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.

Home

Family

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!

Summer Road Trip 2013

Wow! Sorry for the somewhat unexpected long blog hiatus. The last two months have flown by and I am adjusting to “being on the other side” of all the craziness. I have been talking about “the other side of the craziness” for a while now and I knew things would slow down on “this side.” That being said, it is taking a bit to realize that I am on “the other side” now. Anyway, enough of what side I am on. More about life lately.

Scott and I got back about a week ago from a two-week road trip vacation in the Northeast! The last week of school (the week before we left) was a blur including, but not limited to, the following: Memorial Day weekend in Chapel Hill with grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin, laundry, packing, haircut, bridal shower for some coworkers, a wee bit of sleeping, and some more packing. On Saturday morning we got up really early and hit the road at 6:00 for New York! We arrived 14.5 hours later at our friends’ house in Niskayuna. That day was the hottest day I think we have seen this year – we saw a sign that reported 94 degrees – and Scott’s car does not have air conditioning. Luckily the next day was much cooler! We spent two and a half days touring around the Capitol District and doing some much needed hanging out. It was a wonderful way to start our vacation!

Gia and I, after over a year of not seeing each other, matched upon our reunion without having planned it. This happens to us regularly.

Gia and I, after over a year of not seeing each other, matched upon our reunion without having planned it. This happens to us regularly.

Beat friends!

Hudson River antics.

On Tuesday, late morning, we drove to Scott’s parents house for a night and headed up to Maine the next morning. We spent a couple of days doing Maine things – eating seafood, walking on the beach, having campfires, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, going to Freeport and LLBean, eating more seafood, and enjoying the quiet time together. Maine is one of those places that just feels special and we love it.

Cape Porpoise.

Cape Porpoise.

Cape Porpoise Sunset

Because moose.

LLBean Boot

Casco Bay, Portland, ME

We spent the last few days of our trip in Massachusetts at Scott’s folks house. His mom and I went to Ikea on Saturday (a first for both of us) and spent most of the day there. The other days were mostly lazy days spent around the house. Scott and his dad did a bunch of work on his car, which was necessary for the fact that we were counting on it for our trip home. Monday evening we got to see Scott’s older brother for dinner and delicious ice cream. On Tuesday we went for a short trip to Rhode Island to visit Scott’s cousin, her husband, and their sweet new baby! We got to see his aunt and uncle there too. It was wonderful to visit with them and meet the newest member of the family!

They were right ...

They were right …

Scott working on his car.

Thursday morning we loaded up the car and hit the road to Pennsylvania! Seven hours later we arrived at our stop for the night with some friends. Friday morning we drove ten hours back home!

Welcome to NC!

It felt absolutely incredible to arrive home again. We had so much fun on our trip, and we are grateful for safe travels, fun adventures, and such wonderful friends and family! Now we are on “this side of the craziness.” It feels good.

ma birfday.

ONE QUARTER OF A CENTURY. Wow.

Cinco de Mayo started out a tad bit disappointing, to be honest. I had a hunch, having followed the weather all week, that it was going to rain on my birthday. I did not, however, realize just how cold it was supposed to be and just how much it would rain and that said rain would continue almost without a break all day! Let me set the stage for you: usually the weather is absolutely gorgeous on my birthday. There are lots of flowers involved and sunshine and warm weather and outside and springy clothing and sandals. This year there was rain and large gusts of wind and jackets and boots and wool socks.

BUT! (And this is a big but … har har har.) It was a truly wonderful birthday!

Rubbish weather

The day started out with some quintessential music. Followed by the crepe-master in his element! Scott has really become quite the pro. We had delicious crepes with nutella, raspberries, mango, and powdered sugar. Perfection!

Crepe fixins!

Crepe-tastic bday bfast by Scott!

Birthday candle!

After a gloriously lazy afternoon we headed downtown for some more celebrating! Had dinner at Mamacitas and a little party at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Thanks to all my friends who came to help me celebrate and brought fun games to play! It was so much fun to relax and hang out with everyone.

Suspend - the game

Friends.

Friends Part Deux

And of course, thanks to this handsome guy for making me feel so special and for lighting so many birthday candles! You are my favorite and I am so lucky to be with you! Thanks for everything you do!

My sweetheart

P.S. Thanks for the love from all around the country! I loved getting to chat with everyone who called. Long-distance love!

Spring Break 2013: And so it begins …

I started this Spring Break with two days at my weekend job! So that’s been fun! It actually is really wonderful to see all my friends there, and it is refreshing to do something COMPLETELY different from teaching munchkins.

On the home front, we began our day yesterday at Urgent Care for poor Scott. He has an ear infection and a (possibly) perforated ear drum! Poor guy. He has been pretty miserable. Hopefully the antibiotics and such will keep him on the mend! We ended our day with some chicken and rice soup and some good ol’ Top Gear. Last night brought us both almost 12 hours of sleep – thank goodness! All in all I would say this has been an eventful beginning to my spring break, and a rather rough end to Scott’s spring break. Get better Scott!!!

I got the recipe for chicken and rice soup from here and I added potatoes. I also used a rotisserie chicken because it gives it a bit more flavor. Mmm comfort food! Omnom.

Chicken and rice soup

Lately.

Fun things happening around here! Spring is in the air!

We have been going for walks at the Biltmore a lot lately. The weather over these past few weekends has been absolutely gorgeous! Oh, and the cows. Love the cows!

Biltmore Cow!

Finally went to The Hop for the first time! I had Sweet Beet – beet ice cream! And it was delicious!!! I never would have thought of something like that, and I love it! Especially in a waffle cone with tiny chocolate chips. Omnom!

Sweet Beet

The Hop

We had our favorite pooch for a few days last week! Her humans went out of town and we had the pleasure of hosting her at our place! Such a sweetheart. Love you Cricket!

Pooch sitting!

On Thursday evening we went to the Thirsty Monk for the Mystery Brewing event! Had a flight of four of their delicious beers. It was a fun evening out! If you get the chance, check out Mystery Brewing Company at the Thirsty Monk! Excellent brews!

Mystery Brewing Company Flight

Oh, and this is what is growing in our garden!!! We planted some bulbs in the fall and they are starting to bloom! I am positively thrilled! Makes me really happy!

Hyacinth!

Lately things have been good! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and our flowers are blooming!

Weekend Review: Dun Dunnunah!

Samantha came to visit this weekend! It was awesome. We hit up some of our favorite Asheville spots and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves along the way. And there were snow flurries in the air pretty much the entirety of the weekend, which made it all feel very picturesque and dreamy.

We headed to Asheville Brewing Co. upon Sam’s arrival Friday evening for some delicious Tropicale pizza (with ham, bacon, and pineapple) and Rocket Girl ale to welcome her for the weekend. It totally hit the Friday-night welcome-to-the-weekend spot. Then we proceeded to return to the apartment and veg for the rest of the evening and then went to bed. It was a pretty lazy Friday evening if I do say so myself, but my-oh-my was it awesome!

Saturday morning welcomed us after late-sleeping. There was coffee and tea, sitting around and chatting while Scott was off at a meeting, bacon and pancakes for brunch, and some more chatting. Then we all bundled up and headed downtown to mosey around in the flurries for a bit. Poked around in some of our favorite shops, visited the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for some mid-afternoon indulgence, and poked around some more. After swinging by the apartment we bundled back up and went to the Biltmore for a wine tasting! It was an afternoon of true decadence. We followed up with some more wine, dinner in, and many rounds of Bananagrams.

Sunday morning (I’m noticing a theme with this weekend) we bundled back up and went to Sunny Point Cafe and stood in the flurries while we waited for a table for brunch. It was cold, but it was oh so worth it! Brunch was scrumptious and it was so nice to be warm inside and watch the flurries outside!

Indulging.

Indulgence Part 1: French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

Mousse

Waiting for wine tasting!

Vino vino!

Indulgence Part 2: Biltmore Wine Tasting.

Vino and Bananagrams

Awesomesauce

Our sound effect for the weekend: Dun Dunnunah! Along with some brownie-in-a-mug.

Get to the point.

Indulgence 2

Indulgence Part 3: Sunny Point Cafe.

Tiny details.

A wonderful weekend was had by all. Thanks for coming to visit Samantha! We had such a great time! Miss you already!

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!!!

 

And so.

There is a new window in the break room at one of my jobs.

This is the view.

Oh. My. Wow.

I live here! I love it. It is beautiful and I often forget that. Such a sweet reminder to look around and take in the beauty that surrounds us.

This week has been utterly exhausting, and it was even a short week at school! But it has been so good! I left Montessori this evening loving my job and I just got back from my most favorite yoga class. Constantly learning, always surprised, and happy to be living this life.

And next week is Thanksgiving!!! We have a turkey and we’re going shopping for the rest of the food stuffs tomorrow! I am so excited to have family coming to visit for Thanksgiving this year! This coming week is going to be a doozy. Only two days at school, then two days with family, then working Black Friday and Saturday downtown!

Bring. It. On.