Own the road you travel

OwntheRoadMediumPostAfter giving birth to my first son, I made choices and decisions based on my instincts and the purest love I’d ever known. I wasn’t following another’s footsteps. I wasn’t asking for advice. I wasn’t questioning my abilities or my commitment to this miraculous gift of life and love. I wasn’t afraid.

I experienced love in a way I’d never experienced before. I trusted that love to provide what I needed in order to raise this precious, tiny, human being. I became a mother.

Soon after becoming a mother, others expressed — either to my face or behind my back — what they believed I was doing wrong in terms of parenting and/or otherwise. I was often told I wasn’t doing things the “right way.” I was whispered about, talked about, and judged. Through that, I became stronger and more grounded on the path I chose and continue to choose, as a mother of 2 boys — in spite of the skeptics and the doubters.

I aim to stay connected to my higher purpose. I am always in search of what exactly that is, but being a mother is a big part of it. This I know, and I am doing my very best — with pure intentions, patience, acceptance, and love in my heart.

Many people thought I was crazy for not enrolling our boys in school and choosing the path of traveling. They didn’t understand. What wasn’t what they saw as “normal” made them uncomfortable. I see that now.

The world became their school and education is in front of and around them every day — with ancient history, new cultures, languages, art, architecture, nature, different ways of life, and so much more. I may not know what the future holds — who does? — but I will always do what is best for my children based on who they are and what they need at each juncture in their lives.

I believe traveling is one of the best ways to open the mind to curiosity: To expand beyond what we know to be possible. We will not learn everything about the world while traveling, but we will be exposed to new ways of life and things we never knew existed. I believe this is one of the most important decisions and choices we made in our decision to travel around the world: To expose our boys to the reality that the world we live in is not the only world there is.

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone believes they know best. Many can’t help expressing their doubts and fears. I learned to accept this and not to take their stuff on as my own and not to doubt myself. I continue persevering through and beyond it, and I am deeply grateful each day as I enjoy and witness the miracles of these precious human beings thriving before me.

My boys are strong, independent little souls. They have beautiful, uninhibited, expressive spirits. They are centered and free. They live on this solid foundation built upon the stability that comes from being loved, no matter where they are: An adaptability that expands from the excitement of a new place to play, explore, and sleep in after various modes of transportation to get there…the open-mindedness that develops when you witness all walks of life and truly understand and embrace that we are all different, yet the same.

My kids are not perfect, nor am I. I do not live a perfect life. We struggle and suffer and face challenges just like everyone else. I don’t claim to have everything figured out. I simply choose to have a positive outlook and a lot of gratitude for each day I am given. I choose love.

As I type this right now, I question whether I should just let all of this go and not express my feelings about this matter. Maybe I should do what Abraham Lincoln used to do — write this letter, let it sit on my desk for a day and file it away, never to be sent.

I decided to share this, because I want to encourage you to LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE. I want to encourage you not to let others put their self doubt, their unfulfilled dreams, their negative attitudes, fear, or insecurities on you. I want to encourage you to be strong and brave enough to recognize them as such and define and walk your own path and truly own it.

I am happy to know that home exists within myself and with the ones I love. I am happy to be away from the microscopes, the expected norms of society and the self-appointed, parental- and “life”-control officers. I am happy to be free in a world where togetherness and intimacy are not only accepted but encouraged. I am happy to raise my boys with the beliefs and values I choose, rather than the ones others impose upon them or society dictates. I am happy they love and respect nature and are participants in other cultures and societies beyond the comfortable bubble we popped.

I am happy to make mistakes and learn from them. I am happy we are all growing and enriching our lives each day. I am happy we are in this together, through the good and the bad.

My boys will be healthy, contributing parts of the society they choose to live in. This is what matters.

As for those of you who can relate to my feelings, my wish is for this to serve as a reminder that the life you are living is yours. You have been given what and who you see in the mirror, and your choices are yours. Ask yourself if you are running away from something or chasing your dreams? Choose based on what you feel and believe in the deepest part of your heart.

I am not here to justify why I believe this journey is amazing — or why I do anything for that matter — although this piece seems to be doing exactly that. I am sharing this with you, because I hope you don’t feel the need to justify or defend yourself against these types of people in your own lives: People who refuse to look in the mirror and would rather look out the window and tell others how to live.

Today is a gift. Today is yours.

Own the Road You Travel,

❤ Sandy

The marvel of motherhood

me and pThe Friday just before Mother’s Day, I was going about my daily business and realized I hadn’t looked at my phone for awhile. As I went to grab it, I saw a screen filled with missed calls and text messages. I scanned it for any pertinent information, and my heart dropped as I saw the words: Your Mom is in the Emergency Room. Please call.

Editor’s note: As part of Attachment Parenting International‘s celebration of Mother’s Day, APtly Said published a special “Inspired Mothers” series May 11-17. Sandy was so excited to join in the project when she had a family emergency, as she explains in her post today. API is grateful for her belated contribution, and we hope you find it inspiring, too.

In that moment, every memory of my mom shuffled through my brain — everything she ever sacrificed for us, everything she never experienced, everything she justified living without to be our mom. In that moment, I realized once again how powerful and important the role of a Mother is in each of our lives.

My heart expands each day as I look around and witness the miraculous power of men and women raising little human beings. I consciously breathe in the significance of each person I pass by. I observe the Mothers, the Fathers, the Children.

I feel tenderness and empathy as I contemplate each of you. I thoughtfully consider the whole family cycle and everything in between: the extraordinary, undeniable love that either existed as we were created, or did not…the feelings each person had in making the decision to create another life or living with the fact that the decision wasn’t yours.

We are each the product of a mother and a father. We were born. We may be raised by a mother and a father, a mother and a mother, or a father and a father. However we came to be, however we were brought up and nurtured, we are here.

The process of conception to birth is unlike any miracle I’ve ever witnessed or experienced. Although we may not quite comprehend the marvel that a precious life is growing within our bodies, everything changes the moment we first see the eyes of our child. Everything changed for me. In that moment, I knew my purpose was much bigger than what I had ever known it to be. I knew this new role I was being given would fulfill me in ways no one could have prepared me for.

As I walk around and continue to ponder your depth — your soul — I question if you ever lost a life growing inside of you, at birth, soon after or ever. I am crying as I write this, because I have dear friends in my life who have. I cannot write about the beautiful, precious gift of motherhood and exclude the dear, courageous women who have lost a child. I know there are no words I can offer. I can only tell you that I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry. I truly embrace and cherish each and every moment I am given, and I know you do, too.

Although I may be emotionally and intellectually aware of how invaluable these moments are, this doesn’t mean I don’t question if I am doing all I can to live my true happiness, my true purpose. I am trying to find my way each day. I feel everything. I let the joy, the pain, the fear, the love, all of it, become a part of me…and I allow it to guide me as I continue to take each new step forward.

Within it all, we find ourselves. We lose ourselves. We grow. We change. We live. We love. We know the answers, yet we question so much. We want to do our best, be our best. We don’t want to make the same mistakes others did before us.

My mom is much better today. The emergency thankfully has passed. She has endured more than I can explain, and she is still here. As I spend time in hospitals and share my love with those who continue to suffer, I will continue to treasure every moment I have with her…with the ones I love deeply…with myself. Many lose the battle. Many are given more time. This is our time. I know this, and I want to live it.

I know loss. I know you do, too. My heart and love are with you. May the things that have caused us pain give us strength. This is my wish for each of us.

Wishing you a belated and Happy Mother’s Day, every day.


I’m screaming at the top of my voice…can you hear me?

MeBeach1A very dear friend of mine nearly lost his sister to tragic circumstances 13 days ago. I can’t speak for her, for him or for their parents or friends. I can only share how this horribly sad situation is affecting me. As I ponder the despondence that chaperoned her down this harrowing and dark course, I can’t help but reflect upon my own life and the lives of the ones I love. I’m questioning everything and yet, I feel as though I understand.

One of the messages I thread through much of my writing and through my actions is the need for each of us, from birth, to be heard. To be seen. To be understood. I can’t say it enough, and I find that it applies to any and every situation I come across.

Since the moment I first gave birth, I somehow instinctively understood this and it’s the constant force behind my patience, my understanding, my listening, my love. It is the feeling that led me to Attachment Parenting without even knowing what that meant. If only we each had this gift from another, I truly believe, things would be different. We would be different. We wouldn’t be desperately longing for the kind of connection to nurture our soul in ways that only one where someone truly hears us, provides. The love and acceptance we long for outside of ourselves appear much differently when we truly accept and embrace the love we first need for ourselves.

When I witness someone suffering, including myself, I realize that we are either too afraid to share our pain, we allow ourselves to be honest and vulnerable and we are then judged, misunderstood or dismissed, or we really don’t have anyone we feel connected to and trust in such a way to provide the necessary space we need for the disclosure. Some also unconsciously bury the pain so deep that they pretend and act as if it doesn’t even exist. They create worlds and scenarios that camouflage their suffering even deeper. They believe that if anyone knew, they would die. The shame. The fear. The secrets. Each of these will kill us before the shock of anyone finding out the truth will.

Whichever reality it is, they all lead us down the same path. We end up feeling frightened. Ashamed. Unworthy. Isolated. Alone. We are too afraid to ask for help, and we often feel we have the tools to manage it all. On our own. Eventually.

We then continue on with secrets and delicate, sometimes beautiful facades to protect ourselves from anyone ever knowing the truth. In many cases, we clearly hear and see the desperate cries for help. We see the reckless, unabashed behavior and we do our best to lend a hand. Take control. Offer advice, guidance, comfort, love, support. We talk amongst each other as we scramble for answers. We may get lucky enough to save them from themselves. We may not.

In other cases, you would never know of the pain and struggles one faces. Their facades are not as transparent. You might believe you know them. Their truth. Their smiling face and laborious achievements may prove that they are all powerful and strong beyond anything you could imagine. You might even envy them. They, too, are silently suffering in some way. We all are. I believe.

Another unfortunate sufferance I presume we each face at some point is the feeling of not being good enough. We compare ourselves to others and we allow the persuasive “less than” feeling to hold us back. I know I do. I often wish this obtrusive and provoking noise would evaporate into the air from which it came. It loves to make appearances though: Just when I think I’m strong and free, it stops in to challenge me yet again.

I am a very sensitive person and I feel everything. Acutely. Deeply. Profoundly. It doesn’t take a tragedy to awaken me to how precious this life is or how fortunate I am to live each moment I am given here. That said, it is in times of distress and tribulation when we are most aware and most vulnerable to receive the lessons we are meant to, if we allow ourselves to feel and experience all of it. If we can truly understand that we are all connected. Our energy affects everything and everyone.

My wish is for each of us to recognize and understand that we are not perfect. We don’t have to be perfect. We each have a purpose and our own unique being with which to carry that out. We can ask for help when we need it. We are good enough. We are worthy of love. We are transcendent.

If we are fortunate enough to know each other already or we are still yet to cross paths in this lifetime or another, I want you to know that I see you. I hear you. I love you.

❤ Sandy

The truth shall not only set you free…

gordonsIt will hopefully save you and make a difference for someone else.

As children, we do our best to navigate through this world with the guidance and support of our parents and/or loved ones. As parents, we give all of our love and do our best to nurture and guide our children.

It was through my reflection of the experiences I had as a child that I clearly envisioned the parent I would become upon giving birth. My natural instinct to follow Attachment Parenting International’s Eight Principles of Parenting, which I didn’t even know had names until years later, aligned with what we call Attachment Parenting today. Here is a glimpse into part of what I believe truly makes a difference each day as a parent and how so much of what we experience, from the moment we are born, becomes part of our foundation:

Fourteen days ago, I was painfully aching over the well-being of my little sister whom I love more than I can express. Fourteen days ago, she made a brave decision to save herself by asking for help. Fourteen days ago, she was given another chance to live. Fourteen days ago, I saw hope for the first time in many years.

On New Year’s Day, she unequivocally shared her reality through greetings and wishes, via Facebook…from rehab.

I couldn’t be more proud of her uninhibited proclamation or her courage. When we last saw each other, we both expressed a need to share truth in order to relate and connect with others.

Not many truly know the pain or challenges we each endure throughout our lives. We are all simply trying to find our way, and we’re fortunate if we connect with someone, anyone, who hears us or truly “gets” us.

Even then, it still may feel like we’re alone a lot of the time. We may isolate and believe that isolation is the best and only option. It isn’t.

I am so thankful my sister reached out to all of us. I am so happy to witness the outpouring of love and support she is receiving from everyone.

My sister and I grew up in the same home, yet our experiences were very different. When our parents began their lengthy, heart-rending, grievous dance toward divorce, it took many years with much instability and left my brothers, my sister and me with unanswered questions and doubts about our place in this world. The anguish and uncertainty manifested in different ways for each of us, and still does.

As I witness others, including myself, suffering from residual damage leftover from childhood, I am constantly reminded how important and necessary it is to candidly express and connect in order to be heard in some way…even if it’s only to hear our own thoughts and voices clearly.

I have always walked through my life with compassion and love in my heart. I profoundly experience what others feel as we briefly cross paths in this precious life. I am touched by your joy. I am saddened by your despair. I relate to your longing. I want you to know I hear you. I see you. I feel you. As I pass you on the street, as we make eye contact for one second in time, as we come together for reasons we may or may not understand, as we detach and reconnect…I am grateful for my existence. I am grateful for yours.

My sister and I have always shared a deep desire and need to seek out the meaning of life and our purpose here. We’ve traveled different paths along the way, and various answers have been revealed over the years. One thread that always seems to weave through it all is a common yearning for the few simple things I always speak of: To be heard, to be understood, to be loved.

As I go through each day, it becomes clearer that these needs form the basis of our relationships and all of the choices we make in our lives, and whether or not these needs get fulfilled, dictates the outcomes. We were all born with this awareness and longing, and as adults, we can powerfully shift direction for the next generations. We can be positive examples by listening with patience and by accepting and loving people for who they truly are.

We will undoubtedly have our flaws. We will most certainly make mistakes. We are still and always worthy of love.

As I often say and will continue to do so, listening is loving. If you listen without judgment, you will hear what someone so desperately wants and needs you to hear. If we were all truly heard and understood from birth, life would be a very different experience.

There are many things we may keep locked up. There are many things we may believe no one understands. There are many times we may feel alone. If we can be the person who takes the time to listen and understand another, we will make a difference in that person’s life. If you take the time to look into my eyes and hear me, you will make a difference in mine.

My wish for each of us is to believe that with love and support, anything is possible. We may have our stories, our beliefs, our fears, our truth. We may believe we have a right to our resentments, our anger, our strong-hold grip on what we cannot or will not let go of. We have a right to all of it. It is ours. What is also ours, is the choice to be love. To act with love. To open ourselves up to receiving love. To letting go. To moving forward. To living and appreciating each and every breath we take.

Another year has passed. Although I am intensely present to each moment, it still goes by too quickly. Through the challenging times, the magical moments and the many phases of change, I am thankful for the growth, a new day and the gift of being surrounded by the greatest loves of my life.

I wish you all a healthy, loving, inspiring and miraculous New Year.


Giving thanks through presence and connection

SnowingI am grateful to be an Attachment Parent.

I don’t feel that we need to be labeled in order to define our type of parenting; however, being a part of a community with like-minded parents reminds me that I am not alone.

Yes, we are all different. We all choose to parent differently. The families we come from and the families we are raising conjure up many things around the holiday season. At least for me.

My favorite time of year is upon us, and yet, so much about it feels different. We spent Thanksgiving as a small group, and the missing pieces magnified the reality of what family looks like and what it has evolved into over time.

We all define and experience family differently.

As we come into this world, we are innocent, wide-eyed and unsuspicious. The world is uncontaminated, and our canvases are bare. We don’t know anything about pain, resentment, sadness, loss, judgement, hate. We don’t know what a label is or why anyone must define us by one. We come into this world needing and seeking a few simple things. We want to be loved, nurtured and heard.

We spend our lives wanting and needing to be heard and understood.

From the moment we first lay eyes upon our mother’s face, we feel we belong. We feel safe. We are home. From that point forward, through each experience, through all the light, through all the darkness, the ways in which we experience love and family evolve and take on lives of their own.

Decisions are made for us, separations disconnect us, rules and regulations attempt to govern us, facades deceive us, and choices divide us. Love runs through, and yet, something always seems to be missing. As we grow into adults, the need to be heard only grows stronger. We are often misunderstood and those feelings we are left with emerge into deeper cries for answers, for clarity, for truth.

Our innocence shifts at a certain point as we are exposed to the sometimes harsh realities of the world. Something happened, and we no longer felt good enough. Something else happened, and we thought we needed to be something or someone else in order to gain acceptance. We thought we needed to please and obey and squeeze ourselves into molds that the masses set before us. If you stray from that, you are different, you are weird, you are wrong.

Yes, this is what we are told and led to believe by the people who simply can’t bear the fact that we are not conforming to what makes everyone else comfortable. You are out of place, and you are displacing the system. Please get back in the queue and follow the leader, they say.

Although I never allowed myself to succumb to society’s desperate plight to mass-produce me, I was still greatly affected. I still am affected, and I know that this contributes to my quest for what this life is all about on a daily basis. Human, honest, loving, kind and meaningful connection is all I’ve ever wanted. It’s what I am most open to and in search of. In my journey through this life, thus far, I can tell you that it is through presence and connection that I experience the purest and truest love.

I am often discouraged by the highly opinionated, judgmental, divided, jump-on-the-Twitter-trend bandwagon mentality we are surrounded by. I find it difficult to even hear my own voice through all of the noise. I find it difficult to remain centered as I witness the constant debates telling you what’s right and wrong, black and white, acceptable and unacceptable. If we allow, the social media machines will infiltrate our lives with more stimulation than we can possibly process, and our connections to ourselves and those around us will be left with mere shadows and caricatures of who and what they once were.

Much research is taking place in the world of psychology and how it pertains to social media. In addition, many opinions are being shared these days, revealing narcissism as an epidemic based on those seeking acceptance via likes and feedback as they broadcast their points of view and selfies through the social network media megaphone.

I find it sad, even if data reveals it’s accuracy, that the Millennial Generation — although I don’t feel it’s limited to them — is now being labeled in this way, which only further instills the deep-seated insecurity and underlying feelings of inadequacy that so many of us struggle with.

The internet provides a stage and an audience at our daily disposal. Sadly, the constant need to be seen as the best, and the portrayal of a life that others envy and dream of, is a full-time job for many. Not much is private anymore, and nothing can really shock us. The praise and approval one thinks they are seeking often lead to emptiness and more insecurity.

This cycle continues, masked in a different face, and breeds more of what most of us struggled with growing up. We’re still working through the disharmony of it all.

There are certainly many benefits to social media. I just feel we need to take the time to encourage our youth to connect to what is true and real around us and allow for our own minds and voices to be clear amongst it all.

I love my boys with all of my heart. I am present to them, to their needs and to who they truly are as individuals and human beings. It is this presence that allows me to support, guide and nurture them along the paths they are meant to pave in their own lives. We spend a lot of time in nature, and it is there that I find we all gain the best education and connection with ourselves. We love exploring. We love adventures. Their imaginations are endless. We are free.

I believe it is every human’s right to be given the freedom to be themselves — to fully express and shine as their unique being, whatever that looks like. You are beautiful. You are enough. You are you.

I choose to exist in a world where personal relating and human connection are more prevalent than the fabricated, manufactured images we mistake for reality.

I sat down to write a piece about the holidays and what I am thankful for. This is what came out.

I believe the holidays can be a time of wonderful joy and togetherness, and they can also magnify the imperfections within your own family and the world around us. I am filled with love and gratitude, yet the lack of unity saddens me. It triggers the facts of my existence and inspires me to initiate change again. I wish things were different in certain areas. I wish we were all closer.

I am thankful for my life. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my husband and the greatest gift and honor of being a mother to our two sons. I am thankful for the food I eat and the roof over my head. I am thankful for my health and each breath I take. I am thankful for the depth of love and compassion I feel and am connected to. I am thankful to be a source of love for others. I am thankful for the service my family and I provide to those in need.

I am thankful for connection and for the many advantages the internet provides us with each day. Through this medium, I am able to relate openly and honestly. As I often say: When you hear me, I feel understood. I feel connected to the world. I believe this is all any of us want.

The name-calling, the labels, the fear instilled upon us, the animosity. Through it all, we will only grow stronger and continue to evolve into who and what we are meant to. I choose love and truth. Today and always.

Wishing you a delightful and compassionate holiday season.


The happiness of pursuit

cloudsAs an Attachment Parenting parent, I’ve always listened to my children. I always will.  I treat them with respect, and I truly care what they have to say.  I do my best and hope they always know that someone hears them. I don’t want them to go through their lives wondering and feeling like they are alone, as so many of us do.

I’m not a movie critic, although sometimes, when I’m deeply moved by a film, I wish I was. My husband and I took our boys the other day to see the delightful “Hector and the Search for Happiness.”

The sweet woman giving us our tickets was a bit taken back when she saw how young our boys were and wondered why they were about to see this film and not a kid’s movie. She kindly and gently said, “They may not get the subtleties.”

She obviously doesn’t know our boys.

I must say how proud I am to witness their attentiveness, comprehension and interest in such mature, thought-provoking and enlightening films. When they saw the preview of a man traveling around the globe in search of happiness, they both exclaimed their desire to see it.

You wouldn’t believe the questions they asked during and after. They are such curious individuals and so in touch with themselves and this wonderful gift of being.

We enjoyed the film very much, and I’m always affected by any verbal, written or otherwise expressed work of inspiration and insight into one’s journey through this life.

I don’t usually read or care for reviews, because like anything, I believe we need to experience things for ourselves and form our own opinions. Someone’s opinion regarding this film, however, did capture my attention and inspired me to share on this subject.

To briefly sum up his thoughts, he described this film as a depiction of a middle-aged man who prefers to live in fantasy and who chases an unattainable ideal across the globe, only to realize this figment of happiness is a creation of his own feelings of cowardice and insecurity.

The critic also went on about ego and narcissism, and why would anyone be interested in a man, with means, who traveled to other continents in search of happiness?

He wasn’t only searching for his happiness. He wanted to figure out how to make others happy as well.

This, along with one of the featured messages in the movie, got me thinking about the quote, which is so simple, yet so important…

“Listening is loving.”

I really sat with that thought all day, along with this critic’s interpretation of ego as it pertains to expressing interest or a need to search deeper and why that makes someone vainglorious and self-important.

I couldn’t disagree more.

In fact, it’s this very opinion of what makes something self-important that sometimes holds me back from expressing myself. I sometimes wonder if and why anyone would care what I have to say. I wonder why my opinion matters.

I believe we all have something to say and we all want someone to hear us. Using our voice and expressing what we are searching for, what we stand for or otherwise, does not make us narcissistic.

From birth, perhaps before, I believe the first thing we all wished for was to be heard.

When we cried as babies, we weren’t crying to manipulate; we were crying because we needed something. When those cries and calls for attention went unnoticed and unanswered, we possibly retreated and found the answers within ourselves and have spent our lives wondering if anyone ever truly listens or hears us.

Listening is loving. When I want or need to speak, sometimes I don’t need a solution, I don’t need you to judge and I don’t need an answer.

If you can listen and just hear what I am saying, you may help me find the answer within myself. You may discover something about yourself within my truth.

We are all searching for something. If we aren’t searching, we aren’t growing. We will never know everything about ourselves or this life. We will never have all the answers.

The preview of this film inspired me from the moment actor Christopher Plummer narrated these words:

“How many of us can recall that childhood moment when we experienced happiness as a state of being when everything in our world was all right?”


As a state of being.

Not just something to present to the world via social media so it appears that you are happy. I’m speaking of true happiness. Where capturing the moment didn’t matter because that feeling was so pure and that moment was ours. No one needed to understand it, and no one needed to witness it.

I could go on and on about the ways in which I’m inspired by people in real life, books and films. The people who go far beyond what is comfortable. The people who bravely walk through fear, even though they have rational and irrational reasons to be afraid. People who choose their own paths and don’t follow the masses. People who jump. People who truly love. People who unselfishly and unconditionally help others. People who truly live.

Lastly, at the end of this film, Christopher Plummer was experimenting with a brain-scanning technology on two subjects and placed them in a room with a wired device on their heads.

Before they walked in, he told them to go to the places where they recalled feeling happy, sad and scared — in any order.

I won’t reveal too much about the film, but I will tell you this: We experience all of these emotions, simultaneously. It is the complex, yet beautiful, combination of these feelings that pushes us beyond our limitations.

As I get older, I embrace my happiness, my sadness and my fear.  I let them guide me to places I never thought possible. I let them sit within and circulate around as I evolve a little more in each moment.

I am in search of happiness and peace also. For my children. For my Family. For you. For humankind.

As Hector was about to depart on his soul-searching expedition, his girlfriend wholeheartedly proclaimed, “If you’re going to do this, do it totally.”

Yes, this is how I believe we should do everything. Totally. This is how we will continue to feel alive, despite the forces constantly telling us we’re dying.

The author, Mark Twain, once said something that I’ve always appreciated:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

You have already been born, so if you haven’t figured out why yet, this will be my wish for you.

Thank you for listening. I feel loved and heard when you do,


Own the Road You Travel

Boys Waterfall BLW

After giving birth for the first time and choosing what instinctually felt right, I was told I wasn’t doing things the “right way.” I was, and still am, whispered about, talked about and judged by many. I know this because I eventually hear about it. I really don’t care what people say or think of me, but today I’m choosing to use it as fuel for my message.

Since becoming a mother, I’ve witnessed how others live to judge and tell you, either to your face or behind your back, what you are doing wrong in terms of parenting. Everyone is an expert it seems. They will make it known every time they disagree with the way you choose to live your life or raise your children.

I live a life I am proud of. I hope you do as well. I am connected to my higher purpose. I am grateful for my family and my life. I am doing my best, with pure intentions, patience, acceptance and love in my heart.

I believe traveling is one of the best ways to open the mind to curiosity. You will not learn everything about the world while you are traveling, but you will be exposed to new ways of life and things you never knew existed. I believe this is one of the most important decisions and choices my husband and I made. We are teaching our boys that the world we live in is not the only world there is.

Many people thought, and still think, we are crazy for not enrolling our boys in school yet and choosing this path of traveling. At the moment the world is their school, and education is in front of and around them every day, with ancient history, new cultures, different ways of life and more. What we choose to do in the future will be our decision. We will always do what is best for our children based on who they are and what they need.

People warned me if I breastfed too long, our boys would be weak or too attached. If I co-slept, they wouldn’t know how to be by themselves. Now these same people have bets that we won’t continue this journey for the year we planned, and each is waiting to collect on that.

This time, it isn’t about extended breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, or veganism, but rather it’s about the fact that some people think we are doing a bad thing by traveling around the world with our children.

Our boys are strong, independent and can’t wait to venture out every day. They have beautiful and expressive spirits. They are centered, and they are free. They are loving this experience and growing each day. We are all in this together. We all make time for our relationships and time alone.

Our kids are not perfect. We do not live a perfect life. We struggle and suffer and face challenges just like everyone else. I don’t claim to have everything figured out. I simply choose to have a positive outlook and a lot of gratitude for every day I am given.

As I type this right now, I question whether I should just let all of this go and not post my feelings about this matter. Maybe I should do what Abraham Lincoln used to do, write this letter, let it sit in my desk for a day and file it away, never to be sent. That isn’t the answer though. I am sharing this because I want to tell you to LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE. DO NOT let others put their self-doubt, their unfulfilled dreams, their negative attitudes, fear or insecurities on you.

I am happy to be away from home right now. I am happy to be away from the microscopes, the expected norms of society and self-appointed parental control officers. I am happy to be free in a world where togetherness and intimacy is not only accepted but encouraged. I am happy to raise our boys with our beliefs and values. I am happy they love and respect nature and are participants in other cultures and societies beyond the comfortable bubble we popped.

I am happy to make mistakes and learn from them without those people clapping their hands or smiling when we fail. I am happy we are all growing and enriching our lives and our relationships more than ever. I am happy we are in this together, through the good and bad.

If you want to join us on this journey, we are happy to have you. I believe we are raising boys that will be healthy, contributing parts of the society they choose to live in. This is what matters to us.

As for those of you who can relate to my feelings, please remember this is your life. You have been given what you see in the mirror, and your choices are yours. Ask yourself if you are running away from something or chasing your dreams. Choose based on what you believe. I am not here to justify why I believe this journey is amazing or why I do anything for that matter, although this letter seems to be doing exactly that. I am sharing this with you because I hope you don’t feel the need to justify or defend against these types of people in your own lives. People who refuse to look in the mirror and would rather look out the window and tell others how to live.

I feel a lot better now. Even if I never post this, writing helps me work through my feelings. If, in fact, you are reading this, I believe I made the right decision in expressing myself. We will begin a new adventure today and enjoy each moment. I wish the same for you.





The views expressed and choices made by the contributors on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Attachment Parenting International (API) as a whole and are not necessarily connected to API’s Eight Principles of Parenting.


50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 3/4

Our visit to Wray Castle in England checked off 15 of the activities on our list in a day! We may be completing this list shortly since our boys are such outdoorsmen!

I thought of something today. I got through 5 and 1/2 years without a stroller. I wore by boys in carriers until they no longer wanted to be toted and since then, have let them run free. I’m not saying this has been an easy task. When they get tired, my husband and I carry them and always have. I’m often surprised by the strength we are given when it comes to our kids. Our fortitude and stamina far exceed what we believe we are capable of.

I see mothers with their headphones on and savoring a latte, while happily pushing the stroller. She seems organized, relaxed and comfortable. I will never know that comfort and I suppose I chose the hard way. Now that our boys are almost 40 pounds each, I must say, it isn’t easy when that time comes to pick them up and carry them up hill, in the rain.

Yes, those are the stories our parents and grandparents told us…uphill and in the rain. Now I know they were telling the truth :) I sure do miss wearing my boys and I love seeing how active and athletic they are. They definitely take advantage of any land in front of them and seize each moment.

Enjoy exploring this world with your children and don’t be afraid to get dirty! Mud pies may not be tasty, but the joy we witness on their faces as they make them, is worth every bit of mess! Being outside, scouting and discovering nature and this planet, truly is the best education I’ve witnessed. The questions and learning that take place, during and after a day in the wild, are what education and knowledge are all about.

Our children are curious. They want to learn. They want to know Every. Single. Thing.

Rain or Shine…We’ll see you outside!

Happy Travels and Exploring!