So every day after school, I ask my kids the same question: What did you do that was kind or generous for someone today?
They are in the habit so much that sometimes they tell me before I even get a chance to ask. They are excited to tell me. And every once in awhile, they can’t remember anything, so that gives us the opportunity to still do something kind that afternoon.
Perhaps my biggest challenge as a mom is trying to find the right balance of creating a super rad and blissfully happy childhood experience without letting them become total self-centered brats. And they aren’t. They are good kids. But, I don’t let them act unappreciative. I seriously once told my then 4-year-old after she was uncontrollably crying about her “terrible life,” that I’d strip her room down to the mattress and then we’d talk about what terrible is.
(Umm, what do you mean you’re also concerned about their “super rad and blissfully happy childhood”?? They’re fine.)
We talk A LOT about being grateful and thankful that we have such a wonderful family and a warm house to live in and lots of healthy food to eat and clean clothes to wear and very fun trips to go on. (There are THOUSANDS of people in Houston and Puerto Rico and all over the world who can’t say that, and my heart aches for them.)
So the point of all this is to say two important things, because it does feel a bit unseemly to write about something as ostentatious as riding in a private jet while so many people are hurting.
- I was working. This is my job. I’ve created this “fancy travel photographer” brand, and I love it. I LOVE IT. A family hired me this summer to fly to The Bahamas with them to document their vacation. All of my husband’s friends and co-workers said, “You let her go?” He laughed, because FIRST, we are best friends and encourage each other to gladly take on frickin’ bomb opportunities like that. SECOND, he also knows that my head would probably spin around 360 degrees with shooting lighting bolts if he said anything to the effect of, “Yeah, so I’m not going to let you go.”
- I was with my lovely friend Summer of Mommy Points who has created an equally awesome job of helping families learn how to see the world for free (also a critical part of raising kids, I think; they have to be able to see a glimpse of what life is like outside their bubble). And, it’s not so frivolous, because I personally know two families who evacuated from Houston before Harvey hit, and they were only able to get last-minute tickets because they had miles/points to use. I know one of those families learned all about miles/points because of Summer.
And really, I have a third point. Summer is THE MOST kind and generous person I know. She is a role model for how to build a brand and then use it to go out and do good things for the world. I won’t gush any more than this, because–as most good-doers are, she is humble and would downplay everything I’m saying–I don’t want to embarrass her. If you’re interested in all the good work she does in addition to teaching you how to travel smartly, follow her Instagram stories.
Now back to that jet….
In case you’ve been wondering, daily affirmations totally work. :)A text from one of my friends the other day. After I gave her business advice (I can’t help myself), I told her I was at the beach.
In the last blog post, I left off with us walking to the jet. Well, we made it! I’m telling you, it took all of 4 seconds for us to get out the camera and start posing. It was so fun!
Me: Ooh! Sit on the couch! Put your glasses on!Me: Ooh! Check out this cool bathroom! Stand in front of the mirror!
I would say the bad part is that it was such a short ride, but I took enough pictures that I could easily convince someone we went cross country.
It’s a thing.
The next best part? Summer’s aunt picked us up from the airport and got to drive right up to the dadgum plane!
So then we were whisked away by our driver right to the Austin airport to catch a ride home. Yes, it was on Southwest, which isn’t quite as fancy. But, since my wagon was hitched to the most famous travel expert in Texas, look at my boarding group and number. I’ve never been that before!
To end the most perfect morning (because there were two other big adventures yet to be had that day, but that’s a tale for another post), Summer had free drink tickets for sparkling wine on our flight. Perfection.
To see the picture of us cheers-ing to a fun adventure, I’m going to make you check out her version of this post. I’d send you to her site and let you scroll, but she’s written 185+ blog posts since then.
You only think I’m kidding.
Love, Andrea, your favorite “fancy travel photographer”
Need your own fancy shoot? You bring the jet, I’ll bring the camera.