Travel…With or Without Kids

Teepee at El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas

I have the travel bug…BAD. Over the holidays my family and I drove to Texas and we made a point to take back roads and visit places we had never been, even it meant taking a few extra minutes (or hours) to get off the beaten path. Now we are home and all I can think of is doing again, but maybe just with the hubs. I get a tinge of guilt when I think of the possibility of sleeping in a teepee or in a floating hotel without my kids. Isn’t that what every kid wants – to sleep in a TEEPEE! But then again, doesn’t every mom want a night off and day to shop, look at art, and make art herself? Or is that just me?

The Aqua Lodges in Bocas del Toros

Kicking off Christmas

I’m so excited because I just finished making the family Christmas card. It’s kind of a big deal for me since we live so far away from many of our family and friends. Last year I was too exhausted to put much effort into it (my toddler was kickin’ my butt!) I decided to go all out this year – and boy did I! We had professional photos done by Wendy of Blue Lily . These are the first family photos I’ve been featured in since my WEDDING! It was so worth it! Check out the card below.

What about you? Are you doing anything special to get into the holiday spirit?

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

What to wear for a…

family photo shoot? My husband and I have been married for almost 7 years. We have two kids. We have no professional photos of any of us! I mean, I am a photographer but I tend to rely on my iPhone more than anything these days. So, after stalking the blue lily blog for months, I booked them! Of course when I scheduled the shoot I swore that I would lose 10 pounds and have my entire family’s wardrobe picked picked out in advance. Um, I’m pretty sure I’m running out of time! November is only 4 weeks away! I’m going to give up on losing that 10 pounds (which is hopeless now due to daily pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin beers.) So, let’s focus on wardrobe then, shall we…

olive bear

baby bear

papa bear

mama bear

 

Any suggestions?

 

Back to School…Back to Reality

So not only did summer kick my butt (don’t get me wrong – I had a blast but it was busy!) but the back to school season got me as well! Summer threw me for a loop and I still feel all jumbled and disorganized. I did manage to do a little back to school shopping and sent my 6 year old off on the first day in some very cute Olive Juice duds but we were so rushed that morning that my fuzzy iPhone photo of her going off to school isn’t going to cut it for this little blog!

Here’s one of my favorite moments from the summer.

 

 

 

Little Boy Treasures

I love finding little treasures for my kids. I picked up those boots on a whim at a thrift store and found the vintage puzzle at a church rummage sale. I purchased the cow from a boutique in Hido, Texas before I ever got pregnant with my son. At the time, we were trying for another baby and I was crossing my fingers for a boy!

DIY Day!

Yvette, from Abernathy Crafts, came over the other day to share a kid friendly craft with me. It was fun and easy. My 5 year old was so excited to do this one all by herself! Just draw a picture onto the back of Styrofoam plate, cover with paint, and press your paper onto it. It’s a child’s introduction to printmaking!

Have you tried this project with your kids before?

The Loss of the Independent Childhood

Last night my husband and I were discussing sending our daughter to girl scout camp. I am pro-camp. He is against it. He never went to camp as a child and doesn’t see why our kids need to go. So I lay in bed recalling my camp experience for him: the feeling of freedom, making new friends, archery, hiking, friendship bracelets, bug juice, the joy of making your own purchase at the canteen, swimming in the river, camp songs, camp fires… I could go on and on. I want my kids to have those experiences too!

But there is something else that is making me push for camp. When my husband and I were kids, we had full reign of our neighborhoods. Both of our parents set the boundaries as to how far we could travel on our own and then boom, out the door on bikes, roaming the neighborhood with a pack kids, running in and out of yards and houses. At each house there would be a parent ready with a popsicle, a sprinkler, or 5 minutes of air conditioning, but mostly we stayed outside. After school, weekends, and especially summer meant FREEDOM!

And when dusk came, children’s names would be called and we would all head indoors for dinner. Our parents barely saw us during the day and it was OKAY. There was no boogeyman lurking around every corner to snatch us up.

We don’t live in that time anymore, at least not around here. We live in a high anxiety world now; post Columbine, post 9/11, post meth. We no longer look at strangers as a potential friend but as potential crazies. I’ll admit, when I do let the kids play in the back yard I stand at the window, on the lookout for the boogeyman.

Kids are so heavily scheduled after school that there is no laughter filling the yards. Weekends too are scheduled with soccer games, recitals, and family activities. I’m starting to realize that summer is the same way. Every parent I speak to talks about how their summer calendars are filling up with family trips and supervised, organized day camps such as cooking camp, computer camp, youtube camp (seriously), and princess camp (again, seriously).

So, where are today’s kids going to gain any sense of independence or freedom? I’m thinking the only place left to experience that freedom that used to come with childhood may very well be camp.

Luckily, I found this article backing me up so maybe, just maybe, I’ll win this one!

Wish You Were Here

 

Years ago, I lived about an hour from the beach. Granted, it was a Texas beach – not the Riviera – but it was a beach nonetheless. I got accustomed to heading down to the shore almost any time I felt like it; before work, after work, days off. Now, with two kids, a busy schedule, and a 7-hour drive to the nearest beach, a trip takes lots of planning. So right now, I wish I could skip the planning, the waiting, and the traveling, and just transport myself to any one of these places:

St. Martin

Edisto

Puerto Rico

Edisto

 

Where do you wish you be right now?