After nearly two weeks in Italy, we made it back home and are slowly getting our lives together. I thought I’d dive right back into work but it’s been an adjustment. I thought it might help to write something on getting back into a routine post-vacation, to ease myself back into writing. And it’s time for a bit of a life catch-up since it’s been a moment. 

Getting Back Into a Routine Post-Vacation

Order helps me focus. So even after a 3AM wake-up, 3 hour drive to Rome, and 9.5 hour flight that felt like 76,000 hours, I emptied our suitcases the moment we walked in the door. We went to bed at 6PM that night, and it felt so good to wake up the next day and not have to go through everything. The packing cubes made it so easy – everyone’s stuff got put in their respective rooms, and put away the next day. But if I’m keeping it real, my packing cubes sat on the floor of my closet until this morning. We’re all sleeping (mostly) normally again and it’s just so good to be home. I’m really excited to get back into a work routine now that we have our nanny here full-time. 

So how was the trip? 

Tuscany was beautiful. I love Europe! The food was amazing, I loved our time in Florence, and the views are breathtaking. But I’ll be honest: it wasn’t the most relaxing trip and wasn’t the best place to take a toddler and preschooler. I love traveling and am grateful that we were able to go. It was probably too soon for me after all we went through – it felt like a huge leap and I was very anxious going into it. Ultimately, the girls (especially Kate) were just too young. The trip was hard on Kate which was hard on me. I hated seeing her struggle to sleep. 

After an impossible few years, I agreed to go but it didn’t feel ideal, and it wasn’t. I have so much respect for parents who make it work, but I’m just not that bold. The girls were amazing (truly) and I am so proud of them. We agreed that in a few weeks, we’ll look back at the photos (these ones by Ricardo Pieri are pretty incredible) and be glad we went. But there will not be any more international travel with kids for a while. I’m sharing this because I don’t want to pretend it was perfect and easy, and leave parents thinking they “should” be able to do it, too. 

I will share more on our travel experience, favorite travel toys, etc. soon.

Celebrating my birthday

I turned 40 on our second to last day in Italy and once I’m back in a groove, want to talk a little more about this milestone birthday. But for now, I just want to say how grateful I am to be where I am. Things could have turned out so differently for us. Both of my girls are happy and healthy. Treatment is done and we’ve been able to see friend. Things are feeling much better than they were the last few years. 

Coming home

So now that I got that out of the way, it is so good to be home. I’m such a homebody and was so excited for salad after all that pizza and pasta. I love a routine and missed all the comforts of home. The girls were so happy to be back, too. Kate kept asking about her “flowler loom” (flower room) and talked about all the toys and dolls she was going to hug. The transition back with sleep wasn’t too bad, and a few days later, we’re all doing better. 

Our new bed arrived the day after we returned home, and both our washer/dryer and bedroom curtain hardware came today. The curtains will be installed next week. And I ordered two of these for our family room. It’s been nice to see some progress and updates with the house, but it’s going to be a process. 

Getting back to work

This was my first time signing off and traveling without a computer for a few weeks. It was good for me, but I missed my routine. Before I worked for myself the way I do now, there was definitely a lot more pressure to check in, so it’s nice to know that nothing is “urgent” (although it never actually was). But I was on such an SEO kick and took my site from 14k organic visitors monthly to almost 30k organic (meaning people who find me looking things up online). I am almost too into it. And between organizing, unpacking, getting the house together, and getting the girls adjusted, there hasn’t been much time (or energy) for work. When I sat down at my computer the other day, I didn’t know what to do and just gave up and decorated for Halloween instead. And we broke out our Halloween books, too. I forgot how cute they are. 

I have some partnerships coming up that I’m really excited about and need to start thinking about holiday soon, which is sort of crazy. 

Margot’s first day back to school

I just wanted to share a really sweet moment that meant a lot to me. Margot made it to the first day of school weeks ago, but then we left for our trip. Upon our return, one of the little girls she really hit it off with saw her and screamed MARGOT, and gave her the biggest hug. Half the class ran up to hug her and they were just so excited she was back. After having only spent a few hours with her. After years of isolation, that felt pretty special. 

Preschool update for Kate

So big update here, and again, I just want to be upfront about this in case anyone is struggling with the same thing. I made the decision to pull Kate out of preschool before she even started. The school is wonderful and I love the teachers. But – Kate just turned 2 and she’s very (very) attached to me. She has the rest of her childhood to go to school and I think it would be a lot for her. I actually asked her if she wanted to go to school and she said “go with you. Sad mom left” and that was it. There’s no right or wrong here, but this feels right for her. I’m not really a class person but decided to do a mother/toddler class since I do want her to get to live a little, so that’s our plan. My point in sharing is that you should always do what feels right for you and your family. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing or really, what anyone thinks.