We have family in two states and from the dawn of our marriage we have made the eight-hour trek to visit for holidays, weddings, and graduations multiple times a year. When these trips were just two grown adults, the ride was at times boring and tedious but also involved listening to podcasts, adult music, uninterrupted conversations and sometimes silence. Then, almost eight years ago, we added our first little travel buddy to our road trip mix and she truly changed the game. Two years later we added her sister and then not long after their brother. Now we conquer our eight-hour road trip regularly with three kids. While it seems as though our adventures are getting more pleasant with each passing year, we have done these trips through phases from nursing newborns, to potty training toddlers, to squabbling preschoolers, and those years were not for the faint of heart. I would love to share some of my personal, hard-earned wisdom with you if you too are looking towards road-tripping with your little family anytime soon!
When I was freshly engaged, I envisioned so many aspects of my soon-to-be-married life: slow weekends and sipping our coffee leisurely on our apartment balcony, double dates with friends, grocery shopping and cooking together… I was basically envisioning our life through the lens of a Crate & Barrel catalog. We touched on financial planning in our premarital counseling, but it seemed so stressful and unsexy at the time! Now, ten years into our marriage, I have seen the light and relish in a routine that we’ve instituted: monthly financial and life logistics planning meetings (while sipping our coffee or making dinner together). The longer we are married, the more value I find (and dare I say a little bit of sexiness??) in this regularly planned dialogue with my partner.
Christmas decorations up the minute Thanksgiving is done. After the busy-ness of cooking and hosting, I am so ready to slow down and sink into everything the advent season has to offer. Advent is a season of building anticipation. Advent is considered to be a time of preparation and waiting in joyful hope of the birth of Jesus, and it’s typically associated with many Christian religions. However, I find that anyone can find ways, religious or not, to create a feeling of advent in the home.
We’ve hosted Thanksgiving for the past seven years (give or take a few years), and in that time we’ve learned many valuable lessons as home cooks and hosts. We’ve tried our fair share of trendy recipes and ways to cook a turkey. We’ve mistimed oven usage and have discovered new family favorites. Quite possibly the most important lesson we’ve learned while hosting over the years: Planning is ESSENTIAL for everyone’s sanity and enjoyment. Here is my planning guide for gaining time this holiday season and making your Thanksgiving enjoyable for both you and your guests!
Witnessing so many movements of cultural recognition and self acceptance over the past few years has truly inspired me to own my heritage with curiosity and love.
As a former school teacher and a mom of three, let me share what I’ve learned to expect when sending a child to kindergarten.