Posted by: ButterflyMoms | September 3, 2010

Unpacking My Summer

Rhys Thomas' New Hampshire Retreat

Hello Beautiful ButterflyMoms,

It’s been a very interesting summer full of adventure and even a little drama thrown in there. I have started a new thing I do and that is whenever I get home from a trip,  I unpack right away. I do this because I have noticed that  otherwise in my house piles of stuff tend to hang out for a whiiiiiiiiiiiiile. 😉  

All this thinking about unpacking made me think of our summer and what we would each unpack from our summers if we were asked.

For me I would unpack and keep the gift of RESOURCEFULLNESS.

It is important to note that I spent 2 months with my three girls and my aunt in a small (in American standards) condo almost 24 hours a day. Because we were on a very limited budget I had no cell phone, watch or car, and there were so many of us that I slept on the floor all summer. I must admit that I did spend a very insy-weeny tiny little bit whining to my beautiful husband Doug that I couldn’t do anything with three young kids, with no money and no car but once I SNAPPED OUT OF IT and let my resourcefulness in it was a blast.

It also  again gave me the gift of experiencing the fact that if parents are relaxed so are the kids (and vice versa, of course!) My kids got to see a more relaxed side of me that they don’t see on a consistent basis. To stay in budget we packed lunches  and had lots of picnics. We bought food and cooked at home instead of the normal dining out from past trips. We did “splurge” on three small balls for the girls which they kicked around in the park almost every day. The kids ran and jumped and climbed and had a total blast simply being kids.


The indoor space we had in Portugal this summer was definitely smaller than normal American standards but it also helped us all bond a lot more. They learned the gift of sharing and honoring space, even in tight quarters. As the founder of Brick House Realty I oftentimes show people houses that are MONSTROUSLY big with each kid having there own room. As a mother and business owner I believe that kids sharing rooms is one of THE coolest things you can do for your kids and your whole family because those bonds and experiences are priceless.

Feeding the giraffes at the zoo in Lisboa, Portugal. Same zoo I went to as a child! Felt awesome to be able to take my girls there too!

Another cool perk of choosing to be resourceful is that because we had no car, it also gave us the gift of experimenting with public transportation, like trains, subways, buses, even a tram. Living in Holliston, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston we don’t get access to a lot of that type of full on public transportation so it’s wonderful fun for them, and me too! More cool memories for them! Yay Mommy Points!!! 😉

Resourcefulness is what I’m unpacking from my summer to use this autumn. What are you unpacking from your summer?

Great big hugs,





  1. Hmm unpacking… where to start? I think I do best when I find quiet moments without technology. It is all about balance. SO, I’m unpacking balance, in the hopes that I’ll make even better use of it this fall.

  2. I can so relate with this I been back for a week and I one suite case left to unpack..Mine lol… it’s funny how us mom always end up at the bottom of the to do list…

    We were 4 people in on studio bedroom with 1 bathroom.. there was no room for modesty and there was no crying about wanting alone time… but i have to admit that there was times I need to be put on time out and did so I could have alone time… 🙂 I kicked them out and said 1hr time out for mommy… and after that my youngest told me I should put my self on time out more often… LOL 🙂

    Anyways I hope you had A GREAT TIME


  3. I love this post, Maria!!! We too have embraced the gift of smaller, and also the gift of LESS. When I quit my job 2 years ago to be home with my 1st son (after only 3 months back at work), it cut our income in HALF!!! We were already squeezing every penny, or so we thought, but faced with ever-increasing demands from my job & the sinking feeling I had every time I dropped him off at daycare then rushed to pick him up again 11 hrs later, we knew it was the right decision for us. We had our 2nd child less than a year after that, and although money is very tight, I find we don’t miss the things we gave up! We go to the library, take walks with the stroller, and visit local parks & playgrounds. We hung a 2nd-hand baby swing in the yard, and we have lots of fun blowing bubbles, or just running around. Thanks to friends with older children & a great thrift shop, we get most of their clothes and toys used. Picnic lunches are the norm; I buy what’s fresh & on sale at the store and make dinner at home. There’s also story time at the toy store, and lots of free activities for moms & kids listed online, plus we’ve gotten to know other children in the neighborhood. Our house is fairly small, but we still seem to be overflowing with stuff, and I am looking forward to putting up bunk beds so the boys can share my older son’s room when the baby is ready. We are so busy enjoying our time together with what we DO have that we don’t even think about things we don’t–I’m sure we don’t need them anyway. In life, like art, less is more!!!!

  4. I am so glad you and your children had such a good experience.

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