It’s (not) so hard to say goodbye to 2017

I am positive that today you are going to read or see about 50 or so posts about moving on from 2017 and what the new year will bring.  I am not one for resolutions but I am one for setting tangible, realistic goals.  I love the idea of a new year, a fresh start, a new story to write.  If I had to look back and reflect on the past few years I could sum up the years up each in a few words.





For 2018, I hope our word will be growth. As a business owner I know that setting goals that you can touch are the most effective and meaningful way to accomplish what you set out to. So here they are, on paper for the world to see.

  • Reduce our waste and our carbon footprint.  This means no more paper towels, limited paper products, reusable cups for my Starbucks runs.  We are going to purchase more stainless steel and glass and get rid of the plastic and toxic items in our home.  I need to teach my kids more about our world and how much we impact it.
  • Get Healthy in body, mind and soul.  The big kids and I have mom and child journals.  There is a “Mom & Daughter” book and a “Mom and Son” book.  These kids grow up so fast. These journals are going to help us connect on a higher level.
  • Write more.
  • Rely more on essential oils and their amazing healing properties.  This brand has been incredible and we LOVE using them.
  • Meal Plan-We need to live more frugally. I am going to commit to meal planning and commit to meatless Monday’s using this great vegan cookbook by Thug Kitchen.  I will be posting our meals on our “What’s for Dinner” page, so stay tuned!
  • The kids and I are going to read at LEAST 3 chapter books a month. That is 36 books.  If you are interested, they are listed under books we love, and we will provide a review when they are done.  Much of our learning is done through living books.

What are your goals for 2018?  What will you accomplish to make you better in body, mind and soul. Here’s to saying goodbye to the good, but old and welcoming a new year of growth and prosperity. Here’s to 2018.  Cheers!


Car theft and lessons learned

A few days before Christmas we woke up to find that someone had taken my van from my driveway, as a Christmas present to themselves. I spent the first 30 minutes staring at the wall, in disbelief. Seriously? My HOA bubble was burst.  I grew up in an inner city, so I know that these things do happen, but REALLY?  We went through the motions after I could comprehend enough to take care of what I needed to and got the car back late last night.  Children had stolen my car. They had done it before, have been a nuisance to the cops.

I picked up my car from the sketchiest towing company I have ever been to.  Perhaps suburbia is just rubbing off on me. It was all just very uncomfortable.  My van is in decent condition.  The items that were in there that I was worried about have been returned with the exception of Noah’s new chucks and my coveted blue yeti cup.   They did leave cigarette butts, the inside of a cigar, trash, and a box of chips ahoy! At least I know what snacks they like when I visit them in prison.

I cried yesterday. For the first time since my car was stolen and it was a messy, blubbery, crying mess. It was a real ugly cry, but this morning I feel like I have learned a lot.

5 things I learned from having my car stolen:

  1. Strength is harbored until you need it. Even though I am a homeschool mom, a blogger and a dual business owner I underestimated my ability to manage chaos and mayhem. I really was able to tackle and manage this problem.
  2. Good friends are like gold.  From a text message of remorse, a bottle of wine on my table without me requesting, neighbors offering their car, daily check ups to see what I need, and being there to help me laugh through it-you find out who your friends are and my friends are better than gold.
  3. You cannot mess with my kids.  My (almost brand new) car was stolen from my driveway and that made me mad.  What made me loose sleep, and want vengeance was the fact that my children’s stuff was in there. Some items that were irreplaceable, and they didn’t care.  When I found out my car was found, I just wanted my kids stuff to be in there.  Thankfully, most of it was.
  4. I have a heart for kids that need it. These kids are broken.  They are lost.  They need someone, something that will help them be better. They act this way because they are allowed to.  If they go to jail, I am probably going to visit them (law abiding) and love them through this.
  5. Knowledge is Power. I have never been in a situation where I have been scared to open my door, worried about doors being locked and worried about leaving my home with no one there.  I am now.  I am looking over my own shoulders in my own home.  I’ve been kicked out of my suburbia bubble.  It can happen anywhere.

I know how blessed I am. They took my car. A replaceable item that I did get back.  It’s filthy and I feel violated.  They took my stuff, my hard work, my blood, sweat and tears. They took the first new car I had ever owned and went joy riding.  I am not sure I have ever been more angry, grateful, and empowered to help change these kids all at one time.


I had to do dining reservations this morning for a few families that are traveling in June, so I am up early. Typically I’ve been taking advantage of the opportunity to sleep until 8, until little footsteps come creaking into my room, and tiny giggle la abound-telling me that I am not going to believe what Jingles did this morning.

This morning, I have had a few moments of peace. Coffee in hand, publishing to social media, in awe of the Christmas decor and the magic of Christmas. A child in one of my groups that I coach came into my house earlier in the season and said “it looks like Santa’s workshop in here”. My thoughts-EXACTLY what I was going for. Anyways, sitting here in the stillness, the quite, gives me time to reflect on my abundance.

Like most family’s this time of year, it’s been a juggling act of time, finances, responsibilities. I finally finished the last few things that I had to do for the year (yesterday). There hasn’t been a lot of peace. But in the chaos, and in the absence of it, all I can say is WOW!

I’ve had 14 christmases with a man I love! 14. My mom gets to have a safe, comfortable (sometimes annoying) home to live in. I have three kids, that are thriving and all so special. I look at my tree and see everything under there. All the gifts that my children have bought for their friends, that have been sent to us by friends, that we bought for friends for a Christmas party we are hosting and can’t believe how lucky I am. The presents merely represent the enormous presence of friends in our lives and how much we honor and love them. This year, don’t look at your presents as things-see them for what they are.

They are a physical, tangible way to hold someone else’s love for you! Merry Christmas!

We are family.

Thank you for being here. It means a lot.  We are a loud, eccentric, Disney loving, Star wars, homeschooling family.  Welcome!

Jordan & I (Laura) have been married for 13 years.  We have three children-Noah, Rylee and Declan.  They are all uniquely beautiful and we are so incredibly lucky to have them. Nana lives with us, and has for the majority of our marriage and for as long as my children can remember.

Laura (Me)- I have an enormous passion for learning and for being a better version of who I was yesterday.  I am a travel agent specializing in Disney and other luxury destination planning.  I get the enormous pleasure of doing this while I homeschool my children.   Things I love: running, dark chocolate, tacos, leggings, Disney,  non-fiction and good friends. Things I hate:  food with eyes, preventable suffering, socks.

Jordan– Jordan is a drafter and a saber builder! He builds sabers for custom design and also has a few on sale for his customers.  He loves over-landing, the history channel, star wars movies and drinks with friends.  Things he loves: His family, his xterra, sweet tarts, saber dueling.  Things he hates: messes, inconsistencies, mango salsa.


Nana-Nana is the glue that holds us together. She is our protector and our light She is an amazing part of our incredible little family. Things she loves: family, coffee, Christmas, children.  Things she hates: accepting help, olives.

Noah– Noah is 12. He is funny, lighthearted, knows how to push people’s buttons in an instant, can make you laugh till you cry, is great at math and has a compassionate, kind heart. Things he loves: Mocha Java Frapps,  sleeping in, music, youtube.  Things he hates: schoolwork, being told no,writing.


Rylee– Rylee is 10 and is our middle child, and our only girl.  She is fierce, diligent, just and true.  She fights hard for her friends and loves them intensely.  She is talented in sewing and art.  Things she loves: sewing, cats (we don’t have cats), chocolate, baking. Things she hates: reading, running, and hanging with her brothers.


Declan-Declan is 5.  Declan is from Saturn.  Declan is actually 100 years old but he came here to start life over because he had way to many toys on Saturn and there were too many dogs there.  That’s where they make dogs.  He crash landed on my stomach and that’s how I became his mom.  Things he loves:  Skylanders, power-rangers, his friends, co-op.  Things he hates: vegetables, being told no.


Our tribe is so much fun! We hope to share our lives, our journey, our businesses with you and yours. Stay tuned for more.