ramona and i jetted off to minneapolis on the fourth of july (see her holiday-appropriate dress photographed above). we were there to spend some time w my family and celebrate my mother’s birthday (does anyone else have a mother that looks much younger than her age? mine does and i’m hoping those genes are passed on to me. looking good, mama!). we spent the days w my brother, and sister-in-law, and their three amazing kids. though we ventured out to the public mini-pool at wabun park at minnehaha, most of our time was spent in my parents’ home, which is perfectly situated for grandkids. there’s a huge yard w a blacktop perfect for practicing riding a bike and pushing baby cousin (ramona) around in doll-sized buggies. they have a tree where there’s a door that leads to the home of a magical pixie who leaves candies and seashells for the little ones. and a playhouse. and a tetherball pole. and a vintage air plane spring ride. and raspberry bushes in the rear. it’s amazing, really. the adults just get to sit on the screened porch and watch the little ones bike and spin and toddle and run around. life is slow-paced and easy.
and you know what? it took some adjusting to. bc as much as we love our home, we don’t have the space to spend quite as much time in there comfortably so we’re often out and about. and so being w my parents, in their cozy space w their large L-shaped couches that are just always calling my name to sink into and soak in the beautiful day, really was an exercise in letting the day happen. i’m not arguing for big spaces and homes — bc our family living in a small space is as much intentional as it is just a matter of what we have at this moment — but i am arguing that it’s nice to slow down once in a while. ramona and i are a bit more go-go-go than my parents on a day-to-day basis. which is neither better nor worse. it’s what works for her and i. but i certainly appreciate being put into situations that give me reason to pause just a tad more.
(this store is called the foundry and has nothing to do w slowing down while traveling except that it took my breath away while i shopped there and i wanted to give it a shout-out. online shop coming soon. otherwise, if you live in minneapolis, go there now. i spent a small fortune there and will never regret it.)
and then today ramona and i flew to nashville where jp joined us. we’re here to spend some quality time w some of our dear friends and explore this city, which from all we’ve heard only has good things to offer. and this is where i realized this was the post i wanted to write. bc after a stop at barista parlor w our friends for some iced coffee and cappuccinos, tessa and dorian and their cute little guy, august, dropped us off at their house (our home for the week!) and left us so both families could get some quiet time. ramona took a three hour nap, which was much needed after our 4:15 wake-up call. tessa did some work somewhere. dorian napped. jp napped. i napped. i washed dishes. read some of the book i’m reading. and then found myself in a quiet dining room and decided to blog about the wonders of traveling w family. nap time, to us, is sacred. it is not to be messed w if we want a happy child. and so instead of hitting the town and going all out right away, we soaked up our friends’ beautiful, simple, small, cozy home and regrouped. and i imagine our four days here will be a lot like this (w the addition of some splash pads, and good restaurants, and visiting other old friends).
don’t get me wrong. i love those trips to san francisco where it’s just jp and me and we can galavant off for the day and cram a lot in (we’re hoping to do NYC this year too and oh my! the hustle and bustle of that place!). but there’s something extraordinarily lovely about being across the country in a new town and still just taking it slow and experiencing it w locals, and pretending we live and maybe even belong here. i’m not opposed to the touristy thing, but i sure do love the make-yourselves-at-home and settle in feeling as well.
i’ve sinced moved to their front porch and it’s starting to rain lightly and i hope, my dear friends, that you too are soaking in wherever you’re at and enjoying the moment of whatever it is you’re doing. for whatever reason i think these words from someone i follow on instagram is apt for what i’m feeling: be kind. be joyful. be a force of nature.
p.s. these photos are from instagram. do you instagram? follow me here!
p.p.s. congratulations to holly, the winner of the tentiko giveaway!