If you’re visiting from Ann Voskamp’s place today – welcome. I’m a mom of three kids and me and my good man make our home under the cherry blossoms just outside of Washington, D.C. But my heart is buried under a Jacaranda tree in Pretoria, South Africa. I write here about life lived in between – countries, kids and the daily, holy chaos of raising them.  I think that trying to survive motherhood while under the impression that other mothers somehow have it all together is dreadfully discouraging. So on this blog I do my best not to dress up motherhood. I try to tell it straight. Like what a real life dictionary definition of “mother” might read like. Or how every tired mom might need to recite this reminder before breakfast. You’re welcome to join us. And if you subscribe by email for my updates – see the box there in the margin? –  I’ll happily send you a copy of my {free} eBook The Cheerleader for Tired Moms.

Sunday afternoons in South Africa there were always watermelons bopping in the swimming pool.

On big hospitality in a small house via new.thegypsymama.com

It was to keep them cool till they could be split for dessert. But to us kids they were just a challenge to ride, to raft, to water polo between ourselves until a grown up finally noticed and yelled to quit it before we turned the insides into pure pulp.

Sunshine on the watermelons and their green striped skins and our shoulders and legs all gangly and growing up living large on the hospitality of our parents.

I can still feel the water running down my back from wet hair as we stood dripping around the table under the thatch roof lapa as dad cut into the melons slice after juicy slice.

We’d stand and bite and suck and spit seeds and there were always more people than chairs.


Hospitality as I’ve grown up has looked different.

I discovered a dirty pot in the microwave last night.

We’ve had a lot of guests pass through our conveniently-located-right-outside-D.C. house. My desire to host them with the carefree abandon of my childhood has gone head-to-head with my desperate self consciousness about how small our home is.

I’m writing about it over at Ann Voskamp’s place today – our story of learning that hospitality is always more a matter of the heart than the architecture. And often a slice of good, sweet watermelon.