Tag: what to do on family vacation

Admittedly, in my own home with my own children, sometimes they resist my requests to participate in the work I do. Currently that work is in the form of my new book, Look At Us Now; a creative family journal. I’ll say something like, “Hey, let’s fill out a page!” And the response will be something like, “MAAAH-AAAAHM.”

teens filling out pageLast week I was encouraged when a reader sent me pictures of her own teens filling out pages in their copy of their book. Her teens resisted at first, but she persevered and asked them to just do one page with her. They agreed and by the time they were finished they had filled out THREE pages and were all laughing together, plotting out adventures and recapping moments worth noting. And they decided two things: 1. that it was not only not so bad but actually kind of fun and 2. that they would sit down weekly and fill out more pages together. As the creator of this book, knowing that I have captured the attention of the reluctant teens and that I have given this family a few moments of fun connection, I feel my mission is accomplished!

Families are using Look At Us Now in all sorts of ways. Some are using it as a Sunday morning ritual. Others are family selfieusing it as a tool for bribery such as one mom who tells her kids they can earn their desired screen time if they fill out one page together. One mom used it to create connection with her step-daughter. Another family I know took it on their family road trip so that they could both capture their adventures and have a fun family activity to do together in the car. And one family told me they keep it in the car to fill out as they’re running errands around town. The kids take turns filling it out while the parent drives and conversations are had they might not ever have otherwise. In all cases, what I’m told by readers is that EVERYONE is digging it and really, really having fun together! And at the same time capturing some family moments that might otherwise be forgotten.

sample page 1I decided to try again with my own offspring. I had a chance to dine with just one of my teens this week and we took the book to the restaurant with us. As we waited for our food we opened to the page: ONE THING WE WANT TO MAKE HAPPEN. Originally I imagined this page for satisfying long-term plans but realized instantly it was also a good page for some more immediate goals. By the time our food arrived we had a plan in place for a family day trip next week to a nearby water park. As you can see, not only did we set the goal, but we put all the pieces in place too to actually make it happen. Like soon! Like next week.

How are you using Look At Us Now?* What good things have come from your family’s copy? What discoveries have you made about your own family life? Send me a sample and let me know! Id’ love to see. Or join me on Facebook at the Slow Family Living page and get inspired!


*If you want to leave a review on Amazon I wouldn’t mind that either!


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Last week was spring break here in Austin. And the big SXSW film/interactive/music festival too which brings in a few hundred thousand extra people to town. We had house guests join in the fun. We went to a bunch of different parties and other outdoor events most of which were just a few blocks from our house. We had no real agenda although we had a loose idea of a schedule and we all had a pretty good time. There were some low points here and there usually having something to do with hunger or fatigue but overall I think everybody got what they needed. And by Sunday we all returned home tired but happy.

I talked to another mom today and they went camping for most of the week avoiding all the mayhem completely. By Sunday they too returned home rather satisfied at a week well spent.

Still another family stayed in town but barely left their yard and opted instead for tending to their garden, reading lots and lazing about in the temperate climate with just a hint of a drizzle. They too all got what they needed.

Yet another family of four took a crazy wild road trip going from place to place to place until they too all returned home tired but happy.

Which emphasizes a point I make quite a bit but which takes a reminder every now and again. We all like different things. Different families all have different ideas of what constitutes a good time. And we have different needs too in order to fill our proverbial vacation cups.

So I have a question for you – whether you’re heading into your own spring break, just finishing up, or dreaming about a big family trip in the future.

How do you describe a successful and satisfying family vacation?

On the road or at home? In town or far away? Action packed or sedentary? What are the elements you need to have your family vacation feel how you want it to feel? And for everyone in the family to feel like they got what they needed?


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