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We had another awe inspiring family trip to Great Falls National Park this past weekend. We feel so lucky to have this natural resource practically in our backyard. We enjoyed exploring new parts of the park and already plan to head back soon. (Did you know you can rock climb there?!) I’m trying to get over the heart-way-up-in-my-throat feeling I get whenever the kids start to climb around on the rocks. It just looks so far down. I didn’t expect to have this sort of response – I spent a couple of solid years climbing around on rocks every weekend myself. Eric and I fell in love covered in chalk dust and mud and sweat scrambling our way up rock faces – we are hoping to dust of our climbing shoes soon, very soon.

You may have noticed that my sidebar (over there on the left) is looking a little bit more occupied these days. I took some time after our busy family outing, in the quiet of the evening, to get a little more connected. I now have a Twitter feed (@coreynischan) and a brand new Facebook Page dedicated to less & more. Twitter is brand new to me and some of the tweets I read still don’t make any sense to me. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it all soon enough. I’ve been having fun playing with Instagram and posting a few family snapshots on my Twitter feed. Facebook is not new to me. I have enjoyed using Facebook for years as a way to stay connected to the outside world even when my days are often spent in relative isolation – just me and my little people.

My hope is that these ventures out into the land of social media will eventually become a natural extension of the community that is starting to form around this humble blog. I would love if they became casual gathering places where I, and others that get me (that would be you), can connect and pass on interesting information, or just chat. In my imaginings these avenues of interaction become a deep well, full of the community I crave, and a safe place full of the support I – no we – need. I know that I am not alone on this journey to simplify, to find what is right for my family. I envision using these resources to spread the message of less & more out into the big wide world, forming a network of new and meaningful friendships regardless of geographic locations.

So please, take a moment to stop by. Let’s get to know each other. Let’s connect and spread the word. Let’s support each other on our unique journeys. Let’s learn and share and grow together. It would be such a joy to me if you liked the less & more Facebook page or followed me on Twitter. You can follow the links here in this post or click on the buttons in the sidebar to get connected. I am looking forward to being inspired by you!

I also want to let you know that I may be away from the computer for a short while this week and next. I am headed to the snowy mountains of Vermont for a week on a personal retreat. A week alone to reconnect with myself – with my inner workings. A dear friend mentioned casually on Facebook one night in early January that she was going to open her house for someone to enjoy while she headed out of town and I almost leapt through the computer to respond, “ME! Seriously, me. Please?!”

With so much transition happening in our home, this opportunity to travel solo into the trees and snow and solitude of Vermont is such a blessing. It will allow me the time and space to rest, recharge, think deeply and renew my spirit for the next leg of our journey. We will soon be gearing up for our big move out of the suburbs and I get overwhelmed just thinking about moving this family of six – even with half of the stuff we once possessed.

My plan is simple. I am going to take my camera (oh, I am so looking forward to some serious one-on-one time with it), a few good books (I am headed to the library tomorrow), a crochet project I have been waiting to start (it’s just for me, how indulgent) and to just let my experience unfold organically. I don’t want to set any specific expectations for this trip because I am feeling the need to allow myself the space and freedom to do what my soul calls me to do. I may write and write and write. I may not. I may sit at a local cafe with a book all day. I may not leave the bathtub. Whatever feels good and nurturing, that is what I want to be doing. I may very well sleep for the first three days.

My husband has generously taken time off of work so that this trip is possible – he relishes these times alone with his babies. He also has big plans for my absence. I get really edgy when certain types of change is happening in my safe place, in my home, so he is planning to tackle all of those ugly tasks that unsettle me so much while I am away. I know that the house will get torn apart, but that it will also get put back together again. I know that I will come home to an environment that is even less cluttered and more organized than it is now. He is able to channel a special type of singular focus that is elusive and uncomfortable for me. I trust him completely to care for our little people and to tackle these yucky projects I have been putting off. Thank you so much, Love.

Community and solitude. Yes and yes.