Friday, May 17, 2013

Change Of Plans ...

Aub and Jay--who may or may not be making fun of my facial expressions.

Well, it took me about 2 minutes to realize that it will take me 200 minutes to upload all of my Survivor Caramoan Finale Weekend photos ...

and I don't have 200 minutes  right now. Tee hee.

So,  I thought I'd just post pics today of people who've helped me throughout this Survivor experience this past year. All of them are people I genuinely heart to the moon and back.

Stay-tuned for more photos of the finale weekend ASAP. (My goal is to get them all up before the end of the month, and then move onto new topics.)

Corinne Kaplan. She was my bestie during the Bikal days. I so adore her.
It has meant a great deal to mend fences with her. Corinne is amazing and taught
me a great deal about setting boundaries in my life.

Whittney and Janae are my two real-life besties. They both supported me and my family during my two Survivor stints. They both helped take care of our kiddos while I was gone--both times. And this included helping get kids ready for a Pioneer Trek, celebrating 8th and 9th birthdays, taking kids to waterparks, making us dinners ... and the list goes on.
I am so fortunate to have their friendship and pray I can return that kind of support to others. It's phenomenal.

Me and Jonas from Survivor One World.

The Survivor community of players is an incredible "family." We may not all agree with one another--in or out of the game--but we all support each other in enduring the experience (particularly the criticism). Jonas, Todd Herzog, Stephen Fishbach, Rob Cesternino, Mike Skupin, Holly Hoffman, Leslie Nease ... even Shannon Elkins! all sent me incredible support during the difficult final episodes of the game. They were a strength to me. I'm so thankful for them.

My husband's boss, Dan.
(Not only is he a Survivor fan, he's a Dave-fan, and gave us so much support during two seasons/two years.)

I love this picture of Andrea.
She will be a lifelong friend for me. Even though we are almost 20 years apart!
I have learned so much from her graciousness, kindness, and forgiveness.
(Truly, when people ask me "Is Survivor worth it?" Meaning, is all of the stress worth it? I look at photos like this and realize I have made some incredible friendships. Life-changing friendships. And in that respect, it's worth it. Yes.)

Our kids and John.
Obviously, I have nothing but love for him. Heavens, I've spent 67 days on a deserted island with him in a 12 month period of time! Talk about bizarre. We are bonded like family. I heart him like I heart Andrea.
(And Dave is bonded to his family now, because both of them traveled to Samoa and the Philippines together for the Loved Ones visits.)

Our kids, with Eddie and Andrea.
(Eddie and I were close in the game. He's so loveable. He's kind. He's so funny. And he was so hungry out there. I would have sat next to him at the end ... just because I would have smiled non-stop hearing about that dog bar. What in the honk?)

Our kids, with Julia, Laura, Matt, Shamar, and Michael.
(It's such a horrible funny game. Outside the game, you'd choose to play "to the end" with all of these people. But in the game, you can't use your heartstrings. You just have to play in a way that gets you sitting on one of those three stumps at the end.)

Our kiddos with Allie, Julia, Matt and Laura. Laura and Allie really got the short end of the stick. They are big fans.
I wish they played longer. This was our first official meeting--this weekend.

Me, pledging my allegiance to Liz B., a dear friend. Tee hee.

Liz is one of the friends who helped me to infinity during this experience (both years).

Glen and Janet--friends. They hosted viewing parties, listened to me sob, and even blacked out their teeth to show their support. I love them for loving me unconditionally.

My mom and dad. You think it's hard to play Survivor?
You should try watching your adult daughter play--and cry as she does it. Talk about painful.
I think it's safe to say my parents would prefer I never play Survivor again ... or take a tropical vacation. Period.

Of course--I can't flip the photo! That is so me.

Here's Andrea's mom, Brenda's sister, my BFF Whittney, and Sherri's son. In the Philippines on the Loved Ones visit. Whittney and her family were so so so generous to come and support me in the game. Whittney has a young family and work, her husband Jason stepped in and helped. They are two of my favorite people. (And again, a reason why Survivor is a blessing. You see all the people who love you and support you--come to your aid.)

Whittney in the Philippines, kissing a wooden Tata.
(They were able to visit the Tribal Council set. Cool, huh?)

Winston, BUZZZ, Rene, and lots of other friends gave me support after the Brenda vote. It's been interesting to be on the receiving side of so much anger. It's humbled me and taught me a great deal already. The most valuable lesson right now, is that everyone needs love more than they need criticism. And I'm thankful for the people who shared love when they could have shared criticism.

PS: Winston gave me this at Andrea's bday dinner. So kind.

My dressing room at the Finale.

Funny sidenote, I used to not love my name (sorry mom and dad) ... until I saw it so frequently on Survivor.

Again, SO ME.
Of course, I can't flip this photo.
(Dave, just knock me out now. I'm sorry!)

I have to still include it. Maybe it's Freudian anyway: our lives are upside down after Survivor. Ha!

Okay, my point! Here's Dave in the Philippines, at the Tribal Council voting URN! Holy crap!

This happened.

Dave, I love you. Thank you for taking the 27 hour trip to run a challenge with me on Survivor. I'm so damn (yes, damn) lucky to be married to you. And I'm looking forward to celebrating this anniversary with you in America. (One in Samoa, one in the Philippines, and now one in America.)

PS: There are many people (Dave's family, my in-laws) and photos missing from this montage. I just wanted to get my "Thank You So Much Ball" rolling, so I hope you will forgive me for the omissions.