Category Archives: inspiration

You Don’t Have To Try

When I first heard Colbie Caillat’s new song, Try, on the radio last week I thought, “Well there is a good message in that song.” Then I moved on. Colbie isn’t exactly my genre of tunes, but I’d listen to it twice just for the message. 

Then I started to see my Facebook stream flood with links to the video. Call me Queen Lemming, I had to click.

Then I had to get tissues.

Then my teen daughter, and even my seven year old daughter.

This video goes far beyond the song. It’s the message every child and young adult, boys and especially girls, and – admittedly- even I needed to hear.

 

The Tao of The Nuggets

From time-to-time people (the ones who live in my head) will say to me; “Four amazing kids, awesome marriage, cool career, and a wildly popular (again in my head) blog, how DO you do it?”

To that I simply reply… The Tao of Nuggets. So what exactly is a Tao? Simple wisdom. A code. Tao roughly translates as “path” or “way”.  And the way of the Nuggets, reads something like this:

Like the moth to flame, dirty socks are drawn to the living room floor. No amount of reasoning will save the moth her life or the mom her sanity. Consider the socks as decor.

Attempting to reason with a teenager is much like trying to coax Shakespeare from a rock. Abandon such fruitless endeavors and seek reason in the Starbucks cafe within Barnes and Noble.

Upon every meal a little ketchup (or ranch) will fall. So cook what you like, they will simply drown their food anyway. 

Breathe deep. Let it go. Uncork it.

Life is a Story. Don't skip pages. The Tao of The Nuggets.

Life is a story told in moments. Don’t skip pages.

Always keep a bag packed. Be ready when your chance to runaway from home comes.

Plucking facial hair is Zen.

They are watching you. Don’t let them think that life is such serious business.

 

What’s your Tao?

The Fault In Our Stars: A Mother-Daughter Review

fault

Far before all the opening weekend fuss, or even the buzz about a movie in the works, my fifteen year old daughter recommended I read, The Fault In Our Stars.

There came a visceral moan from behind the door. I ran down the hall calling to her.

“Baby, are you okay?”

An inquiry that only caused an escalation in the sobbing.

Panic setting in…

“You need to open this door now and tell me what’s wrong!”

Red-eyed, puffy-faced, heaving with suppressed sobs…

“Some infinities are longer than other infinities! Hold me Mommy!!!”

The book falls out of her hands. My typically cynical, eye-rolling, aloof, teenager falls into my arms.

Naturally, I had to read this. A tome so powerful as to transform an angst-ridden pre-adult into a child in need of her mother’s arms for succor.

I read it.

Then we had our own little Book Club meeting. It went something like this…

“The night of the broken trophies. Eggs! OMG, Amsterdam!!”

“I know!”

Laughing. Sighing.

“Not Augustus! Why?!!! He hates basketball! Cigarettes!!! It was his daughter!”

Tears. Snot. Kleenex.

“His words were perfect!”

Synchronized sobbing. No more Kleenex left, move on to toilet paper.

“I love that you get this mom. I love that you’re such a sap. I love that we are both book nerds. I. Love. You.”

We now have a date for the movies.

Family Travel: Savannah, Shrimp & Residence Inn… Oh My!

Being a big family has never kept us rooted at home. Given the opportunity, we pick up and go! Planes, trains and automobiles? We’ve done that. This summer we set out to explore the Gulf Coast. The adventure began with taking the kids, and even our car, along on the Amtrak Auto Train to Florida’s glimmering shores. Waving a fond farewell to Florida, we hit the road, landing in Savannah, Georgia.

If I had to use one word to sum up our stay in Savannah it would have to be, Magical.

To be honest, choosing to stay in Savannah was more a strategy than a burning desire to see the place before I die. The logic? The kids could only last a maximum of eight hours in the car before a hierarchy emerged and people started to be marked for elimination. Not good. So Savannah it was. Lucky for me -card carrying member of the Residence Moms Club- there were a few Residence Inns (RI) to choose from. Little did I know what amazing stay we’d have at the the RI Historic District.

From the moment we pulled up in front of the charming brick building -nestled amongst art museums, city trolley tour stops and historic landmarks- we were made to feel like family. A friendly valet welcomed us, helped with bags and made the kids giggle (a very “luxury property” touch). The desk staff got us checked in, in a jiffy, then gave us a mini tour of the property, from the fire pit crowning the sparking pool and courtyard, to the full dining area and bar, the place as an “Old South” feel and true Southern Hospitality.Obviously the kids loved the pool most of all. That and they Eggs Florentine, grits and fresh waffles at the free breakfast bar. My kids love to eat. I enjoyed having a full kitchen (hello, eating out with a family of 6 can break the bank) stocked with groceries that the RI staff picked up for me and had delivered to our room, swoon.

The staff were so much more than hospitality workers, they became our personal tour guides, recommending places the locals go to eat, indulging my obsession with Johnny Mercer and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and pointing us to an awesome dolphin tour. We got to see WILD baby dolphins!

My absolute favorite part of our visit to Savannah (other than the Shrimp and Grits at The Boar’s Head Grill and Tavern on the Riverwalk) was the afternoon we spent at Bonaventure Cemetery. Yes, I drug my kids into a cemetery as a family activity, don’t judge. In the visitor’s center, most people grab a map and go, in a rush to go find the Bird Girl. We lingered, and boy was it worth it. We met a lovely Southern Gentleman, a  member of the historical society and a treasure. He entertained us with an oral history of Savannah in a way no book or website could. We learned about the founding of the city, why the cemetery is laid out the way it is, how it was inclusive of several religions at a time when this was a rarity in the south. Some of the stories he told us were simply jaw-dropping. Like the one about his 200 year old obelisk that made it’s way into the Georgia soil all the way from France.

How did it end up in Bonaventure, and why? Well it was purchased by a local businessman who wanted to save the particular plot it resides on, for the day he meets his eternal rest. Where does one go to purchase a several ton marble obelisk from France? Why, eBay of course! True story.

Bonaventure was also the perfect place for me to hone my very-amateur photography skills.

From encounters with wild dolphins to a not-so-spooky walking ghost tour, amazing eats to quaint cobblestone streets, Savannah is a magical place imbued with true Southern hospitality, steeped in history and the perfect place for a family adventure!

 

Disclosure: Our stay at the Residence Inn in Savannah was compensated as part of my participation in the Residence Inn Moms Club. I was under no obligation to give this property a favorable review. As ALWAYS my opinions are my own. That said, you should stay at this property, words really can not describe how wonderful our stay was.