He Likes It!

He Likes It!

About a year ago we took Eli climbing in the Shawangunk mountains...

The event was so impactful that Eli decided he did not like rock climbing.  He was not a rock climber.  He was a victim of fate, born to parents who thought scaling rocks was a good time.  We even took him on a 105 day road trip seeking out some of the greatest rock climbing in the U.S. and Canada.  He preferred to sit at the base and wait for it to be over.  I only got him in the harness once when I guaranteed he would not have to climb.  I wanted him to stay low to the ground and swing on the rope.  When introducing new foods, I only expect my kids to take a taste not eat the whole plate.  I wanted Eli to get a taste of trusting the rope.  He didn’t love it, but he didn’t panic.

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See How Far You've Come

See How Far You've Come

There are some seasons where I can’t tell I’m progressing at all.  This is especially true in February.  It’s the shortest month, but it feels like the longest.  Like the world will always be gray and cold.  It feels like nothing is coming together.  I have no traction.  I’m spinning my wheels.  I look back at my day, week or even the month and it doesn’t seem like I’ve accomplished anything. I’ve just churned through the days.  It’s very trendy to live in the Now. But what if Now doesn’t look like anything? 

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Easily Distracted? Me Too.

Easily Distracted?  Me Too.

Getting distracted is the easiest thing in the world.  We all walk into a room, forget why we came, try to remember and walk out.  Or an email comes in.  Or a text, or Facebook, or Instagram.  I do it.  You do it.  We all do it.

This morning my son was sitting on the couch with his game pad.  I asked him, “Didn’t you just say you wanted to go play with Daniel?”  Oh, yeah!  Right.  He stood up and walked out the door to go find his friend.  Even if it’s something we want to do, we get distracted.

We’re pretty good at giving ourselves reminders for things we “have to” do:  conference calls, deadlines, dental appointments.  But what about reminders for the things we want to do?

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Being Me for a Better We

Being Me for a Better We

Today is about love.  Maybe it's about romantic love, friendship, family or that co-worker who always manages to make you smile.  It's about those relationships where you show up as yourself and you are embraced.

The night before Karina was born my water broke so I woke Erik up and he me drove to the hospital.  Before we got out of the car I said, “A lot of women yell at their husbands during delivery.  I don’t want to do that to you.” Writing this memoir is like that except we’re both in labor at the same time.  Heaven help us. We laugh a lot, but there are long pauses after statements like, “I’m feeling defensive.”  "You seem defensive."  “What did you mean by that?”  “That’s what you thought I was doing?”  Our communication is leveling up.

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Changing Lenses

Changing Lenses

Our editor asked us to gather up photos that might be good for the cover of our upcoming book.  He joked that it’d be great if we had a drone shot of our family on deck while sailing in open ocean.  One of these days we’re going to get a drone.

But I did remember when we crossed from St. Martin to Anguilla, our friends on Discovery sailed parallel to us and took some pictures.  I asked if they could forward them along.  Within a matter of hours, they’d shared not only the photos from that little crossing, but also photos from the several months we sailed together.

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Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

Overhangs have always made me nervous.  I took my first lead fall on an overhang, and I took another one this past fall in Yosemite.  I don’t like having my center of gravity behind me.  I like to balance over my feet, where my hands don’t have to do too much work.  There's nothing worse than hanging by your hands, feeling them slowly slipping, as energy fades from your fingers.  Overhangs are the most exhausting.  But they are part of the terrain.  They are part of life.  I can’t avoid them, so I figured I’d better get good at them. 

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What Do You Wish For?

What Do You Wish For?

My mom and grandma took me to a women’s conference and then out for cheesecake.  I don’t remember caring about the conference.  I was about 8 and it was my first slice of cheesecake. I was already a fan of cheese and cake, but the combo sounded weird.  I was dubious.  The waiter set before me the thinnest slice of cake I’d ever seen.  Maybe that’s because it’s so dense, but it seemed like a rip-off before I’d tasted it.  After I’d tasted it—inhaled it—I knew that sliver wouldn’t satisfy. 

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Christmas Presence - Easy Thoughtful Gift Ideas

Christmas Presence - Easy Thoughtful Gift Ideas

by EMILY ORTON

Towards the end of October I started thinking about Christmas.  We were camping in Yosemite National Park.  We had no electricity and no running water.  We did have a terrific fire most nights.  There is something about a fire that creates togetherness.  I don’t know if it’s because we’re all facing each other.  Maybe it’s because we’re warm.  Possibly it’s the soothing activity of adding kindling or pine cones and watching them flare up then burn away.  I don’t know what it is, but sitting around the fire our kids would start talking.  They would leave the doors to their hearts wide open and I was amazed at the kinds of things that came out of their mouths.

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105 Days

105 Days

When we planned this road trip, we figured we'd be out about 100 days.  We came home on day 105.  We didn't anticipate coming home on the eve of one of our favorite Christmas traditions:  Carols on Columbus.  We are not playing this year, but we will be there tonight to enjoy the beautiful music and spirit of the season.  Here's us playing our song, "I'm Going Home" a couple years ago.  We hope to see you there!

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