In Retrospect…

In retrospect, taking 6 kids in 100+ degree weather in a non-air-conditioned vehicle for a 7 hour road trip isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

On the bright side, it’s also not the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, and we invented the most fabulous on-the-go, do-it-yourself, totally-Pinterest-worthy air conditioning system while we were at it. Our system is called ICE EVERYWHERE — ice every damn where — and it worked! It worked! ...  read more

UPDATED with Winners: Worst Contest Ever

Hey! You know how you go on vacation with your five kids, and one starts puking, and you’re all, “Dear Jesus, please, please, please let this be food poisoning or an anxiety attack or anything other than a bug that’s going to take us all down” and then Jesus forgets about that whole Wave a Magic Wand and Make Everything Better part of his contract, and a second kid starts puking and you’re all, “OH MY GOSH, JESUS, WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THIS,” but Jesus is all, “It doesn’t matter how many time you TELL me to be a Magic Wand, Beth; still not my gig,” so you hold the bucket for Kid Number Two and rub his back and tell him All the Poor Babies and All the I’m So Sorrys and have a minor crisis of faith, because JESUS CHRIST, and then you remember that Jesus said to Love Each Other well, and didn’t give any cool bonus features with that command — not Love and You Will Be Loved, not Love and Then I’ll Wave My Magic Wand, not Love and Everything Will Fall Into Place, just Love Period — and you realize that’s exactly what you’re doing at 3:00am with Kid Number Two? You’re exhausted, and you’re in a hotel room, and you’re beginning to have wall-to-wall pukers, and your husband can sleep through anything, and you’re sure you’re coming down with the pukes because there’s nothing like the sound and smell of vomit to make you want to do it, too, but you manage be Love anyway? You know how THAT happens? ...  read more

I Want to Be Free and a Half

IMG_2294This is Oliver.

IIMG_2293 met him in Australia last week, and I’ve decided to be him when I grow up.

IMG_2415Oliver is three and a half, and he’s got some things figured out I haven’t yet.

Yes, Oliver is three and a half, except Oliver can’t say the “th” sound yet, so Oliver says he’s “free and a half.” ...  read more

Happy Classy Thanksgiving

Let’s say, hypothetically, your cousins showed up at your house last Thanksgiving in a massive RV and made references all weekend to the Griswolds and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

GriswoldRV“That there’s an RV, Clark.”
“Yeah, Eddie. It looks so nice parked in front of the house.”
“Sure does, but don’t you go fallin’ in love with it, now,
’cause we’re taking it with us when we leave here next month.”
 ...  read more

Here’s Something Thoughtful to Do When You’re 40 and Your Parents Are Out of Town

You’d think when you’re 66 years old and your daughter is 40, you can finally leave home for a few weeks to go on vacation and ask her to water the plants and trust she won’t throw a party and raid your beer in your absence.

You’d think that.

But you’d be wrong.

You know what’s fun to do when you’re 40 and your parents leave town? I mean, other than steal their convertible and act confused about why the mileage is always suddenly higher than when they left, which you’ve been doing for years. ...  read more

Mamas in the Wild

They sat at the table near us at dinner most nights of our cruise. A mama, a dad, a grandma and a baby. The baby was oblivious to semi-formal and formal nights and not at all impressed with the concept of a lengthy, leisurely meal, and so she cried sometimes. She cried like she meant it, full of gusto and heartbreak at being offered peas while she was tired or substandard potatoes when clearly only apples would do, because 11 months old is a hard age to understand your family’s on vacation and it’s time for fine dining.  ...  read more

Best iPhone Photo Apps (I’ll Show You Mine, You Show Me Yours)

Psst… I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

Painted in Waterlogue

Come on. You know you want to. I’ll even go first.

Here are my favorite iPhone photo apps for summer. I’m using them a TON on our vacation. And I’d love to know what your favorites are, too.

1. AVIARY. It’s FREE, and it makes adjusting light and color a snap so the pictures look sharper and more like real life. Although it has a lot of bells and whistles, I primarily use their cropping tool and the adjust tool, which lets me tinker with brightness, contrast, warmth and saturation. Here are some examples of my pictures before and after using Aviary: ...  read more