Hello Again! // Fresh Starts & Honest Reflections

A photo from this very morning, since this post is all about getting current!

Dear blog readers, it’s been so long! I last wrote in April (!) with updates from our trip to England and France (except I never got around to France…). I love having this record of our lives, and staying in touch with so many of you through these almost-letter-like blog posts.

And yet somehow writing here has become more intimidating in recent years. I used to blog every day when Lena was a baby! We had such a unique story then with our life in Sicily, and I was learning and discovering new things about marriage and parenting and stay-at-home motherhood and travel, and also blogging in general was uber-popular.

After we moved to California in 2014, though, I felt like I lost the unique story we had to tell. I felt like I was “just another American mom,” and I also felt more vulnerable to criticism and judgment. What would make me an expert now on anything? Who would agree that my way of doing things would be “right” or admirable or unique, or even relatable? It was easier and more comfortable to withdraw from blogging.

Also, I was busier! Two — and eventually three — kids will do that to you, I’ve realized, as will homeschooling. I was also working as a writer for a local newspaper while continuing my copyediting work. And Instagram really took off, and that was kind of like mini-blogging.

But over the years I’ve realized how much I miss connecting with so many old friends and dear family. When I write here, it is like writing many of you a letter or long-overdue email. It’s also so fun to share photos, including many that don’t make it onto Instagram, and capture our everyday lives. I know I’ll treasure this imperfect record, and so will my family, in the many years to come.

All this to say — I’d like to give writing and sharing in this space a fresh start. Let’s see how it goes. :)

So anyway, my last blog post was from April… 10 months ago. Since then, so many things have happened!

  • In June, we moved from Coronado, California, to Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • We spent an epic 7 weeks on the road, driving with our three children all the way up the West Coast to Vancouver, and then across the entire continent to Virginia.
  • After 8 years of service, Elliott got off active duty in the military and is now in the Army Reserve. He’s attached to an Army Reserve unit in southern Germany, which he visits every 3 months for about a week. He’s also working from home on various entrepreneurial projects. It’s been a big adjustment to have him home every day, all day… I’m sure that would be interesting fodder for a blog post! I had some trepidation about how this new lifestyle would pan out, but I realize more and more what an enormous gift it is. We share time with the children, interact with our neighbors, improve our home together, and get to be fully present while our children are young. We also have great flexibility with his work, my work, and homeschooling — I am writing this from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, which we decided to visit just two weeks ago.
  • We bought an old house that had been a duplex, and we are now living in both sides of the duplex. It’s complicated and quirky, but we’ve worked really hard to make it cute. My next posts will be Before and After photos of our house!
  • We have continued homeschooling Lena (First Grade) and Gil (Pre-K)… and Forest (Preschool, because let’s call it what it is–entertaining him is a handful!). Our children are now ages six-and-a-half (Lena), five (Gil), and Forest will be two in May. And…
  • We are going to have another baby! Our third boy will be born in mid-June 2018. Believe it or not, our only girl, Lena, wanted a boy more than anything, so with that great relief, we’re all very thankful and eagerly looking forward to becoming a family of six! More blog posts about this transition to come, I hope.

Here are some photos to round out the “picture”!

May 2017 – Enjoying the last of California and Army life!

June 2017 – Saying goodbye to our beloved house in Coronado.

And then we began our 7-week road trip! This one is from an outdoor festival in Redding, CA.

Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon!

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon, and a rare picture of Gil Garber looking and smiling at the camera.

Happy 4th of July… from Vancouver, Canada!

Biking around Stanley Park in Vancouver.

Two nights of camping in Yosemite, a first for us with kids.

Grand Teton National Park was a glorious highlight of our trip.

August 2017 – At my cousin Allie’s wedding in Newport, RI.

September 2017 – We went with Elliott on his first Army Reserve trip to Bavaria, Germany.

Happy Halloween from Charlottesville, and a very joyful St. George the Knight, brave maiden, and truly fearsome dragon.

January 2017 – My favorite little shadow. Not posed at all!

Announcing our 4th pregnancy at 19 weeks!

Gil’s 5th birthday party with grandparents and sweet neighbor friends.

All right, it’s been so long since I’ve used my blog that I’m not sure this will even publish. Yikes! In the words of John Avery Wittaker, let’s go ahead and see if this thing works…

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23 Responses to Hello Again! // Fresh Starts & Honest Reflections

  1. Meg February 2, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    Yay! How very lovely to read your writing again all about you people so dear to my heart. Very thought and every picture is a gem a treasure. <3

  2. Meg February 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

    “Every thought…”. (Couldn’t figure out how to edit the original comment.)

  3. Clydette L Powell February 2, 2018 at 7:47 pm #

    Oh, Becca, so good to read these posts again. Thank you for taking the time for text and photos to share with us your amazing family life! Eager for the next installment!

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm #

      You’re the sweetest, Clydette. Thank you for reading!

  4. Paty February 3, 2018 at 12:07 am #

    What a pleasure to read you again Becca!
    This blog will be a real souvenir for you when you will be older. memory sometimes goes, writing never. From Sicily, I can follow your family adventure.Don’t give up his treasure.
    God bless you.

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank you, Paty, and thank you for reading all these years!

  5. Mónica February 3, 2018 at 4:42 am #

    Hello Becca… believe me or not… the other day I was tinking about you and your beautiful familly and posts!!! You are not ordinary at all !!! You are EXTRAORDINARY and so BRAVE. Let me tell you that I read your posts with enthousiasm and admiration. You have such a wonderful family and to see how you and your husband manage to carry it forward in this some times tough life is really an inspiration. Wellcome back

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank you for your warm and generous words, Monica, and for reading so faithfully! xoxo

  6. Alica February 3, 2018 at 6:17 am #

    I’m glad you’re back! Even though we’ve never met personally, I enjoy reading about your family and your adventures. Our lives are so very different from each others in a lot of ways…and that makes it interesting for me!

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm #

      Thank you for reading so faithfully, Alica. Now that we’re on this coast, we’d love to visit Amish country and your neck of the woods sometime!

      • Alica February 12, 2018 at 9:49 am #

        Let me know if you ever head up this way! (It’s about 5 hours north of you) I’d be glad to give you some tips for places to see, and of course would love to meet your family!

  7. Kathy February 3, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Welcome back and congratulations! I really enjoyed looking through your pictures. I can imagine Elliott was happy to have a chance to grow out his beard (Manny does every vacation). The 7-week trip looked great and Powells Books is, by far, the BEST bookstore in the country. I love that place. I’m glad this transition back to VA is going well for you all. Take care.

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 5:57 pm #

      So good to hear from you, Kathy! Yep, Elliott’s beard (and now hair) are the longest they’ve been in years, and he’s loving it. 😉

  8. Jeanna B February 3, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    You’re back!!

  9. Poppy February 3, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

    Lovely to read. Always love your excellent pics. Write on! Hugs from Bangkok.

  10. Abi February 3, 2018 at 4:17 pm #

    You truly have a gift for writing, my friend, and that is something special that should be shared with the world! I love reading your blog and am so happy you’ve decided to take it back up. You will cherish these posts later on in life, I’m sure of it. So excited for you as your family grows and you add more and more happy memories together. Lots of love!

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 5:56 pm #

      Love walking this road of motherhood with you, Abi! These blog posts are written in large part to stay connected to dear old friends like you. xo

  11. Grammie February 4, 2018 at 3:51 am #

    Yaaay!! I Love each post, and the way you open your life and heart so we might get some treasured glimpses.

  12. Katie February 4, 2018 at 4:29 am #

    Welcome back! I love your writing and am excited you decided to come back.

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm #

      Thank you, Katie. ♥️

  13. katie k February 4, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

    forever crying about Mr. Whitaker references 😭😂

    i love reading what you share here and on IG! your life is so different from mine and so full. warm congratulations on the house news and the baby news— i hope that you’re feeling as wonderful as possible while doing the hard work of growing a person and nurturing a family.

    just wanted to chime in and say you should try not to feel any self consciousness about length of time between posts. the amount that you and your family do makes it amazing to me that you can blog at all. i think everyone reading just enjoys being along for the ride when you do share. <3

    • Becca February 5, 2018 at 5:54 pm #

      Every line in your comment is so affirming and encouraging, Katie… including the understanding of my reference to Adventures in Odyssey! xoxo

  14. Christina April 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm #

    Hi Becca, I just discovered you’re blogging again. It’s fun to hear about where you guys are now and congrats on the new baby!

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