New York Times Article Review: A Portrait of a Modern Family

Ra'Co Life New York Times Article Review Portrait of a Modern Family

The New York Times, one of the most appreciated publications on the planet, just published an article on the American family. They titled it: Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family. It showcased many of the issues we as families face today by being stretch too thin; the inability to be there for everything you need to be. But they are all choices we make and we all have the ability to shift or adjust to make them differently. The article was not reflective of the entire population, but the comments on the article by the readers really demonstrated a broad spectrum of opinions and life experiences related.

What’s Missing?

What the article didn’t showcase was real opportunities for change for this ‘typical American family.’ The article had very few solutions and a lot of banter about what is not working. It didn’t account for the millennial population of out-of-the-box workplace scenarios and lacked content around alternative lifestyles like communities, expatriate living, or families who have worked out schedules to be home at opposite times to co-parent.

One other element not considered in the article: there is no talk about balancing behaviors like more sleep, a better diet and general health of the people they are showcasing. We find that often the main reasons people are stressed, tired and rushed is due to being overweight, sleep deprived and sickly, unable to function at 100%. Work becomes less productive and life is less enjoyable. All of this can be avoided through preventative health.

Kurt and I know this first hand because we’ve been there. When we first had Iza, we had just gotten two huge contracts. To fit it all in, we stayed up after Iza was asleep… we became sleep deprived and then ate poorly and drank too much to ease the pain. We stopped meditating and stopped exercising. Not only did we feel terrible, but we found that we were spinning and hardly getting any work done. We had strayed too far from our values, so we stopped, reevaluated and initiated a plan which supported our lifestyle.

What we love about this article is that it says what many of us are thinking all the time. It speaks to the realities many families face in the general workplace… the one with no life balance or boundaries.

When you can’t right the ship…

I am at the end of a very long, very visible 2-year project and there is an uncontrollable issue in my way of completing it. In a nutshell it is the kind of project where we pushed the envelope at every corner only to have it come back around to one of the most obvious and formulaic solutions. An idea that we presented at the first pass and then did everything but that before reverting back to the original idea. But what’s funny now is that the decisions we made for this off-the-shelf very basic solution, is now sitting in the middle of the ocean waiting for dock space during the West Coast Port Shutdown and my products will not make it here in time for the deployment date we had scheduled.

For the last 5 days I have been in a state of panic (with little I could control), and tried every possible other avenue. I started with the obvious working with my supplier to connect with the manufacturer in China to have them reproduce and then air freight. Another road block: Chinese New Year started on Friday and all of China’s factories are closed until the second week of March. We sought and counted inventory from as many suppliers as we could – nada. And now, our final solution has been to go with an entirely different product and redesign at the last minute to support that decision. Awesome.

I have been in the business long enough to think through many of these potential road blocks and make accommodations for them, so a quick dodge to the left or right, or even a zig zag maneuver are always in the back of my mind. When you can’t right the ship (or in this case dock the ship), you should take a deep breathe in and not focus on the ship so much. Instead come up with 3 solutions that could accomplish the same effect.

Casa de Joyce

For some reason we never posted photos of this amazing house. From sunrise to staff, it was the best of everything in Guatemala. There was a time early on, that we would have jumped at the opportunity to buy and put down roots here. But it was bad timing all around, and here we are now. New house in Patziac.

What makes Joyce’s house so special are her dramatic gardens. They are like none other we have seen. She has put time, care and love into crafting different terraces, planting a mix of indigenous and exotic plants and building something truly unique.

We were graced with 3 months in her beautiful house, facing San Pedro Mountain. Her house filled with collections from markets and local craftsman, and some unique features like her chest-high bed. She has some of the best artwork we have seen in all of Guatemala and a terrific staff. We felt at home in her abode and are grateful for her hosting of us. It came at a time when we needed a win here, and we found it at Casa de Joyce.

New York Times Article on Joyce’s House

Joyce Maynard found in a second home a sanctuary for writing, swimming and teaching workshops, until nature took it back. 

LA Travel Article 

As the boat glides through the beautiful waters of Lake Atitlan and around one last rocky outcropping, a dream comes true. Like a shining white gem, Casa Paloma stands out among the deep jungle greens while still somehow existing in complete harmony with its surroundings.

The water at Joyce’s is amazing. The water’s edge is always cleared up and the dock has a very easy to use ladder, which have discovered is an anomaly here at the lake. Because of the lake rising, we have been able to really enjoy jumping in and not worrying about the waters undergrowth coming through. Just like where I spent my summers as a girl, the water here is refreshing, a little chilly and clear. We love it!

Joyce is a writer who has invested most of her career towards romance, intrigue novels. She is best known for her recent movie Labor Day with Kate Winslet, and To Die for with Nicole Kidman. My favorite is her book written when she was freshly at Yale Looking Back: A Chronicle of Growing Up Old in the Sixties. She is also infamous for having an affair with J.D. Salinger who wrote the The Catcher in the Rye. And she is uniquely a San Marcosian vacation implant for around 15 years, living in New Hampshire and then California for most of her adult life.



Synonymous? Prince and Dancing!

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”2137″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text]We have had a blast the last couple of nights dancing around the new house listening to music (mostly Prince). Kurt got this incredible speaker from JBL when he was in the States, which also charges your phone. For something so small – the sound is outrageous.

It is also relatively durable, in that Iza has tossed it on the floor more than 10x already and it is still holding its sound and lighting up as it is meant to.


[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vcex_image_grid grid_style=”default” columns=”3″ title_type=”title” thumbnail_link=”none” lightbox_caption=”true” custom_links_target=”_self” img_width=”250″ img_height=”200″ image_ids=”2148,2136,2135″][vc_video link=””][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_feature_box style=”left-image-right-content” content_width=”50%” media_width=”50%” heading=”Art Official Age by Prince” heading_type=”h2″ image=”2147″ img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″]There is just nothing like a new Prince album, and while Blood Orange has tried to fill the void over Prince’s hiatus from new material, he cannot be replaced. This record has been our household new favorite for the last few weeks – and since we got the JBL’s the sound is incredible![/vcex_feature_box][/vc_column][/vc_row]