Baby It’s Cold Outside

The weather has been up and down lately – mid-60s earlier this week and mid-30s today! Fall has been crazy busy … still.

Samantha came up for a glorious weekend of adventures and indulgence. We ate good food, drank good beer and wine, and had a wonderful leisurely time together. Thanks for coming Samantha! We loved having you here!

Biltmore Winery

Wine Tasting

Christmas Decorations at Biltmore

And now, a few photos from life lately. I got the most terrific package in the mail this week from Leigh! Inside was the loveliest honey pot! And every time I look at it makes me think of Leigh and Winnie the Pooh. Thanks Leigh! Working on a letter soon.

Love from Michigan

Honey Pot from Leigh!

Went for a lovely walk at the Biltmore yesterday afternoon. The air was crisp, the views were beautiful, and it was nice to get outside. For some reason we are much more apt to bundle up and go for a walk this time of year than during the summer. It can definitely get cold, but goodness it feels great to get outside when the air is crisp.

Shadows at Biltmore

Biltmore House

Then we found ourselves at Home Depot where we saw this cheery little fellow nestled in the Christmas Tree display. Pretty cute!

Christmas Flamingo

Finally went to Highland Brewing Company for the first time yesterday too! We both got a pint of Cold Mountain – yum!

Highland Cold Mountain

I’ve been slowly working on this cable-licious cowl – it’s so meditative for me to knit and it’s so satisfying to make something so scrumptious and snuggly. I used a gift certificate and got myself some rather decadent yarn made from baby alpaca fleece (thanks Janet and Karl!!!) and I can’t wait to finish this and wear it all the time. And yet, at the same time, the process of knitting is so methodical and peaceful that I just want to keep working on it until I come up with another project. The trials and tribulations of a knitter.

Cables

In other new, I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving, but I’ve completely moved on to Christmas already. This is very uncharacteristic of me – usually I am rather militant about not doing Christmas things until after Thanksgiving. Not this year! I decided it was arbitrary to wait and that if it makes me happy then I should just do it. Luckily Scott is on the same page. No, we don’t have our Christmas tree up yet, but we have started whole heartedly listening to Christmas music. It’s indulgent and puts a smile on my face every time. So there’s that.

 

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Gratitude

Every afternoon at the end of the day, once the children are all packed up and ready to go home, we have a Thank You Circle. We go around the circle and write down two things that each person is thankful for on a tile and the children are free to go and look at it throughout the day. We have one child who has a lot of trouble choosing just two things so we helped him come up with a way to encompass them all:

“I am thankful for all the people (or ‘things’, if it really can’t be narrowed down) I love in my life.”

It is a humbling reminder that we have so much for which to be thankful and to stop and really think about it from time to time.

Today was one of those days where I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I love in my life. We set off on an adventure this afternoon to “peep some fall leaves” (thanks to the leaf peepers) and found ourselves way out of cell phone service and almost in Tennessee. As locals we tend to avoid the Blue Ridge Parkway during this leaf-peeper season because it just ends up being a parking lot and it’s not as enjoyable as one might hope. What we stumbled upon today was far better than we could have imagined. I found myself glued to the window, leaning forward to see more of the views, in absolute awe of the unbelievable beauty of the mountains in which we live.

WE LIVE HERE.

Fall Colors

Twisty Turny Roads

Out for a drive

Fall Colors 2013

The leaves this time of year are absolutely spectacular. Admittedly, it is past peak in some places, but in others it is right in the midst of all the fall color glory. I found myself swooning over the scenery in Southern Appalachia – the changing leaves, the crisp air, the old barns and houses, the creeks trickling over rocks, and the twisty roads that we had almost entirely to ourselves were right out of one of those novels you just don’t want to put down. At one point we realized we had absolutely no clue what the time was, nor did we care. We just followed the curves of the road from one majestic creek to the next. It was like magic out there.

My heart is overflowing with gratitude. For all the people I love in my life, for this breathtaking place where we get to live, for the home I share with the most incredible partner, for my job and all my tiny munchkins. I am one lucky gal, that’s for sure.

Autumness

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.

Pumpkins!

Sivananda

Simply put, yoga is awesome. After a week of school with the munchkins (whom I love very much) it is a wonderful transition into the weekend to go to yoga. My favorite class is Sivananda yoga and it is amazing! I think I have been doing it on and off for about four years. I could ramble on about why I love yoga and how much it has changed my life for the better and how much it helps me to stay balanced and centered, but I will spare you. My yoga teacher and I stood preaching to the choir after class about how much we love Sivananda yoga. So yeah.

And because I can not bear to leave you without a photo, here is a beautiful view from our hike to Rattlesnake Lodge over Thanksgiving with the fam!

Rattlesnake Lodge hike.

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!!!

 

Mittens.

I know this picture is a little blurry, but I love my new mittens! It is a little bit ridiculous how cold my hands get, and since I spend (and will be spending) a lot of time on the playground this winter watching the munchkins, I feel like it is worth it to have warm hands! Occasionally my hands get so cold that they ache, and that is just SO not fun. At all. Ever. Hence: mittens! For warm, happy hands! Just in case you’re curious and want warm hands too, check these out here.

 

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.