regarding summer

Craggy Pinnacle

Craggy Pinnacle

Farmer's Market Basket

Farmer’s Market Basket

Woopie Pies

Woopie Pies

Brews at the Bywater

Brews at the Bywater

Hiking up Mount Pisgah

Hiking up Mount Pisgah

Hiking

Hiking

View from the top of Mount Pisgah

View from the top of Mount Pisgah

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

40 Eastbound in the morning.

40 Eastbound in the morning.

Walking down memory lane with my mom: my first Passport photo. 3 days old.

Walking down memory lane with my mom: my first Passport photo. 3 days old.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

A Visit to Hi-Wire Brewing!

A Visit to Hi-Wire Brewing!

Summer is here.

I would say that we are settling into a nice summer routine. We have gone hiking in the beautiful mountains that surround us, sipped beer at the countless places in Asheville where one can drink beer, watched our tomatoes grow, stayed dry during the monsoons this past week and steered clear of the flooded roads. My tomato plants have enough water now thankyouverymuch. There have already been two trips to Carrboro and there are more visits still to come before Mom moves to Kuwait. Memory Lane is becoming a well traveled highway in our family as of late. I think it’s my favorite highway. Parker is in China and seems to be having the time of his life. I am grateful. Summer camp schedule at school is most excellent. It allows for an actual summer vacation unlike any I have had in a long time. Mornings allow for leisurely drinking cup-after-cup of joe. I like joe. The farmer’s markets are abundant and rich in smiles and freshness. The flutter of love in my heart is so real. Love that feels settled and rhythmic. We dance in the kitchen. Sometimes there is no music.

My backyard is glowing with the flashing lights of fireflies.

Summer is here.

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.

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

Cookies!

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.

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

Happy Birthday Parker!!!

 

A Whirlwind

Last weekend (the first weekend of October) was such a whirlwind that I have yet to write about it. Here goes! My mom arrived on Friday evening and we spent some time catching up. Then I worked all day on Saturday, followed by delicious homemade tacos for my mom’s belated birthday dinner, and a surprise visit to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge where we met up with some friends for dessert! It was so much fun to spend some time together, have a belated birthday celebration for my mom, and chocolate is always a good idea!

My mom baked some pumpkin bread on Saturday while I was at work, and on Sunday morning we made it into French Toast! We experienced this delicacy at Sunny Point Cafe, once upon a time, and have recreated it a couple of times since. It was super tasty! And it was so nice to sit and have a lovely brunch together.

After brunch we reunited with my mom’s friend (they drove up together) and went to see my school. It’s so fun showing fellow teachers (and more importantly, mom and her friend) my classroom and telling them about it! As brief as the visit was, it was absolutely marvelous to spend some time with my mom! I went to work on Sunday afternoon and my mom and her friend headed back home. Thanks for coming to visit Mom!!! Miss you already!

Been so long!

This week has FLOWN by! It has been so busy. LIFE has been so busy! I wish it would just slow down sometimes! Geesh. So let’s back track a bit.

Last Friday after work I went with two of my coworkers to a funeral for the Wine Studio in Asheville. Fun theme for a going out of business party! It was a great evening, tasty wine, delicious munchies, a cute pooch, and good company. And this skull amidst the roses!

Sunday was a glorious day! We started off with some yoga and then made brunch (which was more like lunch). Gump’s Very Superior Pancakes! They are our favorite! It ended up being a very productive day! I ran some errands, made some phone calls, did some laundry, and spent a glorious couple of hours making scrumptious chili for dinner. It was so meditative to follow the recipe and add more things to the pot of simmering goodness! It was our dinner for three nights in a row and we weren’t even beginning to complain! I made cornbread to go with our chili too. It was all so good. We are so ready for soup/stew/chili/chowder weather!

This week has been very busy, and exhausting, but rewarding all at the same time. As much as I may be in a grumpy mood sometimes, it is hard to stay grumpy when I have little munchkins giving me hugs and wanting to snuggle! They’re pretty irresistible, my friends at school! Yes, they have their moments, but they can be really sweet! One of the most wonderful images from this week is one that I have to paint for you. One of the assistant teachers brought her sister in law to school for the day, and she also happens to be a Montessori teacher. In after care she brought her guitar outside to play and sing songs! The children, after a few moments, gathered around her and all crowded into the same little play structure to listen and sing along! It was so sweet to see them all so excited!

Some days were not-as-great. Yesterday I felt like the world was against me for a good chunk of the day. This goes back to where I said that when you’re feeling grumpy it’s really hard to stay grumpy because the kids are so loving. Remember? But sometimes you just feel grumpy again after you leave work and sometimes you’re tired and sometimes you hit all the lights red on that road that you HATE driving on downtown and sometimes you stub your toe on nothing when you’re walking through the kitchen and sometimes you forget to unpack the groceries when there are refrigerated items and sometimes your mailbox looks like this after all those other things happen and it makes you want to scream!!! Yeah. Sometimes. And sometimes you feel much better after you have the chance to talk to your mommy on the phone, who magically makes everything feel better and pulls you out of your grumpy funk. Thanks Mom!

And in marvelously stark contrast, today I came home unreasonably giddy and hyper for no apparent reason (though, now that I think about it, it could be that I drank caffeinated tea at work this afternoon) and bounced around the apartment giggling and being silly! And then I got really excited about the fact that it’s almost time to break out the Bean Boots!!! I hardly got to wear mine last winter because it wasn’t actually winter here in Asheville and mine are insulated (read: too hot to wear every day otherwise I might). So I’m hopeful and excited that it might actually be cold enough to require insulated boots this winter! After spending a winter in Massachusetts (in which it snowed a bazillion feet and was quite chilly) last winter felt pretty lame in comparison. And who doesn’t love his and hers Bean Boots!?

And that will be all for now. Just wanted to update you since I’ve been gone all week!!! Perhaps I’ll be back sooner for my next post! I’ll work on it. Sorry y’all!

Sometimes You Just …

… gotta run out to the grocery store at 8:00 mid-brownie-baking because you ran out of sugar! Yep. We sure did! And I giggled the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME. And Scott said maybe we should go grocery shopping at night more often if it’s so fun! But it would totally lose its charm if it wasn’t a rarity. Especially if it wasn’t to get sugar for brownies. So we agreed that it should probably be saved for special occasions.

In other not-so-pressing-news this week has been just fine. It’s been cooler, which I love! And I’ve worn scarves almost every day this week! So that’s fun. Fall is the best! In Kindergarten earlier this week we took the kids outside to find leaves and other fun textures to make rubbings. The kids loved it! Oh, and Scott bought some peaches when he went to the store earlier this week and they were absolutely delicious!!!

I’ve been re-reading my way through the Hunger Games series. Yes, I know. I read the series a couple of years ago and am slowly reading it again. And I’m on the third book! And it’s grabbed me again! Sucked me in! Sometimes I just love a book that sucks me in and is so easy to get lost in.

And it’s almost sock-knitting weather, so that’s exciting. More importantly it’s almost sock-WEARING weather! Which I also love. I have so many stripey socks that have been waiting for me in my drawer! Mmmm socks.

Oh, and since I’m on a roll with things that make me happy – TOMORROW IS FRIDAY!!! I love Friday. Even though I have to work on Saturday. Friday just feels so good!

On that note, I’m signing out. My brownies are almost done baking!

S’mores Cookies!

I found this recipe for S’mores Cookies on Made by Mike’s blog¬†and Scott and I decided to give them a whirl! They are so easy and so tasty! And when summer calls for s’mores and you don’t have a fire pit, this is the next best thing. Plus, no smoke involved! Added bonus.

You can find the recipe on Made by Mike’s blog! They are really tasty warm, straight out of the oven. Thanks for the recipe Mike!!!