How to travel internationally with kids - Part 1 Mindset

Monday, September 12

Since getting back from a 17 day trip in Europe with 3 kids five years old and younger, the main question I've been getting is HOW DO YOU TRAVEL SO FAR WITH SUCH SMALL KIDS? 

I've been thinking about this question a lot, and thought I'd do a little series on how to travel with kids. As I was reflecting on our trip, I realized that a huge part of traveling with kids is mindset, and specifically our expectations. 

Swedish Midsummer Party 2022

Monday, July 25

Hooray for traditions, and hosting our 3rd Swedish Midsummer Party. If you're new here, you can see the first two parties here and here

As you know, my dad is Swedish (we visit his family fairly often in Sweden & are always inspired by the landscape and style of dreamy Sweden!). So a few years ago, when I was thinking about the traditions I wanted to start with my own kids, it made so much sense to incorporate my Swedish heritage and throw a Midsummer party! 

A long time dream is coming true, and I'm so excited to share it with you!!

Thursday, June 23


{Photo by my dear friend Katie Drake}

Ok friends...I have an exciting secret to share with you about a dream that I have had in my heart for almost 10 years and that is finally going to come to fruition!!

Almost 10 years ago when we lived in Nepal, the Lord called me to switch careers from international non-profit work and go back to school to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. A very big part of why I wanted to step into this role was so that I could be used to encourage and offer care and support for expat and missionary women serving abroad.  

Avonlea's Ballerina Fairy Birthday Party

Wednesday, April 20

Avonlea turned five and to celebrate we hosted a Ballerina Fairy party! It was as magical and "all things pink" as you might imagine, haha! Avonlea, of course, picked the theme, and then I just ran with it using things we had at our house. The party was mostly family members, but Avie invited a few "fairy" friends as well. I asked all the girls to come in their own ballerina tutu's, but then found super cheap fairy wings, flower crowns, and wands on Amazon and gave them to each little girl upon arrival. Their joy and excitement was contagious! 

The night before the party my parents came over to help me set up...I cleaned off an old pallet we had in our yard for the fairy's table, and hung Avonlea's canopy from her bedroom in the tree. It ended up being a very blustery day, so the canopy had to be tied up for most of the day (as the wind kept knocking over the vases with it! oh well!)

I found "fairy houses" (aka bird houses) at Michael's for a $1 each, and with a little paint and jewels, they were a very fun and whimsical craft. My dad also set up an obstacle course in our yard which was a huge hit, and all of the little girls (and little boys at the party) asked to go again and again. My dad always set up obstacle courses at our birthdays growing up, so it was so fun to see the tradition continue! 

I found all sorts of whimsical flowers at Trader joes and had fun making bouquets, as well as topping the cake with the pretty flowers and fairy cake toppers I found on amazon (here)

SUCH a fun and beautiful day, and the most important part is that Avonlea told me repeatedly how much she loved her party. She's such a little extrovert that when everyone left the party, she turned to me and said "ok mama, what are we going to do now? Should we have someone over or go to someone's house?" hahah...cue me ready to fall down dead on the couch! 

Annnddd....since we had all 3 babies within a month of one party down...and 2 to go! Let's do this!!! 

Everett took the cupcake and smashed the WHOLE thing in his mouth hahaha!! And that concludes the party folks, haha!! 

An evening in Lagos, Portugal

Friday, January 21

I had no idea what to expect of Lagos. Since we were staying in Salema and not Lagos, I did little research on it before we left. However, as Salema is a tiny town, we decided to spend the afternoon and evening in Lagos on our first night there! It did not disappoint! 

From Salema, we first drove to Dona Ana Beach, which is said to be one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. We walked around the platform up top and just appreciated the scenery. Since we knew we'd be doing a beach hike the next day, we left and drove into the actual town of Lagos. 

Lagos is a VERY old city. Because of that, it is almost impossible to drive in. We accidentally took a turn into the old walled city, and I've never seen Kevin so stressed out. But for good reason...the streets were SO narrow and one wrong turn down a one way street could really mess things up. If you have a rental car in Lagos, make sure to park at the parking garage on the main road along the coast. We ended up there, and it was a great relief! From the parking garage, you are only a 5 minute walk into the old city plaza! 

Walking up to Lagos felt surreal. There were buskers playing beautiful music on guitars, kids laughing and running around, a little ice cream truck where Kev got a cone (as a reward for the stressful driving hah!). We sauntered through the city and did a walking tour from a Rick Steve's book, where we learned a lot. Took me back to elementary school where we learned about the famous Portuguese explorers. 

For dinner, we stumbled upon the most perfect restaurant. I'm one of those people who absolutely loves it when restaurant is both pretty, has delicious food, and the ambiance is top notch. This was one of those places! While we ate, a man played his guitar and it was just so dreamy!  It actually was our favorite dinner on the trip! The restaurant is called Taberna da Mo, and you can see it here. The food was SO good. We both got a lamb and one beef. 

Our one afternoon and evening in Lagos was a total success! Lagos would definitely be a great place to stay in the Algarve if you are looking for nightlife and a faster pace! If you're looking for an incredible beach and a slower pace, I'd absolutely recommend Salema where we stayed. You can see our AirBnB here as well as my post on staying in Salema here. 

{even sweet Ollie loved Lagos!}