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    Sunshine and Wow

    11.20.2013 / TRAVEL


    Thanks to Maui Jim for sponsoring this memory… (giveaway below)

    The older I get, the more I appreciate moments of intention. Perhaps it stems from being in the middle of a particularly frenzied season – an active baby weaving underfoot as I navigate the workload of an entrepreneur while attempting to carve out a life that reflects the creative spirit our family seeks. As a result, my holiday wish lists doesn’t consist of things, but of events. There isn’t a price tag or retailer in sight, and instead, it’s riddled with hopes of laughter and warmth and sunshine.


    Two weeks ago, we headed to the west coast – our former hometown of Los Angeles – to get away. I had a work commitment at Disneyland, and although it was tempting to fly out for the day and return home on a red-eye to get back to work/routine, Ken and I decided to celebrate the holiday season early with the friends we love. We hopped a few planes with Bee and threw ourselves into a whirlwind of intention – eating cronuts on the beach, roasting marshmallows in backyard fire pits, sipping coffee al fresco while the little ones made mudpies and mayhem at our feet.


    It was everything we needed. It was change and exhilaration and spontaneity and all of that highly-celebrated carpe diemness. And it was hard. Traveling with babies is never easy, leading a parade through airports and highways and hotels of bottles-blankets-diapers-car seats-strollers-travel cribs and all things bulky and heavy, amen. But it’s the good kind of hard. It’s the kind of hard where you sleep better at night, exhausted from carrying the weight of the day, but the promise of adventure. The kind that makes you crave the return of the everyday – the mundane of your surroundings. The kind that makes you endlessly grateful for the life you’re leading, the life you’re creating.


    California was just one of many holiday gifts Ken and I are giving each other this year. High on our wish list are many things: grace and time and relaxation and comfort, gratitude and creativity and patience. But the sunny days of the west coast? It was the perfect marker to jumpstart this season of gift-giving.


    Maui Jim has a fun campaign at the moment, Share the Wow. It’s about gift-giving and people and moments and friends and the realization that Wow exists in the everyday – if we’re looking for it. And this season, I’m looking. Because, as it turns out, there is Wow in cronuts and campfires and California. There is Wow in daughters and dads and Disneyland. There is Wow in waves and waffles and wonder. There is Wow in reunions and rental cars and radiant mornings.


    There is Wow all around us, but sometimes, it can only be illuminated by a week’s worth of sunshine.

    Image Credits: My dear husband

    p.s. Want to win your own sunnies? Share the best holiday gift you’ve ever received in the comment section below and I’ll gift one lucky winner a pair of your own Wow-inducing shades. Happy early holidays, friends!

    • Love some new glasses!

    • Happy early holidays! Love the reminders of Wow.

      My favorite holiday gift was a waist-high wire Eiffel Tower sculpture from my sisters. When they gave it to me, they said, “We saw this in the catalog and hated it, but we knew you’d love it.” They were right. I had seen it myself and love love loved it – and I felt loved and seen and appreciated.

    • Favorite sentence of all-time: “…as it turns out, there is Wow in cronuts and campfires and California.” Yes to all of that and cheers for spreading the love of everyday moments/experiences!

    • Best gift? They all blur as things as I think about it now. Best gift I gave was when Matt and I told our parents, Christmas 2011, that we were having a baby. That was truly the best.

    • Jordan Troublefield

      My favorite gift I’ve ever recieved was my great grandmothers piano. I started taking lessons when I was young and I only had a keyboard to practice on. My parents drove to Missouri from Texas to pick up the piano. It was the best surprise of my life, and I was so gracious to have a real piano to play!

      • What a beautiful story, Jordan! You had some lovely parents. :)

    • Happy holidays! :) Love this post – totally agree and love the idea behind Share the Wow!
      I would say my favorite holiday gift was from two Christmas’ ago. My husband bought me a beautiful little necklace – and little did he (or I) know that the necklace had the birthstone of our baby girl :) (We didn’t even know we were pregnant yet – so weird how things happen!)

    • So far this year, it has been going from a party of 3 for Thanksgiving to a party of 8. I’m really looking forward to a bit of a larger gathering for my favorite holiday/meal.

    • Jennifer

      The best present I ever received was this past Christmas. We were finally home with our newborn after a year of moving in together, being pregnant (successfully, after 2 back-to-back losses), getting married when I was 6 months pregnant, getting my teenage son situated into his first year of high school in a new school district, and figuring out how to fit it all together in 12 short months! Sitting around the table with both sides of the family in our first house together I knew that we had overcome it all and made it work for us. There have been plenty of adventures this year with the baby needing cranial surgery and my husband changing jobs, but that sense of accomplishment the first time we had 5 minutes to breath makes anything thrown at us seem easily overcome.

      • Oh that is such a beautiful memory, Jennifer – and I’m so happy to hear you’re overcoming! Bless you. :)

    • Wow, great giveaway. Best gift ever was definitely my yellow and blue BMX bike I got as a 7 year old. :)

    • coral

      I was about 10 and I came downstairs to brand new skis leaning against the fireplace. The shock of a lifetime!

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