Thursday, March 1, 2012

Diary of a family vacation: good, bad and ugly

~~UPDATE 3/7~~
I realized I forgot to add a very important suggestion below. I don't know how I forgot it. I think this is why my blog posts take me so long, I don't want to forget anything!! See bottom for addition to what I've learned on our family vacation: Decide what "vacation" means to you and make room for it

This little family went on vacation

this little family had fun

this little girl liked swimming

this little boy did not

and this little family was slee-eee-eepy on the way home

So, you're a entrepreneur? A small business owner? You're a parent? It's your first trip away (from your business)? Flying? With the entire family and keeping your biz on track? Here's what I learned…

Set some reasonable goals
Decide what absolutely has to be done before you leave, and do it. It was a huge relief knowing things were are wrapped up as they could be before I left. My mind and energy were free for relaxing and having fun. 

It's all quick and convient, unless it's not
You've probably seen my vacation post, It looked Summer but it Was Not. My one post. My goal was at least 2-3 quick posts. In my head that was easy. Jonah would nap, Ava would have quiet time and I'd get a quick blog post done in 20 minutes. But, it just didn't work out that way.  That one post took longer (an entire Jonah nap), encountered unbelievable technical difficulties, and was a catalyst family bickering and irritability. Two things I'm realizing when you're balancing building a new biz and family: 1) you've got to roll with it a bit, 2) and check your priorities. I was on vacation. Vacation. With my family. My Family. All the rest is going to survive, and it did, despite the hiccups. 

Pack with Purpose
There are bazillions of websites dedicated to this. But, really, pack with purpose and intention. Don't pack for just in case. If you really need it and didn't pack it, you'll buy it or get resourceful. For the kids, the entertainment on the vacation, IS the vacation. We barely, and I mean BARELY played with a toy. Even the water toys sat there. All Ava wanted to do was practice swimming. For HOURS. All Jonah wanted to do was swim with me, or bury a car in the sand. We got them each one surprise toy for the airplane on the way out, and one movie on the way back. It worked perfectly. 
Jonah's surprise toy: lego helicopter. Building and playing took nearly entire flight
Poor ignored water toys. :(

The early bird knows a little secret - don't get stuck one bag of nuts
Take the early flight out and back. On the way out, we did and we were enjoying the pool by mid afternoon. On the way back, we took the late afternoon flight and we did enjoy the morning at the beach and swimming. But, our flight was rerouted, and we sat on a runway, and waited in line to get gassed up, and then flew back to the correct airport. We had nothing but a bag of nuts on us, and our airline that will remain unnamed was still charging for crappy snacks. It was a 3.5 hr detour and midnight before we got home, later before we got to bed. We all cranked out a bit the next day, and the next day. The kids are still out of sorts. Bags still need to be unpacked, laundry just getting done. Yeah, a bit sad to wake up and go, but it feels good to get home and get settled and feel ready for your next day.

Roll with it and Remember Why You're Doing It

My daughter dropped my phone in a wishing well, and my laptop just blatantly stopped working. I freaked out for a minute, and then just went with it. I looked at my family and reminded myself WHY. So, I was literally unplugged for 4 days. It was an unfortunate little mess I had to clean up when I got home, but it all worked out. My laptop is cleaned up and working better than ever, and I have a brand new phone.


Decide what "vacation" means to you and make room for it
Prepping professionally: wrapping up calls, emails, packages, etc., packing for a family, travelling, spending 24x7 time with your family, nap schedules off or non-existant, mangled bed time routines, travel hiccups, cleaning-up, unpacking, laundry, getting back to work and school...these are just a few things in-store when you're on a family vacation. In the end, it can feel a bit less like a real vacation, and you come home pretty darn tired. No wonder staycations are so popular with families! So, my suggestion? You and your partner should decide in advance what are the elements that make a vacation feel like a vacation for you. For us, we decided that having 1-2 hours in the morning to wake up (quietly), grab a cup of coffee and go for a health walk on the beach, to spend 1 full 24 hours just the two of us, and 1 dinner out, felt like a vacation to us. We did not get to do this, and we had a truly wonderful time. But, we also decided that it should be added into the vacation budget for next time. Ask the grandparents, hire the resort sitter, or look up the local babysitting services and give yourself  a gift of vacation of YOU/YOU TWO time. It doesn't make you a crap parent(s), and it's not contrary to the whole idea of vacation. Remember when your well is replenished and full, you have more to bring to your family!

My Moment
I watched our children with their grandparents and I really saw them together for the first time. In the moment, it touched my heart deeply. In the middle of the night, I woke up with a loud and clear thought, "Grandparents really get how quickly this all goes." My tension, and urgency for control relaxed tremendously. The grandparents just want to soak up every delicious minute. I understand that. Me too. 

Next up… I Hit the ground running as soon as we got home. Samples arriving and fittings happening already this week. I'm downright euphoric! Beautiful samples, excellent (and I mean EXCELLENT) construction and quality, deliciously soft fabric, ideal feedback from families, and fitting babies beautifully. Picture sharing to come soon. In fact, I'll be doing a large dedication to the 2 year prototyping journey just 1 garment went on.

Bloopers and Outtakes
Day before vacation: GIRL'S DAY
I'll admit it, I took outfit pics of myself so I could compare. I caught this little ditty after the fact in the corner of one pic. This kid totally kills me! I adore her spirit and personality!
my fashion girl
First time in flight
He looks like such a big boy in this pic
Looking at Hairplanes
aka airplanes
She's not kidding around
seriously, no pictures. respect my personal space.
Chubby Cheeks
I don't ever get tired of little cheeks

Getting Silly
me and ava being silly
My man

3 second photos
my girl

My Mojito, His milk


  1. Love love LOVE this post. Great you guys!!! xo Daddy

  2. You are so real! I love it (and can so relate to all of it). How true about their entertainment on vacation being the vacation. I am working on travleing lighter! Thank you so much for the way, I am DYING to see pictures! When you have a free moment, can you PLEASE add mittens that stay on a toddlers hand to your line:)

    1. Tracie - Thank you! So, funny you should mention mittens that stay on toddler's hands bc I have such a solution ;) We should talk off-line, maybe you and true can be a part of my family fit testing club??

  3. "Grandparents really get how quickly this all goes."
    This is so so so so true... you wonder why we are crazy about your babies? You just figured it out!

    1. I wonder no more! Literally hit me like a lightening bolt in the middle of the night.