Life

A Walk on the Freeway in Carson City

It’s not every day you get to walk on a brand-new interstate. Pristine pavement. Sharp, fresh striping. Hundreds of bicyclists, roller-skaters, skateboarders, and runners whizzing by you. I had that […]

Life

Celebrating Near-Perfect on Mother’s Day

I know, I know… it’s a Hallmark holiday. But my dear Fred happened to be born on Mother’s Day so I’m fond of it in my own way. And like birthdays […]

Life

Awake: Finding my Inner Thelma

I imagine most of you are familiar with the movie Thelma and Louise and its tale of two women finding their strength through a series of unexpected and escalating ordeals. In one of the […]

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Life

Life After Trauma

Today marks an unwelcome anniversary: the second year since my near-fatal motorcycle crash at the hands of a negligent driver. I intended to write this last year on the first anniversary. It […]

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Life

My Forty-Fifth Birthday: Celebrating with Adventure

I’ve published a birthday post every year since 2011. It’s a reflection of my outgoing year as I consider the new year ahead. In that first birthday post, I confessed […]

Embracing Nevada - Val in Real Life
Life

Embracing Nevada: A Georgia Girl Moves West

Twenty-two years. Half of my life. That’s how long I’ve called the Atlanta area home. (The other half was in Florida, for those that aren’t in the know.) And now […]

Moto Metaphor - Val in Real Life
Life

Motorcycling: A Metaphor for Life

Throttle therapy is an amazing thing. Lately when I’ve been out on the bike to clear my head, I’ve been musing on how much motorcycling is a metaphor for life. […]

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Life

Postcards from Real Life: Identity

In the wake of changing my name, I’ve gotten many inquiries about how and why I chose it. Keep in mind this took over three years of searching and consideration. […]

New Name - Val in Real Life
Life

A fresh start, a new name.

It’s no secret that I’m an independent-minded woman. Or that I’m a feminist. Or that I’ve been through a lot of changes in the last few years. Or that I […]

Ted Simon's fear quote - Val in Real Life
Life

Postcards from Real Life: Fear

News flash. I’m not fearless. I’m often told I am and it makes me laugh. I think “Are you kidding me?!?” Of course I have fear. Lots of it. To the […]

val in real life
Life

On Being OK

Today is the anniversary of the crash that changed my life. And yesterday I was out riding my motorcycle. It was an eerily similar scenario as far as weather and […]

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Life

Forty-Four: Eat the Cupcake

Tomorrow marks my forty-fourth birthday. I view birthdays as personal new years: a time to reflect, assess, and consider the previous year. Birthdays are usually safe from the turmoil of other […]

Val in Real Life
Life

Parenting Teens

This week when I shared the nuts-and-bolts of visiting Bandelier National Monument, I had to think back to why I enjoyed camping there so much. Certainly it’s a very agreeable […]

Life

Six Months to Life

Today marks six months since I was hit by a car while riding my motorcycle. I’ve written a good bit about this ordeal so far and again I find myself […]

val in real life
Life

On Recovery

Now 24 weeks into my ordeal of being hit by a car, I’ve come to understand a lot about recovery and how it evolves. The challenges shift constantly. You reach […]

Life

On Being Timid

I recently returned from my western adventure, the trip that was to help me regain my Val-ness after January’s crash. And it did in so many ways. It was needed […]

val in real life
Life

Foundations

Back in March I wrote about why it’s important to keep your bucket full. But I realized my thoughts at the time were an incomplete picture of the tools needed […]

val in real life - try the world
Life

Try the World Brings the Flavors of the Globe to Your Door

As an experiential education family, we’re always on the hunt for cool ways to expand our learning opportunities. And like a lot of families, we have the desire to explore […]

Life

Finding Fierce

I’ve talked before about finding what you’re made of. Until now, the challenges I’ve faced have largely been of my choosing. This time though, external forces have forced me to […]

Life

Living By Example

This month the good folks at Bon Bon Break kicked off their Fill Your Bucket series with some thoughts from me about living by example. In the aftermath of my […]

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