So it turns out that traveling with two small boys alone for a month through the entire state of California was a little more stressful than anticipated.
That said, I came home with a new perspective. I spent more time with my boys in the last month than I think I ever have. More real time together, just hanging out. By the end, they were my little traveling buddies and I really felt like it was just us against the world. In the face of so much expectation from others (to be in a certain place, to make sure the boys behave a certain way, for me to be a certain version of myself), we really turned to each other. I kind of fell in love with my kids, and it made me sad to realize that I’ve spent so much time just managing them, but not really knowing them. In the midst of constantly evolving schedules and activities, I always feel that I’m rushing them from one thing to the next, that I’m always saying, “put your shoes on!” “get in the car!” and not much “What’s going on? How are you today?”

This trip made me realize that these guys are two tiny, but fully realized, people — with their own lives and struggles. Further, I realized that they were not sent here to make it harder for me to get things done. I invited them into my life. I brought them here. And I need to remember it every single day when they’re struggling with becoming well-behaved people and frustrating the hell out of me. I need to remember it when I’m trying to complete a manuscript that has been taking WAY too long to get done and they’re wandering through my office and dropping LEGOs on my desk.

And I need to remember that I made some other choices, too…to love my husband, to communicate with him, and to support him… I don’t know how I’ve managed to take all the things that are so important to me completely for granted. But the long travels made me realize it and motivated me to stop it. I’m going to try to LIVE every day, not just get through it. And to cherish the people I’ve chosen to spend my life with.

And I am also going to try to get this doggone book finished so that I can share it! Cover reveals coming soon! (Redemption Red, book two in the Wine Country Romance series! I can’t wait until you meet Tyson Dawes… so hot!)