Back in August of 2010 my best friend moved from Chicago to San Francisco. She invited me on this road trip of hers across the country. I was hesitant at first because I felt the obligations of staying home with my husband and 19 month old (at the time) daughter. After thinking about it and talking it over we realized if not now, then when? Especially since we knew there would be another little one coming within the year. Tom was able to take a few days off of work to stay home with Lila and I had a babysitter set for the other days. I had made a “Lila guide” for them both to follow- what to eat and when, what to wear, checklist for the diaper bag and activities to play. Confident that my husband had it under control I said my goodbye’s and hopped on a bus from Cincinnati to Chicago where I met my friend. The next day we took off to San Francisco – jeep packed, sandwiches in the cooler and our road trip play-list set.
During the 10 days of this trip I had 2 a-ha moments. The first one is very personal and one of the main reasons I’ve started this blog. I realized that 4 years ago I became a wife and 19 months ago I became a mom. Somewhere in those years I gave all of myself to those rolls and forgot to leave some time, energy and space for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a wife and part of a team, and I love being a mom. Becoming a mother is truly an amazing experience. But I failed to make friends for myself when we moved to Cincinnati from Chicago in ’09. I failed to keep up with old or new hobbies for myself. Being away for those 10 days with my childhood best friend of 24 years, with no responsibilities, with no one counting on me, reminded me of the old me, the me I know is still in there. I just have to let her out once in a while. The me that my husband fell in love with. It made me realize that I just need to have something of my own, that I can call my own. Which is why I started this blog. I’ve enjoyed reading about spirituality. I’ve learned so much through my research on healthy whole, holistic living. Not only am I improving myself but my family is also along for the ride. They are supporting me, joining me and changing with me. By becoming a better person for myself I am becoming a better wife to my husband and a better mom to Lila.
The second a-ha moment I had on the road trip was that America is BEAUTIFUL. I had lived in the city of Chicago for 10 years and now in a suburb of Cincinnati. The last few years besides flying to other countries for vacations I haven’t really been anywhere to notice or pay attention to what the US had to offer. Besides our road trips to and from Chicago (my family) and St. Louis (his family) we haven’t driven around much. The mid-west, well, Indiana and Illinois don’t have much to offer when it comes to scenic views. On our way to San Fran I realized that the U.S is NOT all strip malls and it’s not all flat corn fields, but a country with never-ending fields of golden wheat, blue skies, the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore – all in South Dakota. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho had amazing mountain, lakes and river scenes and not to mention one of my new favorite places, Yellowstone National Park. LOVED IT! And Oregon and California had the coast and mountains and vineyards and trees. TREES, the Redwoods. Amazing.
When I was driving through the country and witnessing these natural miracles I couldn’t help but think of God and the higher power that there is. Nature does that to me. My God lives in nature’s beauty, cycles and even in its wrath. The landscape of Yellowstone alone is truly a natural wonder. Driving through the mountains, down into the valleys, around the lakes, seeing the geysers and all the wildlife leaves an impact on your soul. You can’t help but think that there is something, someone larger at work. That was the moment I decided to go on a spiritual journey. I wasn’t sure how or the details but that was when I was inspired to explore my spiritual side.
Here are a few pictures of the first leg of our trip, Chicago to Yellowstone National Park.