Vacation re-entry



Vacation re-entry is a bitch. Especially when you leave the cool mountains of Colorado for the fiery urban sauna of home. Oh Austin, I'm trying to love you again but right now I'm deep in the stages of grief.

1. Denial. Noooo. This can't be that bad, can it? Sure vacation is over, but it's still summer. I like summer. I like home. I like real life. I like routines and chores. I like heat. Wait, what?

2. Anger. What in holy hell have I done? How did I get home and why is it 1,000 freaking degrees in the shade? Why are my kids asking me for meals or wanting to be taken to the pool? Why am I expected to open the bulging credit card bills that arrived while we were gone? Why do I feel so cramped? Are there suddenly more people in my family? We have spent two solid weeks together! How much more Together Time do they all expect?

3. Bargaining. Maybe if I don't unpack and don't do laundry we can just tack on another trip that leaves tomorrow. Maybe Hubs and I can alternate working while the other drives. We only saw a little snow in Colorado...we really should find some place colder this time. Alaska! Icebergs! I would cancel vacations for the next two years just to get a few more days of fun right now.

4. Depression. I will never be as happy as I was that one day last week, running down the mountain in long sleeves. Or that morning I drank 3 cups of coffee under a rainbow sunrise. Or that night of the outdoor concert when we stretched out at the base of a mountain, the sky changing colors every few minutes, the kids rolling down nearby hills, the wine and laughter with friends mingling into a perfect harmony.

5. Acceptance. If I can't be on vacation, I might as well be earning money toward the next one. School starts soon, and that means more hours in the day to work. Oh joy. But honestly, do I want to be the friend who complains about her vacation hangover? Don't we all hate that person? Ok fine. I'm home. I'm unpacked. I'm dealing. I'll just leave it at that.


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How are you surviving the last gasp of summer, my friends? I'm sending y'all strength and air-conditioned vibes!

Summer Snapshot pt. 1

It's now half-way through summer and we've hit triple digits here in Austin. I don't even have to look at the thermometer to know for sure, because the clearest sign is that every little thing my family is doing has started to irritate me. Beginning with swiping my stuff every time I turn around. Which is how this came to be... photo 1 copy

And then I realized that even though I'm always happier in the sunshine, I've been finding more and more reasons to stay indoors. Like when this 3-hour reorganizing emergency happened...




In between the obsessive-compulsiveness, we are tossing in some traditional summertime fun.

Like this...

photo 6

And this...

photo 1

And this...

photo 3

Lots of this...

photo 5

And when I'm lucky, some of this...

photo 4


But as we know, all play and no work makes for a boring household so I'm also trying to earn the Meanest Mom Ever badge. Exhibit A: insisting that my new 10-year-old finish his birthday thank-you notes while waiting at a doctor's appointment.

photo 7

All in all, it's shaping up to be a great second half of summer. Starting tomorrow we are escaping the heat, heading to the mountains, and leaving the label maker and To-Do lists at home. I'm bringing the camera, of course, so follow me on Instagram and just dare me to come back home from paradise.


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2013.08.CB.lowerloopThe last gasp of summer. Wow, the month sure got away from me. Or did I get away from it? A little of both and I think that was for the best. I’m now pushing myself out of summer mode...even though here in Austin we are still applying sunscreen and guzzling water just to make the 4-block walk to our favorite pancake joint. So the last time I wrote, I was mere inches from my breaking point. It seems that the culprit was at his as well, and that all we needed was to escape the heat for a while. So we did just that and as you may have noticed, I left my blog behind to water the plants, pick up the newspapers, etc.

I'm happy to report that the plants and the blog survived. Let the reunion begin!

*     *     * Are you on Instagram? You can fiind me there! @peaceloveguac

Last Day

2013.05.Caution-1318-2In the weeks leading up to today...I sketched out a summer mix of spontaneity and structure, forked over hundreds of dollars for camps, panicked that the schedule was too much, then panicked that it was not enough. Then panicked that I was panicking.

I blocked off vacation days, secured lodging, cashed in airline miles, and made plans for puppy camp. I rspv’d to four weddings, bought china, and found a perfect pair of dress shoes for my pickiest child. I purchased new swimsuits and fresh flip flops. Loaded up on sunscreen, hats and water guns.

I attended school parties, spelling bees and poetry readings. I navigated end-of-year nostalgia and tears...both theirs and mine. I hugged one child through a “I’m growing up too fast” breakdown and managed not to fall apart until I had left the room.

I made countless lists, crossed them off, then made even longer ones.

And tonight... We unloaded the mountains of artwork, pencils, notebooks and report cards. We stashed the lunchboxes and hung the backpacks. Over french fries and salad, we toasted the day, then made a Summer of Fun list on scratch paper. On a whim, we climbed to the highest point in town and watched the sun fall on another school year.

I am mostly ready for this new season.

Yes, my "make it happen" list is still long. The closets are an unbearable mess. The artwork litters the house. The family photo albums remain unfinished. Several work projects linger.

I have no idea how or if my list will shrink during a season notorious for stealing my alone time. But I can't argue with the calendar. The kids are ready for lazy days, late nights, fewer rules and more ice cream.

Summer is definitely here. And there is nothing left to do but dive in and play along.

Miss you. And you and you and you and you.

Yep, after four days away, I missed the family. But only when the plane touched down in Austin and I knew I was a mere 30 minutes from their fierce hugs and sloppy kisses.

What I'm missing now, hours after I tucked in each monkey, are all the incredibly talented and hilarious women I met this weekend at BlogHer11. I cannot remember the last time I was this energized and inspired! What a high!

I'm hitting the road again for one last family-size hurrah before school starts. We are escaping the heat and hoping the mountain air will bring us lots of these moments, or maybe some of these, but (if the Saint of Peaceful Vacations is doing her job) very few of these.

Have a great week!