Friday, October 16, 2009

Moving Up...

I’ve got a new look and a new URL, come visit at the new and improved:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A New Era

I'm putting down the juggling pins, from 9am-4pm school days, anyway.

My youngest went off to kindergarten this week. I was a little sad, of course, but also excited about the new era. My days are no longer a juggling act the way they've been for the past eight years while I freelanced and stayed home with my boys.

I had originally worried about this time away from my kids. It has been 8 years, after all! I do miss them, but I don't miss hearing them fight behind my closed office door while I'm on the phone with a client. I don't miss saying, "I have to work this morning, so we can't go to the park." And I certainly don't miss sitting down at my computer at 8:30pm after an already busy day.

I now have uninterrupted, quiet work time during the day. And when the chaos and noise begin at 4:00, I'm ready for it. I look forward to it. And I can dedicate all of me to my kids and husband when they get home.

I look back on some of my busier times when the kids were younger, and think, I don't know how I did it. Somehow I guess we moms rise to the occasion. To all of you women out there doing the juggling act, I feel for you. But the time will fly, and you may just look back and wonder how you did it, too.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Family Road Trip

Growing up in Minnesota, the summer tradition in my family was to take an annual camping trip. Mom and Dad loaded up the station wagon (and later the conversion van) with everything we could possibly need for a two week jaunt across the country. We always pulled the pop-up camper. We always tried to find every state license plate. My brother and I always fought about who got to sit where and which songs to listen to. But it was always an adventure, and nearly every summer, we headed West.

From the Black Hills to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, to Glacier National Park, to the Grand Canyon, to the Colorado Rockies and Banff, we covered most of the Western U.S. and Canada. As a kid and adolescent, I can honestly say I did not realize how important those trips were in influencing me. It wasn’t until I got to college - when wildfires destroyed a large portion of Yellowstone Park - that I finally started to understand the impact of all those vacations, and called my parents to say “thank you.”

Now, I won’t say that my parents instilled a love of camping in me, but a love of the West, they certainly did. The wide open spaces of Montana and Wyoming, the stunning peaks of the Colorado and Canadian Rockies, the amazing canyons and rock formations in Utah and Arizona, just the smell of the pines and mountain air...I could go on and on.

My first trip West as an adult was a two month road trip adventure that my best friend, Amy and I took in our early 20’s. We returned to many of those places I’d seen but didn’t appreciate as a kid. It was amazing and unforgettable. (The Trip, as it’s infamously known among family and friends deserves its own blog post another day!)

My husband and I have also returned to Colorado and Utah a couple of times, and this year we cautiously, but excitedly, decided it was time to expose our kids (8 and 5 1/2 yrs old) to the traditional family road trip West. So, we too packed up our minivan last week and took off for 10 days. It was hotels this time for us, but we road tripped it just the same. We collected state license plates, visited all the big tourist attractions from Minneapolis to Yellowstone and back, swam in every pool we found and generally had an awesome time. There were the occasional meltdowns (by both kids and parents) but we made it, and I celebrated my milestone birthday just the way I wanted to ~ by reliving my childhood.

About midway through the trip, we went to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. As I walked around it for the 3rd time in my life, and watched my boys bound ahead of me on the rocks, I thought, This is It. This is what I always imagined myself doing, and I’m doing it. How lucky I am. A smile spread across my face and I thought, I need to call Mom and Dad to thank them again. I hope someday my kids will call me, too.

On our last day at Yellowstone, my 8 year old son said,
“This trip has changed my life.”

No future phone call necessary.