Today, I can’t stop thinking about Sicily (again). Is it too soon to start the countdown? We leave October 27th.
I’ve been coming to terms with being a family of three for awhile. (O is almost one.) It took me awhile to come around to the idea that he’s not going anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love the little stinker. But I am quick to say I am not an instant mom. (A mom who seems to have a switch and knows how to be a mom from day zero.) I wish I could be, but I’m not built that way. So it took me a bit of time to (1) realize and (2) embrace the facts.
There are SO many other factors that go into this. But regardless I wanted to send a message out there to moms to say it’s OK to ease into family life. There can be lots of joy and laughter as you figure things out and move a bit slower than everything else around you.
What about you? Did you jump in and not look back? Or are you a one-foot-in-at-a-time kind of person too?
Photo taken by Dad. This is Owen’s introduction to falafel. (He loves it.)
This title could mean so many things. But today, it’s about a company pioneering travel and service projects with a focus on providing unique and real-world educational experiences. (Think interviewing elders in Laos.) Also, they have Gap Year programs. How cool is that?
Blair and I both dream about traveling across the country on “educational vacations” with our son. We’d, of course, travel in something like this. But I think we should add a Rustic Pathways experience to the dream list. And so, today I created a new Pinterest board, “Future adventures with Owen“. You know, just in case.
Do you keep a list of future activities for yourself or your family? How often to you add/update it?
PS A family of 5 and a cat traveling the country in a Airstream
Do you vacation at the same spots each year? I have never been prone to that philosophy. But I can certainly see the convenience of it. You don’t have to spend energy learning the area, figuring out where to buy essentials, wasting time or money on the restaurants not worthy of your service. We do end up heading to Bar Harbor most every summer with B’s family for a car camping extravaganza. And each year we go, we are able to explore a bit more. Two years ago we went rock climbing! And of course, there’s always one more hike, bike ride or swimming hole to explore.
One of my friend’s is exploring the idea of a designated vacation retreat now that she has a family of four to entertain. It’s not so much the physical spot as it is the idea of carving out intentional family togetherness — and not of the forced fun nature. She shared a story of one family who has been quite good at making this happen on a lake in New Hampshire. And even though her three boys are all grown up, they continue to be very comfortable and supportive of one another because they had so much time to bond and be themselves while retreating to their space on the lake. I think this is a beautiful idea. And as much as we race around to finish our errands, help out our friends, and keep up with our jobs, it’s more important that we are just as protective and determined to be still and enjoy just being together.
So maybe I’ll rethink the idea of go-to vacation. How about you?
There are few people in this world who have the privilege of knowing someone since birth. For better or worse, my life has been tied together with Kara’s from the very beginning. It’s now been 30+ years, and I don’t see things changing any time soon. It is wonderful and lovely to have her in my life.
As you read in the title, I am introducing a series on living with incurable cancer, more ominously known as terminal cancer. Kara has agreed to let me interview her and share her story on Anywhere & Here. The facts are, Kara was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. She went through an incredible litany of treatments, operations and medications. And lo and behold, it worked! For about three and a half years Kara was in remission. And then, the cancer came back with vengeance. It attacked organ and bone. It is living inside her and every day it has the power to remain constant or to grow and spread. For now she is happy, feeling good and trying to make the most of each day.
I’ll be honest, when I approached Kara with this series, she very politely reminded me that there are numerous forums that exist with these types of stories. But I want to explore Kara’s story specifically. And I want to share her story because I think there are a good many of us out there who are scared to ask our friends with life altering illnesses certain questions.
So keep an eye out for this series in the coming month or so. It will be a series of interview-style posts exploring aspects of living with incurable cancer. And we’ll all get to know Kara a bit more, and you’ll discover her incredible strength, determination and downright grit.
PS Kara is organizing her own team for Tour de Pink this year. B & I have decided to join her. This is a three day bike ride from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. If you are interested in supporting the team, please consider a donation. If you’re interested in joining the team, please feel free to contact me. Encouragement and your own personal stories are very welcome too.
Families are so quirky, aren’t they? No two families are alike, and it’s just plain silly to think they are. Here’s my unsolicited advice for the day: Love the ones your with. I’ve admittedly spent some years thinking that, “If my family would just do X; then I’d be Y.” Y being happy, normal, enjoyable, or a million other things. Have you heard of this before? It’s called the “if, then” syndrome. And it’s really not a fun thing at all to put others or yourself through.
It took me awhile, as an adult, to grow into my family. Weird statement, I know. But it’s necessary as adults to step back and see family in light of who we are and who they are. It’s way too easy to keep chugging along with the rhythms and patterns we all had growing up. My parents are amazing people. They’ve kept this family at the center of all they do, and they are absolutely endless with their love and dedication to their children. The ways that we have recently and continue to come together is both heart-warming and encouraging.
Today is my dad’s birthday, and I wanted to post a small tribute to him. I want to thank you, dad, for loving your family the way you do. You are a strong, compassionate, caretaker. You are a provider and a comforter. I am so happy to walk this earth with you, and I very much look forward to seeing what lies ahead.
Has your family experienced a transformation over the years? I’d love to hear your story.
PS Awkward family photos.
Everybody wants to know what they are good at, right? I do. And I want it to be what I spend most of my day doing. But how to figure this out? That is the million dollar question. My friend once told me not to worry if I didn’t have the answer to a question right away. She told me my brain is always working on it, even if I’m not. I remember this line from time to time and smile. It’s so true. Whenever I need to figure something out, I find the most creative answers come when I’m least expecting them. I love that.
I stumbled upon this article the other day, and it really resonated with me. Maybe we can’t figure out what we are “good at” because we’re not asking the right question. How about this one: What are you doing when you feel most beautiful? Or, what are your superpowers?
This is worth reading and, more importantly, digesting. And then maybe forget about it for a little while and let your brain do the work.
Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
PS The above is from a three-part series. You can read the first post on failing here.
PPS There’s also a book by Warren Berger, if you want more. I think it would make a good gift for someone looking for a career change. Or maybe as a retirement gift?