Enjoy Life, the Whole $h!t and Shebang

The holidays were fun, but I’m glad they’re over.  I think we all feel that way come January. We just want our normal lives back. Please, no more fun parties. No more sugar. No more love and lights and laughter.  No more wonderful people.  We just want to drink turmeric tonics and sit in a quiet room for a few weeks.

Although I don’t think kids feels that way. I know Soleil doesn’t. Just yesterday she told Tree and me that she really wanted a regalo (present). Por favor, un poquito regalo? Solamente un poquito. (Just a little bit of present, please, just a little).

Kids on Christmas

She was still a little too young to fully appreciate the concept of Santa, but I think by Christmas morning it was catching on.  Next year we’ll be in full swing.

Far more impressive to Soleil than a jolly old man with a long white beard were these two cousins, Theo and Nica.

Theo and Soleil

Nica and Soleil swing

All she wanted for Christmas was to be with them every second of every day.  And, for the most part, she was.  She even slept in Nica’s bed the whole week.

In fact that first night, I went into Nica’s room to give Sol teta before bed, and she told me no. “Fuera, mama.” (Out, mom). That’s right, she kicked me and my boobies out. I was in shock.

That night I could barely sleep. I kept expecting (hoping?) her to wake up screaming for me. But, no. When she woke up in the middle of the night, like I knew she would, Nica put her right back to sleep. Again, I was in shock.

“Did you have to sing Hush Baby twenty times followed by Estrellita and the ABCs? Did you have to make hot cocoa and take her to pee? Did you read her a story? How did you do it?” I asked the next morning.

I said, “Go to sleep, Soleil.”

And thus spoke The Baby Whisperer.  It was amazing. One week with her big cousins and Soleil stopped breastfeeding and started sleeping through the night until 7am.  (Two pieces of advice I felt were helpful–and most wasn’t–that I will pass on to all nursing moms who want to wean: 1) From Cyndi: It will be easier when she/he is ready, follow baby’s lead; 2) From Simko: Don’t stress. It will all happen. Your child will not be ten years old still sucking on your tits and sleeping in your bed. She will grow up whether you want her to or not so enjoy every stage).


$$ If anyone would like to hire Nica the Baby Whisperer to wean and sleep train their child, please contact Sprinter Life for hourly rates $$

Nica's pig

Nica and Soleil slide

We had a great time in Seattle.  Great family time, doing family Christmassy stuff. Drinking wine, decorating trees, eating big delicious dinners.

At one point during the tree decorating process, Sol leaned over Nica’s shoulder to hang an ornament, and she fell right into the tree. As we were clambering to see if she was okay, she stood up and said, “Ta-da!,”as if she meant to do it.  Well played, young Jedi.  Survive you will first foreign pub crawl with style and grace.

Decorating the tree

Sol and Noni

Tree and his beautiful sister, Indra. Thank you Indra for opening your beautiful home and heart to us every Christmas.

Tree and Indra

The classic “Get Daddy!” game.  Go lilliputians, go!

Get Daddy

Christmas Eve dinner.

Family photo

As a family, we managed to keep gift giving to a minimal. We only got presents for the kids, and even then, we didn’t go overboard. Honestly, Christmas was so much less stressful without the rabid consumption, not to mention the perk of not accumulating more stuff. In the years to come, I think I’ll do Christmas projects (painted pet rocks, shadow boxes, candle making, marmalade, etc) with Soleil so that she can enjoy gift-giving without having to experience holiday madness.

Instead, all of us adults went to Jazz Alley together to see a show, an outing that’s becoming a family tradition. This year The Senate played.  If you’ve never heard them, you should. They’re a super smart, talented, sexy in band camp, indie rocker kind of way. Download the song “Here I am” or “Make me wanna.” Meow.  

The Senate live

Debby Indra Noni

Debby Barry Jake

Me and The Senate boys

The Senate

While on his way driving the RV to Yuma with his dad, Tree got the flu and was totally laid up for New Year’s Eve.  I had a glass of wine, and without fanfare we all went to bed by 9pm.  It’s funny, for being such an extreme ex-party girl, I could give a crap about staying up late and partying anymore.  I’m so incredibly fulfilled by my little family that I’d much rather stay home and take care of them, even on New Year’s Eve. 


To ring in the new year, while Tree and Cheryll watched the Oregon Ducks slaughter Florida State at the Rose Bowl, I went to a vinyasa yoga class where we inwardly declared our sankalpa, a Sanskrit word that means “will, purpose, or determination.” 

I’ve never liked New Year’s resolutions, and I don’t think I’ve ever kept one–at least not one I remember.  Still, this year I thought about setting goals like, I’ll lead climb my first 11b sport route! Or, I’ll get 5k email subscribers on the blog! As much as I’d like those things to happen, I don’t think making them resolutions will help me achieve them. Not to say that I’ve never consciously quit harmful habits or accomplished any goals; I’m just not motivated to make an effort under the pretext of a New Year’s resolution. That’s just too easy and predictable for this rebel rouser.

But setting a  sankalpa is different, or so I told myself.  It’s less about achievement and more about intention and purpose.  “It’s the soul’s desire, not the ego’s” said my yoga teacher. Whatever, it worked.

I’ve decided my intention for 2016 is to enjoy life more.  All of it.  The mundane and the exciting, the frustrating and the pleasurable, the sleeping baby and the baby that won’t go to sleep; the funny, loving husband and the husband that bosses me around all day, the farm fresh eggs and cleaning the coop–the whole $h!t and shebang. I want to appreciate the moment without allowing my desire for things to be different to get in the way.

Sure, I thought about trying to be kinder and more patient; to be a better mom wife sister friend, a more disciplined writer, a funny popular deep and philosophical blogger–but then I realized I just want to have more fun.  Cyndi Lauper had it right all along.

I know my resolution doesn’t sound hard–and it’s not hard when everything is hunky dory and going as planned–but it is hard to enjoy my kid getting up for yet another sip of water at ten thirty at night because she’s a vampire or Argentinian or an Argentinian vampire who is impossible to sleep train. It’s hard to enjoy filling the chickens’ feeders when it’s below freezing outside, my face hurts, and my fingers have curled up to die, refusing to participate in the nonsense anymore.  (Actually, to be fair to the chickens, it’s hard to enjoy anything when it’s 20 degrees). And how are we supposed to enjoy making huge life decisions that impact our family, finances and future and not stress the F’ out? I mean, really, sometimes just deciding what to cook for dinner can be a subtle form of torture.

To have the equanimity to truly enjoy life even when it’s sucking, you need to:

1) want what you have, and not what you don’t have

2) trust that you’re enough and not let [insert negative feeling] eat away at your ability to let go and shine

3) stay true to what’s true to you–vigilantly–no little betrayals 

Or, you could just get Hot Wheels for Christmas.

Theo blurry excited

We should all be Theo. Seriously, it took no less than five shots blurred by the total excitement of his whole being before I captured a clear one.
Theo Hot Wheels
or, if you’re Soleil, watermelon works, too


Or a dustpan and broom (ATTENTION ALL HUSBANDS,  that was a joke. Only two-year olds love to sweep.)

Broom and dustpan

I really love kids, and I didn’t used to.  Who says people don’t change? I think the truth is that we’re always evolving, at least the smart ones of us are.  What’s more true is that we can’t change other people, but that’s okay.  I like my people just the way they are, living their thousand butterfly lives, always morphing from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, and repeating the process all on their own. What a gift to behold.

“There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.” –John Steinbeck

“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out among the stars.” –David Bottoms

Happy New Year’s friends. I’m stoked to share it with you. – Stevie

Theo and Soleil 3



  1. Darcy Phillips says:

    I always seem to tear up at your wonderful blog posts. They are beautifully written…from the heart. may your light always shine so brightly!

    • I certainly don’t want you to cry, but I appreciate that you were moved by the post. That means I’m staying true to what’s true to me. Thank you for getting that and leaving a comment. Comments always put a smile on my face. xo.

  2. OMG Nica call me you are hired! Shit I’m so jealous.

  3. Shannon, I’m still in shock. I can’t believe it just happened like that.

  4. This is so beautiful. We all need more Theo. I love it. Thank you for lighting my world.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Happy New Year Sprinter life! 🙂
    And thank you for the inspiration (and keeping an awesome blog that helped me convince my partner to move into a van and drive down the Pan-American highway to Ushuaia).

  6. Stevie, your words…..like little magic sparkles that float around gorgeously as truth in my head!!! always keep it flowing, that magic, honestly, and truth!!!

  7. Happy New Year Sprinter life!!!

  8. Thank you Teri, Corrin and Leah. I so appreciate your encouragement. I love you ladies. You help me with #2, which is a doozy.

  9. Weening Soleil???

  10. Corrin, no, trusting that I’m enough. Weaning Soleil was expertly facilitated by Nica, the Baby Whisperer. 😉

  11. I hate to be the one to state the obvious, but you’re MORE than enough. You’re marvelous.

  12. Teta’s, Helado and Frrrrench Frrrries.

  13. Nonituyas says:

    It was wonderful.

  14. Go Nica the baby whisperer! Callie agrees, Nica is the best. 🙂

  15. buen año familia!

  16. Love.
    Priceless. 3) stay true to what’s true to you–vigilantly–no little betrayals – See more at: http://sprinterlife.com/2015/01/enjoy-life-the-whole-shit-and-shebang.html#sthash.ViNlB2Bt.dpuf

  17. Always an inspiration…Sol is such a sweet little human,it’s no wonder with parents like the two of you. My mantra,adopted this past year, This is the best moment of your life…said as often as possible or when I’m stuck in a rut …Happy and Safe travels.♥

    • Hey Sandy! Always good to hear from you. I LOVE your mantra. I’m going to add it to my list of perspective-realignment phrases. Thank you for sharing it. xo

  18. Peggy Ditch-Langdon says:


  19. Hey Sprinter tribe,
    Great blog as always…How’s the book going?
    The Pacific Northwest is awesome and Yuma is cool also.
    Love the whole “$$it and shebang” concept.
    You guys rock (and even climb them!!)
    Big hugs for the precious little one’s… So cool to grow up with so much love! and cousins.


    • Hey Willy! The book has been stalled since I started contributing to the goodmenproject.com. It’s just a temporary hiatus, though. Right now I’m putting time and energy into redoing our blog and building an audience by writing for outside publications so that when it comes time to publish, someone will read my book (besides you, of course) 🙂 Always good to hear from you, my friend. xo.

  20. Well thank you kindly Corrin. You’re pretty awesome yourself. <3

  21. Layla, we still need to get the t-shirts made. xo

  22. I used to read about your adventures on the road from the comfort of my home. Now I’m on the road ( sri Lanka and on to Thailand tomorrow) reading about your adventures at home. Cool.
    Happy New Year!

  23. Love it… thats right.. just have fun and enjoy the whole shit & shebang… all the pros and cons that make up this crazy ride called life are what make it magical! Happy new year to you all 🙂

  24. you need to buy a floding cycle for your new van hap happy christmas and new year

    • Yes we do! We sold our folding bike in Brazil. We need new bikes, maybe not folding ones this time. I think we want tougher bikes this time around. Thanks for commenting Rashid. 🙂

  25. Tessa Hill says:

    Another beautiful post- I love your intention for the year- beautiful (BTW, did you mean 2015 or are you just planning WAY ahead? 🙂 ) Pics are fabulous- Theo’s happiness fills me with the same. Love Soleil’s Christmas tree recovery- that was hysterical! We did the trip experience in place of gifts this year (our kids are all teenagers) and it was admittedly a little weird feeling on Christmas morning, but I hear from others that’s normal the first year or two. We wrote notes to each other and put them in the stockings, so it was a time of appreciation and gratitude. I like the little gifts during the season idea too. Anyway, love your writing as usual- you’re very gifted. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!!

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