The Magic Of Childhood: A Tribute To Landrum And Aydan

The Magic Of Childhood: A Tribute To Landrum And Aydan

Two boys with kind souls and big dreams.
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This earth is filled with magic. This world holds beautiful people, each with their own unique light. Sometimes we forget or we lose sight of the magic and our light dims. We move through the motions of everyday life and we begin to feel unfulfilled. It takes another light to remind us of that magic we’ve forgotten. For me, that light was a farm, shining were two incredible and strong women raising two young boys with kind souls and big dreams. Their light, their love of life and passion to take care of our world reminded me of that magic. I’m forever changed and for that I am forever grateful.

Lisa, Elizabeth, Landrum, and Aydan live on an off-the-grid sustainable farm in the Appalachian Mountains. The family focuses on teaching and learning about breathing with nature, the animal and plant kingdoms, and the spirit realm. They serve as nature’s caregivers harvesting land using permaculture techniques and tending to many animals ranging from goats to guinea pigs; each chicken, duck, cat, and dog with a wildly different personality.

These boys, uninterested in conformity, love the life they live. They learn and grow every day while they explore and discover all this world has to offer. Their adventures have led them to become impressive outdoorsmen, theatrical unicyclists and beautiful musicians of many instruments. They develop these skills in an unconventional outdoor classroom. The earth is their school. Although they do make time for standard education at home, they develop far greater skills and more impressive qualities through their incredible endeavors.

Because the farm is focused on teaching and learning, many different individuals and groups have come and gone through the years. The family generously shares their wisdom and their humble home with anyone willing to believe in the magic of the earth. I remember sitting in the cabin having conversations with the boys, more intellectual than many students I interact with on my own campus. I have watched first-hand as Landrum thoroughly explains each integral process and piece of a working grey-water system. I have seen the love and respect Aydan treats each animal with as he wakes up at sunrise to care for them. The boys are wise beyond their years, and yet they still play a competitive game of capture the flag and can hula-hoop until they’re dizzy with laughter.

As they grow and climb, run and explore, these boys are surrounded by, and are very aware of the endless beauty this earth holds. Their mothers, family, friends and neighbors provide them with an inspiring support system that allows them to flourish and chase their dreams. During my time on the farm, it took only a week for me to see what a magical childhood these two have. They support each other and laugh and play together while they take this crazy life head on. They’re hungry for knowledge and you can see the light in their eyes and in their hearts.

Landrum and Aydan have set their sights on a new adventure at a summer camp in California. Camp Woolman, founded on Quaker principles, is the perfect fit for these young men to continue to learn and grow. I could not think of two more deserving young people to embark on this exciting new experience. My hope for these boys, and all of today’s children, is that they are able to continue through this life together, discovering what their world has to offer and creating their unique light.

If you feel inclined to learn more about Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm, Aydan and Landrum and their journey, and/or Camp Woolman please see the below links.

Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm

Amazing Boys: Learn, Love, & Grow

Brothers Amazing Healing Journey

Camp Woolman

Cover Image Credit: Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Florida Native's First Snow Is A Doozy

Seattle's most snow in February since 1923 hits hard

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For all of us Washingtonians, the recent snow storm is something we were unprepared for. Seattle broke the record for the most snow in February since 1923. But for a Floridian who has never seen the snow, this week has been an adventure right out of a Christmas movie.


Snow in Tacoma, WashingtonMaddy McKeever


My friend and I reside under an hour drive away from Seattle in the city of Tacoma, Washington, and despite not being in the record-breaking city, we still had at least 7 inches of snow. The result? More than 40 people calling out of our store because of unsafe driving conditions (including myself), massive food and de-icer shortages, and a revitalization of the old Seattle driver stereotype.

Presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity, I decided to take my Florida friend on a snow day through the winter wonderland that was Wapato Park. He adored it.

My dog, Hyperion, in the snowMaddy McKeever

Despite having to carry my small dog a lot because of the depth of the snow, the trip went wonderfully. We all three bundled up immensely, none of us use to being out when it was 19 degrees Fahrenheit, even the dog.

The trip began with a stereotypical snowball fight, but quickly turned into a dazzling photo shoot. The landscape was like that of a painting: tall fir trees dusted in fresh snow, paths carved out by countless frozen footsteps, and friends slipping and sliding across bridges covered in blankets of white. It was truly a sight to see.

Wapato Park bridgeMaddy McKeever

I have still yet to experience the heat of a Florida summer, but my friend has now lived through a cold west coast winter. If he can make it through a park with dogs running all around and not fall face-first into the ice, all us Washingtonians can too.

We've all heard of Christmas in July, but it's Christmas in February this year. Anyone know of a good Valentine's Day movie set in the snow?


Wapato Park's frozen lakeMaddy McKeever

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