Welcome to The Pineapple Door! I’m Meg Vlach (pronounced like Black), and I’m delighted you’re here.
On our wedding day, my husband Rob gave me a pewter pineapple door knocker. It represents warmth, welcome and friendship. We wrote the word “adventure” into our vows. Since that day, we’ve hung it on doors around America and now Europe as we move with his job.
This blog is about creating joy in everyday parenting moments, celebrating little things in gigantic ways, and laughing in the face of chaos. It’s about traveling with kids, building memories and traditions, creating home wherever we are, entertaining with style, and living graciously, which to me means making the best of life’s ups and downs. As Americans living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (our house is 15 minutes from Germany, France and Belgium), it’s also about our adventures living abroad.
Each day is an opportunity to enjoy and actively build the family life we envision….rather than gliding through these years in a blur until we realize they’ve passed us by.
I’m a former expat kid raising expat kids, moving 14 times since I was born, including 5 different countries and all over the U.S. I’m a Midwesterner and an honorary Southerner who’s polishing my French trial-by-fire.
Each place we’ve lived has given us gifts — dear friendships, incredible memories, new traditions — that have become part of our family DNA and that travel wherever we go.
Just like that pineapple door knocker.
Looking back, there are moments that change life forever. As newlyweds, we discovered my mom had a year to live. Within weeks, we left our big city skyscraper jobs and moved to my central Illinois hometown to be with her. She lived thirteen months. Soon after, we learned I was pregnant. Loss, life, love. And so began the next gorgeous chapter of our lives, where our family grew and grew and grew and grew…. I was determined not to let even a second slip by without holding it first for a little bit.
Up until that point, I’d been “climbing the corporate ladder” and loving it, doing marketing communications, advertising, recruiting, and planning hundreds of corporate events for large companies like Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and Caterpillar. I also enjoyed a glamorous stint planning high profile weddings for Wolfgang Puck. When our first child was born, I paused my career indefinitely to become a full time mom…but I was determined to apply the same drive, ambition and work ethic to my new job at home; I simply made a career change. (To document our story along the way, I also started a family blog — the Vlach Six — which you are welcome to read here).
Now my days are filled with creativity, gratitude, a whole different kind of reward, a lot of diapers and a decade’s worth of exhaustion. When I’m not kissing scraped knees or running between soccer, gymnastics and horseback riding….I’m usually reading or re-reading a parenting book. It’s my ongoing professional development — there’s always something to glean. I’ll share some of my favorite tips and books along the way.
Parenting and motherhood is the hardest, most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I make many mistakes; we limp through some days. But I love my family like mad, and each new day is fresh chance to give them my best.
We laugh a lot.
Even when the 7-year-old just poured the last of the milk into a bowl of rocks; the baby’s scooting towards a treacherous staircase; my 9-year-old is frustrated with her homework, and the 5-year-old forgot to flush…..again. All while I’m trying to make dinner…
This is our life — we have a whole lot of fun around here.
You’re invited. C’mon in.
(Logo and header design by Mollie Jackson.)