home seems far away

August 31, 2011 |  Category:   family life Seattle & the NW travels

The internet is a funny place. While San Francisco was all about reconnecting with old friends, Seattle is about visiting and staying with newer friends made online. On our first 3 days in Seattle, we housesat our friend’s amazing loft with a view in Pioneer Square while they were out of town. We have never met them in person though. Now that we are a family of four, staying with Mark’s mom or sister gets a bit complicated since neither have the space to accommodate us. I am completely amazed by the generosity and trust of each of these 3 families who have invited us into their homes on our Washington leg of our trip (even for a second year) without having initially met us in person first. Luckily, we all get along.

And thank you, internet friends, for your thoughtful comments about Tobi. The girls keep asking whether he is still alive and we keep saying that he is not. Maybe being so far away has made this easier. Maybe not. It’s certainly a distraction, but I am really feeling right now how far away from home we are as we continue to get news after news of things happening back home. Riding out the East Coast hurricane 3000 miles away was stressful. My neighbors and family are fine even if my parents are still without power, but my mom has been in the hospital twice now since we’ve been away and today there is new concern and worry about her health. We come home on Saturday to a mountain of things to be dealt with. I am anxious.

And for those very few people who read blogs and don’t think anything of leaving hurtful, judgmental comments, remember that there is a real person with real feelings on the other side of these words you read. There is just no need.

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  • Emily Hughes August 31, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Aw, I wish your family best. When it rains it pours, but the sun will come out again!

  • Emma August 31, 2011 at 5:15 am

    What a lovely home you’re staying in right now, so bright and airy. It’s lovely to make friends with other bloggers – a great reason to travel to some lovely places.

    It must be difficult to deal with worrying news from so far away – much worse than if you were confronted with it straight away and had to deal with it I think.

  • Fiona August 31, 2011 at 7:44 am

    I’ve just discovered your blog via the series that Joanna from Cup of Jo did on working mums. Even though it’ll be a while until I’ll be both working and a mum I feel like your insight allows me to wish for and maybe even choose my future better.

    I’m sorry for the hurtful comments you’ve been receiving.

  • Kristin Dennis August 31, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I found your blog a few months ago, but have never posted. I think your photographs are lovely, your writing is honest, and your family is wonderful. I was very sad to see that Tobi had passed away, knowing how difficult it must be to have not been there for him. But I am even more shocked that anybody could be hurtful at this time. I just wanted you to know that there is another person out in the world thankful that you are sharing your life on this blog. Thank you.

  • Ashley Hoyt August 31, 2011 at 8:09 am

    While we have never met, I enjoy your blog very much! I wish you and your family a safe trip home. And as for anyone who would leave a hurtful comment on a blog post- forget ’em. They aren’t worth the time or the emotion of hurt. Best!


  • La Modelo Perfecta August 31, 2011 at 8:30 am

    please… don’t focus on the bad…

    ohh… I’m focusing on it ;-(… that lady doesn’t have children I’m sure…

    if she does… she is just a hypocrite.

  • tina August 31, 2011 at 8:38 am

    good luck with everything Jenna. you’ll see, everything is going to be fine. Tobi is fine now and not suffering at all, you’ll know how to deal with it when you get homel. Wish you the best regarding your mom’s health also. take a very deep breath when you get home, remember that there’s not place like home and I’m sure you will feel relieved to get to Brooklyn on Saturday. a big online hug and hang in there. There’s an Irish proverb that I love: Even the longest day has its end. good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Helle (Helen) August 31, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Oh dear, sounds a bit much at present for you. I can imagine that being so far away with all these things happening must be very hard. And understanding what has happened with Tobi must be difficult for the girls. I remember when my mother died, my niece was about 4, and she just couldn’t understand what it meant, and kept asking: but where is she? I really hope your mom will soon be doing better. And hope that you can still enjoy the rest of your holiday.

  • Claire August 31, 2011 at 9:22 am

    So sorry to hear about your mom’s health. Sorry about it weighing on your vacay as well. I hear you and understand some of your anxiety as I live thousands of miles away from my family. Praying for you and your family.

  • stephanie August 31, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I’m so sorry to hear that so much is going on when you are 3000 miles away. I used to live in LA and moved back to the east coast because friends getting sick, family members getting laid off, pets dying became too much for us to be away from. My husband thinks that blogs are all smiles and shiny projects but I insist that he is wrong and appreciate blogs like yours because of the honesty. (BTW, that house looks amazing!) Best wishes to you and your family, Jenna!

  • Clara August 31, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Wow- what an incredible house! No kids yet, but I always find it easier and more relaxing to stay in a home instead of a hotel. I’d love to stay at this place! Also, I’m so sorry to hear about Tobi. I know all to well what it feels like losing a pet you’ve had for so long. Sending warm thoughts to you and your family.

  • Melissa August 31, 2011 at 10:04 am

    hopefully there is more good than bad comments. I smell jealousy from them ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Laura August 31, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Im so sorry to hear that things have been happening at home that have made your trip not as relaxing. I am hoping things turn out for the better when you get home. And I hope your mom’s health improves. Keep your chin up, we are all hoping for the best for you and your family ๐Ÿ™‚

  • RebeccaNYC August 31, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Sending you positve thoughts, what a lot you have to worry about right now. So sorry about this. We had a very young cat die at home while we were in France, our friend had to call and tell us. Then my sister called to say that mom was hospitalized. Its hard when you are far away. As far as negative comments, its inevitable I suppose. Water off your back.

  • cindy August 31, 2011 at 10:44 am

    what a gorgeous house! So sorry to hear about your loss and everything else going on. I’m sure you are so anxious to get back home and be with your mom… and mourn Tobi at home… hang in there and thank you for your vulnerability, always. BTW, who are these people who are so mean-spirited that they need to write such negative comments? Maybe we (readers) should form a team and go take care of them.. *cough, cough. ๐Ÿ™‚ PLEASE do not let them impact the way you write and your honesty. I guess there will always be haters, some just feel the need to trample even on blogs.

  • Theresa August 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I was pretty blown away by the comment/post by your reader the other day.ย  It seems to me like it just came out of nowhere. I feel like you write so honestly about the ups and downs of being a parent and this is what draws me back week after week, because when you write about the struggles it makes me realize that I am not alone.ย  This honesty is, I think, one of the main reasons you have so many readers.ย  That said, I donโ€™t remember a time that I have ever read you bashing your girls.ย  You may not be โ€œOh joy Oh joy, its all so fun and easyโ€ but that wouldnโ€™t be sincere.ย 

    Oh and if you ever want to do an apartment trade Stockholm/New Yorkโ€ฆ you know where to find me!

  • Erin August 31, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Enjoy these last few days on the West Coast, before you’re back to New York and all the stress that comes with it.

    And I for one think you and Mark are awesome. I don’t know who that Dahlia thinks she is, getting all judgy and preachy on you. Don’t give her another second’s thought!

  • Katie August 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your stress and loss. It is really challenging to deal with it from so far away. It just adds another layer of anxiety. I totally get it. And know that the readers who value you, your blog and your parenting far, far outnumber the people who interpret things in a way I’ll never get–injecting their own judgement into snapshots of other people’s lives…

  • dee August 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    So fun to hear about your vacation..and see pictures of the girls on Lecia’s blog as well. Claudine looks like she’s in charge for the moment!

  • Jessica August 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I want to thank you for being so honest and real in your blog. Many blogs seem to focus on only what is stylish and appealing about life, and omit what isn’t desirable. I think it is awfully brave of you.
    The Tenth Good Thing about Barney is a great picture book by Judith Viorst about a child whose cat dies and how he deals with the loss. I’ve read it to my class and I find it comforting even as an adult.
    My heart goes out to you.

  • Carleen August 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    For the sake of being positive…I seriously LOVE your blog and every time I read your posts I feel like I’m a part of your family….like a long lost cousin or something…ha! Your family is gorgeous and keep doing what you’re doing regardless of what others are saying. All the best to you in this rough patch! Much love from Toronto!

  • Miranda August 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Sending best wishes for you, your mother, your loss of Tobi, and all the other things that await you at home. And vacations/travel can be stressful in their own way. I hope you find some small (or large) source of joy today, anyway. Sometimes that is a challenge, but I find that even little islands of respite can make a big difference.

  • Susan August 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I’m sorry about all the anxiety you are feeling, and the situations that await you upon return. I hope your Mom’s health improves…sending you hugs. On a lighter note-what an amazing loft!

  • jesse August 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    hope you continue to enjoy your trip and the stress and anxiety of returning home isn’t too much. hang in there:)

  • red August 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    More hugs to you and the family! Hang in there. And thank you immensely for blogging! You have the most honest voice I have come across on the web, and as a fairly new parent, I REALLY appreciate it.

  • Jane August 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Wow…that is a seriously beautiful apartment!!! And look at all those board games!!

    I know exactly what you mean – isn’t it terrible how one nasty comment can ruin ten times as many nice comments?

  • Christine August 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    First off, what a cool house! So lucky! I hope you and your family manage to enjoy the rest of your vacay, despite of the bad news happening on the East Coast. Hugs and best wishes from San Diego!

  • Zooey August 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Pooh to haters! I’m sorry that you have to deal with them and I’m sorry that you’re having bad news coming your way. Hang in there, ok? Sending you and the family lots of good thoughts….

    As someone from the area, I also wanted to say a big Hello from Seattle ๐Ÿ™‚ Incidentally I was just in Brooklyn recently and thought I could bump into you guys at Smorgasburg but found out you guys were coming to my neck of the woods! It’s strange that we switched places for a bit hehe.

  • helen August 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I didn’t know what to say after reading Tobi’s post… But after this post, I want to say, hope your mom’s doing well, hope you all safe travel home and hope Tobi’s in a happy place with lots of cats and cat lovers ๐Ÿ™‚

    You are so lucky to have lots of good friends, they make it easier to get through the rougher patches in life! Hugs~

  • Pamela August 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Here’s wishing you and your family the best, Jenna. It must be tough … leaving for a restful vacation only to be hit with … bumps, large and small, along the way. Good luck.

  • Cindy August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    First of all, if you are still cutting the girls’ hair, I am so loving their do’s & have hair envy. Second, I am addicted to your blog. It’s like being able to hang out with a great friend everyday, getting the scoop on what’s going on without physically being so instrusive that you wonder if I’m ever leaving. I’ve never posted because I’m usually at work sneaking it in, toggling between screens quickly before anyone could be the wiser. Anyway, wishing you & your family well. Sorry about Tobi. And F those people who leave hurtful comments.

  • gizella August 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    LOVE. I am currently worrying about my mom too. Take care, and know that you do a lot of good sharing your life.

  • Seema August 31, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    absolutely stunning apartment. wow, this is better than what any hotel in the world could provide. it’s so spacey and airy… i hope you are able to enjoy the rest of your holidays and come back refreshed and prepared for what awaits you. No doubt you fill find the courage from somewhere – we always do. Best wishes.

  • Monica August 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your life in such an honest and open way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt inspired or buoyed or had a good laugh or just had something interesting to think about based on what you write. The way you describe your life is genuine and relatable, and reading your posts feels like catching up with a friend. I know you put considerable time into your blog and you have to tolerate detractors, so I just wanted to say thank you for that. It’s easy for life to turn isolating, except for – thank god- there’s people like you putting a voice to the human experience. It’s so generous of you to do that.

  • Linda August 31, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    I started reading your blog after Joanna from “A Cup of Jo” recommended it. By reading your blog I, too, feel like a part of your extended family. Every day, I look forward to checking in on your life. I admire the sincerity and honesty in your writing. I’m sorry for your loss and I hope your mom gets well soon. If you’re ever in San Diego, you’re welcomed in my home.

  • Susan August 31, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    sorry to hear about your cat. I hope that everything goes well with your mom. I recently came back from a trip to Pennsylvania, it’s not that far but still felt so far away. I wonder if living in NYC makes one feel that way because it such a “one of a kind city”. Take care. September is a couple of hours away, time for school and falling leaves.

  • Jocy August 31, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Lovely! Hope your family is having a wonderful time.

  • Jess August 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Enjoy your trip as much as possible. You have such a beautiful family and your writing is inspiring.

  • Allison September 1, 2011 at 1:30 am

    I am so sorry about the kitty. You, your family and your photos are just beautiful. Thanks for blogging.

  • kimberly September 1, 2011 at 4:05 am

    wow! what a great space.

  • Nicole Franzen September 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

    um i want their house and i want to eat that yummy food, please and thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jenny v September 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Hello! I’ve been following your blog for several months now…this is my first comment. I was so sorry to hear about Toby…and The Tenth Good Thing About Barney is a wonderful book…as is the book Cat Heaven. Kitties are very wise…I would be willing to bet that Toby knew just exactly the right time to take his leave,,,it’s clear that he was very well loved. I would also like to commend your honesty…your writing is open, relatable and it reminds me that I’m not the only one riding the roller coaster, otherwise known as parenthood. Have a safe trip back over here to the east coast.

  • Dahlia September 3, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Hi Jenna. I deeply apologize for my harsh comment earlier. I’ve been going through some struggles right now and I took it out on you. It wasn’t right of me to speak as if I knew you and automatically assume you were this and that. I’m sorry and I hope you can accept my apology. All the best.

  • Victoria September 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    This is my first comment to your site although I have been reading daily for months. It is a pleasure to read your blog. I can relate to the stresses and the beauty of being self employed and living with no real safety net. We took a 10 day vacation this year with our 1 year old although it was a busy time for us in our lines of work. It was nice to know I was not alone in being nervous about it! Thank you for sharing your lovely trip with us. You capture your life honestly and beautifully. I am so glad to have your blog as a part of my daily inspiration.
    Hang in there!

  • kimia kline September 4, 2011 at 8:47 am

    the loft looks incredible. and i am constantly humbled by the online friendships ive made through blogging. none of them have let me stay in their homes yet ๐Ÿ™‚ but its wonderful to know that these sorts of relationships are possible. and im sorry for whatever negative comments people have left–

  • Bob Urbanowski September 14, 2011 at 5:39 am

    What kind of horrible comments would one possibly want to leave? The internet is often a horrible place.. that loft looks very stylish.

  • Mrs D September 16, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Oh dear, I really hope everything is okay with your mum… That’s certainly worrying and I can imagine how powerless you would have felt being all those miles away.

    Also want to add how simply gorgeous your photos are of the Seattle markets – colour, colour, colour; love it! And these of the loft are really fantastic – a super clean, angular space full of everyday family life. Love!