I’m Inspired By My Students + Good Friends

May 9, 2014

I want to quickly tell you about a few things that have inspired me lately. I think you guys care about this stuff, because I know when you tell me what’s on your radar I find it quite interesting. But in addition to the inspiring stuff I need your travel trips on how to deal with a mom who is terrified to fly. So terrified that she could possibly have a full blown panic attack on the flight and I’m not even kidding. But first… I’m inspired by:

Okay my first inspiration of the moment, other than my baby, are my current students in my Blogging Your Way e-course. I’m so inspired by these wonderful men and women! In fact, before class began I decided to map out my own blog redesign, which I’m currently tackling like a bull charging towards its goal. I’m so excited to soon have this blog made over! It needs updated and I have some surprises with those updates, so decor8 will be a little different in a few months from now… You guys will love it though and I’m happy to say that I’m going in a bit of a different direction with it so it will be much more interesting to us all in just a few months from now.

I'm Inspired By My Students + Good Friends

I think all of our local friends have been by to visit us since the baby arrived. We are so happy and feel so loved and supported by this! I was also inspired by our friends who visited us from afar – well not too afar but still, they flew in from London just to meet little Aidan and spend time with us. It was very loving of them, a most caring gesture. Sania, Mark and their beautiful children Leila and Luke, came for a four day visit. This was a very beautiful gift for us – and being parents to older children, they really helped us with advice and also showed me how to loosen up a bit and encouraged me to go out with the baby more and do stuff with him just as I would if I were still living without a child. I was terrified to take the bus or subway with the baby. But Sania quickly got me out of that and told me we will do it together and so we did and now I’m on the train with Aidan frequently. I feel free! While they were here, we took Aidan to the art museum, zoo, flea market, shopping, out to dinner, to the beer garden, for a forest walk… He was a busy baby! Here is their son Luke with an ice cream that just happened to have a heart show up in the center. The moment I saw it I asked my husband to snap a photo because I like unexpected surprises like this but also since I felt so much love having them with us at such a special part of our life. Thank you Sania, Mark, Leila and Luke. We love you guys!

I'm Inspired By My Students + Good Friends

And below, here we are at the beer garden in the forest behind my house. Doing a bit of nothing, really. We sat on the outskirts of the beer garden so we could be close to the playground (not shown), not because we’re anti-social! It was a chilly day, this was taken 3 weeks ago, but it was really nice to be huddled together around that table with our children doing nothing in particular. Too bad Mark isn’t in the photo, he took it so… But yes, time spent with visitors are cherished times indeed. That’s me, Sania, Leila, Luke and my husband Thorsten. In the stroller was a sleeping Aidan.

I'm Inspired By My Students + Good Friends

Speaking of visitors, my mother is leaving the country for the first time in her life to fly over here to meet Aidan in less than two weeks! This takes tremendous courage, especially at 65 years old with very few flights under her belt. She lives in Boston and the moment I had Aidan, she decided to put her fear aside and fly over. I’m excited to soon see her again and to hand her Aidan, her first grandchild, and watch her eyes light up. She is so anxious to fly but her excitement to meet Aidan is helping calm her nerves. She’ll be here until July so we’ll get plenty of time to catch up and do fun things like drive up to the coast and show the baby the beach for the first time. By the way – any good advice for me to give to my mom who is terrified to take an international flight? I upgraded her seat and booked her on a day flight so she’s not half asleep when she lands in London (I’m flying to London to meet her and she’ll fly here with me), but other than that I’m not sure what else to do to make her less fearful. I love to fly and always have. It’s hard for someone like me to give advice in this case.

I'm Inspired By My Students + Good Friends

And finally, I have to thank EVERYONE who has been spreading the love about our book, Decorate With Flowers. In fact, I’m linking every review HERE so if yours isn’t listed, please comment below and let us know! Leslie and I are so proud of it and how well it’s doing. Tonight in Vancouver at The Cross, Leslie will be signing books and sharing some beautiful floral arrangements she has made for guests. In the Fall, we’ll be doing a little book tour in Europe during the month of September. It’s been really fun to read all of the gorgeous reviews in magazines, on websites and those that have been blogged by some pretty wonderful people. The only thing we’d like to ask is that if you blogged about our book or bought it and have a few moments, if you could leave a review on Amazon. We’d be truly grateful for that! Oh and the book is going to be released in Dutch, Japanese, Italian and French in addition to the two English language versions and the German edition – 7 editions total so far!

(images: 1/holly becker 2/thorsten becker 3/mark wilson 4/leslie shewring)


  • Reply Colleen May 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Maybe you could make her a nice comforting mix to listen to on the plane? As a last resort, I’m sure Xanax would work also :)

  • Reply Beatriz Hidalgo May 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Hello Holly, I’m scared to fly too, even in national ones, the last year I flied from Venezuela to Portugal and was scared to death thinking like thousands of disastrous situations that could happen, what really really helped me was being distracted, either was with hearing music, seeing the movies they were passing or reading a good book, other than that I took a pill made from like chamomilla so it helped me get relaxed (as you see nothing much chemical) and the stubbornness to not be scared, so far I’m enjoying your blog, it’s really quite interesting, if you want you can check mine bettyandamugofcocoa.blogspot.com though I am still building it!

  • Reply All things nice... May 9, 2014 at 9:11 pm


    What a lovely post and I am so looking forward to seeing the blog redesign :) It must be really exciting having your mum come to visit and good on her facing her fear and coming to visit you. My mum has a fear of flying too and I am not the best at it either. I panic in the airport more so than actually on the plane. I find the airport so stressful so it will be good that you are meeting her in London.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

    All things nice…

  • Reply jja May 9, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Maybe the Bach Blüten could help? My friend takes them before every flight


  • Reply Cristina May 10, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Hi Holly, maybe Bach Flowers could help your mum. I don’t like flying nor being at the airport, and I find Bach remedies helpful…also having something to occupy the time helps, like music, a good book, magazines.
    Your mum is very brave, my parents have never visited either as they are both scared of flying so I visit instead.
    Enjoy your time with your mum, I’m sure you will both have a wonderful time :)
    Cristina xx

  • Reply Claudia W. Small May 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I am your mother! My fear of flying has kept me away from visiting my grandchildren and they are in the USA like me. The only bit of advice I can give you you’re already doing. Be supportive of her and never get frustrated. She can’t help it. Her fears are justified at this time in aviation and she has a reason, maybe she doesn’t even know what it is, to cause her to be this anxious. My doctor put me on Paxil and it took away all fear of flying. It’s an anti-depressant and your mom probably doesn’t need it, but it magically took away my fear of flying.

    Keep being kind and loving and supportive. This is a huge step for her and I feel her anxiety in my gut. She’s so lucky to have you for a daughter and I know once she flies to meet her new and first grandson, she’s feel so much better about herself! I hope you have a wonderful visit together!

  • Reply Anne K May 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Maybe show her this video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD2NtzEPBcA ), although it’s sponsored by vodafone. It shows two elderly Dutch women flying for the first time and it is such a nice and comforting video in my opinion.

  • Reply Andrea May 11, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I think it helps to get into a movie as soon as possible, make sure she has music with her, and a book to read. And talking to your seat neighbour – helping out people with kids….anything to re-focus I guess. If she has her head full of movie/book/people its harder to focus on being nervous/fearful..There may even be good meditation cd’s specifically for flying nerves that she could listen to pre flight, or on the flight??.

    and then there are things like valium..

  • Reply Nat May 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    My husband’s mother was PETRIFIED of flying so her kids purchased a course through the airline (in this case QANTAS and fearlessflyers.com.au) where they take you on a tour of a plane on the ground, put you in a flight simulator and explain all the different aspects of flying. Although she’s still anxious when flying, the course has been the difference between her getting on a plane or not! It’s not a cheap option either, but having a flying experience whilst being safely on the ground takes some of the irrational emotion out of the equation. Perhaps see if there’s a course local to your Mum?

  • Reply Flora May 11, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Tell her to listen to the radio show Cabin Pressure! It’s about a small crew running a small charter plane, it’s hilarious, and it’s helped many, many people feel a lot less stressed about flying. There are some clips on Youtube, or you can download it from various places or buy the CDs.

  • Reply gillian May 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    i recommend holy basil tea….its a lifesaver.

  • Reply Susan May 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    In the near term your mom should talk to her doctor. There are antidepressants like Paxil as well as some meds specifically for anti-aniexty that really effective and work really fast if she does get a panic attack (benzodiazepines). Benzodiazepines aren’t great for regular long term use, but are good for a one-off situation like this.

    Therapy can be really great, but it sounds like you are looking for quick help.

    Good luck!

    • Reply decor8 May 11, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      @Susan – She doesn’t believe in turning to Paxil or antidepressants – she takes a natural approach to healthcare so I think she’ll end up using Bach flower remedies. But thank you.

  • Reply my hyggelig May 12, 2014 at 4:06 am

    thank you for sharing this! my husband is afraid to fly and I know how An’s husband feels. you try to be supportive, but it is disappointing they have the issue. this was a nice video!

  • Reply Steph May 12, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Hi Holly! I’m also terrified of flying. I just had to take two flights last week on my own with my 11-month-old baby! It was actually really good having him with me – he was the perfect distraction (he cried for the whole 4-hour flight, which wasn’t so fun!) A couple of years ago I did this online fear of flying course. http://www.fearofflyinghelp.com/ It was fantastic and made a seriously big difference. My biggest tip is to watch the flight crew – their calmness helps to calm me. And if your mum is only into natural remedies – alcohol does the trick too!

  • Reply Polly Rowan May 12, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Aw good luck to your mum! That is very brave!

  • Reply Amy @apidaecandles.de May 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Lots of airlines offer fear of flying seminars. But that takes a bit of planning. If your Mom doesn’t have the time for that, perhaps a book might help her such as: http://www.amazon.com/Soar-Breakthrough-Treatment-Fear-Flying/dp/0762788003/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
    Good Luck!

    • Reply decor8 May 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      @Amy thank you for that book suggestion!

  • Reply lookslikewhite May 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Love your book and reviewed it on my blog here!



    • Reply decor8 May 12, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      @Trudy THANK YOU! That is wonderful!!!!

  • Reply Valentina May 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Hey Holly!
    As I do fly a lot (and I mean…a lot! :) for work I do have some advice for your mum, so here we go;

    – Lounge Access: since she has an upgraded seat I think she should be able to get access to the airline lounge. Lounges can be pretty lovely: they are quiet, you get nice (free) food & drinks and you can relax by reading and/or listening to music. It is the best way to avoid the typical airports noise and general stress.

    – Watching nice movies: this is really important. Movies can really take your mind off fears and anxiety. They make you think of something else, they keep you engaged, they make you wonder. RomComs are highly recommended!

    – I am against pills etc. Maybe camomile or something natural, but nothing more and only if it is really necessary.

    – Wellbeing: I like to relax while on the airplane by also using moisturising products (if she is flying business they are probably gonna give a nice cosmetic bag) and keep myself fresh. Drinking A LOT of water is a must. Stretching and breathing every now and then during the flight is also really important to relax.

    -Excitement: this is a pretty natural remedy that would help your mum and would make her feel that time will (literally) fly… She is going to be so happy, because the purpose of her trip is a truly amazing one!

    Good Luck and have a wonderful time with your mum!


  • Reply Mary Glenn May 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Holly,
    My Mother said she would never get on a plane, but after I moved to the US from Ireland (found my hubby in a Pub) she came to see her first grandson 25 yrs ago. I sent her a photo of the Baby and I told her to look at it every time she got nervous. She came 6 more times over the years. She passed away suddenly last year so thankfully she made that first trip. Bye the way, that baby moved out into his first apartment this weekend. I am enjoying Blogging Your Way but need more help with the tech stuff.

    • Reply decor8 May 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      @Mary – Yeah the tech stuff is hard but you can buy a beginner’s book for that. I suggest “Blogging For Dummies”, it’s how I learned in 2005!

  • Reply Chloe May 17, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Lots of good advice here for your Mom. I would suggest she also keeps a photo of Aidan with her so she can look at it and remind herself why she is flying. Controlled breathing can also be very helpful to prevent anxiety/panic attacks: Breathe in for 4 secs, hold for 2, breathe out for 6, pause for 2, breathe in for 4… Etc.

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