A month in review:

1. I am going on a trip to Paris over my Spring Break with my Grandma! I have been taking a French class for the last couple of months and it has been amazing. I am so excited!!!


2. Our sweet Lily passed away after 14 years of unconditional love and is now resting in peace. She was such a beautiful princess and is so missed, but she is in a better place. I imagine that she has found the biggest stick in heaven and is playing keep away in the greenest sunniest grassy meadow. Rest in peace, sweet Lily. I love you!

Sweet Lily

3. These tulips helped bring hints of spring into our home. It feels like sunshine in a jar!


4. And we have some coming up outside the door, along with some hyacinths!


5. Planning a wedding with this handsome man has been the best adventure of my life! I can hardly wait to be married to him.

My handsome fiancé

6. Also, these two cuties drove down from Michigan to visit us and the ever so talented Leigh took our engagement photos! Hooray! It was so wonderful having you two visit. Can’t wait to see you again soon!

These cuties

7. Things are starting to bloom ’round these parts! It makes me giddy every time I see them. Ahh spring! How I’ve missed you.


8. Also, ice cream is the bees’ knees. Especially on warm, sunny days.

Chocolate on chocolate

9. Most especially ice cream eaten with this handsome fella.

Handsome fiancé

10. And spring warmth means Wedge weather! ‘Nuff said.

Wedge weather

My life juggling has gone to a new level – full-time job, planning a wedding, yoga, French class, Spanish class, trip to Paris, trip to Spain, and all of those other sundry life delights. Somehow it all feels just perfect. This year is full of so many blessings. And I am so happy!


In Which it is 60 Degrees on Winter Solstice

So it’s not so cold outside right now … but I’m enjoying winter break! And reminding myself that it usually gets colder in January ’round these parts. Also, I love saying, “’round these parts.”

I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping up with this here blog. And every time I post I think, “Here we go! I can do this! I’ll definitely post again soon.” And then a month goes by. This past month has absolutely FLOWN by. I mean it. It’s been crazy! My Dad and Parker and Dean came up at various times around Thanksgiving, which was wonderful, and then it’s as though the weeks since then have passed by at warp speed. I’m pretty sure I’ve only blinked once and it’s already Christmas! In all honesty, I moved on to Christmas mid-November, so it’s been a long time coming. But suddenly it IS Christmas and it doesn’t quite feel like it yet. I have great faith that it will start to feel like it in the next couple of days, but today, on this balmy Winter Solstice, I’m here to say that it does not feel like winter.

Advent Calendar


Handknit Edamame Ornament

I made this knit edamame ornament for my Secret Santa!


Tiny Succulents!

Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church

Christmas Cards!

Grandpa's Santa Suspenders

Home Grown Sign

Biltmore Estate

Himalayan Salt Lamp

Beautiful Himalayan Salt Lamp that I got as a gift from one of my munchkins!

Tiny Christmas Tree

Life has been full of Christmas songs and munchkins wearing cute Christmas outfits and art projects and chaos. It was a fun month, which is probably why it went by so quickly. At work we had a fun week of Secret Santa culminating in a delicious holiday staff dinner where we all guessed who was giving us our gifts! Always a good time. I was so proud of the edamame ornament that I knit for my Secret Santa and was thrilled by the beautiful gifts I received – one of them was the tiny succulents pictured above. Then it was full steam ahead through the rest of the days before winter break. Our school Holiday Performance was a blast! It’s destined to be adorable and hilarious when tiny munchkins sing songs for their families, and the performance did not disappoint. I’ve used my voice so much that I’m pretty sure I’ve had laryngitis for the past week – which I learned mostly means I’ve thoroughly worn out my voice and will get it back soon. Google says lots of fluids and rest, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Here’s to hoping it comes back very soon! If you know me at all you know that I am not a particularly quiet person, so to have no voice is a challenge. It’s really put a damper on my daily musical repertoire in the car. Nonetheless, winter break has started out just marvelously with Christmas cards being sent out, a very much-needed yoga practice, and some rest and relaxation.

We have a lovely wreath on our front door, which makes me smile every time I pull up. There are decorations on all of the apartments in our little complex, which makes me insanely happy. And our tiny tree is decorated and glows whenever we’re home – we have way more ornaments than space on the tree, but I consider it a personal challenge to fit them all in. I love looking at each one and thinking about all the memories I have of past Christmases.

Christmas is going to be very different this year. Perhaps that’s why it’s not quite feeling like Christmas yet. My brother is on his way to Prague, as I type these very words, to meet up with my Mom for the holiday. I had the opportunity to go but was torn for spending time with Scott and feeling like it would be a very rushed trip for me with a short break. (Mom and I are planning a trip to Spain in June instead!) And my Dad and Dean are in Hawaii for the second year in a row for Christmas. Honestly, it opened things up a bit on our end for Christmas plans, so that’s the silver lining. Biltmore on Christmas morning and New-England-bound on Christmas night!

I am grateful this year for the gift of being with family and for this incredible life! Merry Christmas y’all!


Life is just as busy as ever right now! It’s feeling a bit more consistently cool these days. Our brand spankin’ new Trader Joe’s opened a few weeks ago and it’s AMAZING!!! We love love love having a Trader Joe’s here in Asheville.

Trader Joe's Asheville!

The walled gardens at the Biltmore Estate are ever changing and the carpet of flowers there is breathtaking.

Fall flowers in the Walled Garden at the Biltmore

I’m noticing fall colors like I never have before – there’s more lavender in early fall than I ever realized.

Fall flowers

And the wine tasting at the Biltmore is always a favorite spontaneous activity!

Spontaneous Wine Tasting

Fall colors

My Dad was in town last weekend and we really enjoyed having him visit. We took him to Wicked Weed, Doc Chey’s, and Hi-Wire to taste some of our favorite brews and delicious noms! And we went to Dough with some of his friends for the first time! I didn’t even know it existed. It’s a neat little bakery restaurant with good sandwiches and a nice vibe. One of his friends, Christopher Oakley, who used to be an animator at Disney, told us all about his recent findings about Lincoln at Gettysburg. So interesting! Thanks for coming to visit, Dad!

Dough Asheville

And now we’re enjoying the fall-ness in the air – the foggy mornings, crisp mountain air, pumpkins and Halloween decorations everywhere, planning for upcoming holidays, and all of our other sundry activities. My Spanish class at AB Tech has been awesome and we’re all talking about a Spanish IV class in January! Mmm fall.


Head First into September

I find myself diving into September head first. And it’s already almost halfway through!

School is off to a rock and rolling start. We are getting into a routine slowly but surely and getting to know our kiddos better every day. Teaching certainly is a challenging job, but I do love it.

I started taking a continuing education Spanish class at the local community college and we had our first class on Tuesday of this week. It was so great! It feels wonderful to be back in a Spanish class, reviewing my knowledge, practicing my conversation skills, and building my confidence with speaking! I surprise myself with how much I actually do know and remember when I just start speaking. Hopefully this class will hold me accountable for actually using this beautiful language!

Spanish Textbook

The Walled Garden at the Biltmore Estate is beautiful in late summer. The large leafy plants are lush and lovely. The flowers are abundant and bright. The grass is green and it feels so magical.

Walled Garden, Biltmore Estate

The roses are still blooming and I wish I had enough sniffs in my nose to sniff all of them. I’m always a bit disappointed when they don’t smell. But so many of them do, and jeepers do they smell good!

Roses at the Biltmore

Biltmore Estate from the Italian Gardens

I would like to say that it’s starting to feel like fall around these parts, but I just can’t bring myself to say that when it’s still mid-80s and humid. We have had some absolutely gorgeous misty mornings though! The clouds catch on the mountains and hug the sunlight into the morning with a tenderness only foggy mornings can. It’s like bits of magic leftover from dreamland.

Misty morning sunshine

Life has been busy lately. Busy, but good. I took myself to yoga last night even though I was so tempted to just stay at home. And I am so glad I went! Yoga is awesome.

African Violet

Fall is a busy time of year for us here in las montañas! I’ll try to keep the blog updated on all of our adventures. Also, my mom’s African Violet is blooming abundantly! It’s incredible! And it makes me think of her every time I see it.

Weekend Review: David and Emma do Asheville

Scott’s brother David and his girlfriend Emma came to visit this weekend! They are currently on their way back to school for the fall and we are so glad they came to visit!

They were here very briefly, but it was wonderful to finally meet Emma and spend some more time checking out Asheville together.

Friday evening we took them downtown to Tupelo Honey Cafe. I forget how noisy it can be downtown on a Friday evening (thank you drum circle). But it was nice!

Tupelo Honey Candle

David and Emma at Tupelo Honey

We spent the evening just relaxing and playing games.

The next morning we went to another downtown favorite – Early Girl Eatery. We got there just in the nick of time with only a 15 minute wait!

Early Girl Eatery

Matching boat shoes

After brunch we had some time to wander around downtown. Went to Malaprops and earnestly checked out their Blind Date with a Bookseller table. I wanted most of the books. Such a clever idea!

Blind Date with a Book Seller

We also took them through Mast and then for an obligatory visit to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. It was a great way to wrap up their brief visit!

David and Emma at the FBCL

Thanks for making this a stop on your trek back to school! We loved having you. See you soon!

late august

Yowza it’s been a while since the last time I posted! And a lot has happened since then. These past few weeks have been a bit of a blur.

I started back to work a couple of weeks ago after some glorious time off. We had two days of teacher workdays and then The Weekend Before Mom Left.

My Mom is living in Kuwait now. Scott and I spent a busy and wonderful weekend with her just before she left. We sorted through some of the last things, took a couple of car loads to her storage unit, helped her pack her 6 suitcases, and soaked up as much time with her as possible. I went through the house and took pictures of all of the rooms so I can remember them. It was so empty when we left, and even more so when my mom finally left. I have so many memories in this house – this is where I grew up! But the most important thing to remember is that home is with family. Always. But it’s still a little bittersweet to say goodbye to my childhood home.



Mom and me

I dove in head first after getting home with a couple more days of teacher workdays right before school started back with the munchkins! I am grateful that I was so busy right after getting home from The Weekend. I suppose it meant I stayed in a denial a bit … er … a lot longer. But then suddenly she is living in Kuwait! Being busy as she was leaving did create a welcome distraction from moping. It still seems totally surreal but it is getting easier as I am learning more about what she is doing and where she is living. Can’t wait to talk to you soon Mom! Such an epic adventure.

After all of the emotions of my Mom moving and starting back to school I opened a Dove chocolate at work and it said this:

Truth in a chocolate wrapper.

And I realized that it was truth in a chocolate wrapped like none ever before.


Last weekend Scott’s brother, David arrived! He was here briefly for Scott’s graduation back in May, but it was such a whirlwind weekend that he didn’t really get to see much of Asheville. This time was much different. On Friday night we went to Farm Burger for dinner – a first for us all! And let me tell you – it was delicious! Local beef, fresh toppings, tasty sides, and wicked good sweet tea. (Describing sweet tea as “wicked good” feels like I’m forcing two very different things together against their will – southern sweet tea and New England wicked … but I’m doing it anyway because that pretty much sums me up.) Saturday we started our day out right with some Sunny Point brunch. That place never gets old.

Get to the point.

Then we walked around downtown Asheville a bit and headed out to Black Mountain. Found ourselves drinking sweet icy beverages at the Dripolator and headed back home. Went to the Biltmore after 5 (Passholders can bring friends to the Estate after 5 for free!) and wandered around Antler Hill Village, peeked up the hill at the House from the Lagoon, and enjoyed some samples in the Winery. Retired to the apartment for some noms and Cards Against Humanity – good times.

Sunday after Gump’s Very Superior Pancakes we headed south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Pisgah. It was a gorgeous albeit slightly warm day for a hike! It felt great but it did bring to my attention how sorely out of shape I am. Boo hiss. (One of the kids we passed said, “I hope there’s a gift shop at the top!” Hilarious.)

At the top of Mt. Pisgah

But seriously – check out this view! WE LIVE HERE!!! It was a really magnificent day.

View from the top.

We are so glad David finally got to see a bit more of Asheville! Thanks for coming!!!


We officially have the first full week of school under our belts and it feels great! I’m excited to be getting to know our munchkins better and better each day. Teaching is not an easy job but I get more joy and fulfillment out of being with those kiddos every day than I ever have in my life. I am so lucky! I’m even saying this on Friday afternoon!

Now I’m off to enjoy every last drop of this three-day weekend!

life as of late

An update on life lately in photographs.

Triple Falls, DuPont State Forest

Triple Falls, DuPont State Forest

Covered Bridge, DuPont State Forest

View from the Covered Bridge, top of Triple Falls, DuPont State Forest

Us at Triple Falls

Us at Triple Falls

Mast General Store Hendersonville

Mast General Store Hendersonville // slowly but surely checking them off the list!

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes from our garden!

Cat Without his Hat?

Cat without his hat? Lexington Avenue.



The Dripolator

The Dripolator

Because Pink Nails

Because pink nails // Pink nails because summer.

Watching Titanic

Watching Titanic.

Ultimate Ice Cream!

Ultimate Ice Cream!