Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why I left Facebook

Last spring was tough. Yes, it was a very long winter, but there were other factors that were making me look at my glass as half empty. I found myself pulling away from being social, choosing to stay home with Kyle and the girls over doing anything that might involve my interacting with others. My self esteem took a nose dive. I was unhappy. The organized person that I am, I made a list of pros and cons. Pros were the things I did during the day that made me happy. Cons, those that drained me.

The pros were easy. Kyle and the girls, my work (to a point), running, reading, cooking, and being creative were at the top of the list, as I knew they would be. The cons were what surprised me. The surprising part was that there wasn't that many. But those that did show up, had to go. At the top of the list was the time I spent on Facebook. So…I took a break. For one month I only logged in once a week, then maybe once every couple of weeks. Now and again I'd post a picture, or something funny about the girls, but all that did was bring back the same pressures I felt a few months before. Eventually, I didn't log in at all. Two weeks ago, I deleted my account.

My reasons for leaving Facebook

1. It was doing a number on my self esteem. Looking at "friends" photos and posts didn't make me happy for what they were sharing. Instead it made me wish that my life was more exciting, that I looked that good in photos, that we were taking better vacations. It was an awful way to feel – I want to be happy for my friends, but instead, this dark part of my brain was taking over. I didn't like myself for feeling this way. AT ALL.

2. Facebook was just one more thing I had to to. I already try my best to be a good wife and mother, work 50+ hours a week, run a household and exercise daily. Facebook was a time suck that I didn't have room for.

3. In the four years that I was on Facebook, I found myself less in touch with my real friends, not more involved in their lives. There weren't phone calls to catch up anymore – if you wanted to know what was going on, look on Facebook. I stopped reaching out to those people who had played such a significant part in my life the past thirty years. This became very apparent to me a few weeks ago. It was the birthday of one of my dearest friends. I sent a card, but due to our drifted road and lack of USPS service, it didn't go out in time for her to receive the card before her birthday. I realized this Saturday when I went out to the mailbox. Crap. My Facebook account was gone, how was I going to "wish" her a happy birthday now? I honestly stopped in my tracks – call her. Why had that left my mind as an option? Insane. After catching up over the phone the next day, I realized that shooting a quick "Happy Birthday" via the computer should never have been an option in the first place.

4. I have time to do other things. Sure, it was a half an hour, here and there, but that adds up. Instead of logging on with my iPad each night, I can sit on the couch and pull up a Kindle book instead. I'm reading more, feeling bad for myself less. Win-win.

It's been almost a year since I started what I called my "Facebook Cleanse". This winter is just as cold and long as last, yet I feel like a different person. I know I can't put all of that on a social media site, I am an adult who is in charge of her own life. But not having the outside influence of other peoples lives compared to mine on a daily basis has made things much simpler.

So, the big question…do I miss it? No at all.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Serious talent

The Saturday afternoon at the Disney pool was both relaxing for the parents, and tons of fun for the kids. While Kyle and I lounged in the sunshine, Ellie and Josie were playing pool games, trivia and participating in the Hula-Hoop contest. Well, Josie was. Ellie isn't much for hooping. Our Dozer-Bug was a bit of a ringer (pun intended!) since we hula-hoop in the basement quite often. Kyle took a video of her in action…


She holds up four finger to show us how many she's hooping at once. Love it!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Disney 2015 – from Kyle's point of view

I was finally able to download Kyle's iPhone pictures from Disney. I know, I know, enough about Disney. But, this blog is my way to document our lives, and these deserve to be documented. 

Next to "Olivia" at the Lego store 
First day at the Magic Kingdom 
Ellie's favorite attraction 
Silly girl 
Groovy glasses 
Mom's first (and only) roller coaster
Dad as a Pirate 
Roller coaster ready 
They look like Parisian valentines
At the top of Expedition Everest 
Expedition Everest
Taking a "nap" inside the It's Tough to be a Bug burrow 
Josie as Beaker 
Tough girls! 
Four thumbs-up for the pool 
Kyle – and expert "selfie" taker 
Ready for Space Mountain 
Space Mountain – last ride of Disney 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Disney 2015 – Day 6

With a flight that didn't leave until 7:30pm, we had lots of time to walk around the Magic Kingdom again. Everyone was refreshed after an early bedtime the night before. The fresh legs and temps in the high 70º's made it very difficult to think of heading back to Michigan in a few hours.

Riding Aladdin's Magic Carpet 

The really wanted to ride the Astro Orbiter
We let the girls choose what rides they wanted to do a second time. 
(Kirker girls love roller coasters!)

The Seven Dwarves' Mine Train
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain (Check out Ellie's face.)
Thanks to FastPass+ we were able to secure a spot to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen. It's a good thing we were planning on a second day at the Magic Kingdom – the only FastPass I could get was three hours before we had to leave. Totally worth it according to Ellie and Josie's faces.

Love how Josie's checking out Elsa's dress 

So sweet

Tinker Bell is tiny!
We wrapped up six amazing days as a family 
with the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

So blessed to spend six days at Disney together!
Goodbye, Florida

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Disney 2015 – Day 5

We spent Saturday at Hollywood Studios and the hotel pool. After four days of serious park miles, we all needed a little down time in the 78˚ sunshine.

The Rockin' Rollercoaster
Hanging out with Phineas and Ferb
Posing in front of the Tower of Terror 
Tower of Terror (Everyone else loved it…I am terrified on this awful ride!)
Margaritas and sunshine…perfect afternoon with my peeps.
Ellie (pink) and Josie (polka dots) playing Disney trivia 

After four hours of swimming, relaxing and kids' activities at the pool, we went back to our room for pizza and an early bedtime. My parents went on a "date" and took a bus to Downtown Disney for dinner (read: time without the Kirker-family rif-raf!)

Sadly…only one more day at Disney left to share!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Disney 2015 – Day 4

Animal Kingdom – another favorite! The kids and I have always liked the safari the best, but I think the Expedition Everest roller coaster has taken over as favorite Animal Kingdom attraction.

Yes, there's a reason for the matching pig shirts. When my brothers and I were kids, my parents would bring back shirts for us from the Michigan Pork Producers conference each year. We'd have to wear the matching shirts whenever we went to the beach, on vacation, etc. Easier for my parents to spot four matching kids running around, right? Matching shirts at Disney = paybacks.

Hanging out with Donald Duck
The Dinosaur ride – I look terrified,
Ellie and Josie look skeptical
Expedition Everest

A few animals from the Safari

The Lion King show – still so good!

Ellie, Dad, Mom and Josie watching The Lion King

Dozer-Bug says…"It's tough to be a bug!"
Friday evening we dropped the kids off at the Sandcastles Club (aka "Disney Daycare") while the adults went to Shula's Steakhouse for a quiet, delicious dinner. We took the scenic route by riding the ferry instead of the boat to the resort/restaurant.

Beautiful lights on our way into the resort for dinner

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