We decided a year ago to make a pilgrimage.  A grand expedition for a family of five whose members only recently all pee on the potty.  A road trip that would last over a month, that would span Kansas to California, nearly the entire West Coast, and Oregon back to Kansas.  That would allow our children to witness the beauty we experienced pre-kids, when we had the time and freedom to periodically head north from our one-bedroom apartment in L.A. for an adventure.  We’d create a family adventure this time.  And now, that pilgrimage has begun.

I have hardly written at all since summer began.  Because I’ve been taxiing kids to activities, volunteering at camps, and soaking up vitamin D in the deep end of the public pool with a four year old jumping in, splashing me in the face one hundred times in a row.  It’s been awesome.

It has.  Not all the details – the lugging of beach towels, the bathroom breaks at girl scout camp, the mosquitos.  But the general summary is wonderful summer-ness.  Bike rides.  Fireflies.  Inappropriate amounts of ice cream.  Just too much summer to get anything like writing a blog accomplished.  But now.  My hope is to write.  To record our road trip in words.  Anecdotes, lists, an occasional essay.  For your sake if you’re interested, but long-term, for ours.  To help us remember this summer when we hit the road for a month, before Luke the teenager hated our presence, before Lily was too cool for princess books, before Mae lost her lisp.  This golden summer when gas was only $2.50 a gallon and Team Havener headed West.

It’s going to be epic, as Luke would say.  If you want to read about our adventure, stay tuned.  There will be much to say.


Day One:


lessons on peeing outdoors for the girls: squat, feet far apart, note the direction of the wind

prairie grass – undulating, shiny and green

big sky

windmills, old-school wood and metal; modern, white and mammoth

The Flint Hills, one of the loves of my life

“What does ‘X-rated’ mean?” from the 10-year-old in the back of the car.

Startup podcast

Vance Joy on Spotify from Limon to Colorado Springs.  Perfect.

Enormous meltdown by the seven-year-old over sleeping arrangements.

Subsequent mother exhaustion.


One day down, thirty-five plus to go.

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