Author Archives: staceylynn411

One month, two weeks – Monday



Exactly one month ago we left New York headed west to San Diego. Five seconds shy of leaving with sustenance from the bagel store, the husband slipped on black ice and that was that. The six day road trip included an urgi care visit in western Pennsylvania, an ortho clinic visit in Kentucky, amazingly compliant ADA hotel rooms and kind people along the way, a visit to the Louisville Slugger Factory, barbecue in the car in St. Louis and two weeks (exactly two weeks today) later a tibial plateau fracture surgery by a military/baseball affiliated surgeon in San Diego – this was a different kind of road trip.

Choose Happy

In the interim, there’s been dealing with grief, a stent procedure for Mom, a new apartment and one that got away, a bit of a job shift for the husband and what at times has felt like a constant avalanche of ick. Sometimes getting to the ‘take a deep breath’ stage is hard, remembering that ‘this too shall pass’ is difficult and grabbing and holding onto those moments of peace, love and light is nothing short of utterly imperative. Perspective continues to smack us in the face, gratitude is ever present, appreciation for all things positive is alive and well and we know we have a tribe of supporters who continue to lift us up along the way.


So, one month on we’re here, finding our smile in the sunshine and looking forward. We’re back in our happy place where palm trees reign, limited jackets are necessary and fish tacos are readily available. We’re in a land where avocados abound, yoga matters and mindfulness is more than a trendy term. Here is where the healing begins. Here, even when we feel like we’re underwater, we remember that as long as we relax, every wave lets you up eventually. Here, where the air is clear to breathe, the seagulls chirp in the distance and those who regularly put themselves in danger and walk through fire share the same space as civilians – here is where we stay.


It’s hard to be away from family but somewhere deep in our toes, we know this is the place for us. This is where the healing begins. This is where we get back to us after these last few months of chaos and emotional mayhem. Looking backwards doesn’t do anything. Manifesting all things good, channeling gratitude and charging forward will find the positivity, the bliss and the ease. This is the place we learned to do that. This is the place we learned to believe more in ourselves, live more authentically and seek that quality of life that blends holiday bliss with everyday life.

Coronado 2018

My Dad continued to grab life by the horns, live everyday, and find joy even in the darkest of winters and with the most dire of diagnoses. Many of the people we’ve had the opportunity to speak with in the past few months said the same thing – your Dad was in it for the long game. Well, you know what, we’re going to do the same. Perhaps this truckload of ick is just (as my Mom says) life with a capital L for awhile. And perspective reminds us that there are many who deal with this and far worse on a very regular basis. There are lessons in everything and we’re looking for them and as the waves let us up, we know they’ll be there somewhere.


My friend Erin tells me there’s always a rainbow after a storm and I can’t remember a time in the past three decades where she hasn’t been right – so I’m all in. Kaity reminds me regularly that ‘you got this’ and friends from eons ago and five minutes ago are constantly there with a warm hug, friendly smile, encouragement text and a let’s meet for coffee and change the world together attitude. We love life in San Diego and know that the positive people we are will continue to poke holes in the ick. Our journey continues here on the west coast. Perhaps it’s a little slower to start than we’d like, but there are lessons in that too. Patience, persistence and a little bit of grit will meet those moments of mindfulness and positivity and then in those minutes of awesome I know all things unicorn, sparkle, rainbows, glitter and cupcakes will rise again. Come say hi, meet us on a trail, hang out on the sand or let us know when you want to go for fish tacos and we’re in….we promise to have a smile and a visit to our favourite beach for waiting for you.


Seeking home



Home. For some it’s the beach, the mountain or the smell of a clean sheet. For some it’s a meadow, a valley or the smell of the leaves after the rain. For some it’s traditions, the aroma of baking bread or the sound of family waking up underneath the same roof. For some it’s a place, while for others it’s a feeling. Home is an interesting concept. As a child – home was my nuclear family, the house in which I grew up, the only street on which I lived and the town to which I was associated. Home was a short walk from the high school, down the block from the youth group, twenty minutes from the beach and about an hour from sleep away camp. Home was the people, an address, an abode, a town and a state to which I referred when introducing myself. Damn, a lot has changed. Read the rest of this entry

Finding healing spaces along a bumpy road



Since the early days of December – it’s seemed as if the world has been spinning on its axis and we definitely feel as if it’s about to fling us off to a bumpy stop or crash landing on direct impact. If I could raise my hand and ask the ride conductor to slow it down and let me off, I would – but I’m not sure that’s how this ride goes. So, we’re taking a chance, standing on the ledge and going to make the jump before we get spit out and have no idea how many bumps, bruises and broken everything we’ll have along the way. I’m trusting that in one way or another a net will appear – but with or without the security – we’re leaping. Read the rest of this entry

Horcruxes, hindsight and happiness



Prior to diving into a relationship with the world of Harry Potter, horcruxes and dementors were never part of my vocabulary. The creative juices of JK Rowling changed that and so much more. She added terms like hippogryphs and alohamora, wands and wizardy, put a face and voice to those things that go bump in the night, lent a figure to those things that suck out our happiness and always showed that although there might be great struggle, somehow good will triumph. Her boggarts and dementors were fairly shapeless yet the idea of their makeup held steadfast – their design is to suck the happy – somehow we’ve all encountered one or two in our lives. Read the rest of this entry

Growth in a cup of coffee



Travel has always been my vice. A friend of mine used to tell me that the reason she thought I loved travel was that it took me away from the reality of the everyday. She knew I loved the adventure but wasn’t certain that the day-today minutiae was for me (even though she knew that at the time I adored my profession). Needless to say, that from the beginning of my teaching career (and for many years prior to it and since) I booked a holiday for every break we had. Summers were spent working, but school breaks were meant for holiday relaxation. Read the rest of this entry

Shifts and lessons


List after list exists dictating the ten most stressful life events; turns out we’ve got at least four going on simultaneously. The death of a loved one, starting a new job, relocating, searching for a spot to stay – choose your words, oy vey, oofdah, holy sh*t or whatever works for you; needless to say there’s a lot of ‘life’ going on at the moment. My friend Kris said, ‘at worst it’s a movie plot’ and my friend Stacey said, ‘your life is always an adventure’ – I imagine they’re both right. But damn, there are a lot of balls in the air at the moment and – I’m thinking at least one is bound to smack me in the head at any moment.

IMG_0683 Read the rest of this entry

In search of santosha


palm springs

I think I’ve been on a constant journey with twists, turns, caverns, mountains, potholes, valleys, deserts and beaches. There’s no way my fifteen, twenty or even thirty year old self could conceptualize this winding path and I imagine each of those moments were significant steps along the way. It’s shifted gears, changed direction, sought guidance, considered progress, gotten stuck and reached for paths unknown, but where it’s going is anyone’s guess. Read the rest of this entry

Living in the in between



Here we are in the in between. Those moments of everyday that we might not think will be the ones we talk about later – these are those. With the insanity of December madness behind us and the future of another blank slate in front of us – we’re in the in between. The days (like all others) that we do our best to make the most count, find the most joy, get stuck and get unstuck, giggle, cry, dream, build, manifest, create, jump, sing, play and make magic. These, like all others, are those bonus days…now we have to remember that!


Sometimes life gets in the way. You find your happy, grab on tightly with both hands and sometimes it slips beneath the surface. In a miracle-like matter, perspective jumps up and smacks you in the face and you’re back. You build a tribe of magical people who show up in your life when you need it most, never falter when called upon and are always open to providing those mindful messages and moments of laughter that we all, without question, need. But often, we get swept up in everyday hooey of stuff and forget that smile, forget that magic and forget that we too can create and cultivate miracles of our very own. Living in the in between, those days where the year has begun yet you’re not sure the direction it’s headed, we need to grab on tight and get that happy.


It’s funny, I used to think that finding your happy meant going out and changing spaces. That the search for that happy would take you around the globe, to cities and countrysides, from beaches to boardwalks and everywhere in between and someplace hidden amongst the geography you’d uncover a rock and there you’d find your happy. Although the journey is fun, enticing, mind-shifting, perspective changing and definitively inviting, I was wrong. Finding your happy isn’t only about geography, it’s not only about longitude and latitude, it’s not only about a specific spot – it’s more about you than we choose to believe. Trust me, I still FIRMLY believe that there are places filled with more ease than others, spaces that make me feel better in mind, heart, body, spirit and soul than others and spots I’d choose to rather be because my heart smiles far more when I’m there than when I am not. But somehow, deep down, that happy is in us. Whether we’re talking about chemical reactions, thought processes, mindfulness, attitudes, perspectives or everyday outlooks and beliefs – that search for happy is perhaps not as solely intertwined with geography as I first thought.


It’s hard in the in between. Those seven days of the week where teachers aren’t counting days till break, where there’s no big commercial or religious holiday on the rise, where the sporting calendar is in between the start and those ones that ‘matter’, when that next holiday booking is far beyond your reach – when it’s a plain old Tuesday – that’s when it matters perhaps even more than we think. Find those moments in the middle to take a breath, count your blessings, laugh with friends, play outside, get your rest, eat something you enjoy, practice kindness, take a class, delve deeper, smile, hug, laugh and dream. These are the days that will make up the stories of the future. Whether you believe it or not, each of these are the bonus days – let’s make them all count.

It Begins


Having difficulty containing her laughter at all of the insanity smushed into one day, my friend Kaity told me I should write it all down – she often has good advice and I count on her to be my Universe reading guru, weekly hot chocolate date and San Diego hotel guide, so I listened. If I’m honest, the last month has been a bit fuzzy and much of the fuzzy turned to calamity as Mother Nature smashed clouds and condensation together in a sea of cold, white madness above our heads at the start of the year.

USA Road trip 2017-2018

Read the rest of this entry

365 sunrises



To say that the last month as been a whirlwind is an understatement. There have been changes every which way we look – some of those are choices of our own making and others are ones of which we have had zero control. Some provide that level of utter fear mixed with excitement coupled with a dash of ‘what the hell are we doing’ while others feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us and we don’t know which end is up. Amidst a cross-country road trip, thoughts of life, balance, chaos, mindfulness and so many other things have been swirling through my mind. As with many, the end of the year is a time to take stock – this year is filled with a lot of that. Read the rest of this entry