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Today after a lunch with good friends I broke open a fresh, clean excel spreadsheet and got to work.

Three weeks of travel, sleeping in 10 different places, covering 14 states.  wow.  I just needed to confirm the state count.  Yep, 14.  Staying with family, with AirBnB participants, in modern hotels, and the all mighty concrete wigwams.

Jeff & I have talked about parts of it for months now, but one of the magic parts of parenthood is the legwork that happens when nobody is watching.  Because this trip is happening at a time where my schedule is more open I have time, but not money.  When the work schedule is full it is money, but no time.

Every woman I know (and I just haven’t been asking the men) is stretching for the elusive concept of a chunk of summer sun without the to-do list running in the back of their mind.  The idea of sitting on a beach, or in the mountains, or on the highway with the music, or the book, or simply the breeze in their hair.

I think about consecutive days without kids his own age.  I think about how to break up the drives so that neither of us is too miserable (see also – the 14th state and the 10th sleeping location added TODAY).  Where can we stop.  Will he ever see a vegetable again.  Where are the dealerships that fix my funky little car?  Where does my IPass work, and where will I have to pay the tolls in cash?

I think about my friend who took a mountain vacation years ago where they even cooked for her, and someday (when I return to money but no time) I’d like to try that on for size.

Over and over this summer I realize how the summers that I knew as a child aren’t available anymore.   My mom laughed today about how they picked a spot and then found a Holiday Inn, and from what  I remember that was just exactly right.

I hope you’re having a good summer.  If you’re at home, rent great movies.  If you are going on vacation, I hope the spot you pick suits you.  It is summer – grab a popsicle and let the sun warm your face and your heart.


Bodies are awesome and very cool.

Now – before you say, “Yes, bodies as an idea are awesomecakes but my PERSONAL body is … eh” or worse … let me tell you that midwestern / midwinter is the perfect time to remember that bodies are REAL and STRANGE and AWESOME.

Babies is swim diapers, 5 year olds with suits riding in all the wrong places, teenagers getting their swagger, the 22-48 year old parents of kids who are 4 years-old, grandmas with toes that do that grandma toe thing.  We have all got bodies that are perfect for playing at the indoor swimming water extravaganza that is the Wisconsin Dells Wilderness Territory (for my southern friends  perhaps the best way to describe it is as the love child of Pigeon Forge + Chattanooga).

People are covered in tattoos that are precious no matter what they look like, dimples and hair that nobody predicted when they were 20, and smiles all around.  Smiling at each other.  Smiling at their kids, smiling at their parents.  Smiling at strangers as they pass by.  Eating dishes of ice cream as big as their head, everybody smiling because there is the chance that spring will come again.

Bodies are built to move and splash and walk surprising long distances while still in a hotel.  It was great.  Bodies are awesome.  Yours is.  Don’t forget that, bring your body into the springtime sun and feel the warmth of having made it through another winter.