The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Archive for the ‘Family Fun’ Category

Where the Heart Is

Darden Family 2017

It’s been a little more than three years since our family hitched up the wagon and moved across country from Maryland to California. At the time, it seemed surreal, like more of a vacation than a move. Now, more and more, California feels like home.

Home means many different things to different people. Along this journey, we’ve met families who live in urban cities, families who live very remotely, families in desert towns, suburban families, families with huge houses, families with tiny apartments, and families with mobile homes. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting families from varied ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. They’ve welcomed us into their homes and we’ve welcomed them to ours, and I’ve learned a lot, especially that we are all doing the best we can with what we have and it’s enough.

Our family grew by one as my youngest brother moved in with us this summer to pursue his dream of acting. It’s been great having him here and part of what makes it feel a bit more like home.

We also had another move this year. Moving from our tiny two-bedroom apartment to a small three-bedroom house. I’m grateful for the extra space and I try to stay in that place of gratitude, but it’s easy to slip into comparing it to our larger home in Maryland. I remind myself that we are on a journey, not a race. Where we are right now is where we are supposed to be and it’s enough. In time, we’ll find our forever California home or maybe California isn’t meant to be forever.

As I move into 2018, I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned on this journey so far and all of the people and families who’ve entered our lives. I’m excited about the year to come. My goal is to remain heart open and to lead with gratitude. I’m also committing to writing more here and elsewhere. 🤞🏽


Written by Shara

December 30, 2017 at 11:34 am



This was our first Halloween in California. The kids had a scream! Ha! We had fun trick or treating in a friend’s neighborhood where some of the houses went all-in — graveyards on the lawn, smoke filled passages to the front door, Thriller being cranked from outdoor speakers and lots of candy for miles around.

The highlight of the night was our little ninja friend who proclaimed he couldn’t wait to see a zombie so he could,  “punch him in the face.” It sounds a little violent, but actually it was cute. He wanted to protect us all… that is until the kids were frightened by an older kid vampire, who answered the door abruptly after they had just mustered up enough nerve to walk through a maze of scary props to the front door. Then, of course, everyone came running back screaming — ninja and all!

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween.

Written by Shara

November 1, 2014 at 1:06 am

Posted in Family Fun, Holidays, Parenting

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Summer Lovin

Do you remember when you were in school and couldn’t wait for summer vacation? I remember having all of these big plans, like hanging out at the pool or the local amusement park all summer with my friends. Lol. Big Plans!

I also remember my first job out of college. I remember feeling excited about summertime and I couldn’t wait until Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer… and then the following Monday, I had to report in to work. That’s when it hit me, unless you’re in education or a ski instructor, you really don’t get a summer break.

The good news is that some of my employers in the past (I’m now self-employed) would adjust things to make summer more fun. Like casual days during the work week and 1/2 days on Fridays throughout the summer. Some days, I wonder what it would be like to live in France, where I hear they take the full month of August off. 

I think for now, we just make the most of the summer days whether you’re working in an office or from home. Try to eat lunch outdoors, if it’s not unbearable. Take in a few summer concerts in the park. Take off early and lounge poolside for the second half of the day. Plug into some old school tv for nostalgia sake… enjoy some old classics with your kids, the other day we were singing a song from a kids radio station in the car and turns out it was from An American Tail, which my kids had never seen. No need to buy expensive movie tickets all summer, we have summer retro movie nights right at home. 🙂

I still love summer and experience the excitement of the season through my kids eyes as well.

summer concert

My kids and a friend enjoying a summer concert in the park. Hard to see but my little one was on stage dancing with the band. Gotta love summer!

 Hope you’re enjoying summer!

Written by Shara

July 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Family Fun, Parenting

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