Skimming the cream: 5 family projects to cultivate gratitude

Written by contributor Rachel Wolf of Lusa Organics and Clean

When my son was two our life took an unexpected and terrifying turn.

An unrelenting seizure, a flight-for-life, and a week in the pediatric ICU would forever paint how we remembered his second year.

Though he survived and life returned mostly to normal, that single event was defining for how we would remember his toddlerhood.

Some years later I sat down to begin writing my son’s story.

Starting with our pregnancy, I would share highlights of each year of his life.

Pregnancy, birth and his first year were easy.

But I got stuck on two. I didn’t want his seizure to become his story.

So I made a mindful choice.

I would tell the story of what I wanted to remember.

Instead of writing “When Sage was two he had a terrible seizure and was in a coma. We were so afraid,” I wrote this:
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Always learning

Written by contributor Rachel Wolf of Lusa Organics and Clean

Last week my mom came to visit.

When she arrived I was cleaning up from a class I had just taught to our homeschooling coop.

As we tidied up, she asked about our lesson.

“What were you teaching?”

I have a background in environmental education, so we could have easily been digging in to some serious topics.

Endangered species management, ecology, or plant taxonomy perhaps.

Or maybe something basic yet academic.

Like math.

But instead I was teaching letterboxing. [Read more…]

Embracing the chaos.

Written by contributor Rachel Wolf of Clean and Lusa Organics

Some days I fantasize that my home looks like something off of one of my Pinterest boards.

Well-styled, clean, and impeccably organized.

Simple, beautiful, artistic and inspiring.

With not a (dog) hair out of place. (So to speak.)

But then I open my eyes and look around. And I wince a little.

Because as it turns out I’m not living in that world at all.
[Read more…]

Finding joy

Written by contributor Rachel Wolf of Clean and Lusa Organics

I am a morning person.

I make tea and start work while the rest of my family is still asleep.

Still in my pajamas I jot down my daily “to do” list. Housework, writing, homeschooling, errands, classes, laundry… You get the idea.

(Quite well I suspect.)

Like yours, my day is often full before it has begun.

But recently I wondered: what would happen if I began today without the “to-do” list, but instead with the simple intention of having more fun?

What if I made joy my top priority?
[Read more…]

4 weeks on the road

Written by contributor Rachel Wolf of Clean and Lusa Organics

My son once mistook Lake Michigan for the ocean. So we sat down with a map and found the Great Lakes. And then we found the Atlantic.

Lake Michigan is big, but the ocean is immense. He wanted to see it for himself. So did his sister.

And so did I for that matter. After traveling the world in my teens and 20’s, I hadn’t left the Midwest for nearly a decade.

It was time for a little sand between our toes.

At four and eight years old, my children were ready for a road trip. Why not take a month off and head to the beach?

And so we did.

Two kids, one grown-up, four weeks, and 3000 miles. My husband would stay behind to run our business and I would take our homeschoolers on the road. Alone.

We were excited, but I was also nervous. Could I swing it – even on the hard days – without the support of my husband and the comforts of home?

There was only one way to know. In early October we headed south, anticipating sand and sea within a week.

While there is no formula for the perfect road trip, this is how we pulled it off.
[Read more…]

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