Holding Space

I have written this post twice now, then deleted it. I wrote it by hand once, then trashed it. Because, the truth is, there really aren’t words for the grief in this space. I didn’t record a podcast this week. Not because I have a cold from hell, which I do, but because this week marks the first REALLY BIG date in my stillbirth with our baby Oak. This Saturday would have been my due date and instead it’s a work day of putting together a trampoline and sewing patches on cub scout uniforms.

Everything about the podcast is meant to be truly authentic, not forced, not a job, just me sharing my heart with anyone willing to listen, but I’m not ready to share every dark corner of the day I delivered Oak. I will. It will come, but right now I can’t fake being cheerful this week. I can’t seem to think about anything else, it is completely consuming all of my thoughts and instead of fighting it and eventually resenting the podcast; I am

Holding Space for myself and my grief.

There was no urgency about the process of moving into our house by anyone but me. Now that I am sitting in my favorite chair, more unpacked than not, I now recognize that I was treating this unpack as if I was still 38 weeks pregnant. See, when you have a home birth, you are supposed to have your home ready to birth in by 36 weeks. I felt this overwhelming sense of needing to get into the house and get unpacked. Today, it became clear, that I knew I would need to hold this space this week, on Saturday. I knew that if all I could do on Saturday was cry, the house would be put together enough for the family to function in.

In a great effort of self-preservation I’m going to say something I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE said. The next few days I am off limits for your needs. I have always found great self worth in helping others, but I can’t. I am saving my mental and emotional energy for me. I’m not over committing myself, I’m not saying yes to anything that doesn’t feel exponentially better than whatever state I’m in and I am Holding My Space because I can’t hold my baby.

This weekend if you find yourself with a solitude moment or two join me silently in that space. I will feel you. I know I am deeply cared about and you are welcome to hold me and love me in that space, but please don’t reach out. Because you will ask how I am and I just am not. My fall equinox was supposed to bring me a baby. This month was supposed to complete our family. Everything about this September is different than it was intended to be and unfortunately I am now Holding this Space for my own grief.

Someday, in a book I imagine, the details of April 2019 will come to surface, but for now it’s very important to me that people understand that our baby wasn’t born of tissue and bones alone.

He looked just like his big brother Lux. So much so that you could almost see glimpses of his future freckle covered face. A cleft chin that each of our boys has had and a huge grin on his face. As I finish this, my wind chime is going crazy and I know I am completely surrounded by his spirit all the time.

Though, everyone tells me that the grieving changes and becomes more bearable, I don’t believe that there will ever be a day when I don’t look at our boys and see the space he should be holding amongst the group. So please, hold my mama heart in yours this weekend. Occasionally, I need to pull from other’s strength as well.

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Episode 11- Interview with Shanen Aranmor of Weld Like A Girl

In Episode 11 of The Wild Bradbury Podcast I introduce our first interview for the Doing Good As You Go portion of the Podcast. This interview is with Shanen Aranmor of Weld Like A Girl in Yuma, AZ.

Shanen is on a mission to change the world one girl in a trade at a time. I spent all day with her, breathing her in and loving every moment. There are businesses doing good everywhere, people doing their very best to be the change.

Female Empowerment is so very necessary and there is no better place to start than with Weld Like A Girl! Look for our welding videos on youtube later this week on The Wild Bradbury Youtube Channel!

Thank you so much for listening! Share and share, sing Shanen’s praises she has earned it and is DOING SO MUCH GOOD AS SHE GOES!

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The World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival

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In the beautiful village of Ludwigsburg, Germany you can find the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival. The quiet, unsuspecting town gives a wonderful backdrop for rows upon rows of streets lined with pumpkins. Numerous artist installations, food vendors that only serve pumpkin flavored items and fall festivities litter the acreage that surrounds the Ludwigsburg Schloss (castle). A fabulous dose of fall creativity and flavor can be found here and enjoyed by the whole family.

Getting There

North of Stuttgart, Germany, approximately 45 minutes, is the town of Ludwigsburg. Easily accessible by car and bus, the town offers a variety of amenities. Like many medieval towns the castle is the heart of the village. During its prime Ludwigsburg Schloss would have held the village within its walls. As these villages grow they expand beyond the walls and the modern city is born. In modern times these spaces are now used for cultural enrichment, historical conversations and festivals. The pumpkin festival does not disappoint and brings a lot of life to the beautifully preserved castle.

Once you locate the castle and find a place to park along the street, you will be undergoing a great deal of walking. No rough terrain, nice flat paths, but if you are doing the festival with kids a stroller would be handy.

The Creativity Overload

The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

You could visit the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival every day for a month and experience something else entirely each and every day. The artist thought that goes into making this festival and annual success is tremendous. Just some of the events taking place at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival are:

  • Pumpkin Carving Contests
  • Ugliest Pumpkin Contests
  • Largest Pumpkin Contests
  • Sand Sculpting Contests (they also have sand pits for the kids to give it a try).
  • Gourd Kayaking Contests (yes, yes).
  • Pumpkin Catapulting/Trebuchet Contests
  • Food Eating Contests
  • Art installations everywhere built with pumpkins
The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

AND I haven’t even mentioned the most interesting part, in my opinion. The FOOD! There are numerous food vendors on the grounds and they only serve pumpkin or apple flavored items! It’s rather incredible. The food options are wonderful and extensive, but if you do not like pumpkin you will struggle to eat here. Culturally, the food was the most distinct thing for me and our children. We all ordered something different so we could try many different options. From strudels and puddings to pumpkin flavored Wiener schnitzel and soups its all good!

If you’re going to go to the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, I highly recommend eating at least two full meals there as there is so much to choose from.

The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

I know, it’s beautiful right? The pumpkin risotto made my heart sing. Most of the drinks are pumpkin flavored as well. From pumpkin bears to moscatos, sodas and juices, you really need to go in a sick free group so everyone can try the other’s food and drinks!

Family Friendly Festival

The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is an extremely kid friendly event as well. Throughout the duration of the festival there are different speakers offering growing tips for pumpkins, discussing the different varieties and making crafts out of Gourds. The kids can participate in numerous pumpkin based activities and races, as well as, pumpkin painting and rolling. The art installations are meant to be enjoyed by everyone and although, children are not destroying anything, it is common to see kids climbing amongst the piles of pumpkins for photo-ops. There is also pumpkin picking in an open field, hayrides, and pumpkin gift shops everywhere. You will, for sure, go home with a pumpkin or souvenir. Our children’s favorite thing was the art installation scavenger hunt. In an effort to draw more attention to the great details and depths the artists put into their work, the festival has created a scavenger hunt. The kids get to enjoy the festival while finding the animals and scenes created by the artists.

The Wild Bradbury: Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

HOORAY For Fall!

With the fall season comes this beautiful tribute to pumpkins (pumpkin spice lattes ha)! No one does this tribute better than Ludwigsburg, Germany. Now home to the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival and happening for over a month. It is as incredible as it is unique. If you find yourself visiting Munich for Octoberfest, do yourself a huge favor by taking the train or car over to Ludwigsburg for a day or two. I would love to make it a yearly pilgrimage for us. Here’s to hoping and pumpkins!

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Episode 10-The Mission

In this episode of The Wild Bradbury Podcast we discuss:

  • I discuss numerous things happening over here in Bradbury Land.
  • Our PCS move gone array.
  • Death of our beloved pet while living in a hotel.
  • Dealing with emotional trauma on the road.
  • The goals for the podcast.
  • Introducing the “Doing Good As You Go” portion of the podcast where I highlight/interview individuals and businesses doing beautiful things for people and the planet.
  • I also briefly discuss my passion for conservation, raising conservationists and shifting your home to reflect that shift.
  • I also address those people/listeners/friends/fans who reach out throughout the week with their questions. Keep them coming and get out there!

Thank you so much for listening, your support means the world to me. Please send me any information you have about a company that you really love. I will be highlighting people and businesses periodically (hoping for monthly if I can find enough to make it regular).

Next week on The Wild Bradbury Podcast we will have my interview with Shanen Aranmour at Weld Like a Girl. Inspire someone this week to be the best version of themselves.

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Episode 9: How Do You Decide Where To Go? (and other things)

In Episode 9 we discuss:

  • How you choose your first few destinations
  • How you get to the big bucket list destinations
  • How technologically ignorant I am 🙂
  • Using Sanity Safety Nets to get yourself seasoned in travel

As always, thank you, thank you for listening. If you have made it thus far you know I have been having issues learning how to record properly. I think I fixed it!

Thanks again!

-Lydia Bradbury

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Episode 8-Speaking Your Fears

In Episode 8 of The Wild Bradbury Podcast we Discuss:

  • The fears that prevent us from living our best life.
  • What over coming fear looks like.
  • My own fears being realized abroad.
  • Navigating those fears when you are alone with kids.
  • Being courageous when running feels easier.
  • Where courage comes from.

As always, THANK YOU for listening! I am so thrilled by the response I have gotten from you all. If you love it, share it please! Every share helps and makes me feel like I’m talking to myself less 🙂

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Episode 7-No Wrong Way To Do It

In Episode 7 of The Wild Bradbury Podcast we discuss:

  • The many ways to accomplish the goal of creating Global Citizens through “Worldschooling.”
  • What this label looks like for other families I know.
  • How people are traveling and in what amounts.
  • You also get to hear snip bits about our move to San Diego, Hotel Living and the pure culture shock I’m experiencing here in our own country.
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The Summer Toboggans of Europe

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Throughout much of Central and Northern Europe you can find “primitive” roller coasters called Toboggans. If homemade boxcars, sleds and the metal slides of our childhood made a baby, that is a toboggan. Toboggan runs have been around for hundreds of years and are now dotted throughout Europe for all weather and adventure levels.

Where to find a Toboggan to Ride

Toboggan rides are incredible experiences, being such, you would think they’d be well advertised. They are not. The image above is the longest summer toboggan in Europe. This particular track is well advertised on travel sites and blogs because it is the biggest of its kind. Mount Pilatus in Switzerland (near Lucerne) is home to Europe’s longest summer toboggan. Yes, that means there is a longer winter one. The Alpine mountain range gives life to the majority of the European toboggans and the Swiss Alps definitely give lots of life to this one. BUT, if you aren’t actively searching online you will find zero leads on where to go.

Spur of the moment stops most of the toboggans that we were able to enjoy were random roadside stops when we saw a business advertising their ride. These were not billboard style signs 50 miles in advance. At one stop we actually drove past it on our way to Vienna and saw the track running up the mountain behind the store and proceeded to turn around. You will have to be on the look out to find and enjoy any of the smaller (less famous) toboggans.

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Toboggan Riding with Kids

I hear this regularly, “weren’t the kids terrified?!?!?” The answer is OCCASSIONALLY! Toboggans are generally geared towards older speed demons. You control your speed and most adrenaline junkies want to go fast. With that being said, controlling the toboggan itself is incredibly easy. Our 6 year old had no issues riding it alone. To my surprise, there were not any age restrictions. If the child appeared to be old enough to control the sled, which is just a simple stick, then they could ride alone. Wow. I was shocked and our children were shocked to discover this immense amount of trust instilled in them by the operators! Especially so, given that there were signs everywhere (caution, brake, begin to slow, sharp turn) and my children couldn’t read at the time. Yikes.

The glorious part about the toboggan’s design is that when you get nervous you tense up and naturally pull back on the stick. By pulling back on the stick you brake. So if a child is scared and beginning to panic they will slow themselves down rather quickly. Another concerned parent might say “my kid will never climb the mountain to get the sled back up.” Nor should they. At the bottom of the mountain they hop off of the conveyer belt and get on another that pulls them and their sled back up the mountain. . .backwards. This portion of the ride takes the most amount of time as it moves very slowly.

Toboggan Costs

The toboggan rides were fairly affordable by European standards. I do feel, that most Americans would find it expensive given the access we all seem to have to amusement parks. The summer toboggan of Mount Pilatus was approximately $9 USD per adult and $5.50 USD per child. At that time, ages three and under were free. Therefore, the cost was quite affordable. If you can talk yourself out of doing it over and over again, but fair warning, you will want to. The toboggan at Mount Pilatus is a bit more expensive than some of the more rural (off the beaten path) toboggans. For the random roadside stop toboggans we paid approximately $7 USD per adult and around $4 USD per child. Very affordable, once in a lifetime fun for the whole family.

But. . .There’s So Much Else to See!

You would be correct. There is so much to see throughout Europe that the toboggans come across as an unnecessary. Your agenda is already packed I’m sure. If you truly want a taste of what local living looks like, then a toboggan ride can give you that view. If you want to see the beautiful picturesque countrysides of Europe, then a toboggan ride can you that as well. I have always been a huge proponent of having a slow day to enjoy the atmosphere and view. The view. . .you really should see it. There’s no “bad view” from a toboggan.

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The Misconception of “Soulmates” and Marriage

In Episode 6 of The Wild Bradbury Podcast, we discuss:

  • The exceptions we set for our spouse and how those expectations are met or not met.
  • Ways to use your tribe of friends to help manage your expectations properly to have the most successful and comfortable marriages.
  • We are bridging the gap between spouses and true friendships.
  • Throwing the fairy tale happily ever after theory out the window.
  • Talking about the societal misconceptions about marriage and relationships.

Thank you so much for listening. I desperately hope that you all are enjoying these last few weeks of summer and making the most of your time together. This week we are here;

At the Nature Conservancy of Pine Butte Montana. Living our best life.

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Episode 5-The Tribe

In Episode 5 of The Wild Bradbury Podcasts we discuss:

  • The false misconceptions about the women within the “tribe.”
  • What it really takes when a tribe member is truly in need.
  • How the reciprocity system within the tribe works.
  • How (as a society) we have forfeited physical touch and now need it desperately in our darkest moments.
  • How to fool proof your inner circle of friends (the tribe).
  • Compartmentalizing friendships.

As always, thank you for listening. I hope this episode inspires you to cut ties where you need to. Invest in the friendships that are quality and long lasting. Enjoy the torching and burning of the bridge. True friends will hold the matches. . .

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