It is a really good way to stay caught up with changes in the industry, and give yourself a mini heart attack several times, in a beautiful climate when you learn of those changes, and how they will affect your business!
Kind of kidding, but not really.
We once again stayed at Loews South Beach. The weather was AMAZING!
Last time we were there, we had a mild winter here in Chicago, and Miami was unseasonably cold.
This time, Chicago is the Polar Vortex capital of the world, and Miami was pushing 90 degrees every day.
The contrast was so sharp, it was like getting off a plane that had flown us to another planet.
We checked in and went to grab some pizza. I unloaded all of our convention "swag."
It is always nice to have some down time while Del goes to some of the seminars. I like to go to the fitness center and read by the pool. The time flies by! It is also nice to meet many of the people that Del knows in the industry.
I enjoy time with Del that is uninterrupted no matter when I can get it. That is when we end up talking about things that we had not planned to talk about. When we come with ideas, and make decisions that we may not have even known needed to be made. I appreciated that about this trip.
The hotel has a lovely spa and great workout space. But you have to pay an extra fee to get in. So I took advantage and used all the amenities after my workout.
Oh, and I took a picture of the inside of the spa locker room for my money.
Unfortunately, right in the middle of the trip, I had an incident with my food allergy.
I am allergic to tree nuts. Not peanuts, which can get confusing, but walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia, and so on. Nuts that grow on a tree. I do not like the attention that comes with having this food allergy, but that is my reality.
I am extremely diligent with my food allergy. My last allergic reaction had taken place in July of 2006. So I had a pretty solid streak going there.
I am very, very allergic.
I have had an E.R. doctor actually assign the minutes I would have had left to live had I not gotten to the hospital. On my honeymoon. Yes, I know. Poor Del. No return policy. Ouch.
My protocol is, ask, ask again, explain, explain again, follow my gut, and in many cases, my policy is do not eat.
Vacations can get tricky for us. It is an exhausting dance to do every time you put something in your mouth. I generally avoid desserts when I am out. I have to feel very good about the decision to eat one.
I skipped a step this time, and I am convinced that I have someone watching over me. I don't take that lightly. I pray to my Heavenly Father to be protected on any trip I take. I know that my experience in Miami could have been worse. It SHOULD have been worse.
I accepted what looked like some vanilla ice cream that I didn't even really want.
And when it comes right down to it, I know better. Del had asked if there were nuts for me. I trust Del. I should never trust the answer that there are no nuts. Verify.
I put my spoon in the cup and it hit something hard. I should have checked, but assumed it was just a shallow cup. It was not. It was a big chip of chocolate under that vanilla ice cream that had walnuts in it. My absolute worst trigger.
I went right into action mode, pulling out my Epi Pens, and calling hotel security about an ambulance. But I kept telling Del, something felt different. It wasn't coming on like it usually does. It was slower, I was not getting some of the indicators of shock that normally come right away.
We were especially surprised at this when we discovered that it indeed was walnuts!
My reaction ended up being the mildest reaction that I have had since I was probably age 17.
I still have no explanation. I assume that it is because I only ate ice cream that had been next to the walnut, and therefore only had a trace amount. If that is the case, it is a miracle.
I don't know why my reaction was so manageable, and I will not be testing my limits to see if it is that way again. But I am so grateful.
Don't get me wrong, I was miserable. But I was watched over. I know that. I don't take this lightly. I appreciate coming home safely to raise my children.
I am vulnerable.
In reality, it is like anything in life when it really comes down to it. We are all vulnerable, because we are mortal. If it is not one person's weakness, it could be another that changes things for them and their families. We could all have our moment. I want to take what I can from my scare in Miami.
I need to live my life as if I may not have the time it seems I should.
To me that does not mean going out into the world to take crazy risks, or do what I have always dreamt of doing, no matter the cost.
To me, it means appreciating the every day. It means being more patient with the sometimes harrowing act of getting my kids out the door early in the morning for school. Or being extra kind during musical instrument practice, or homework help.
It means calling a friend I miss. It means taking more time to gain knowledge from scripture study.
It means having purposeful prayer.
It means making sure my kids know I have a testimony, and that if anything every happened to me, what I want the most for them, is to have them live the Gospel. It means thanking my husband for taking care of me when I am not at my best, and enjoying life with me when I am trying to be at my best.
I was so grateful that I was able to get up the morning after my reaction, and take in a new day. I am grateful for the angel, or angels I had with me. For whatever it was that stopped me from taking even one more bit, and keeping a level head when I could have panicked.
It was one more life experience that I can reflect on and feel sure that prayers are heard. Also to remember that life is just not going to be prefect sometimes.
Sometimes life is going to hurt, and sometimes it just is not in our control.
But we can't let that lack of control, control us. We have to live, we have to take opportunities. We can't hide in a nut free cave.
It will be okay. That is the main lesson I learned. No matter what, in the eternal scheme of things, it will be okay. So that is what I came home and told my kids.
Sorry to get all sentimental on ya.