H E L L O Y E L L O W »

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i’m heading to the homeland today to celebrate my beautiful sister’s 40th birthday (#jojoturns40) and am cheeks-hurt-from-smiling-so-big excited. it’s most of my favorite things packed into one long weekend: nyc + jojo + exploring + great food + central park runs + boutique hotel + some stolen moments with other dear friends. i’m on the plane right now and as the “time to destination” on the screen ahead of me gets smaller, my giddiness gets bigger.

but these trips are always a bit bittersweet – as fun as it is to jump on a plane, heading towards adventure, it means leaving behind the loves o’ my life and that always breaks my heart a bit. i held back tears as we said our goodbyes on the street this morning, and they’ve been on my mind since those final hugs. i was upgraded to first class (WTD!) and throughout the flight i kept thinking the girls would love all of the little indulgences – warm chocolate chip cookies? yes please. i can picture bitty with chocolate all over her hands and face, and piper watching hours upon hours of movies, and it makes me wish i could pack them with me (and wen too, of course!).

my traveling has gotten harder on the girls as they get older. they used to be pretty breezy and “see ya later!” about the whole thing, but now there’s the inevitable teary night before i go, with lots of clinging and “please stay!” and it’s enough to make me almost want to stay home (but then i remember the boutique hotel and sleeping in and shopping without chicklets and i feel better about the whole thing. <wink>).

to ease some of the sadness i’ve started doing little “countdown” surprises on my longer trips. one little treat per day with a special note from moi to each of them. nothing extravagant – it could be a candy they love, or some new coloring pens, or a little writing book. the notes are fun and full of our little inside jokes and hopefully make them smile. it’s not about stuff or things to compensate for me being gone – but simply a little reminder that i’m thinking of them and love them so much bigger than the miles that separate us. and it helps pass the time … counting, day by day, until the bags are empty and it means i’m coming home.

and as for husband, well, i am just so grateful that he is not a counter by nature. and by that i mean he doesn’t keep score, or keep track; he instead genuinely celebrates opportunities that come my way. someone said to me the other day, “how do you get your husband to let you go on all of these trips?” my first reaction was to go a bit gloria steinem with a “sorry, he doesn’t LET me do anything.” he supports. he encourages. and in doing so, it creates a desire in me to do the same for him. it’s give and give, on both sides. it’s a simple equation of both of us saying “yes!” and “go!” and recognizing that the more fulfilled we are as individuals the more we can invest into each other and our family.

well, the bell just dinged (dung?) and we’re beginning our descent into my beautiful new york, the other love o’ my life. feeling excited and overwhelmed and ohsograteful for the moments and memories waiting to be made.

sending big love from the big apple.




… tonight marks the final moments of my summer staycation, and the sunday blues have planted deep roots in my head and heart. as much as i love our “trips of a lifetime” to the amazing corners of europe,  i may actually enjoy a staycation almost as much. almost. there’s something so sweet about extended time with all 4 of us at home – sleeping in, lazy mornings, little adventures here and there. home projects, making dinner with the girls, long walks and little house on the prairie marathons in the afternoon, simply because we can. 

one such lovely little moment on this staycation was a day trip we took to the most adorable little village, dinkelsbuhl. we arrived just in time for the girls and i to hop aboard a horse-drawn wagon giving tours around the town – while the excitement of such an activity wore off relatively quickly (the tour was all in german, and bitty’s attention span is quite limited even in english!) it was such a fun way to see the city. after the tour we joined back up with wen and frankie for a long stroll around the village. every corner was more adorable than the next – my favorite was a sweet little house aptly named “kleine haus,” (small house). it couldn’t be more charming, truly.

we ended the day at a gorgeous little spot outside of the village walls, right along the river. the girls sat down on the riverbank, conveniently next to a beautiful young couple who had brought a couple of bags of bread to feed the ducks. after a few moments and very little prompting (well, stella MIGHT have stated something to the effect of, “i sure wish we had some bread to feed the ducks!”), the couple handed the girls one of their bags.  wen and i sat a few feet back, just watching the girls delight in such a fun and  unexpected moment, all at the hands of generosity of this couple. i took a mental snapshot (plus a few for instagram) to hold onto the image. big, fat, yummy, simply joy. the very best kind.