Losing the fear

There are so many reasons why people have fear. Heights, spiders, and driving in the snow can all be scary things, but why do we let that fear override the joy of nature? It’s an amazing feeling to conquer a mountain hike and stand at what feels like the top of the world, or see a glistening spiderweb in the cool, morning dew. And do I even need to clarify the beauty of a fresh powdery wonderland? These little things in life that cause fear can be the very thing that make life special!

Children can teach us so much about living life fearlessly. They leap into the boat of adventure and sail off without ever looking back! Getting dirty and being loud are never a concern, and it seems that life is so packed full of fun that they are constantly RUNNING to the next exciting moment! What an awesome way to live life!!!

Being a parent of a very courageous young lad is teaching me to slow down and let his little discoveries fuel his love of nature and science! It’s also brought on this new faze of saying “no” on a regular basis. This is a necessary evil because children need boundaries to keep them safe, but the “no” faze is now developing new challenges. Teaching our son to say “no” to himself has been a fear filled adventure all on its own!

Paddle boarding freedom!

There are many moments where I desperately wish there was a cut and dry parenting handbook to guide us in raising a respectful and happy child, but there’s not! With or without this elusive book of knowledge, I’m realizing that it’s MY fears that hold my son back from realizing his own. I know this sounds a little crazy, but if he never gets in the water, he’ll never learn to swim!

Reaching out to past generations has also reminded me that children need to feel like they are responsible for themselves to actually be responsible for themselves. Now for a overprotective mother this can be quite the challenge and a huge source of fear! I do however, have a helpful tip in this department. I focus on looking at life through the eyes of my child. Getting excited about his discoveries has opened up a whole new world of adventure for both of us because instead of being the overprotective Mom, I’m taking the role of a friend who wants to be part of the adventure! This role allows me to not only be there for my son in an emergency but also see first hand how wonderfully silly and creative he is!

Captain Walker and Skipper Momma!

It’s a fine line we walk with our children but if there’s one thing we all have in common it’s the love of sharing an awesome experience with someone we deeply care about!

Every parent wants there child to grow into a productive and happy adult and therefore we must show them how. Being their role model is one of the best ways to do this and it makes our adult life more fun! Show your children, and yourself that fear will not ruin your chance for an amazingly fun experience! You may be surprised how well they start to listen when you are listening to them in return. Let them lead you to new experiences and dive in… you may find you still have a little kid in yourself as well!

Mom’s new love! Paddle boarding! Thank you Walker D.
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Summertime Blues???

It’s so true! There is definitely something to be said about that last month of summer when your kids are tired of the slip n’ slide, board of walking the beach, and have had way to much screen time for a healthy human brain, this can be a very difficult problem to remedy. So here are a few tips and tricks to help squeeze every last bit of fun out of the summer season!

  1. Ask them what there favorites are. (Stick to the 5 senses)
  • Sight – favorite color
  • Sound- favorite silly voice
  • Touch- favorite toy
  • Taste- favorite food
  • Smell- favorite smell

Now with this information have them make a talk show with other siblings or their favorite toy. They can dress up in their favorite color, use they’re silly voice, talk about food, smells, and anything else they want while you (or a tripod) records it! Kids love watching themselves on video so this should produce hours of fun!

  • 2. Play “Chopped” home edition!
    • Like the cooking show, give them 5 key ingredients to make a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
      They can use other ingredients as well, but the key ingredients must be the star!
      The parent or oldest sibling can play the host and interview them/ supervise them as they create.
      Then everyone gets to vote for their favorite dish.
      The winner could receive a 5 min. “Chill session” while the other contestants clean up.

    3. Have a garage sale.

    • Most kids are money motivated so have them make a mess of their rooms by getting everything out and making piles of what they want to keep and what they want to sell. They could use the money to have an end of the summer party for their friends, purchase a new toy, or go to a movie or theme park.

    4. Rearranging challenge!

    • Challenge your children to rearrange their rooms in a new way!
    • Give them a checklist of requirements to follow…

    1. Floor must be clean

    2. Toys must be organized

    3. Widows and doors can’t be

    blocked.

    4. Be creative!

    • As long as all your requirements are met, let them keep their newly designed room this way for at least a week. It will be awesome to see how their little engineering brains work!

    5. Outdoor Obstacle course!

    • Give them permission to use items from their rooms to create an obstacle course.
    • Dirty clothes can outline a running path
    • A box can act as a hurdle.
    • A jump rope tied to 2 trees can be a limbo bar.
    • They can run in flippers to the next task.
    • The possibilities are endless!!!
    • This game can also lead back to the rearranging their rooms game when it’s time to clean up.

    Our super bored kids are full of creativity if we help spark an idea of how to use it! Good luck and enjoy this beautiful season!

    Check out more ideas here!

    Put yourself out there!

    Living on a sailboat brings constant change. Change of neighbors, change of scenery, change of comfort zones! But the thing that means the most is the change in your “you time”! There’s many people out there that fear the thought of change more than a big old spider crawling over the arm of your couch. But I’m here to tell you that your wasting your time worring about what “might happen” and that if your not careful, you might miss the possibility of something great happening.

    This last season brought with it many challenges that to say the least… were unexpected. Starting with the realization that we were going to have to de-mast our sailboat and run new rigging and wind instruments by ourselves! We spent many hours researching and learning that the information super highway doesn’t have much to say on the topic of D.I.Y. rigging. But none the less, this was a project that had to get done and we didn’t have 25K to spend on it. To make a long story short… we found a shipyard that was willing to work with us and after all was said and done they even offered my husband a job! Love these island people 🙂 At the time, we were super overwhelmed with this make it or break it situation, which turned out to be a true blessing in disguise!

    By having this “misfortune” we found a great place to work, met people who would soon lead us to our next home port, and became more confident than we could ever imagine with the inner workings of our home.

    This one mishap saved us years of researching our vessel, as well as many unconfident sailing expeditions filled with arguments over what line to pull when and what to do with it once you pulled it! Now I don’t recommend running down to the docks and tackling this huge feet on your own, because that would be crazy! But I do recommend letting this one little story help you realize what you’ve been putting off because of fearing the unknown. Don’t try to be a know-it-all but do try to learn something new by putting yourself out there. I guarantee you’ll be surprised by who you meet and how helpful people really are, as well as how capable you can be when you put your mind to something you really desire.

    We all have the capacity to do great things! I find my strength through my faith, but whatever works for you is the right way to get the job done… you only have to decide to do it! Good luck, and please share with me what your next step toward change is!

    Are you a true sailor?

    The thought “Dear God what have I gotten myself into” has become an everyday thought in our lives! Constantly trimming and rearranging is what we’re now accustomed to, but as gluttons for punishment we are training ourselves to look fear and frustration head on.

    One of our after dinner walks on the docks.

    My husband, son, and I live aboard our 36′ Catalina in the San Juan Islands. We love it and have never looked back to our land locked life, even once. We have managed to find work, start homeschooling, and make time to hoist the sails on many occasions. We’re becoming accustomed to our responsibilities when underway and as a not very experienced sailor… I’m very proud of that! So after multiple light wind day cruises and lots of docking practice I was feeling ready for a lesson on sailing in strong wind, which I highly recommend so your not “that guy” who’s ripping off your bowsprit on a dock piling! Boy was I in for a surprise.

    We hired a very experienced Captain to come aboard our vessel and show us the ropes. The day was forecasted to bring 25 to 35 knot winds so we knew it would be the real deal, but the reality was far more then I could ever imagine! We made it out to the open bay and began to hoist our main and jib. I was so excited that the guys were using our new reefing lines, and our new roller fuller was reefed and holding strong. I pointed her downwind and sailed her out of the wind shadow. That’s when all hell broke lose (or so I thought at the time). We were hit with a 35 knot gust right off the bat and I knew we were going down! My initial fear lessoned a bit when the instructor gave out a loud “Woohoo!”, and I realized that this is what our boat was made to do.

    The question was… is this what I was made to do?

    30 minutes in and my arms were aching, I was sweating bullets in 45 degree weather and I was convinced that we were going to die at least 3 times. Not to mention our cast iron skillet flew out of our oven and into our son’s bunk, and there were books and Kitchen utensils finding new homes with every green water wave we took. With our personal belongings crashing all over our home, and our son hysterically crying in the cockpit I stepped into gear! That momma bear instinct was what I needed to truly embrace the roll of Captain and learn how to keep our little family afloat. After another half hour of getting our rear ends kicked we decided to turn back to the marina and salvage what was left of our little skipper’s love of the boat life.

    I was so flustered at the time but I can now look back and remember the joy of riding the swells and the feeling of the icy spray on my face. The shear anticipation of seeing our little marina pop out from behind another island was one of the most soulful moments in my entire life! Until I realized that with bruised and shaky hands we had come to the high wind docking portion of the lesson.

    “Oh dear God what have I got myself into?”

    I quickly developed my spot turn technique and was so thrilled to learn that my once annoying prop walk was actually a very useful tool. All was going pretty well until I forced our instructor to take a 10 foot leap of faith onto the dock to secure us. We all had a good laugh and agreed no harm no foul and tried again… 4 more times. I learned a great deal about safety and my husband (the line handler) was extremely happy that this lesson was making his job so much easier! Let’s just say that he was not ready for a leap of great proportions!

    This experience humbled us tremendously! I was greatly reminded of the power of nature and most importantly the power that lies in each of us that atemp to harness that feeling of shear adrenaline and use it to better ourselves. An amazing level of confidence is achieved when you set out to conquere your fears and learn to use them to work together to create experiences that shape our exsistence and our dreams.

    Our lesson was directly under this rainbow… amazing how God works!

    “The path is wherever the wind takes us”

    What a crazy start to 2019! Along with the usual lose weight, quit bad habits, and do more good resolutions, we have been in serious work mode! We started noticing last December, that our mast was inverted (leaning forward) and that is not a good thing! My husband Nick dove right into the project and quickly discovered that we needed to do one of the most costly and challenging projects you could ever do on a sailboat… rigging!

    Now after reading a few of my posts you might be wondering if there’s a twist in this story that ends with grand blessing… well you were wondering for a good reason because this one is GOOD!

    After a ton of research, Nick found a shipyard just on the other side of the bay that would allow us to do some of the work ourselves because we also found out that if we paid someone to do the job it would be over $17K, and that was not an option. So Nick went to the shipyard to get everything set up and came home with a job offer! I couldn’t believe it! Not the fact that they offered Nick a job because that happens to him on a monthly basis (diesel mechanics are in high demand), but because they would be losing money from us as clients. From a business standpoint it just didn’t make sense. Regardless, he gladly accepted the job and this great group of guys helped us learn and grow in ways we never saw coming.

    Removing the mast at
    Jensens shipyard

    This project has once again reminded me why I’m so enamored with my husband and inspired to be the best Captain I can be.

    Nick learned from a work associate how to properly cut and secure the rigging in an afternoon and singlehandedly finished without any mishaps as well as replacing all the electrical wires, wind instruments, lights, and replacing all of the pieces (chain plates) the rigging attaches to on the boat in one week. I swear there is nothing this man can’t accomplish! Kuddos to you babe!

    With everything ready to go we cautiously proceeded with returning the mast to it’s proper place… IN THE BOAT! (It’s hard to have a big hole in the middle of your roof in winter!) And our new friend, Lenny taught us how to properly tune our rig to really make her sail.

    That’s Lenny at the top of the mast!
    Wow that’s high!
    Putting the mast back in. At least we didn’t have snow on this leg of the journey 🙂

    With the mast up and the rig solid, now it was time to test her out! Or more appropriately, test me out. And I was nervous!!! I have no excuse now… if I don’t feel comfortable captaining this boat under sail, then I don’t know what we would do. Knowing that I can’t run from my fears we untied from the dock and set out to wherever the wind might takes us for the day…

    IT WAS AWESOME!!!

    I felt calm and comfortable as we slowly cruised through the San Juan Channel playing with our different sails and learning about trimming and finding the groove. I feel like this path of adventure and learning is right on the money and being in-tune with nature, ourselves, and God makes the most incredible things happen.

    I’m learning to embrace our hardships because they always lead to knowledge, new friends, and eventually the right path shows itself through the hard work and dedication. The hard times make you and your faith stronger!

    When you’re not sailing into the sunset.

    As I sit here and listen to a home schooling video about architecture and how buttresses act like a beautiful piece of décor on a infamous building, that made me realize that the building blocks of our life are so similar. We strive for greatness with plans of amazing feats, but we need to account for the forces of nature in our grand plan. We need supports for our masterpiece! We have forgotten to factor in… that nature rules all!

    This is the second week we have put off our biggest project yet … pulling the mast and re-rigging and wiring our mast. Now to the average Joe this seems like a standard thing you do when you own a sailboat, but what most don’t realize is that the very wealthy people pay for this kind of work to be done while the working class does it themselves with the little knowledge and confidence they have from chatting with others and watching you-tube videos. So we now have a boat full of wiring, wind instruments, and lights just waiting for dear Mother Nature to shine her Valentines sunshine on us.

    Not only have we had a hold put on our rigging project, but we’ve also been without water and sewage pumpout for 9 days. We have been reminded that nature and God are real forces in this world and that force rules all!

    We have been walking the docks like normal through the inches of beautiful snow and hear many different versions of how the day is unfolding… it’s horribly cold, we might not have water for another 4 days, businesses aren’t able to open because their workers can’t make it in, and so many more! And though I know that some others aren’t as able as we are in this kind of weather I always want to literally shake people and remind them that there are thousands of other marinas with sunshine and warm waters and all you have to do is untie from the dock! Don’t let your circumstances make you unhappy!

    I feel so blessed that my son is lit up with a childhood joy when those amazing lace gems fall playfully from the sky, and that we have the time to build a snowman complete with mussel eyes and seaweed mouth (not pictured). Those memories are even more engrained in ones brain because it takes a serious effort to get out and face the cold, and enjoy oneself so hull-heartedly that time just slips away.

    Sounds like it’s time to sum things up and go make a cup of hot cocoa! Because life is to short to sit around complaining about what’s happening, you have to go out and make it happen… that’s right… what ever you want to do, make it happen and don’t stop until you feel good!

    Bucket List

    Wow! What a whirlwind of a holiday season it’s been so far! Traveling and partying with friends and loved ones is one of the most rewarding and comforting experiences I could ever ask for, but no doubt exhausting! So now that we’re home and right back to our delayed boat projects, all is right in our universe. And that’s right when I least expected something amazing to happen… but it did!

    Let me set the scene for everyone…

    Walker and I jumped in our 10ft. dinghy to head over to his “work” (he volunteers as the “Tide Pool Feeder” at the Friday Harbor laboratories) and right as we were headed to the lab’s dock we saw 2 striking Orca Whale fins that stood about 3 1/2 or 4 feet tall. They were spouting and swimming around in large circles about 100 yards away and we were speechless! This experience has stood near the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember and here I was, in what felt like a tiny raft with my mouth wide open and eyes gaping in astonishment, at 2 of the fiercest predators in the Salish sea. Both Walker and I were overcome with tears of joy and then I had to laugh at the situation because here I am in a boat 1/2 the size of an Orca with my 6 year old and there’s Killer whales only 100 yards away. My Momma bear instincts kicked in and I rowed quickly to the dock and shallower water and the whales disappeared behind the point.

    Once at the dock we shouted and cheered and felt so thankful for the experience, and that evening I started reliving that crazy moment and it made me realize something. You can’t check off your bucket list if you never put yourself in the place to do so. Even though my experience was amazingly scary and not the safest scenario I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Seeing those 2 incredible whales and living aboard our sailboat in the San Juan Islands has made me look at my life as a gift. There is so much happening in the world at every given moment and we are blessed enough to get to experience all of the greatness it holds if we just put ourselves out there.

    So when making that New Year’s resolution for 2019, keep in mind what’s really important to you, and don’t worry if your a couple pounds over weight or bound and determined to meet that financial goal. You can accomplish all of that easily if you focus on a resolution that helps you live in the bigger picture! Make a resolution that takes you outdoors and pushes your limits physically, mentally, and spiritually because everyday counts! The best part of a resolution like this is it doesn’t have to cost a lot, and other’s could be welcomed to join in. When your soul is content and a smile graces your face, it’s amazing what you can accomplish!

    When you focus on something you will always achieve it.. . it’s keeping the focus that’s the hard part!

    Hope you all had a smashing 2018 and here’s to an even better 2019! God Bless!

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