Let's just go

{laotian baby on our boat trip down the mekong river, february 2008}

I did it. I said the words. And without having to say it, he knew that they would be followed by Bali or Bolivia or Guatemala, but he stopped me with just one look. The don't go there look. But that was a few days ago.

Today, I got the "I was thinking..." and when those words come out of my husband's mouth, I have learned to stop what I am doing and pay attention. This morning he stopped me in my tracks and I made myself comfortable on the steps leading downstairs. I have learned that the thoughts after those simple words often require me to sit down.

A bit of back story...

In 2008, I became pregnant just a few short weeks after we had returned from 10 months of traveling around the Pacific Ocean. In a decision that most called "adventurous" and only one or two called "foolish", we changed the course of our relationship, our careers and how we experience the world we live in. It is an experience that we reference at least once a day and it continues to be a source of inspiration, encouragement, joy and light when life feels a bit bleak. The decision to quit our jobs, rent out our apartment and travel together for 10 months changed our relationship, ourselves and our life outlook. Free to be where we wanted, when we wanted, we chose to travel when we did, because we knew children would be "next" and this type of travel would not happen with them.

Until we realized that it does. Or it can. Along the way, we met a family traveling with a 2yr old and a 5 yr old in the Galapagos, a family on a boat with a 7 yr old and many others along the way. They did not arrive in Lima for just one night without a hotel reservation or stay out until the morning hours in Singapore, but they traveled. And they experienced. And they were together.

While in Germany a few weeks ago I read the inspiring story of a family and their young boy, living temporarily in Africa - and the images of him in the wild have been etched into my mind. To read the story click here. And though the nugget and I only braved a short trip from San Francisco to Frankfurt, he proved quite adaptable and willing to play along with train rides and Spaetzle and all the new things we threw in his path. So Germany or Africa or Panama?

So today, as we gazed into the future a bit and saw a dog and a second child and maybe a house, we realized we have that need to experience again. To experience life outside our bubble and then find our way back home.

Today's conversation on the step was just that: about travel on the brain. Travel with the nugget on the brain. But that is as far as we got. For now.

If you are interested in our stories from afar, we kept an extensive weblog of our travels. You can see all of the Circle the Pacific Tour right here.


It may have been the last time...

{posted first at maus + nugget, june 2009}

Somehow it seemed appropriate to re:post this image as some of you may not have been reading my early chronicles of new motherhood. I love this image and I have no idea where I found it. But it was perfect for how I was feeling about 8 weeks into breastfeeding for the first time.

It may actually be that today was the last time - the last morning visit to mama's milk bar. And I post this for my own benefit - so that I can remember.

For like so many things one experiences as a new parent, it is bittersweet.


Already addicted

Yes, I see the absolute hypocrisy in what I am about to type. And yes, I realize that my post from yesterday was about simplifying by not getting distracted by things that are not important. And today that is still true.

But today I also joined the 21st century.

I now have an iphone.

I may be one of the last people in the Bay Area - I mean my mom even has one, but I surely never felt like I needed one and I absolutely do not want to be the mom at the playground who is updating her Facebook page (I apologize if this is you and offends you).

But now that I have it and its been in my hot little hands for about an hour, I love it.


Home again

{25 July}

Simplifying our lives does not mean sinking into idleness, but on the contrary, getting rid of the subtle aspect of laziness: the one which makes us take on thousands of less important activities.

Matthieu Ricard

We are home. It has been a week of getting re-acquainted with forgotten toys, sleeping at unusual times of the day and night, washing an immense amount of laundry and embracing the tasks of everyday living. The suitcases are unpacked, the photos are almost all downloaded and the refrigerator is full.

Yes, indeed we are home.

And today as my two men napped, instead of napping myself, I cultivated a little altar for this very precious book, that has been without a "home" since we moved. It is called Offerings: Buddhist wisdom for every day. Full of 365 days of reminders for mindfulness and stunningly alive photographs, it is our way of starting the day with right thought, right speech and right livelihood. And when throughout the day, we veer away from these, it lays there, like a reminder to pause, breathe and pay attention. And I have missed it.

Now it has a place of its own. And of course, as I opened it to today's date and read today's quote, I was again reminded that when we are ready to hear, the words arrive. For this is exactly what I needed to read, at exactly the right moment.


Well done New York!

photo from www.freeourmidwives.org photo gallery

I have been secretly holding my breath and cautiously paying attention to certain legislative matters happening in the state of New York. I live far on the other side of the country, but when it comes to birth and more specifically choices regarding birth, I am fiercely passionate. I had my baby at home but I don't presume to think that home birth is for everyone. But I do presume that access to midwife assisted home births is a fundamental right of every pregnant woman.

And today, I learned that the Midwifery Modernization Act was passed in New York and that women will again have access to midwifery supported home births, if they so choose.The efforts of women, families, strangers, midwives, legislators and supporters of home-birth proved that it is possible to fight for what you believe in and be triumphant, without abundant resources or time. Well done New York, well done!

{read the good news first at marvelouskiddo}