/http://www.familyadventurepodcast.com/129-pletka/

We were interviewed by Erik Hemingway of the Family Adventure Podcast, as we traveled with 6 family members across 45 states and 9 countries.

Want to know WHY we travel, How we Paid for it, LESSONS LEARNED from the road?

How to get UNSTUCK from the Hamster Wheel of Life and Raise Selfless Kids in an Entitled World?

http://www.familyadventurepodcast.com/129-pletka/

We visited the Wisconsin Dell’s Waterpark this summer and frankly, I was good with dropping the kids off and going antique shopping. But no, they were begging me to go. Please, mom, go on the rides with us.

In my head, I found myself kickin’ and screamin’-  tired of doing things out of my comfort zone. I had the case of the Don’t Want To’s. 

I’m already driving a 36 ft motorhome cross country with 4 kids, in an RV that I learned to drive from a YouTube video. Everyone says: You should do Facebook live.  But what if I stutter in the middle of a message or I have a booger? No more change for me. I’m done.

But then I caved and bought a ticket to the water park; upon arrival, I realized there was no Lazy Log ride. Wha? They took me straight to death con 5. You step into this elongated phone booth tube, and they lock you in; you’re sure you made a terrible mistake, as you stand on a trap door that could release at any time.

With your fate in the hands of a 17-year-old ready to press the button of death, you ask: How did I get here? Do my kids really love me? I began to question my sanity.

All the while the sounds of a heartbeat on a loud speaker, beat harder and louder. I couldn’t tell which was mine or it! Y’all, my anxiety was off the charts. I was praying to Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.

And then the countdown:

Three . . . Oh dear God, I’m sorry for everything!

Two . . . My life flashed before my eyes!

One . . . And nothing. Whew! Hey, when’s this thing gonn-A . . . Boom!

They OPENED the trap door and I flew 90 mph down a rabbit hole, in total darkness.

There was no air, just water whippin’ my face too hard to open my eyes. I couldn’t breathe for 13 seconds. I thought this was my last day. Who would do the laundry? Had I given loved ones my Facebook password?

But afterward, the look on my kid’s faces was priceless. I earned immediate hero status. I was cooler than cool for that moment in time.

Facing change and walking outside our comfort zone is hard. But taking those risks and making it to the other side, where few have gone, is worth the letting go.

(more…)

I sat on the end of my bed in tears, with 3 kids in tow, a supportive spouse and a good life, but something was missing. I had started a Video Production Co. a year earlier, and with the juggles and struggles of work/family balance, deciphering how many ways to cook a chicken, and dropping off 3 kids at pre-school, keeping up with the Joneses seemed an impossible task.

I felt isolated. Don’t get me wrong: there were people all around, but the connections of like-minded women, discussing, listening, the “I’ know how you feel – I’ve got your back” sort of connection, was missing. Deep rooted relationships had fallen by the wayside. I had become an expert plate spinner, swirling in “organized” chaos, but it turns out, it was just chaos.


Suddenly, I found myself separated from the human race with little beings needing my full attention and sleepless nights had become the lowly standard. 

My carpool attire had become LuLu Lemon with a ponytail. But most days, it wasn’t even that. I found myself in the midst of moms who made motherhood look easy.

As I reached out for advice, tips, and authenticity, I found myself listening to women up the ante on how their pre-schooler was learning Japanese. Another multiplication. Seriously?


My child wasn’t potty trained, their first word was Hurry, and I caught one eating dirt in the backyard.


I fell into a depression, too vulnerable to show my vulnerability, rather I padded myself with isolation. The perfect breeding ground for disconnection.

Social media and decorating sites created the perfect storm for mom guilt, judgment and comparison traps, reflecting only the beautiful parts of life, the perfect angles, vacation spots, and happiest moments. There were few pictures of moms struggling, laughing about their mistakes, posting pics of destroyed laundry rooms or applauding you for being the “World’s Okayest” mom.

My husband looked at me and said: You should write, post and blog about these issues. Become your own answer. And that week, spitupandheels.com came to life. The Solution: Authentic Relationships! Find your tribe, your people. And celebrate.

It’s been my goal to help other moms connect, laugh, relate, discuss and empower one another through authenticity, vulnerability and intentional living.

It’s so easy for us women to fall out of the pack and go it alone. Don’t allow vulnerability to create isolation, rather let it empower you, catapult you to greater levels.

Per the abundantmama.com there are various reasons for isolation.

7 Reasons We Find Ourselves Isolated
1. Comparison Traps
2. Money
3. Socializing is Difficult
4. Your Kids Ages & Stages
5. Geography
6. You Don’t Think Like Other Moms
7. Feel Too Vulnerable to Share

Don’t worry about what others think. “Those who MIND, Don’t Matter and those who MATTER, Don’t MIND” – Bernard Baruch.


Splash color on life and allow yourself to be the real deal.

We need more Authentic YOU’s in this world. Besides, dirt never hurt anyone and why is it important to keep up with the Jones’s anyway? Here’s to living the Best Version of You! Tell us how you connect with other moms.

 

 

 

Warning:  If You Travel with Kids, They Will Be Changed Forever

Mark Twain once said: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

In the last 3 years, our family of 6 has traveled to 45 states, 10 countries and 9 National Parks via planes, trains, and automobiles, before moving to Scottsdale, AZ to explore the beauty of the West. (click to continue reading at http://scottsdale.citymomsblog.com/2017/04/07/8-life-lessons-travel-with-kids/

When I was a kid, summers held the fondest memories! My little sister and I jumped off our old green boathouse into the lake, giggling as we ran toward the house eating peach ice cream; making our way to the trampoline, dodging the sprinkler system.

Barefoot and carefree.  Life was full of promise.

But then one day, it stopped.

If only I knew that was our last day hanging out like that. Perhaps our attention turned to other things, we grew up, we moved? I’m not sure.

But if I had known it would be our last, surely I would have embraced it more, held on a little tighter, enjoyed it a little harder.

Do you have a memory that brings a smile to your face, a friend, a moment, a person, a song?

When my oldest son was little, he loved for me to throw him in the air. I think that child lost weight, giggling!

I look back on those fond memories with laughter and sadness because I had no idea throw #399 would be the last toss, the last giggle.

A new phase came along, and he never asked for another air throw.

Time doesn’t stop for reflection. It has a quiet way of moving forward. Life doesn’t throw up a red flag to say: Warning, your pre-teen won’t think you’re fun or smart in 17 days.

Caution: those endless hugs your daughter loves to give – but annoys you – she’ll never offer again, starting next week. So make all the hugs count!

Did you realize when you picked up your child when he was 7, it would be the last time?

I know, I’m thinking, I had no idea. Now he’s in high school and time is slipping away. No one told me it was the LAST TIME.

I guess I could go pick him up, now. Of course, I might get a hernia, and he’ll think I’m crazy, but we’ll both remember when I picked him up, last!

Embrace all the moments. This could be family vacation #101 of #102 or the last good cry over life and boys as they leave for college. Life is short, now go pick up, hug someone!  For it could be the last time.

Here’s to Living the Best Version of You.

What was the last moment for you?

James 4:14
You do not know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life, but a mist, that appears for a little while, then vanishes?

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