Foundations

val in real life

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 to weather unfortunate life events. A full bucket is actually about creating a foundation. When your bucket is full or close-to-full, it means you’ve been mindfully living your life. That …

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

val in real life - try the world

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 far and wide but the reality of making that happen doesn’t always come to bear. Like his mom, George has a well-developed curiosity about the world. He particularly loves geography …

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 explore greater depths of myself and the limits of my tenacity. I’m now almost eight weeks into this ordeal and I’m certainly much improved but each day and week present …

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 recent ordeal, I shared with you why I will ride again but the bigger picture is that our children learn from the examples we set. Big and small, intentionally or …

Healing and Joy

Right now in my life, my biggest task to address everyday is healing. Of both the physical and emotional sort. Everyday is a mental tennis match between knowing I’m getting better and the weariness of what my life is right now. Because the progress is so gradual and grudging, I have to force myself to look back a week, two …

Life on Hold…

Imagine out of the blue you had to put your entire life on hold. Full stop. Not negotiable. It’s something we all dread and know can happen at any time. That’s where I am right now. Sixteen days ago I was hit by a car. My life as it was stopped. Now, the simplest of of daily tasks are exhausting …

2014: Real Adventure. Real Life.

Seems it’s that time again… to review one year before beginning another. With the 2015 calendar staring at us and inspiring introspection, I marvel at what 2014 held for me as well as my boys. 2014 Recap… Overall, 2014 was a year that began in lots of excitement but ended on a mellow note. The bulk of our adventures were …

A Better Story

val in real life

One of the subjects much-discussed among the outdoor community is risk. And the very incorrect perception that our pursuits are often very risky, dangerous, or even downright irresponsible. As I’ve dealt with the hand injury has dominated my life for the last six months, I’ve had to recount the story of how I injured it countless times. It is a …

Forty-three

Today marks another year under my belt. Like any year, forty-two presented it’s triumphs and challenges. I’m thrilled with the adventures I was able to have both solo and with the boys, though. For me, that’s the big picture as I look back at the year. And to that end, this year marks the beginning of a transition for the …

The Beauty of Gray

I’m a fan of black-and-white photography, particularly infrared conversions. There’s something so simple yet visually intricate about the tones. Recently jamming out to some Live while I was working away behind the scenes here at Val in Real Life HQ, I revisited one of my favorite songs of theirs, The Beauty Of Gray. And it got me thinking about the …