On Holiday for Two Weeks

Small Notebook is taking a holiday for two weeks so we can wrap up our time in Italy and transition back to America. We’ll be back with new content Monday, May 16th.

There’s a lot about this trip that I wish I could tell you, but it’s difficult to explain in few words. Would I do it again? Yes, definitely.

As I’m looking through my recent photographs I notice common themes. I have pictures of the kids, of course, and the places we’ve been. Florence has the most beautiful skyline. I have a multitude of pictures of windows, a collection of numbers, and more pictures than I should of other people’s laundry. I love clothes lines.

I think I am going to organize my photos of Venice by color, putting all the reds together, and the yellows, white, blues, and greens. I only have 6,000 pictures from the last three months. No joke. I need to start deleting them to make a good collection. I think I will delete 60 a day. (I’m talking about deleting the ones where I took a few to make sure I got a good shot. Save the best, and remove the extras.)

When we came to Italy, Tom had just learned how to walk. Now he runs fast, and I have to chase him everywhere.

Lane (age 4) learned a few Italian words, but she wasn’t immersed in it since Florence is such an international city and so many people speak English. She did pick up a slight British accent however from all the mums and kids from the UK at play group each week.

What I love most about Italy on this trip: time together, the beauty, the quiet (no cars in Venice!), free time to write, the perspective change, and how surprisingly easy it was to find friends in Florence.

Things I’m looking forward to in Texas: Tex-Mex food and guacamole, North Dallas honey, new opportunities, extended family, and maybe cowgirl boots in my future.

I’ll see you in two weeks! I have a lot I’ve been working on in store for you.
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. i look forward to hearing all about your trip as you digest the experience. enjoy the next two weeks!
    elissa :: ebb & flow´s last post…Two for Tuesday 53

  2. Traveling mercies!
    SC Ramsey´s last post…Ready- Set- Sharpen Your Pencils

  3. Safe travels! You have inspired us to save up for an extended European stay once the house is paid off. What an exciting goal! =)

  4. Denise C. says:

    I bet 3 months was wonderful rejuvenation! Your Italy photos are beautiful! Safe travels back to Texas! =)

  5. I’ve so enjoyed living through you! :)
    Megan @ Faith Like Mustard´s last post…Turning in My Mom Card

  6. How do they hang their clothes like that?
    Frances´s last post…Sweet Cabbage

    • My guess is that it’s a pulley. They hang the clothes out the window and keep pulling it through until it’s full, then take them off in reverse.
      Jennie´s last post…Jennie’s Perfect Day

      • sherry says:

        Ditto the above. We lived in San Fran when I was quite young and that is how my mom dried clothes — a pully and line outside an upstairs window. Can’t remember what the other end was attached to though.

  7. Has it already been 3 months?! Praying safe travels for you and your family!
    Erika´s last post…The Hard Love

  8. That photo of you(?) running after Tom. So perfect. Just looks so European to me somehow.

    Safe travels. I can’t wait to see what you have instore for us.

  9. Enjoy you holiday. I am praying for you . . . for a smooth transition back to the States.

    Glenda Childers´s last post…How to Cook for a Crowd part one

  10. Enjoy your time, Rachel! What a gorgeous picture of you and Tom by the way, you chasing the little boy like that :D

    Can’t wait until you’re back!
    Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady´s last post…How to Make Your Home Fit the FlyLady Zones

  11. Your adventure has taken me back some 47 years (how can it be that long?) when we lived in Naples, Italy. It was my senior year of high school and freshman year at college. My dad was in the Navy. Our apartment overlooked Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. Seeing your beautiful photos has brought back many happy memories for me. Thank you. I wish you a safe journey always.


  12. Happy holidays!!!

  13. Wow…I can’t believe it’s almost time for you guys to come back to the states. So excited to read more about your Italy living. What a wonderful story and experience for your family. Have a great holiday!

  14. I have enjoyed you sharing your adventures to Italy. I’m looking forward to more encouragement and frugal living ideas when you get settled back in the states.

    God Bless!
    Anita´s last post…My New Wardrobe

  15. Is it time to come back already? I hope you’ve truly had a marvelous time!
    Kelly´s last post…Babies!

  16. Kristi says:

    Love your blog! Can’t get enough of your information on living in Italy. We’re making plans to do a European sabbatical next year with four kids. One Question: What kind of camera equipment did you take with you on your trip? The photos all look so beautiful! Enjoy your two-week break!

  17. Wow. That was so fast! I’m so glad your family got to experience that wonderful adventure. And now on to the adventure of coming back and establishing a routine again. Good luck with everything and travel safely.
    Jennie´s last post…Jennie’s Perfect Day

  18. Well..you must sad to leave such a beautiful place but take away so many memories.
    Have a safe journey home.
    Thanks for the tour.
    Tracy´s last post…Rites of passage

  19. I’m so happy for you that you were able to take this trip. What a wonderful experience! I look forward to hearing all about it upon your return. Enjoy your last two weeks!!
    Sharon´s last post…May Challenge- The Budgetrevisited

  20. I can’t believe it’s time for you to come back. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts so much. Enjoy the time you have left. I’ll be waiting for your next blog stateside.

  21. So happy you enjoyed your trip! Looking forward to reading more. Good luck with the transition!
    Tara´s last post…Apartment Therapy

  22. Love the idea of organizing the Venice photos by color! Enjoy your re-adjustment time… and welcome back!

  23. Can’t wait to see your trip via your pics! I love the clothelines too! And all the arhcitectural features.
    I would love to be where there are no cars! And so cute that Lane has a bit of British accent! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…3 gifts to give yourself on Mothers Day

  24. Great photo! I’ve loved reading about your experiences–can’t believe it’s over already! See you on the flip side!
    Wendy´s last post…yarn along may 4

  25. Where did the time go!! I was just settling in for more of your adventures. Really enjoyed your photos. Have a safe trip back.
    don_mae´s last post…Making Idea Sandwiches

  26. I’d love to know more about “it was surprisingly easy to find friends in Florence”. Do you mean making friends with other expats or making friends with local Florentians?

    I’ve lived in Austria and I currently live in China. In my experience, I think that each culture has its own navigation system when it comes to friendships. How was Florence?
    sandra´s last post…Hello Shanghai Disneyland!

  27. Oh yes – cowgirl boots. I’ve always wanted those and if you live in Texas you must have them. I’ll pray for your safe transition and return, and definitely look forward to all you have in store.
    Courtney´s last post…A Day Maker

  28. Save travels and blessing for you and your family! I look forward to whats new when you come back. And I agree with what Courtney said about the cowgirl boots!! :)
    Marianne´s last post…You Are Not Alone

  29. Can’t you live in Italy forever for me? 3 months went by way too fast.

  30. I can’t believe how fast this has gone! Have loved the updates and the photos and maybe its just in my head but its liberating to know something like this can be done. It makes me look forward to my husband’s first paid sabbatical in a few years!

    Excited to hear more in a couple weeks!

  31. No! You can’t leave us for two weeks! I am in the middle of finals and need some sanity!

  32. Kaycee Fisher says:

    Your 3 months are already up? My goodness, where has the time gone?? Wow!

  33. I started following your blog right before you left for Italy. It was so neat to find out you were going to move for Florence for a few months. Now I have this dream (and goal!) for my hubby and I to move to Italy for some time just like you did (at least three months) with the children. Not sure if I will have any babies or toddlers then, but I really hope to do that. Perhaps even longer (I am half Italian), and therefore be closer to my parents and Italian side of the family, as well as other friends.
    Miriam´s last post…Tuesday March 8th- Buona Festa delle Donne!

  34. Can’t wait to hear all about your return trip to the States. But missing the posts for the next 2 weeks – such a long time to wait!
    sara´s last post…Fill it with Fabric

  35. We just discovered your blog, but as two former Texans (Dallas-ites, even), turned New Yorkers, I’ve loved reading about your adventures so far. Hope that your transition back to Texas goes well! (And have some guacamole for me.)

  36. sally b says:

    Thank you for sharing with all of us. I have throughly enjoyed your Italian adventure. Looking forward to reading more. Have a memorable holiday. Safe travels and welcome home.

  37. Can’t wait to hear what else you have in store. Safe travels home!
    Katherine@YeOldCollegeTry´s last post…Hot Dogs and Spam

  38. Bethany says:

    Already?? If it went this fast for me, I bet it flew by for you! I’ve enjoyed every moment that you’ve related to us. Thanks for sharing your journey!