Holidays in Retrospect

And now that the holidays are “officially” over, I’m finally getting around to looking back at the holiday break. It was the most time I’ve had off consecutively over the holidays in forever, and I pretty much wallowed in it. That being said, it was also an utter whirlwind. We were involved in a wedding the weekend before Christmas (luckily it was also in Chapel Hill, so we didn’t have any extra traveling to do), we had a Christmas bon fire party, then there was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Scott flew north on Christmas Day in the evening to be with his family for a week, then I spent the following week dog sitting for the best dog ever for our friends who got married, party hopped on New Years Eve, and headed back to the mountains on New Years Day. Yep, a whirlwind. And now, for some photos.

The lovely bride and handsome groom getting ready for an epic bike ride to the courthouse to get married!!! It was about 40 and windy that day. Brrrrr!

Nick and Kathy on the way to get hitched!

Lovely Kathy and me at the party after aforementioned bike ride. (Scott and I opted out of the bike ride, but went to the courthouse!)

Oh, Kathy! You're glowing in this picture.

Went to a concert at the Haw River Ballroom – Ananta and I were matching!

Matching boots!

Kitty’s favorite spot under the Christmas Tree!

Kitty under the Christmas Tree

A Christmas Eve Party (that’s actually before Christmas Eve now) with a wonderful bon fire! Good company, singing Christmas songs, hearing the Hanukkah story, lighting the Menorah, hearing the Christmas story. Such a great tradition!

Christmas Eve Bon Fire!

We went out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve! The restaurant was packed – not surprising – and it was delicious!

Family dinner out for Chinese on Christmas Eve!

The lovely Christmas Tree on Christmas morning!!!

Mmm Christmas Morning!

Mom and I made flan for Christmas dessert! We were both surprised at how easy it was – and we feel very lucky because from talking to folks it is not always so easy!

Making a Christmas Flan!

My sweetheart and me on Christmas! It was such a blessing to be together for part of Christmas this year.

Scott and me, Christmas 2012

Sweet Cricket! We got to spend a week together while her humans were out of town and it was so fun!!!

Sweet Cricket!

New Year’s Eve with Ananta!

Ananta and me on New Year's Eve!

And another bon fire for New Year’s Eve! Christmas Trees burn so quickly!

New Year's Eve Bon Fire!

So there you have it – a recap of my holidays. It was a great couple of weeks, that’s for sure! Spent time with some wonderful people – family and friends – and enjoyed the time off! So grateful.


Pop in!


Wow, what an absolutely jam-packed holiday season this has been! And it has all gone by so quickly. Back home tomorrow!

I would like to write a good review of the holidays when I’m back home and not about-to-run-out-the-door-for-NYE-festivities, so I’ll save that for later. But I wanted to say that it has been absolutely terrific! And this year has been glorious. What a year, 2012! Here’s to a marvelous 2013!

More on that later.


A Recap.


Has been a loooooong time since I wrote a proper post.

I’m not even really sure what a “proper post” is at this point. So I am not going to dwell on it, and instead I plan to update and move on from here. The end of the year is a crazy busy time for my family. The last month-ish has been an absolute blur. Like when cars goes by in movies in fast forward and all you see is a blur of the headlights. That kind of blur. Kind of smudgy and very colorful. School has been awesome! I still love my job. I suppose this is a good time to start reflecting on the first half of the year! I have learned so much, been challenged in more ways than I knew possible, learned new ways of speaking, learned lyrics to songs that I am almost positive were made up on a whim to work with small children, been sat on, sneezed on, coughed on, and farted on, comforted many tearful tots, taught many lessons, reminded countless children to make lots of bubbles when washing hands, read a zillion stories, cried many tears about the loss of the children and teachers in Connecticut, and my heart is so full of love I hardly know what to do with myself. Being surrounded by young children all week every week is pretty much the best thing. As far as I am concerned. It is certainly not for everyone, but it is definitely for me! I am very much looking forward to having two weeks off to reflect, relax, and rejuvenate, but I will miss all the hugs and love I get every day at school!

Being a teacher brings to the forefront of my mind the tragedy in Connecticut. I am heartbroken and it makes me feel very sad every time I think about the families of everyone who was killed who are going on with life at what is supposed to be such a joyous time of year. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected.

For Sandy Hook

Here are some photos of my life lately! In all the craziness that is the end of the year!

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards ready to go!

Biltmore Gatehouse at sunset.

Gussied up for the last day of school!

Christmas at the Biltmore!

And now I sit here, post yoga, with a glass of wine. It is finally sinking in that it is Christmas break! Tomorrow promises to be a very busy day, as do the next several days, but it also promises to be super fun!!! I will try to keep this more posted!

Deck the Halls

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! We decorated our apartment this weekend! We put up our tiny two-foot Christmas tree and LOADED it with lights and ornaments. We listened to Christmas music and made Christmas cookies! It felt wonderful, but it’s taking its sweet time to actually feel like Christmas! It was almost 70 degrees today. Oy. But we are loving our wee Christmas tree!

Christmas Tree 2012


We give thanks.

My mom and brother joined us for Thanksgiving this year! We missed Dad and Dean and Scott’s family, but it sure was nice to have some family around! And we had so much fun, as we always do when we are together. We hiked up to Rattlesnake Lodge, watched lots of Downton Abbey, went for a walk at the Biltmore, laughed, cooked, ate, and had a great time!

It was a wonderful holiday! So glad to have a few days off with family! Scott and I both worked Friday and Saturday, so Mom and Parker headed home. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. It was crazy! I am so thankful for my life, my loved ones, and the opportunities I have.


Yesterday my brother turned 20!!! He is such a great guy and I am so proud of him!

Happy Birthday Parker!!!


Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween was so much fun today! All the kids came dressed up in their costumes, and all the teachers had costumes too! We had a little show on the playground for the parents and sang some silly little Halloween songs. Then the parents and teachers made a human tunnel for the kids to parade through in their costumes!!! It was awesome! We had two Luke Skywalkers, a ladybug, a unicorn, a ninja, Cinderella, Optimus Prime, a bee, an angel, a clown, a banana, a police man, a firefighter, and so many other neat costumes! And I was an apple!



Super fun Halloween! We haven’t had any trick-or-treaters, which is a bummer. But it was fun nonetheless! And I felt awesome in my costume!

First Full Week of Montessori!

Today is FRIDAY! And it feels so good to have made it all the way to this day! This was the first full week of teaching at Montessori and it was terrific! It was fun, exciting, exhausting, messy, loving, bright, eye-opening, routine-oriented, and all-around great. It was full of hugs and snuggles, dancing and singing, jumping and following, learning and loving. My lead teacher and the other assistant are finally getting into a rhythm, and we’re changing things around already, but the order of things is getting easier every day. We are learning as we go, getting to know the children, and figuring out our own routine. There have already been some challenges, but I am pleased to say that we have taken them in stride and things are going quite smoothly! I love teaching, I love Montessori, the kids are great (even the handfuls), and my coworkers are wonderful!

Unfortunately I do not have any photos that really pertain to my first week of teaching. But I did catch this photo of the sky after my yoga class on Wednesday evening! It was really perfect.

A Very Biltmore Evening

Disclaimer 1: Scott and I invest in 12-Month Passes to the Biltmore. We budget for them and get them around Christmas and they are part of our gifts to each other. That is how we are able to spend so much time there! If you have any questions about how to go about getting a 12-Month Pass, please feel free to email me and I would be delighted to tell you all about it!

This evening we took some friends with us to the Biltmore! (Disclaimer 2: As a perk of being Passholders, we are allowed to bring guests with us for free onto the Estate after 5:00.) As we were driving onto the Estate we saw that the car ahead of us had stopped, so we slowed down, and no sooner than we started looking around a mama black bear and her two cubs lumbered across the road RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR CAR!!! I may or may not have squealed with delight! (Read: I screamed I was so excited!!! And Scott shushed me so I wouldn’t frighten the bears.) This was the FIRST time that Scott and I (or our friends) had ever seen black bears since we moved here six years ago!!! IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME!!! As they ran up the hill on the other side of the road the two cubs started playing with each other and then lumbered off behind mama. I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN MYSELF STILL! It was incredible. Absolutely made my day/week/month/year! Unfortunately in my delight I was only able to capture this photo of bear cub tush. Do you see it!? Can you tell it was adorable!? Because it was.

After this most exciting event, we parked near the Conservatory and wandered around for a bit. Went to see the house and the more of the gardens, and then made our way down to Antler Hill Village. Scott and I showed them around a little bit and we made our way to the winery tasting room where our lovely expert told us so much about wine, the Biltmore Winery, the process of making wine, the tastes and feels of the wine, and so much more! She was awesome! Apparently she also does tours of the winery, which is part of where her wealth of information comes from. It was so great to have someone with so much knowledge! And she also poured the wines for us to taste. Learning new things every day!

Once we had tasted our fair share of wine we went back to the car and collected our picnic. We spread out on our blanket and had chicken and veggies for dinner! It was a glorious evening. Thanks for coming with us Alison and Andy! Hope you had as much fun as we did!!! Also, thanks to the black bears for making our day! And special thanks to our tasting room expert who had so much fun with us!