baja mañana spirit - val in real life

Bringing Home the Baja Mañana Spirit

I recently returned from my first trip to Baja, Mexico. Intent on living my life as well as I can in the moment right now, I rode my motorcycle 1,500-miles […]

birthday - val in real lie

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 […]

eat the cupcake - val in real 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 […]


On Remaining Vibrant

My forty-third birthday is a mere four weeks away. And with autumn in full swing and the leaves turning, I’m facing my own change. Yep… I have officially found my […]


Another year of perspective…

Today marks another birthday for me. In the last year alone, I’ve gotten to travel from coast-to-coast, through 32 states and five Canadian Provinces. Seriously, in just one calendar year […]


…and then Fred became a teenager.

That’s it folks, as of today I’m the mom of a teenager. Today is Fred’s thirteenth birthday. He was born on Mother’s Day… late, just like his brother. 😉 But […]


A Decade of George

Dearest Camp Granola friends, our “little” George turns ten today. And while the decade marks seem to be intriguing to all of us, for George ten is an especially magical […]


Another notch on the birthday belt…

Today I get to tick up my age another notch. Of course, we all know that age is as much a state of mind as it is number on our […]


Seeds of a Road Trip

So obviously I haven’t completed the tales of our last three months of adventures, but that’s because we’re so busy having them. That’s certainly a good thing. I figure I’ll […]

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