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A Caribbean Trip To Remember

On New Year’s Eve, the four of us boarded an airplane from Philadelphia for Nassau, the Bahamas. It was a long-awaited trip—it had been quite some time since all four of us flew on an airplane together. We met up with Jason’s family from the West Coast there for one night, and the next day flew to San Salvador, a remote Bahamas island.

Yes, a whole week with my husband’s family. Some of you may cringe at the idea of spending a vacation with your spouse’s family. You should reconsider this. Our trip was a success and thoroughly enjoyable—not just because of the beautiful weather, water and island beauty.

The girls and I got a chance to get to know his family better (since they are on the West Coast, we do not see them often). We all took plenty of pictures and have memories to look back on.

The girls have taken many trips to Long Beach Island but have never experienced a beach like San Salvador. Now that they are older, they have the ability to absorb such a trip. The waves were not rough most days, so we got them in the water and they loved it. When they were not in the water, they were usually running on the sand.

Another advantage of traveling with family is that you can split the cost of the time-share or house, car rental and food. Traveling with a few kids is expensive. Do the math. If you travel as a group, your vacation expense might be half of what you would spend if you traveled alone as a family.

It’s good to have a buddy system as well if you are on a remote island. Jason’s cousin has a place in San Salvador, so she transported us around the island of only 500 inhabitants. There are no street signs on San Salvador so it is difficult for many tourists to get around and not get lost. One way to figure out your location is to follow the telephone poles. There is no hospital on the island so if you had a medical emergency, it would be a problem.

Before I got married, every year I traveled with a girlfriend or two out of the country. The travel bug hit me again on this trip, and I hope we can take many vacations out of the country with the kids in years to come.

If you’re on the fence about taking a trip out of the country with young kids, consider going as an extended family—either with your side or your spouse’s. There are cost advantages but most importantly, the chance to spend quality time with family you don’t see often.

I have my eye on traveling again next January to a warm but less primitive location—the perfect time to get away if you live in the Northeast.

Today Kaitlyn asked me, “When are we going back to the Bahamas” I laughed and said, “It’s going to be awhile.” Happy she had this experience to remember.

Five Things I’m Grateful for This Year

As the year winds down to a close, I’m counting my blessings. I’ve been meaning to write a blog for a while, so here it is. It’s been an exciting year, with my book published in September. As you know, I am not shy with posting media mentions.

I made a quick list of items I am thankful for. Here they are:

Health: Fortunately, everyone is healthy in the Jay and Flynn families. My parents and brothers survived Hurricane Sandy (parents had some downed trees; brothers had longer commutes in the NYC area)—but nothing catastrophic. Do you appreciate your good health? Don’t take it for granted. Appreciate your weekly activities like playing with the kids at the park or driving them to birthday parties. Your health is your greatest asset.

Family: My girls are really good kids. They are both doing well in school and adore their teachers. Kaitlyn has proven herself to be quite the artist and can draw figures better than I can. She is always asking me how to spell new words. Emma is now three—we are still working on the potty training but will get there in due time. Jason loves the company he works for.

Clients: I secured some new clients this year and look forward to winning more business in 2013. The entrepreneurial side of me won’t die, so I will continue to seek new contract work next year.

Book Reviews: I’m promoting my book to save the cost of an outside publicist. Garnered positive reviews from Small Business Trends, Huffington Post, The ASJA Monthly, Midwest Book Review, and more. Thrilled that Mastering the Mommy Track is being well received.

New Opportunities: I was accepted into the American Society of Journalists and Authors; will be moderating a panel on the book tour at their annual conference in April. Did a local book signing at Barnes & Noble in Marlton and will be scheduling some new signings in 2013. NY Mom’s World chose me as their keynote speaker for their Bonanza event in Westchester, NY last month—enjoyed connecting with other Moms there.

Last week, I got #22 on Circle of Moms Top 25 Book Author Moms – 2012; the website Circle of Moms has 6 million members. It was a fierce competition—I asked everyone to vote for me because I knew it would be close!

What are you thankful for this year? Try to slow down and enjoy the special moments as they happen. I’ll try to blog more frequently in 2013. Happy holidays!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Virtual Book Tour

My virtual book tour is shaping up. I don’t have events arranged in different cities, so a virtual tour will have to do for now. Starting on September 14, bloggers and journalists will be covering my book–posting an excerpt or Q&A, running a guest blog from me, doing a book review or hosting a giveaway.

Here’s the schedule for those of you interested in following it.

Friday, Sept.14: MetroKids MomSpeak — http://www.metrokids.com/Blogs/MomSpeak

Saturday, Sept. 15: Unconventional Librarian — http://unconventionallibrarian.com

Sunday, Sept. 16: Defeating the Squirrels — http://defeatingthesquirrels.blogspot.com

Monday, Sept. 17: Shannon Miller Lifestyle — www.shannonmillerlifestyle.com

Tuesday, Sept. 18: Whatever Works — http://whateverworks.typepad.com/

Wed., Sept. 19: Kids & Mental Health — http://kidsandmentalhealth.wordpress.com/

Thurs., Sept. 20: Girls Lunch Out — http://www.girlslunchout.com

Friday, Sept. 21: Math For Grownups —http://www.mathforgrownups.com/

Monday, Sept. 24: Say it Rah-shay — http://www.sayitrahshay.com/

Wed., Sept. 26: Mom-Blog — http://mom-blog.com/

Thurs., Sept. 27: Flexjobs.com — http://www.flexjobs.com/blog/

Friday, Sept. 28: Smart Spending Spot — http://smartspendingspot.com/

Monday, Oct. 1: Couponing 4 a Difference — http://couponing4adifference.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, Oct. 2: Homeroom At Home — http://homeroomathome.blog.com/

Wed., Oct. 3: Mridu Khullar Relph, Freelance Journalist — http://www.mridukhullar.com/journal/

Thurs., Oct. 4: Diapered Daze & Knights — http://diaperedknights.com/

Friday, Oct. 5: Living on the Cheap — http://livingonthecheap.com

Monday, Oct. 8: Land of Once Upon a Time — http://www.landofonceuponatime.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, Oct. 9: Michelle Rafter, business editor — http://michellerafter.com/

Thurs., Oct. 11: Fun Finds for Families — http://www.funfindsforfamilies.com/

Friday, Oct. 12: Yoke — http://2yoke.blogspot.com/

Wed., Oct. 17: MommaSaid.net — http://www.mommasaid.net/

Friday, Nov. 2: O’Boy Organic — http://www.oboyorganic.com

 

In addition, I’m doing a radio tour. I booked the following radio interviews for myself:

Sept. 11: WFIN-AM Toledo

Sept. 11: WAMV-AM Roanoke

Sept. 11: BEN FM In Studio Philadelphia

Sept. 14: WVNU-FM Cincinnati

Sept. 17: WSIU-FM NPR Harrisburg, IL

Sept. 18: WTBQ-AM Regional NY/NJ

Sept. 19: KJFF-AM St. Louis

Sept. 24: WDIS-AM Boston

Sept. 26: KDAZ-AM Albuquerque

Oct. 10: Cable Radio Network

Nov. 28: Baby and Toddler Instructions (http://www.toginet.com/)

More to come!

My Book

When I started writing this book, my daughters were ages three and one–challenging ages to say the least. I set out to talk to other moms who were struggling with the work-life balance as well as national experts who could offer solutions.

Mastering the Mommy Track is not a memoir, and I don’t share overly personal information about my family. I was fortunate to have no shortage of working moms who were willing to share their challenges during this down economy. My working mom contributors honestly shared their struggles and concerns. My expert contributors offered unique advice and knowledge. They helped me make this book a reality.

Research indicated no competitive books in this area, so I delved into it. I asked myself, “What are the 12 trigger areas that cause working mothers anxiety today?” These became my chapters. This was based on my personal experience, research, and feedback from friends and acquaintances.

I slotted the chapters into four core sections: (1) Home issues. (2) Health issues. (3) Parenting issues. And finally, (4) Work-Life issues. Then I arranged them so that the most fundamental issues came first: Mental health, communication, finances, and romance. These apply both to moms in committed relationships and those who are single.

I hope career moms across the US and UK will read Mastering the Mommy Track and take away insight that will help them improve all aspects of their lives–both personal and work related. It is a juggling act to balance home and work duties, and for a lot of women in 2012, it’s a walk on a tightrope–a fear their families will never experience the rewards (vacation, travel, time off) they so rightfully deserve.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net