Stayin' Alive on the 4th of July

As we celebrate another of our nation’s birthday this Independence Day, I am reminded of a July 4th post I wrote back in 2011 when my son, Rob, was deployed to Afghanistan. Rob is home now, but re-reading the post today brings all those feelings back to me. It also makes me feel a deep gratitude that he returned with his body, and his psyche, intact. I will forever feel grateful for that.

I still feel connected to those who served in that faraway country.  I am privileged to have worked as a counselor with Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors who were deployed and returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. Their stories are chilling, young men who know the horrors of war and are still trying to make sense of it all.

As we celebrate this 4th of July

 I hope that all of us remember our service members & their families.

The ones who are still deployed, still in danger, the ones who are struggling, and the many who are wounded warriors.

Think for a moment about the ones...

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When things go sideways...an adventure on a tropical island

 "In every journey or adventure, there will be the unexpected, the low points, the funky stuff that happens. This is true for travel or for life. And there are always lessons to be learned." 

February is the month of love. And because of that, I decided it would be a theme of self love. And since my blog is live again, I thought I'd repost this story as this adventure taught me so much about loving myself amidst being terrified and making decisions. I also learned a lot about forgiving myself.

Three years ago my husband and I visited my son and his family in the tiny South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. We were stoked to be so close to an active volcano. The events that happened were, shall we say, a little scary?

It all started a little bit wonky, the beginning of our trip to see the live volcano on Tanna in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu.

That tropical morning we got off the plane from Efate, the main island of Vanuatu, and arrived by plane an hour later on the...

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