Holding Butterflies

Not too tight, not too loose

Can you do epic in a weekend?

We’ve never had the flexibility from my husband’s job to take a truly extended vacation. It was my dream to take a year off and travel the world with the kids, but now that high school graduations are on the horizon that is a dream that goes back on the shelf. You know what? That’s okay. We continue to have deeply satisfying vacations without leaving for a year, or even.. Read More

How to Approach the Logistics

The typical questions you ask yourself when you start planning your vacation are the logistics: Where you stay How you travel to your destination When and how long you go Who you go with What your schedule is while you’re there I think of the logistics as the tent poles that hold up your vacation “tent.” The richness of the vacation is inside the tent. The trick with logistics is.. Read More

What makes it “Epic?”

I think I might have gone down a rabbit hole yesterday on the whole idea of working out various interests. Respecting each individual is important, but we’ve gone there and done that. Let’s move on. What exactly makes a vacation truly great? We’ve found that it takes three things: We’ve chosen something and somewhere that fills a need for our family’s life right now. We’re taking the right attitude towards.. Read More

Week in Review, 10/4

It’s late, so I think I’ll try a list of the high points, or just things to remember, from the the week just passed: It was homecoming week at school, which meant the kids dressed up every single day. When you wear uniforms all the time, a week of choosing your clothes was exciting! And exhausting. I’m so glad we are back to uniforms tomorrow. I painted! These were my.. Read More

Keep the Biggest Picture in Mind

It’s okay, really, that every single trip and activity isn’t accommodated on a vacation. Decide on your “what,” and then look for other ways to accommodate interests throughout the year. We’ve found that if we think of vacation planning holistically–all the stuff everyone in the family likes to do throughout the year–the big trips feel less make-or-break. We manage expectations and actually have a lot more fun. Matthew loves to.. Read More

Competing Interests

It’s great if you’ve figured out your “what,” but it’s likely that everyone else’s “what” is different from yours! How to handle that? I’ll tell you what we do. Mom and Dad decide. Really!  When we start thinking about our next vacation, everyone chimes in. “I want to go see [insert historic site here].” “We haven’t been scuba diving in ages.” “Let’s go hiking.” “That last place was TOO HOT… Read More

The first question isn’t “Where.”

We used to say that all the time–“Where are we going this year?” But in fact, the real first question is “What?” As in: What do we want to do? What’s been going on at home? What do we need a break from? What do we want to EAT? (seriously. We ask that.) Here’s a great example of how important the “what” is. A couple of years ago, we decided.. Read More

On our way!

Who doesn’t love a vacation? When I think of our favorite family memories, a ton of them seem to be made away from home. We’ve taken some great, and some less great, trips over the years and we have learned a LOT about how to make a good vacation great. For this series, I want to share some of our vacation “lessons” that have helped us over the years. The.. Read More

Week in review…9/29!

Oops, a week in review in the middle of the week.  We are deep into the fall routine, and I actually had to check the pictures on my phone to help me remember what we did! Construction continues in dribs and drabs, as it is wont to do. Except I had a huge problem with my covered arena! I’m not sure if I’ve talked about the fact that we have.. Read More

Week(end) in Review, 9/20

My heavens. This has been one crazy weekend, and I don’t remember one quite like it for a while. I checked the girls out of school at 1 p.m. on Friday to go to Columbus for a horse show and watched them along with other girls from our barn school cross-country. That is the fancy term for practicing the cross-country course before the show. I hopped back in my minivan.. Read More