Things to Entertain my Boys at Great-Grandma’s House

We’re headed to California next week to take care of my grandmother as she recovers from back surgery.  Recovery and two young children don’t always go hand-in-hand.  That said, my two boys are so excited about going and helping and spending time with their Great-Grandmother, that I’m hoping it’ll be a wonderful experience for all of us.


In order to keep my boys entertained during times when my grandma needs quiet over the next couple weeks, I picked up a few activity books from our favorite local bookstore. … Continue reading

Thankful for the Kindness of Strangers

Thankful for the Kindness of Strangers
My new addition to my purse whenever I travel on public transportation: a bag.

Last weekend I traveled across the country for a memorial.  It was an emotional weekend, but in the midst of it my heart was happy to be reminded of the kindness of strangers.


I prepared for a weekend of travel.  I was traveling by myself, and prepared myself for all sorts of possibilities (I’m a planner in that way).… Continue reading

When your Car Breaks Down on a Road Trip: Some Helpful Tips

When your Car Breaks Down on a Road Trip: Some Helpful TipsWe returned earlier this week from our second big road trip of the summer. The trip went well. We had a great time visiting my extended family. We celebrated my brother’s marriage with his fabulous wedding party. It was a good trip.

We drove home and made it from Southern California through Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and through part of Colorado. We were making it home in record time.… Continue reading

Relaxing Near the Bay

Relaxing Near the BayTaking time to relax, to step away from day-to-day demands, is important.  We all need white space in our lives.  Time that is unscheduled.  Time to think.  Time to dream.  Time to simply be.


While I work hard to create moments of quiet in my day-to-day life, as truly we all need to have downtime daily, it’s definitely a challenge to accomplish this while homeschooling two young, active boys.… Continue reading

Preparing for a Road Trip

Preparing for a Road TripWe’re getting ready to head off to Michigan to visit my in-laws.  This week I’m focusing on planning and packing.


I keep a Master Packing List [you can find a version of it from a previous trip HERE], which makes packing so much easier.  Each time we have a trip planned, I pull out our master list and modify it as needed for the particular time of year and circumstances under which we’re traveling. … Continue reading

Preparing for another Road Trip

Preparing for Another Road Trip
An open suitcase, ready for me to fill it so we can embark on our next adventure.

In just over a week, we are heading out on our second road trip of the summer. While our first summer road trip took us to points west, this time we will drive east: driving from Colorado to Michigan. We’re all excited to visit our Michigan family, and spending two weeks on the shore of Lake Michigan will be a lovely bonus.… Continue reading

Preparing for a Family Road Trip

Preparing for a Family Road TripThis week we’re heading out to California to visit my family. For us, that means a family road trip over the course of which we’ll drive about 2500 miles.

Many people recommend making lots of stops along the way in order to break up the trip for kids. We actually find that tackling the drive in one long day with lots of bathroom and stretch-our-legs breaks but no touristy stops works well for us.… Continue reading

Simplify Saturday: Learn to Pack Light

Simplify Saturday: Learn to Pack LightI used to pride myself on being a light packer. I could head on a weekend trip carrying only my regular day-pack backpack (a school-style pack I carried everywhere). I could pack for a month-long trip in a single, carry-on sized suitcase. I could have my bag ready for a trip of almost any length within a half-an-hour for a spontaneous trip.… Continue reading