, family and fun.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Day in the Cabana Life

It seems only fitting that since our summer is starting to wind down, less than a month until my little nerdy's are back to school, that I start dishing on our annual big summer blowout.  Two glorious weeks visiting my homes away from home.  Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World.

This trip was a big one for us in the sense that while we had a lot of amazing firsts, we had some pretty big lasts as well.  The growing up of our little people was so evident on this trip and it was as phenomenal as it was bittersweet.

Today though I'm going to talk about the awesome first that was a highlight for this Mama.  The Beach Club Pool at the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando is my happy place.  Seriously, no exaggeration.  Well, truthfully the whole resort is my spirit animal.  If a resort could be a spirit animal that is.

I could spend all day at this pool.  Sun, absolutely amazing food, music piped in and live music for part of the afternoon. Oh and beverages. While my kiddos love the pool, it's me that you have to drag away kicking and screaming to go play at the park.  Don't think I haven't toyed with the idea of letting Hockey Nerd take them to the park and let me just soak in the vibe. But FOMO is real and I don't want to miss that fun just for a little extra piece of zen for me.

So in that vein, we decided to splurge and rent a cabana for one day of our stay.  We called the Body Rock Spa at the Hard Rock in March to book our cabana for June.  Our one request was that we be close to the slide, we got the second cabana away and it turned out to be the perfect location.

Pool days are a good thing, but why be happy with a ten.  When a cabana rental can take your pool day up to eleven?

That being said here are my top four reasons why you should consider a cabana day on your next vacation at the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando.  Or really anywhere.  But some of what I discuss will be specific to what I know.

1. Location.
This will be your home for the whole day.  No looking for a spot, no jockeying for a better location. Once you are there you are home.  Our cabana came equipped with four lounge chairs a table and a couch in the shade.  Also a TV, a ceiling fan, piped in sound.  You could soak up the sun or chill out in the shade and never had to worry about trying to find a different spot.

2.  Service
We had a designate server all day.  She would check on us regularly when we were there.  A big shout out to Kristen from the Beach Club, she was a rock star.  Super friendly and personable. She was amused by my taking pictures of my food and when I told her I had been counting down since Thanksgiving to have it again.  She later came by and asked me how my pictures turned out.   Whenever we saw her after our cabana day she remembered us and our preferences.  If you are going to have a cabana be prepared to be totally taken care of while there.  I know we were in good hands.

3.  Food
Oh guys, I dream about the Beach Club food.  For real.  Reasonably priced (for a resort) and you definitely get what you pay for.  Hands down my favorite is the loaded nachos and I am not going to tell you how many days I had them (and maybe shared) while we were there.  The sampler is amazing also.  With our cabana rental we received a 50.00 food credit.  Which was a great start to the day as well.  This was a big plus for us when factoring whether the cost was worth it. Additionally, our cabana came with a refrigerator which was stocked with soda and water.  We also received a fruit tray and another big bottle of water during the day too.

4. Relaxation
It was nice to have a day with no big plans just playing in the pool,eating and having fun. Mighty and Mini got to play and be kids.  Hockey Nerd and I got to hang out and talk. Even though it was right in the middle of everything we still felt like we were able to have conversations and just be.  We meven put our devices down and just enjoyed and people watched.  There may or may not have been singing and or rocking out depending on the song.  It may or may not have been me.

If you want to try something different for a pool day.  I cannot recommend a cabana rental enough. For us it was a splurge, but it has turned into something that we will do again when we head back. The entire experience was well worth the cost and we all ended up enjoying it.  We also ended up getting an unplanned poolside portrait session when we were there.  New professional pictures of my favorite people at my favorite pool in the world.  What can be better than that?

Have you ever rented a cabana? If not have you thought about it before?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Revisiting the Superfication of Miss E

This is an older post that originally appeared two years ago before I merged my running and nerdy family thoughts into one handy dandy little spot. 

The first picture popped up today in my memories on Facebook, and I remember how much fun this conversation was and how much I love how her mind works.

Our topics are slightly different now at nine, but I still don't know where we are going with most of our conversations. Like yesterday when we had a conversation about whether lattice multiplication or partial products was the "more fun" variation of math, that she knows three words in French.  One being her full first name, the second bon jour (though arguably that's two and three) and finally flambĂ©. Any guesses as to what inspired those word choices?  I asked her if she knew what flambĂ© meant and she said yes.  Then channeling her inner Becky Lynch she said (straight) fire. 

I hoping she continues to retain that totally spontaneous thought pattern and stays true to being who she is. 

But for now, let me reintroduce to the seven year old wonder Super E. 

The Superfication of Miss E

That's a word right?  Superfication?  If not it should be. 

It was only a matter of time before it happened. Even with E's most recent obsession with the breathtaking spectacular that is Cinderella and the added bonus of a brand spanking new Frozen adventure... it happened.

May I introduce you to Super E.

I picked my girl up from school only to find out she now has her own alter ego.

Her reveal  started out the same as any of our afternoon conversations begin...

Me: "How was school? What did you do today?"

E: "I made a cape today. I need a glue stick to finish it "

Me: "awesome!"

E: "I have sidekicks"

Me: you have what?

E: "sidekicks.  You know you can't be a superhero without sidekicks"

Through the course of the conversation it was revealed that she is now Super E, she makes her own costumes and the capes of her sidekicks.  So she's super and she is crafty.  Believe me when I tell you she's crafty, this girl has had an artistic bent for as long as she's been able to reflect that crafty side.

Her super power is flying  and she stands for "hugs, cuteness and the protection of animals" and I for one feel much safer knowing she's around. 

My Princess loving girl has also discovered her superhero side.  I love seeing her play and create and be who she wants to be without worrying what anyone else thinks. 
Do you have a super side? If it was just as easy as making a cape and finding sidekicks, what would your super power be?