The Place-Mat Dinner

If you know me, one thing you know I love…like loooove y’all, is a well set table. I am not talking the kind of table that intimidates me with four forks, three spoons and a stack of plates (although I do wish to have a reason to eat at table like that one day) but the table that reflects the reason, season and people planning on gathering around her later.

Ask my husband –while I am pretty good at letting “things” go and purging our home, I do have two prized -possessions that no matter where we have moved, I have brought with us/..our dining room tables – past and present.

Our table of past is the sweetest little dining room table we used in our small apartment in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That 3′ X 4′ table holds our most sweet-newlywed-young-20-30’s memories of our lives before the arrival of our children. That table is a memory collector of Quinn and my tears, joys, fears, fights, romantic dinners, hours of graduate work studies, holiday memories and countless more. While she no longer is large enough to fit our family of five, she continues to partner with me while I write, pay bills, read emails and prepare lessons for our homeschool.

Our table of present is our second dining room table we purchased (after countless hours of debate) at World Market when we moved to Raleigh, North Carolina – every scratch, burn, notch, discoloration, paint stain is a memory of raising our family. She has hosted countless family meetings, painful discussions, disagreements, celebrations, high-chairs, birthday parties, anniversaries, school lessons, friends, family and the list goes on…I love those tables – my past and present places of gathering of all I cherish.

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The Unprecedented Reset

It has taken me three days to finally stop. Stop and focus on writing down my reflections regarding Rockonliving’s March Money Reset. I am guessing many of you can relate? Focus has been elusive. The arrival of COVID19 into the lives of everyone across the globe has impacted, disrupted and changed every single person’s life on the planet.

Not one system or routine we depend on to keep us moving forward hasn’t been stealthily invaded by this virus – and at lightening speed – morphing and changing life as we knew it. We have changed EVERYTHING we do and more significantly, how we do it. We are discovering a ‘new normal’ daily and navigating uncharted territory, together. We are living in something unprecedented (how many times a day do we hear that word now?) – we are living during a pandemic. Sound dramatic? It’s not. This is huge.

Call it serendipity or divine intervention, but my original March Money Reset could not have began at a more perfect time. Who knew that in a matter of one month, families, ours included, would need to dramatically look and scrutinize all purchases while unemployment numbers skyrocket and businesses close. Just earlier today, my husband has made the difficult decision to close his practice for the time being….although he is choosing to reframe it as “opening his practice in a new way” or “taking a healthy pause” vs. “close” because of what this virus has done – it has reset everything, everywhere, overnight.

It was like we were living on a planet that had glitched and a major “reset” was hit.

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Time – Money – Reset

This girl is ready for a money mindset reset. If you have followed our family for any time, you know one thing we value is travel and adventure. Recently, I have noticed that my spending habits are well, how to put this…messy? lazy? sometimes unintentional. Any money I choose to spend on home decor, fast food or other ‘non-essentials’ is money not available for the experiences our family really loves and that is just not acceptable any longer! To travel (or whatever you love to do!) many times requires money, which requires precious time (life) spent earning it – so, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it!

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Rome Revisited & Reflections

The Pantheon 2018

“When you see the Pantheon for the first time, your mind caves in.”Anthony Doerr

Late last night as the wind howled and rain deluged outside, I reluctantly finished a book I had been trying to slowly savor like a disappearing dazzling sunset. You know what I am talking about? A book, that is so good, has you so invested, that finishing it feels like the end of a special friendship.

The book, Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr, was a gift from a friend. You will find I have sprinkled through this post some of my Golden Lines from this memoir. Golden Lines is the practice of copying and writing favorite lines, parts or phrases from books you have read in a journal. It is one of my favorite traditions in our home. We first heard of it through classes we took through an online writing company called Bravewriter.

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The Effects of Traveling from a Young Age

The Effects of Traveling from a Young Age – as told by the voice of Rockonliving’s eldest daughter, Kayah (age 16) for her English 101 Class.

Our family trip to Stonehenge, England

            Everyone, at some point in their lives, has to take a history course. One reads and learns of the absolutely horrific events of the Holocaust and the conquests of the Roman Empire, but it is a completely different experience to stand at the entrance of Auschwitz or to see the Forum from the Colosseum.

They become a part of oneself.

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Visiting Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks

The beauty of the United States National Parks

Visiting the National Parks is an experience like no other. Our family has traveled to Europe and stood in awe of history from previous civilizations that date five to six thousand years ago. However, when you visit the National Parks out west you are looking back in history millions, millions, of years ago. It is nature on steroids, geology in motion and a sanctuary from our fast-paced- technology-laden society. In this post, we will share our experience exploring Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

COMING SOON! The collaborative and creative juices are flowing here at Rockonliving and we are excited to announce that we are working on creating travel guides for the places we visit with more detailed information. For example, does the Octagonal home below interest you? In our Yosemite Guide, we will provide booking, contact information, pricing and things to consider booking this home in California. These guides will also include feedback and input from all the members of the Rockonliving family! We hope to share our lessons learned and make it easier for you to begin your Adventures! We are excited! The blog with be evolving soon – Stay Tuned!

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