flying highlove the airvent

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in. 
-Robert Orben
love the moving sidewalks

Most photos by Chris Duh

We spent a week in Park City, Utah visiting family and in a way, I felt like I had stepped into another world.  It’s amazing the fresh perspective that can come from new surroundings.

flying with my boys

The day before our travels I had a massive “to do” list and feelings of looming stress. On the morning of vacation day (even at the airport), I felt more relaxed and relatively stress-free.  The only thing on the “to do” list that day was to play with our kids, travel safely and not lose anything (including the kids) along the way.

Because we were staying at my mother-in-laws home, we packed pretty lightly knowing we could do laundry half-way through the trip.  So we each brought just 3 outfits for the 7 days.  I brought one knitting project and a book.  Ski clothes, car seat, a couple of toys, snacks, camera and an iPad.  It was still a lot, and yet it felt easy to handle.

And because I was on vacation my mind told my body it could…relax.  And that I did.  It certainly helped that our family took such good care of us while we were there.  They spoiled us with good meals, gifts, free skiing – heck, my mother-in-law even did our laundry!

Here are some things I was reminded of while on vacation…

in the back seat

I like taking a break from being in the driver’s seat.

I’m only as stressed as I let my mind make me.


Seeing the world as a 4 year old…

let's play ball

Ashton in the Snow

and as a 1 year old…

touching the snow

really does make the simplest things, like playing ball with a dog or touching the snow, pretty darn special.

I was reminded of the love shared when giving and receiving gifts.

giving gifts

grandma and papa

fun christmas time

I was reminded that when you have space in your day to be spontaneous, you find new discoveries that you never imagined possible.

learning music


And when you let go of expectations and go with the flow, taking the wrong train can turn out to be a really good time.


I was reminded of how fun it is to see new places…

cool coffee shop

the "up" house

I was reminded of my growing passion for cooking as I discovered the kitchen of my dreams in the real version of the “Up” house.

the "up" kitchen

I was reminded of how much fun it is to play and be silly.

silly grandma

family silliness

I was reminded of the joy that comes from sharing something you love with your kids for the first time.

let's ski dada

I was reminded that I really love slow mornings, without anything planned for the day, except to eat, knit, play and see what comes up.

I was reminded that no matter where you go, your daily life is what you make it. You can swirl and twirl and frazzle and stress, but ultimately the choice is yours.

It’s been a week since our trip.  And I’ve caught myself several times slipping into stress-mode. But then, I remember that I have a choice.

So I’m choosing to practice living every day as if I were on vacation. Sure, I still have laundry to do, food to make, and people to take care of. But I can move more mindfully throughout my day. And the slower I go, the more present, connected and happier I feel.

Being present is a state of mind.
And it’s a state of mind that I like.
Because when I’m more at peace and filled with wonder – like my children – this LIFE journey feels like an adventure worth traveling.

Your Personal Reflection: As you travel through the holidays this week, simplify your “to do” list and allow yourself to immerse in the peace, love and joy that truly are all around you.

beautiful winter moon

I wish you a holiday full of peace, love and joy!

Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-course registration is going strong. You can learn more and register HERE.  (Gift certificates are available, too!)

And for those of you looking for a way to celebrate the winter solstice, here’s an idea.