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Gabriel Gomez
Gabriel Gomez

Joy (We Are Family)

Happy Friday! By the time you read this, I'll be on my way to Napa for a mini weekend family getaway. Every time I travel, I get lots of questions about the packing cubes I use (which are from our line with CALPAK) and truly the best travel accessory ever! If you follow my Stories, you've heard me talk about how much I love them, and how they completely change the packing game. So today, I'm going to share a few tips to get the most out of packing cubes and the best way to use them...

Joy (We Are Family)

Last week for spring break, we took a family trip to Hawaii. We had not been on a longer vacation like this in a couple years...AND the trip was extra special because we also brought along my parents and my brother for an extended family trip! With my parents living in Philly and us living in Los Angeles, we only get to see them in person a couple times a year. It's always bittersweet to have your kids so far away from their grandparents, so it was an opportunity to spend really great quality time with them. Also, my dad hasn't been on a vacation in TEN YEARS! He is a business owner and workaholic like I am, so I had to force him to come with us. I convinced him we had to take the chance to do these things while we can and not keep putting it off. In partnership with Disney's Aulani Resort, we had SUCH a great week in Oahu. Here's a look at what we did if you'd like to see...

Now, since I know you will ask or may be curious about my opinions on screen time or how much time my kids get, I'll tell you what we do. We limit our kids' screen time (which includes TV and/or iPad) to less than one hour per day. Sometimes they use it, and sometimes we are busy doing things outside of the house that we never see a screen for the entire day. But, in general, an hour is the limit that works best for our family (which usually works out to 30 mins while I am prepping dinner and 30 minutes after dinner). However, I have noticed that when my kids are on the iPad, they sometimes get super zoned in and don't play with anything else at the same time, so now we limit iPad time to weekends only...or special times like long car rides, flights, or sick days. Of course, every family is different and every parent has their own rules, that's just what we've decided to implement. Now, onto some of my favorites and why...

The weather has been so nice here in LA lately that it's really making me and my family change up our normal weekend routine and go on more unplanned adventures. Sometimes we'll have an impromptu picnic in a new park or drive to go find dinner not knowing where we'll end up. In order to prepare for any adventures that might come our way, we've put together a little Spring Adventure Kit.

When Ruby was born a few years ago, I had custom thank you cards illustrated by the super talented Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. We sent them out to friends and family for all the amazing gifts and tokens of love we received. Once we ran out of the cards, I thought it would be fun to update it again with a slightly older Ruby. And since then, we now update it every year or so (with our newest shown above).

I loved the mini portraits so much, I started framing one of the cards from each year and hanging them by our front door. Sadly, our cat family has shrunk, but it's fun to see how our human family has grown over the last few years!

As part of a partnership with St. Regis hotels, we stayed at their Punta Mita resort to experience Family Traditions at St. Regis, which is all about making a vacation with kids easier and more fun thanks to the hotel's family-friendly activities and accommodations. In contrast to Paris (which was not very kid-friendly), it was such a nice change to be in a place where kids get the royal treatment, too.

The last time I visited Paris, I was 20 years old and visiting my college roommate who was studying abroad. I had a lot of time to myself, so I shopped and ate while my friend was in class. Coming back almost 15 years later, I had such a different (and even more special) experience this time because I shared the experience with my family.

Family Innovations is a leader in family and community counseling, specializing in systemic therapy, employing some of the most exceptional, creative, and effective approaches in counseling. As leaders in the industry in both thought and practice, we provide trusted, accessible pathways for individuals, families, and organizations to find healing and wholeness within our variety of venues and counseling expressions.

We are Family is a book of family recipes put together by Manish Arora, an Indian fashion designer known for his colourful and psychedelic universe. Now living in France, he has decided to rediscover the taste of his country and to keep the link with his relatives in India, through a lively cuisine and transmission.

As a family we have the same care for one another. If one member hurts, we hurt and when there is joy in the hearts of my brethren we celebrate. Prayer is the bond that holds us together and our prayers are spent in asking our common Father to bless the family. When we see one of our brethren in need we seek to help. In every congregation there will be those who are weak in faith that faces challenges that seem to overwhelm them. As a family we reach out to them and encourage them to be faithful. One indicator of spiritual weakness is when a brother or sister fails to assemble with the church on a regular basis. Family is the meaning of our relationship with all the members and our duty to the wayward soul is to reach out to restore our brother or sister. Imagine in the real family if one of our brothers or sisters did not come home for six weeks. It is unimaginable to think we would not notice or have concern. Why in the family of God can our fellow brother or sister leave the family of God unnoticed? Being part of a family requires our love for all those in the family.

We are the palliative care. The family. Cancer eats our kind but we circle, strong, tighten the pack, carry the weak to the next world, let go only to find them again later calling us home.

Single Mom, broken and afraid, creates a strong, loving and supportive family by choosing to allow only good into her home. The result was happiness. The players were a curious lot with a common goal.

The walls of class, had been washed away, by the waters, of our tears. Conceived in the womb of Katrina, birthed in the blood of disaster. Whose first breath was of mold, a family of the bold.

We came in the late 1800s. One man, one woman in search of work and freedom from the mordidas. A family that worked in the brick plants and fruit orchards of Alberhill, living in Los Olivos, at first.

My family reminds me that a dying language cannot be saved. My family reminds me that a dialect can turn in on itself. My family reminds me that silence comes in the shape of gratitude and mercy is found in the soft light of the hallway.

I am a seed. My mother is water, my father is light, my siblings are soil, and my pets are wind. I have grown, to a beautiful flower-but not without my family. They are in my veins, my roots, my best parts and I love them like a flower loves the sun.

There were 9 of us, 2 boys, 7 girls. In 1982 we lost Aurora and in 2014 we lost Isabel. There actually were 11 at one time but one boy, Ascension, Jr. Was lost as an infant. Guadalupe came and went. Now we are 7 trying to be family to each other.

My family is very important to me. Family is like patches in a quilt. They all have a mixture of bright and dull colors. Each unique patch of work tells its own story. Family can keep you warm like a quilt.

My family is like a sailboat and her crew, together we face the radical, relentless, riptide of life. Brothers fighting like two gulls over a floating cracker, parents intervening like dolphins surfacing on the vast blue horizon.

If my family were buffalo, we would surround a great lake. If my family were seconds we would last for eternity. If my family were crumbs we would feed the world. If my family were stars no one would ever be in the dark.

When the anniversary of death comes, even the date is wrong on my calendar. With feet in two time zones, my family crosses continents. So I sculpt seven figures out of concrete and tequila, to stand circle around me and bid me good night.

The point of origin, the place of refuge, and place of joy and sorrow, family may seem like just a small constellation of stars bound by gravity of biology and history, but family extends far into the future from the past. It is legacy.

This family! Weaved together in a tapestry. Our heritage intertwined and sewed tightly at the seam. Apart of each other, yet different by color, creed and religion. Still we are wrapped warmly by the shared fabric of our history.

The roots of the global family tree run deep within our souls, holding steady new generations of dreamers, but we are merely seeds floating softly in the wind, until we find a way to blossom together.

Here or there, whenever we are, we are family; our roots cross borders, and tie us together. I want to live again, the happy years of yesterday, and see the river go from here to there, unaware, free. Family is my root, here and there.

Dandelion from family of flowers. with dandelion end times. Mom found one in the grass. I blew its fluff into the wind who could have guessed saw it settle on grass I had so much fun to grow again

The trees, they speak to me in voices of melancholy Calling me, welcoming me to their open branches I no longer feel alone as their blossoms fill the air Surrounded, I am surrounded by nature I am surrounded by family

Family is an amazing thing. Not every kid gets to experience having a family. Just know to be grateful that you still have you family and all the memories that you made with them. Make the most of your family while you still can. 041b061a72


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