THE JOY RIDE is a series that will be running from July 10-Aug 11, 2013.  I'm headed out on the road trip of a lifetime with my two sons, the goal of which is to push all my buttons at once (embracing uncertainty), while spreading joy and creating connection with them and my global community.  Follow the adventure here on the blog, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

As I sit and write this, we are in Carlsbad, CA, just outside San Diego, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and the kindness of friends who just a few days ago were strangers.  The sound of a fountain on the patio outside soothes me, as does the sound of Kieran and Connor playing legos while Amoki, the gorgeous golden retriever sits on and watches over them.  So peaceful (at least at much so as it can be with the sounds of oh, wohoo, ugh, oooh, and rrms can be-its very active lego play).  This is the first time since 10 days ago that I've had a chance to sit at a computer and write (thanks Michelle!), since my tablet is not conducive to doing anything other than playing video games, much to my dismay.  If only I had known, I would have brought my computer.

So much has happened in the last 22 days thats it hard to put my head around it.  We have met amazing people, done wonderful things, been awed at the magnificence of this country.  There have been some big fights, rolled eyes, shouts of I can't, asthma attacks (thank goodness for the nebulizer and inhaler I packed), and times where each one of us just wants to be home in our comfy beds wrapped in the familiar.  Lots of scrapes, bloody knees, blisters, tired sobs.  And yet, we are getting closer to one another, starting to find a rhythm of this life on the road, wondering what other amazing adventures await us on the way home.  

It took us 21 days to make it to Legoland.   While we could have driven straight here much quicker that was so not the point. And now, on day 23, I wonder how long it will take us to make it back.  Its definitely going to take me longer than 7 days, making this 30 day odyssey in the Odyssey much more than that.  Connor wants to see Yellowstone, and thats 1150 miles from where we are.  I want to stop in to see some friends near LA and stay in a beach house that a new friend offered us for a day or two up the coast of CA.  After we make it to Yellowstone, the quickest path home is 2200 miles away.  So I'm thinking it'll take us another two weeks.  Mark says its fine, which makes me feel supported on one hand, and nervous that when I get home he will have fallen in love with the bachelor life and want to part ways.  

All those little worries I have: about money, being unemployed (for those of you that don't know, after 12 yrs at RPS, I was let go on July 15th), being alone, losing the house, not making any money with my coaching (my side gig turned full time passion as soon as I get back, fingers crossed); those haven't reared their uglies too often on this trip-thanks to needing to be on and present all the time, but they're their in the background.  Right now, though, I set an intention to be open, positive, bold, practical, and grounded no matter what.  To check in about what's most important to me, and hold on to that.  Remember that life, not only this trip, is an adventure.  And that my priority is to connect, spread joy, and embrace uncertainy, well beyond these 30 42 days.

The kids wanted to make it to Legoland, and we did (for two days...thats all I could take).  We made it all the way across the country.  We are still alive, safe, and smiling.  We still love each other, and still want our own way. I want to nurture and teach my kids about abundance, love, generousity, and they want to ask for another toy and ice cream.  The whole trip to date has been magical.  A lesson in serendipty and trust in the universe.  I am creating lifelong friends, and connections beyond my belief before this trip.  I want the second half to be just as magical and as fulfilling as the first half (with a little less whining and eye-rolling...though Connor really has a great growl when he's annoyed).  

I want to connect with even more people on the Facebook groups I belong too.  I want to think outside the box and provide safe spaces for my kids to stay and play in on a very limited budget.    And I want to find new ways to continue spreading joy, and choosing to spread it AND receive it.  

And I want to continue to find computers to borrow so I can update you on our progress :).  

What do you want?  Leave a message in the comments and we can all support you about achieving that!