Hello and Goodbye with Alaska Airlines

November is a month centered around family and giving thanks. A month to remember what is important, to hold each other tight. Alaska Airlines understands that the adventure of travel often leads us home, which is why I am honored to partner with them for this very special post.


Five years ago we said hello to a new life, a new chance to grow closer as a family, a new chance to see the world. My daughter Matilda received a lifesaving liver transplant at six weeks old. As the last five years have unraveled, we have transformed. At first life felt really complicated. Matilda had more doctor appointments than I have had in a lifetime and even more medications than that. We were isolated and 2,000 miles from family and friends.

But, our hearts were filled with abundant joy and thanksgiving.

As the years moved forward, life blossomed with visits from family, playdates at the playground, and finally the start of school. All milestones met with a hello to new possibilities and goodbye to anxious worry.

Five years post-transplant is a big deal, and we wanted to celebrate with a plane ride home.


A plane ride that would lead us into a world full of goodbyes. Not long after Matilda's transplant, my father was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and it has been progressing quickly. He no longer recognizes the people around him. Routine tasks like using utensils or putting on clothes require assistance.

My dad is always happy to see me. Always compliments my smile. Always denies that I am his daughter.


As my mom flew to New York for Matilda's anticipated birth, she never could have guessed what her life would look like in five years. This last year, in particular, has been full of challenges, important decisions, and daily trials.

She needed me to come and say hello, to hug her tightly, and to participate in the decision to let the house she loves go and move somewhere more practical for my father's care. She needed to celebrate in the goodness of a healthy Matilda and play Legos in laughter with my son Parker.


This trip brought so much to light. It is time to say goodbye to holding back. Of not living the very best life. Goodbye to the fear of travel, goodbye to reluctance, goodbye to "maybe next year". We were abundantly blessed with the chance to watch our daughter grow. She is a reminder that we only have one life to enjoy. My father is a reminder that living in the moment counts more than the pictures we take or the memories we try to hold.

We only have one life to enjoy, to hold our families close. One life to say hello and goodbye.

Enjoy this heartfelt video produced by Fern Photography + Films and just try not to tear up. 

This post was sponsored by Alaska Airlines. All ideas and experiences were my very own. And, speaking of experiences, I would love to add that although the staff at Alaska Airlines had no idea that our travel was in exchange for this post, we were treated better than I have ever experienced by an airline. Everyone from the ticket counter to the flight attendants smiled at the sight of my children, offered accommodations to help whenever they were needed, and genuinely showed continual kindness to everyone around us. There is no one I would rather fly with.

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