hello my dears,

we are back from our final winter camping adventure of 2017 at mckinney falls state park in austin, texas. spent three (cold) nights camping and drove home to be with our family on xmas eve. thank you mother nature for sharing with us…

the gift of compassion.

arrived and greeted by three young boys, who were our campsite neighbors, with “ching chong ching” and “hey, you pretty” remarks. it was annoying and disappointing to witness this type of ignorance, but what was even sadder was listening to the boys get cussed and yelled at by their mom and grandma for almost everything they did. usually at campsites, you meet the most chilled families yet all we could hear was screaming and ugliness. kindness and love were clearly lacking.

instead of being mad (initial feeling) at the racial remarks, i felt sad for the young boys. my usual response to this type of situation is to tell the boys immediately it’s disrespectful and that I know their mama taught them better than this! but in this situation it was different. how could they possibly give love and respect to others if they did not receive the same from their own family? what will this do to their self-esteem as they become adults? all i had the strength to do was send them strength and love from a distance. there is still so much work to do in this world for our children to grow up in a safe and loving environment.

thru the eyes of children, we learn to slow down and experience hope and pure love. at the same time, we also feel their pain if there is no love which may get passed down from one generation to the next. let it start with us now. teach compassion to our children today by being kind to ourselves first and foremost.


the gift of family.

just the four of us, hanging outside and doing whatever we felt like. our daughters wanted to be there just as much as we did, which was a good feeling. something we tried with our kids is to not allow the word “bored” to be used. this encourages them to be comfortable to just be and use their creativity to be entertained. especially when mommy and daddy need quiet time to just relax.

an early xmas gift arrived when my husband’s cousin and his girlfriend, who lived about 40 minutes away, came by our campsite with their sweet furry friends to spend the afternoon with us. we drank wine/beer for hours, roasted corn and potatoes, stuffed our faces with smores, and enjoyed random conversations around the bonfire.

you see, just a few weeks ago my husband lost his great aunt to heart failure. she had a kind and joyful spirit that will always be with us. in these moments, we are reminded that family time is about making a little effort. that we can’t assume tomorrow, ever.

thankful for the gift of family close and far.


barry, rocky, and snowflake


the gift of calmness and beauty.

any hormonal imbalance or inner chaos we experience can’t last long with nature. personally, it’s a monthly struggle for me when my hormones go bonkers. with nature by my side, the emotional drop still exists but balanced with happy hormones when listening to onion creek flowing over limestone ledges, biking down the trails, and discovering the oldest rock shelter. ahhhhh, can’t help but to feel better when surrounded by such natural beauty and an hour of talk therapy with the hubs (poor him).


Existence is a priceless gift and the beauties of nature are the priceless gifts of the existence! ― Mehmet Murat ildan

with gratitude,

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