The Fifty United States. I was talking with a family member about our travels, and it came about that he has visited 48 of the 50 states. I was impressed with the number – I can’t think of anyone offhand that I know personally who has been to all 50 states. It certainly isn’t something that happens by accident. Even if you drive from coast to coast, you wouldn’t hit even half of the states on your way. We wondered how many states the “average” person has been to. I counted up my tally – 14. That puts me at 28% of the states visited, or roughly 1/4. To count as “visited,” we decided that you had to put your feet on actual ground – a layover at the airport doesn’t count! It feels like a pretty meager number to me. So I’m curious – how many states have you been to? And what do you think is “average?” Three of the states were new to my list in 2015 – North and South Carolina (both visited twice) and Georgia. I’d like to add a few more in 2016.



A few of the bloggers I follow, like Adventurous Kate,  posted lists of their favorite books they’ve read in the last year. Growing up, and even up until I had kids, I loved to read and read a lot. Now, with a busier schedule and the ease and allure of surfing the web, I’m not reading nearly as many books. So this year, I’m making a commitment to read more, and I’ll note them here. long room


irelandI just returned from my first trip abroad – a wonderful, fantastic vacation to Ireland. I could call it “the vacation of a lifetime,” but I hope that it was just the beginning of many more equally amazing vacations. As I was sitting in Heathrow Airport during a lengthy layover, I began to reminisce. It had been a bit of a whirlwind, spending no more than two nights in any one location. I couldn’t remember – was that cute little cafe in Kinsale or Dingle? Did we visit the Rock of Cashel on the second day or the third day? Things that had just happened a few days prior were already slipping my mind. And these weren’t trivial, day-to-day bores, these were brand new experiences from a seriously great vacation! I started to wish that I would have kept a daily journal, so that I could look back on it and remember the little details a little better.

Then I realized – why am I not doing that for every day things? Days slip away, the kids get bigger, we get older, and we don’t even really notice it. What happened in the last year? A million things, some big but most little, and we’d all probably be hard-pressed to give an example.

So here I am, making a commitment to myself to take note of the things, dramatic and not so, that I experience each day. My eight amazing days of vacation, and the countless other days between vacations, because they’re all worth remembering.