Tag Archives: family

our story

I remember around two years ago boxing up and labeling old journals to appease my type A organizational habits. I was scanning through this very hippy looking journal in particular. It was reminiscent of my adolescence and how I saw the world and all my emotions that were “sooo me” at the time. It is made out of some sort of organic hemp and brightly dyed in blues and greens. I can recall thumbing through some of the pages during this very satisfying task when Derek’s name caught my eye on one of the pages. I was 14 years old and I was talking about my husband, years before he and I became we.

It read: “Derek Tillotson and me hung out a lot. He will be the perfect husband someday. He is a catch” 6.16.2002

I don’t know if you believe in the power of thought and intention. I do. I’ve seen things manifest over and over in my life that I have intentionally put out into the world. My husband has a great raccoon story to tell thanks to my belief in this principle. I’ll save that for a later date, because now I am going to share with you how Five Take Flight came to be. It is due to the fact that I put it out into the world as 14-year-old teenager, just filling the pages of her journal.

I was just a girl. Around age 10. With long lashes, big dark eyes, and a small frame.

He was a boy a few years older than me. With a freckled nose, a bull cut hairdo, and green eyes.

He moved into the neighborhood and a casual friendship started. Our eyes would occasionally meet across the pews at our local church. Followed by infrequent conversation and shoulder shrugs here and there.

Fast forward to our college years when he decided to ask me out, not once but twice. The first time he asked I said no. Great things take work and lucky for me my love is very tenacious. That first no he took as a challenge instead of defeat.

After our first date we fell into the rhythm that would be the rest of our lives. We dated through four seasons and several road trips. Then wed on July 19th with a carnival themed wedding- 70 ft Ferris wheel and all.

Three years later we started our family. Porter gave us our first magical introduction into parenthood. Two and a half years later Beckett brought belly aching laughter into our home. Three years more and Wren flew into our hearts.

With our nest complete and the feat of parenthood now in full swing. We are given the call of stability, togetherness, and love. We have teamed up and said yes to any situation that has come our way. We have been in some doozies. Our relationship is just as fragile as anyone’s. However, I’ve discovered if you lose yourself in a worthy cause you’ll find yourself in the process. Derek and my children is my worthy cause. Selflessness by both partners is what it takes; selfishness is what leads to failure. As you grow close with someone you come to know very specific things about him or her. With that knowledge you learn what hurts them the most and how to make them the happiest.  I know that I have hurt Derek more than anyone ever could but I also know that I have made him the happiest that he has ever been. We bear grave responsibility for the purity of our motives when someone has offered their heart to us. Anyone who stands on that amount of trust stands on holy ground. How you choose to protect that heart should be with a vengeance.


the world needs more love and hope

I got a message today from a complete stranger. Ok, we have been getting a lot of messages today. That said, “I just wanted to say I think you’re totally amazing human beings.”

What if every text, letter, or subway interaction was like this? What if we all became vandals… graffiti artists tagging complementary words in dark alleys with broad strokes. And what is it about our nature that can be bathed in blessing but forget all when we see a grain of negativity.

Instead of looking for the injustices why can’t we see the benefits? The good that’s being done?

The response to the “Travel Nanny” video has been an enlightening case study for me . . . based on comments, most see what we are doing like we do. Wonderful, once in a lifetime, dream… Tagged in thousands of comments.  Yet others look for inequalities.

I can logically see that they are the minority of the minority. But like a pebble in my shoe, I can’t help but think about it. So, I would like to shout, into an empty room if necessary, the principles that guide our decision to live out of a suitcase and show our kids grand sights.

Five Take Flight does not tolerate negativity. We don’t want it in our life. We strive to live a life of kindness. We decorate our home with honesty, never taking advantage, and above all, wanting to excel in our greatest responsibility. Parenthood.

Through this nanny process I’ve seen a lot of amazing, talented, and kind people apply. The world is full of us! Please stick around in my life! Continue to send me your heartfelt comments. There are a lot of happy people in the world! Don’t let the media and the comments you see make you feel otherwise. Yet it is our nature to give  negative voices the most focus. I just want mankind to be loving and respectful to each other. Life can be hard. Why make it harder by posting a mean comment or a negative thought? How does that benefit the world or your own personal well being?

We are going on this adventure to simply show that people can reach their goals, can have big dreams, and to inspire hope. When I am gone from this life I want to leave it better than I found it.

I don’t want to be living on a dying planet. I mean that in two ways. First physically from our environmental impact and second spiritually. That we don’t kill each other’s hopes, lives, and self esteem with our words.

Another social media family said something very poignant tonight, “The only way to battle the bad is to create the good.” That is my intent with our social media shenanigans. To create smiles, love, and hope one post at a time.



what’s your brand?

As this growing thing happens each year I become more aware of who and what is worth my energy. It’s simply figuring out your own personal brand of self. My brand of person rarely has doubt. I prefer people who like and seek for unusual experiences. Whose mannerisms are happy, reflective, and easy going. This would fit the description of any one in my close circle.

You probably don’t really know much about me aside from what I look like in a picture or what I have put on this blog. My name is M’Kenzie. I am tiny. Like pick me up and whirl me around in one arm tiny. But I have a very distinct brand of self that is made up of my humor, the type of people I enjoy being around, and how I spend my time.

I am also Five Take Flight.

It took Derek and me some time and a lot of back and forth to settle on the name. I had a little scrappy notebook that I was penning into for days. I was cataloging things that resonate with me in my life. It was a brief list of family, birds, and traveling. I began to mix all 3 ideas together and as a result I had a lot of bird/nest imagery and travel/adventure words filling up the pages.

For example:

Going Far Always Home

Journey Home

Nest of Travelers

Under my Wing

Far and Free

Feather our Dreams

World of Five


You get the picture I think. From this Five Take Flight was born.

My overall brand in life is my family. My home. My home has everyone it will ever need tucked snuggly in their beds tonight. The tree is still twinkling, fire is dancing, and my cup of tea is steaming. There’s something so fresh about a New Year! This year I am going to stamp my family’s brand of positive attributes out. So that hopefully year by year and discovery by discovery we will have an awareness of who we all really are as people.

A big Happy New Year to my darling.

You’ve made me sparkle brighter than anyone ever could by loving me the way you do. I’m yours. It’s always been effortless with you. I’m sorry if this year I didn’t make it so. I’m sorry if this year we both had to experience some change and find understanding for one another in a whole new light. We’ve always been effortless together. I’m glad we will continue to be.


p1040423   screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-10-31-36-am

a season for family

I am a snuggler (not a real word I know).

I often feel like one of those plecostomus fish; some people call them sucker mouth fish. Ya know the fish in tanks that adhere to their surrounding surfaces. That’s me when I sleep. Poor Derek. I pretty much chase him around the bed all night, attached at all times. The fact that Derek tolerates my burrowing every night is one of the little things in our relationship that make us compatible. It simply gives me the connection in our relationship that I need to feel bonded to the partnership. It is something distinct to our family. These little gestures or habits that we have make up the core of our homes. We are different shades of humanity with at least one thing in common. We are a part of a family, no matter how broad the definition is. We all belong somewhere.

Christmas in my eyes celebrates the holy family. I’ve found myself thinking on the kinship that Mary may have had with her spouse and children. What little details made up her family life? In modern times the equivalent would be knowing how one likes their coffee, or tea, or prefers to squeeze the toothpaste out of the top of the tube (seriously everyone gets their own tube of toothpaste in my house). It’s the finer points in a family that I am interested in. I think there are universal truths and family is one of them. So I have no problem directing this next thought at you. The most important thing in your life is your family. It is your most precious thing. You can spend years creating them and destroy it all in five minutes. They are something to be guarded and protected.

I’ll fold myself into Derek’s arms on Christmas Eve like I’ve done for the past several years and think this world really is a gorgeous place. Stacked and filled, piled and overlapped, with hearts of the young.






saddling into life

With uncovered hair and bare feet I am at my best. With my family beside me, home on the range at the Bar B Ranch. Being at the ranch feels healing. It takes my life scars and current mode of being and lets them run free through the trees, tail swishing behind me, dusting off a few years of living at a time.

It has been a year since I was able to ride a horse. I spent nine months of that year being pregnant.

My life holding womb that I’d nurtured, talked too, and trusted. My body now knows about work, change, and acceptance through this process. The acceptance only a mother’s womb will change and make room for. This is the shameless beauty of a woman.

Scars of sadness

Scars of wrinkles

Scars of living

Scars of a woman

Reminding me that these separate parts are my best things and have stories that are stories to pass on. I want to put my story next to theirs and yours next to mine. The pieces I am, broken collarbone, scarred knees and hands, are the parts of me to hold. So, love your scars. Put a hand on them and stroke them. You’ve got to love them, this flesh that weeps, laughs, and dances.

I will sing to the woman I know, the pieces that I am. Using the crisp outside air to fuel my voice to be in tune with the makings of a traveler.


motherhood scars