A family vacation is in the works...


BUT…our kids love the water! They tagged along with me to the Epidemics meeting when it was in Clearwater Beach, Florida and although our youngest was only an infant, our oldest really loved the beach and pool!

So…when I saw a great deal on a trip to Cayo Coco, Cuba I decided to stop procrastinating and just booked it. After doing so, I promptly freaked out that I had made a major terrible mistake but I am now back to feeling optimistic about it.

…wish us luck!

Every year we discuss the idea of trying out an all-inclusive resort for a winter family vacation. I stalk the online booking sites for long periods of time looking for last minute trips that are a reasonable price and we debate the pros and cons over and over. Each year we repeat this process until the price jumps up and then we talk ourselves out of it.


BUT…now we are all booked and I am scrambling around trying to get ready for the start of the semester and also pack and organize all of our stuff in secret because we have decided not to tell the kids we are going.

Like all kids, they get super crazy when they know that something exciting is happening so we have decided to just pack on the sly and get them up to get on the plane at the last minute. This is our first time travelling to an all-inclusive so wish us luck!

I have been stalking parenting blogs that will hopefully tell me everything I need to know about this type of vacation but if you have any suggestions hit me up with your best recommendations in the comments below.

Stay tuned as I document the insanity of trying to pull this off as well as a future blog post discussing where we ended up in Cuba, the good, the bad, and my overall thoughts on whether I would do it all again (my fingers are crossed that the answer will be yes!).

All of the mom guilt...


I am on a plane travelling to my field’s major international conference and I am absolutely thrilled to hear about the latest and greatest in my area of research focus.

At the same time I am experiencing all of the typical mom guilt that seems to bubble to the surface when I am planning to be away from my family. A quick google search of working mom guilt and traveling mom guilt generates a long list of blogs and news articles describing the incredible lengths that some mothers go to in order to “keep up appearances”.

Getting myself organized for an international trip takes a lot of time including things like remembering to update my typhoid vaccine, packing a travel medical kit, organizing my groups conference materials, and making travel arrangements. Once I have done all of the required work/travel tasks there is no time for making freezer meals, generating detailed daily schedules, and creating elaborate scavenger hunt games for my kids to complete during my absence unless I don’t sleep. And guess what? Sleep wins every time. 

I mean, as long as the kids are safe, fed, and generally happy that should be sufficient right? I am fortunate to have an incredibly supportive partner who is more than capable (and willing) of managing all of the necessary kid and household associated stuff that will need to happen while I am away but the guilt still lingers.

So as I type this from an airplane somewhere over Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut on my way to Thailand,  I am calling for a full boycott of the travelling mom guilt. Why should I feel bad? I am showing my kids that mothers have different roles to play and this week my role is to be scientist mom on the other side of the world. I am actually pretty sure that they are probably eating happy meals for dinner in front of the tv and wondering how they got so lucky!