The Decision Not to Homeschool

Athena's first day of school

I didn’t take the decision to send Athena to school lightly. She’s only five years old but she’s traveled the world with me and learned so much along the way. She is outspoken, friendly, compassionate, and she doesn’t see the color of your skin as anything but beautiful. She’s been parasailing, panning for gold, roller coaster riding, hiking, sledding, horseback riding, paddleboarding, and surfing in California, snorkeling in the Caribbean and Thailand, skiing in Austria, California, and Canada, drum dancing in Greenland, sailing in Thailand and California, rock climbing in Canada, and ziplining in Canada and Costa Rica. She practices different languages in each new country and she sees the world with wonder and joy. She may not remember it all but it has already shaped her into part of the person she will hold on to for the rest of her life. This year marked D-Day (decision day) for us. Would she go to public school and travel less? Or would we continue to travel the world and homeschool? I decided to send her to school after years of careful consideration. Here’s why.  Continue reading

Athena’s First Day of School

Athena's first day of kindergarten
Athena is officially a kindergarten student. She started school this week and I keep shaking my head at the fact that I have a child in school. When I started Bucket List Publications, she wasn’t even born and now she’s enrolled in a French Immersion school in Montreal. Where did the time go? How am I the mother of a child in school when I still feel like a kid myself? And with Athena off to school during the days now, I need more of a purpose. What should I do with my time? A job? Volunteer? Exercise? Write a book? Pick up a hobby like day drinking? (Just seeing if you’re paying attention.) I feel lost. Is this how all mothers feel when their kids go to school? Continue reading

A Day of Testing Out Athena’s Gifts

PlayWheels Quad Skates
Since we were traveling during the holidays, we opted for the multiple Christmases. Santa’s elves delivered some of Athena’s gifts early so we could open them at home and the Big Guy delivered the rest on Christmas Day in Wisconsin. It was a great plan that worked wonderfully for us, but the only downside was that Athena didn’t have much time to test out her favorite Christmas gifts before leaving the state. The minute we returned, we took the time to use her PlayWheels Quad Skates and her PlayWheels Skateboard. They were the first item on her list so we wanted to make the most of it.  Continue reading

Open Doors at The Landing

The Landing, Door County, Wisconsin
This Christmas was a world of new for Athena and I. We decided to spend it with my partner’s family in Wisconsin. (I still haven’t found the “boyfriend” term that fits for me but I’m working on it.) It was the first time Athena and I weren’t in our own home, opening gifts from Santa and family that were placed under our Christmas tree with loving care; but home isn’t your own tree or a familiar room. It’s the people who surround you that make it home. Cord’s family has shown us an abundance of love in the last few months. They opened their homes and their hearts to Athena and I. Even though we spent Christmas day, and the two days following Christmas, at The Landing in Door County, Wisconsin, it was the most at home I felt in almost a decade.  Continue reading

An Entire Town for Kids at Mill View Ranch

Mill View Ranch, Camino, California

Whenever I travel with Athena, I always look for a park for her to play or a restaurant with an indoor play place. In El Dorado County, they have an entire old-west style miniature town made just for kids. It should be no surprise that despite the cold, I still made time for a visit with Athena.  Continue reading

A Day of Exploration at South Coast Plaza

Shops at South Coast Plaza

I love shopping with Athena at South Coast Plaza. It’s huge and filled with a world of bright colors, bold prints, and beautiful sights. It would be easy to go there and spend thousands of dollars and walk out with a couple bags though. Many of my favorite clothes in South Coast Plaza come with high price tags. It is possible to visit South Coast Plaza without spending a fortune. Here’s how Athena and I spent six hours at South Coast Plaza and only spent $60 while enjoying rides, dining, shopping, and taking in the sights. We explored, discovered, and experienced the magic of South Coast Plaza.  Continue reading

Kicking Off Halloween with Legoland’s Brick or Treat

Legoland's Brick or TreatHalloween is one of my favorite days of the year. My birthday is the day before so I’ve always started celebrating early, but this year we kicked off Halloween with extra early trick-or-treating at Legoland and we’re feeling the Halloween spirit.  Continue reading