Tuesday, August 2, 2011

36 Monthly Challenge: Unplugged!

Did it feel like I was MIA in July?  I tried to blog through the chaos but I have to say, I was barely home for a minute.  July is historically the busiest month of the year for us, but this month topped the charts as the all time craziest month in Jones history.  Here are some of the things that went down:

Baseball!  Preston was in a traveling league this year.  Seriously, most fun we have had with sports yet, but let me just say, it was crazy.


From practices to games to tournaments on the weekends, we were there.  Would I take it back?  Never.  We met great families, the kids made friends and played at countless parks and Preston had the experience of a lifetime!



Birthdays!  Peyton, our tender hearted, giggling snuggle bug turned 7!


And Preston, our quiet yet athletic super helper turned 10!


And my dearest sweet pea gram turned 90!


She is the most amazing woman I have ever known.  I am so inspired by her!  Of course, her birthday was absolutely a great celebration!


Anniversary!  My main man Bryan and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this year.  Yes, if you do the math and are quick to catch onto things, we got married the same month Preston was born.  In fact, it was only week prior.  It's amazing the way life changes over ten years, as does a relationship.  So this year we decided to renew our vows and celebrate the amazing life we have built together!  {more on that in additional upcoming posts}


So, with all the commotion, we decided that we needed to get away, and FAST!  And that's just what we did.

First, we stopped at some state baseball tournaments so the boys could help shag balls and clean dugouts {or just eat lots of treats and watch lots of baseball}





Then, we headed up north to our favorite place....  ahhh, sigh.  It's a very dear friend's cabin, and we are always so grateful to getaway for a visit!


Here is where the greatness came in.  While we were out in the morning doing some of this...




A storm decided to rush in.  So did we!  And then power. was. gone.


Now most might say boooooooo!  Not us.  Nope, I WAS SO HAPPY!  Why?  Because, even on vacations, we can easily and quickly get sucked into phones, wifi, ipads, tv, video games, etc....  I get beyond frustrated with myself that I let power be the determining factor in turning off all those devises.

Once the storm blew over, power didn't come back.  So we played played played!
The kids were fish.  Even Parker, broken leg and all, that didn't slow him down!




And when they weren't acting like fish, they were trying to catch some!






And when it started getting too dark to play by the water, we played games in the cabin!


And grilled out some incredible dinner!


And I took boatloads of walks snapping away at the beautiful surroundings...


The power was out for most of our stay.  Would we have had a GREAT time with or without power?  Absolutely.  And does it help to be away up north?  Probably.  But it really was an instant relief once it was out.  A weight lifted.  I felt a weird sense of freedom.  And the kids were doing what kids should always be doing.  And we all enjoyed the company of one another, and talked and read and shared stories.  

It was the most perfect way to end the busiest month of the year.  

The moral of this long story is this.  Unplug.  I challenge you, one day this month to dedicate one day or night to "no technology".  Get creative with your time together.  Understand that the world will keep spinning, even if you don't check your emails, answer the phone, watch your favorite sitcom or check your daily blogs {only for a day, come back the next please!}.  You personally, along with your family, will be amazed at how great slowing down is.  It is relaxing, and the time you spend together will always be a cherished memory.

So who's in?  Are you writing it in your planner with me right now?  Anyone already doing this and loving it?




36 comments:

  1. What a beautiful family Jen! Congratulations on your 10th wedding Anniversary. My parents are coming to visit us here in Canada from the UK next month and my Dad would like to renew their vows. It will be their 40th Anniversary whilst they are here.
    In response to your Unplug....this summer we cancelled cable tv and I have shut down my FB account. The benefits have been GREAT! I have probably blogged more though so that our family in Europe can keep up to date with us....but I figure that's ok!?
    Happy August!

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  2. I just want to say your photos are beautiful! They really capture the essence of your adventures. Thank you for sharing, and I agree with unplugging once in awhile--it can be truly liberating!! Though I rarely comment, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and refer to it OFTEN. Thanks for sharing your talents with all of us!!

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  3. This post reminds me of home! I grew up in a small mountain town in N. California and some of my best memories are snowed in with no power. The candle light, fireplace, soup, board games, and family equal great times.

    As for unplugging, it is not uncommon for me to spend several days a month unplugged even if the boyfriend is still plugged in. :)

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  4. I think it's funny that I'm reading your post after our power just came back on! We love playing hide n seek in the dark when the power goes out!

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  5. We do a once a week "no tv or computer after dinner night", DH surprised me by suggesting it. We have found the key for us it not to specify what night, just let it flow naturally. It has helped us catch up on chores, finish reading books, and just enjoy the quite of home.

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  6. Your family is beautiful...God bless you all! I married my husband a month after my daughter was born - I can see all the love in your photos, so when you got married doesn't even matter at all!

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  7. Congratulations on renewing your vows. :) Your pictures are beautiful. Your unplugged vacation sounds wonderful! We are totally going to unplug for a weekend. Your gram looks amazing! I would never guess she is 90! I love the top you are wearing in the pic of you two. I hope August is a calmer month for you and your beautiful family.

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  8. Wow! I'm tired just reading! LOL What a beautiful family! And your gram is just adorable and definitely does not look 90! :D

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  9. Congrats on 10 wonderful years!!!! So glad you got to spend tons of time with your beautiful fam in July! and to future un-plugging! <3

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

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  10. Those are the BEST days. We did not completely unplug, but almost during an overnight camping trip at the beginning of August. We took our phones but mostly just used them as cameras. We had no electric at our tent site near the ocean. Of course, it was WA state so it was cooooold, LOL! I also highly recommend it!

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  11. Poor Parker with his broken leg. I'm glad that they have casts now that can get wet, so he didn't miss out on the water.

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  12. Wow, you were busy! You have a gorgeous family and congrast on your 10 years. I love your idea- it is hard to unplug but soo necessary.

    Coley @
    www.whatyoumakeit-coley.blogspot.com

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  13. I just moved into a new apartment and so far we have no cable, phone or internet so like it or not we're pretty unplugged each evening for a while! It's been fun so far, but ask me in a week :)

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  14. every year we take a camping trip to northern minnesota to the chippewa national forest for 4 days. our kids are so mad at me the first couple hours when i won't let them play their ds's or go in the tent and watch tv. but they completly forget about all of their "technology" after a couple hours. it's very nice to "unplug" for a few days

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  15. Oh my goodness - that little Parker in his cast is TOO ADORABLE! So glad you had such a fun trip!

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  16. Oh my Jen! Happy Birthday's, and Happy Anniversary! That is touching that you renewed your vows. Love all the photos. Thanks for sharing:)

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  17. Love all your pics! You have the cutest little family! :) Glad yall had a great month.

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  18. Jen... you are too cute! Your family is absolutely beautiful and I have to congratulate you on the amazing life you and your hubby have built! I LOVE to see happy, young, successful couples! And your pictures, especially of your renewal, are absolutely gorgeous! Eric and I have a firm belief that "unplugging" is essential for the mind, body, and spirit to remain fresh. We actually escape every couple of months to his Uncle's cabin where there is no internet and no cell phones. No matter what we do up there, we always end up feeling completely refreshed and at peace. It's our happy place... and the place where Eric proposed to me. Perfection. :)

    We will gladly accept the challenge, and I'll make sure and blog about it soon. :)

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  19. Yes yes yes! I'm so down for this!!!!!!! THANK YOU! Is it weird that I never even thought about that until I read your post? HA! I'll let you know how it goes!

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  20. Thank you for reminding us all that the best moments in life do not need modern technology.
    Beautiful pictures, your boys are so handsome, and your grandma does NOT look 90 at all. Grandma's, they are the best!

    www.lifewithkidsandmowgli.blogspot.com

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  21. I am totally in. And congrats on your Anniversary! You looked beautiful!

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  22. Gorgeous family and thank you for sharing a little bit of you and all that you do besides get the posts up and running. Great job mom, wife, and blogger...so much more.

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  23. My boys and I had the opportunity to go "unplugged for a week this spring when the tornadoes struck Alabama and took out major power supply lines. We were so grateful to all be safe, with no damage to our home. We prayed for those who did lose homes and family, played and hung out outside and cooked all our meals on the grill. We pulled out the board games, we read more and we talked. The best part of al was that, since no one had power, we had nowhere to go for a whole week. I was *almost* sad to see power return. But I like a warm shower too much, so I'm grateful for that, too! Thanks so much, Jen, for your wonderful blog.

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  24. I love your "life" posts! Your pictures are great- did you use your new Tamron lens for most of your photos? I would love an update on how you like that lens! I am expecting a baby in November and really need an upgrade before then :)

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  25. Congrats on ten years! our ten year is coming up too:) I was glad to see a personal post here too. I love your home and organizing tips but it,s nice to get to know you too! Looking forward to your renewing of the vows post!
    Heather

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  26. @Anonymous, you are correct, all the photos were done with the Tamron. It's typically all I use unless I have a special situation in which one of my other lenses make more sense for, which is rare. I still feel like I am just "getting used" to the lens and even the camera itself though, since I have learned all I know just by doing and trial and error.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  27. Wow! I love the shots, especially the actions shots into the water! Congrats on 10 years, and on your grandma turning 90! She looks awesome!

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  28. Beautiful photos, beautiful family! I love the idea of unplugging. I think it is good for the soul. Honestly. I too much time plugged in makes us more disconnected, which is so ironic. I am so totally taking on this challenge! Maybe even every Saturday this month? That would be amazing. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  29. I love unplugged :)

    Glad you got to enjoy it and wrap up a busy but otherwise fabulous month, by the look of it!

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  30. You have such a lovely family! Congrats on your 10 year anniversary too!! Can't wait for the recap post! Your dress was beautiful!

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  31. Forst of all, thank you for your courage in this post. Also, your children are GORGEOUS!!! What a beautiful family. Last night my hubby and I kinda unplgged. We had a "date day" yesterday then when we got home just sat outside on our deck, shared a drink and some cheese and crackers and just talked. It was wonderful. We usually are both on our seperate computers. We will do this morte. It has been TOO HOT to sit out there most nights. Congrats on your 10 years. XO, Pinky

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  32. You have a gorgeous family! Congrats on your 10 years and may you have a lifetime more!

    L

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  33. I know you like organizing and have a ton of cleaning posts! You should go check out my give away on my blog. renaesadventures.blogspot.com

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  34. Your family is amazing and it is SO NICE to be able to just "be" together. We were at the lake for vacation last week and it was so relaxing (even chasing three boys - 7, 5, 1.5)! It's so much easier to relax when you KNOW you can't fall back to your at-home routine. I guess I will just HAVE to take a nap right now with the baby. Sure, I guess I should finish this book right now. :) We did have cell phones and tv, but our internet was spotty and it really forced us to connect with what's important. :)

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  35. I absolutely love the ruffle top you are wearing. Sorry for asking, any idea where you got it from?

    Thank you in advance,
    Meg

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  36. @Meg - I found it at The Limited. They have released a couple versions of it since so maybe they will again? :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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