Taking the Roads Less Traveled in Northern Norway

Prior to taking our Scandinavian vacation, I knew that I wanted to spend some time really getting to know the culture of the places. Of course all the major cities have lots to offer, but escaping into the less traveled areas is a for sure way to get one-on-one and experience a real dose of what the customs and people are really like in a country. On top of that, one of the major things on my list of things that I wanted to do in Scandinavia was go see the Northern Lights. I have seen it once before in Alaska, but I wanted to show my husband, Peabe, and my daughter, Evie, how amazing it looked in person. I once read an article about how climate change may effect the lights and wanted to be sure that they also had that experience in their lifetime. Lastly, I love getting […]

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What Nature Teaches Me About Being Thankful

It’s a tough time to celebrate Thanksgiving, for sure. As we sit with our families over a meal, a lot of bad things are going on in this world.  Yes, I am thankful that we aren’t sitting front lines to terrible atrocities happening right now. As I’m looking back on a pretty tumultuous year for me and my family, I know a lot of great things happened this year too.  Yes, I am thankful for all the blessings we all have had. As I worry for my daughter growing up in this world everyday, I know she’s been learning and growing with a firm sense of self and wonder.  Yes, I am grateful that she is such a rad kid. As I know I have been dealing with a lot of personal highs and lows this year.  As I loose friends and learn to cope with a new loneliness, I […]

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24 Hours in Oslo with Parents and a Little One

My retired parents spend about half the year in my childhood neighborhood in Illinois, and the other half of the year all the way out in the Philippines.  Neither place is anywhere by my daughter in Oakland.  My husband and I both had grandparents raising us in our childhood, and we sometimes worry that my daughter doesn’t have enough of that same quality time. We recently took a trip with them to Norway, and spent some time in Oslo together.  The idea of trying to experience a new city is a little daunting because we would be in a larger group, and at different stages of life’s interests and general fitness.  I can see the benefit and prefer to travel in small groups when necessary, but I knew some adjustments would need to be made to enjoy our time together and see all that we wanted to see. As we […]

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An Open Letter to my Family and Friends

Dearest family and friends; I have been processing my thoughts around this election and current state of the country…  I am not going to tell you who and what you should vote for, as I know from the results there are more than half of the country (including some of my own family and friends) remained complacent or had been part of a silent majority.  I am not here to educate you, I am not here to represent some marginalized group, and I am not here to judge you on your decision. I only ask that you, as my circle, hear me out.  In return, I promise now that if you need someone to hear you out, you should know I am hear for ya. This election has not tested my friendships, as I know we all have a right to our opinion.  This president doesn’t scare me, but the […]

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Happy Birthday to my Favorite Brother

My favorite brother because he’s my ONLY brother, “Bernie”, celebrates his birthday today and I just wanted to put it out there that I’m glad he’s another year older.  He’s come out and visited us in California a couple times this year, but we all know it’s pretty difficult to have relationships with people from afar.  He’s really such a softie when it comes to Evie.  She loves her “Tito Boy” and I hope they can always have their silly connections.  Time will tell, I guess.

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The Return to a New America

I am besides myself in grief about the election, and I know I am not alone. We spent the time before leaving the states to fill in our vote-by-mail cards and send them off, knowing that we would be away.  I wasn’t sold on Hillary, but I didn’t want Trump to win, so I voted for her.  I knew it was going to get really close.  I have never been overly political, especially on social media, but had shared some things because of this election. What Trump stands for is hate.  How could I sit back and watch as his world wants to turn my friends and family into stereotypes and generalizations… just another black man getting killed by police, just another illegal immigrant hispanic, just another muslim terrorist… just another woman to be “grabbed by the pussy”. I am not in America to celebrate mediocrity and money, as I […]

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Unleashing Females into the Wild

The month of October started off really testing myself on the mountains of the Lost Coast trail, and ended up watching my daughter really test herself on her longest hike to date (4.5 miles) on Angel Island and also climbing the large boulders of Yosemite’s Mirror Lake Trail. Of course I am a proud mama practically all the time, but something about her taking on these hikes makes me really glow.  There’s a lot that I’ve learned in my life through being out in nature, and I don’t think I understood it’s impact until later in life. My parents taught me a lot of self-sufficiency being out fishing or camping. I would come back from a a day spent catching on the river and wanting to immediately go out to the garden in the back to dig up some worms to bring back to the river the next weekend and […]

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When You Don’t Know if You Are Sinking or Swimming Anymore

It’s 7:45 am right now and I still haven’t slept.  Even though I feel like I’ve ran around town all day with a doctor appointment, a hair appointment, picking up medicine for Evie, and running lots of last minute errands today, I still have only met 50% of my Fitbit goal.  Even though I’ve spent the last 10 hours working on my laptop in the same seat of the sofa, I feel like I haven’t even made a dent in the work still yet to do.  Even though I have prepared some things for my parent’s arrival today, I will still need to clean the apartment top to bottom today. By the time you are reading this, I will be in Scandinavia enjoying some vacation time.  At this point, the craziness before the vacation, it’s hard to know if I am coming of going.  In actuality, I will probably be […]

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Vacation Planning 101

If you haven’t guessed already from my Instagram account, I am in taking a little fall trip out to Scandinavia.  We will be in 4 different countries: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.  The trip is mostly for my family (my husband, daughter, and I), but my parents will be joining us to Norway as they had never been before.  We are traveling by plane, car, train, and cruise boat to 6 different cities, so planning took some time and coordination. I have been talking to some friends about it recently who have been pretty shocked to hear the deals that we’ve found and the tips to travel when organizing for this vacation.  We’ve tried to do the bulk of the prep work early on, so I don’t remember all of details, but I can share with you what I thought were key things to my planning. FINDING A LOCATION So we knew […]

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