May 12, 2019

As I looked at our smashed-up van, and our hungry, scared, needing-to-pee kids, and my frustrated husband, and the anxious woman who had hit us, and the kind police officer who joined us at the scene, I prayed that I would be able to take my own advice.

April 11, 2019

Forty-eight hours is not a lot of time to spend in New York City. It feels like even less when it’s dumping rain for half of those hours. And it feels like even less when you’re running from place to place with a toddler in tow, and that toddler has his own ideas about the […]

October 13, 2018

We almost didn’t include Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine in our travels. Did I just cause you to spill your maple syrup in astonishment? To choke on that piece of lobster you’re eating?

October 11, 2018

Back in February, Todd and I traveled to Cancun, Mexico for a vacation with two of our closest friends, Nate and Erin. That trip boasted many a lively conversation, but perhaps one of the liveliest had to do with the topic of personal mission statements. Why such a conversation should become heated may seem strange, […]

October 9, 2018

Unlike our jaunt into Chicago, where we had a fairly clear sense of where we wanted to go, what we wanted to see, and why it was significant, we were pretty much flying by the seats of our pants when we began to venture into the Northeast region of this beautiful country.

October 6, 2018

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” said the very astute Robert Frost in his poem Mending Wall. I first heard that poem when I was a kid living in Illinois, and I shrugged it off both because I was young and because I lived in a place that didn’t systematically erect walls between neighbors, […]

October 3, 2018

“Beneath the stars the lake lay dark and sombre, but on its shores gleamed and glowed in golden radiance the ivory city, beautiful as a poet’s dream, silent as a city of the dead.” (quoted in The Devil in the White City) Chicago is a really cool city. The architecture and the landscaping are beautiful, […]

October 2, 2018

Have you ever heard somebody say that they were planning a family vacation to Kansas City, MO? Or that it’s on their top-five list of places they want to see? Probably not, but I’m telling you, that’s crazy. That city is full of history, beauty, and culture, and if you’ve never dreamed of visiting it, […]

September 12, 2018

I mentioned in my last post that we are doing a pretty good job of beating up our RV. As if to prove my point, the very next day we sprang a leak in our bathroom behind the toilet. The leak was coming from the fresh water line (THANKFULLY) but that made it no less of a nuisance. It was as if the Winnebago (whom our friend Chad dubbed the Watson Winnie) knew that I had written about it and then sprang a leak just for spite. Watson Winnie, I’m sorry. We love you. Please stop being mean to us.

September 8, 2018

RV’s are not hardy vehicles. At least, the insides of an RV are not hardy. In the short time we’ve owned ours, the front a/c has not worked properly, the water tank leaks somewhere but no one can find where, an air vent cover has popped off, the toilet paper holder has come off the […]

Elisa Joyful 

Hi friends! You have landed at elisajoyful.com, and if you are looking for some warm and witty words to read, you’ve come to the right place, so get comfy and settle in. If you’re looking for the SiNes of Life podcast, you’re almost in the right place - just click on the “Listen to Podcast” link below. And if you’ve come here because you’re interested in having me speak at your event, you can contact me below!

The things you’ll read on my blog or hear on the podcast are the same things you’d hear if we were talking over a bruschetta board and a glass of cabernet together - you’ll hear about the four boys who call me Mom, the software-CEO-turned-IRONMAN who I call Husband, the books I love, and life as an ISFJ married to an ENTP. I love to bake but not to cook, I love to travel but not for long, my denim jacket is my favorite article of clothing, and I live in the desert, a place in which I am slowly but surely learning to see the beauty.

May the things you find here encourage you to find the beauty wherever you are too. xoxo

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