Just Peeking

Some signs of spring are peeking out! Here in the mountains the forsythia are in full bloom, daffodils have bloomed and are beginning to fade already, trees are starting to show signs of leaves and flowers, bulbs are shooting up their hopeful green leaves, and the grass is greening up.

Maple Leaves

Maple Leaves

Dogwood Buds

Dogwood Buds

Forsythia

Forsythia

Iris Shoots

Iris Shoots

Hydrangea Leaves

Hydrangea Leaves

Inside, in my forest of potted plants, my Christmas cactus is blooming magnificently for the first time since I got it, and just in time for Easter. Christmas Cactus And my Peace Lily is blooming, too! Peace LilyOne of my favorite things about spring is the incredible contrast that the new growth brings to the landscape. Green grass poking up through the brown turf left from last year, colorful flowers bursting out, bulb shoots coming up between the dead leaves (we’ll clean the rest of those out eventually). The fresh pale green color of new leaves is so refreshing. And the birds sing all the time! It’s been especially exciting this spring because we’re in a new house – we see more color outside every day. Pardon me while I run outside to take some more pictures.

Warmth

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!!!

Paris!

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!

Tulips!

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

Planties!

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.

Crocuses!

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!

Flowers for February

Sometimes I just feel like flowers are so perfect! It is totally reasonable to pick up a bouquet at Trader Joe’s. And it is amazing what it does for my mood and spirit. I love flowers! And it’s already February! So that’s what I’m celebrating today. Flower and February!

Flowers for February

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.

this and that

Dogwood flowers.

Pink Dogwood

Picnic lunch at the Biltmore.

Picnic and Biltmore

Rainy drive on the Parkway up to Craggy.

Rainy Parkway

Craggy

Purple succulent reaching toward the sun.

Purple Succulent

Hemming pants with my Singer sewing machine.

Hemming with my Singer

Firework flower from one of the munchkins.

Firework flower

Life lately has been a bit crazy. A lot going on! But life is marvelous! So much to be thankful for: my family, my Scott, an awesome job, so much love from so many munchkins, curiosity, spring, flowers, warmth, this Sunday is my birthday, Scott graduates in two weeks, and a vacation in a month to the Northeast! Let’s be honest – I’m not doing very well with posting regularly. I’ll probably post soon about my birthday shenanigans!

lately

Life has been pretty busy lately! Scott is finishing up his various projects for the end of the semester, so there’s that. The end of the school year at Montessori is quite busy! We have our Mothers’ Day Tea to plan and practice songs for, field trips, Kindergarten graduation, summer camps to finish planning, spring weather to enjoy, and so many other fun things!

The flowers are blooming and the days are warm! Our tulips are flourishing and continue to be a marvelous way to leave from or arrive at home! The dogwoods are blooming EVERYWHERE and I love them. They are simply my most favorite ever.

My munchkins are still amazing! It is truly incredible to see how much they have grown over the course of the year! Not only that their little bodies are growing, but they are learning and developing and expressing themselves differently and speaking more clearly. I am so lucky to spend my days with these bundles of joy.

More later, but for now, some flowers.

Home tulip

Dogwood

Spring Break 2013: The Week in Review.

This week was so busy! It was good busy, though. Mostly. I sort of wish I had a week to run around and get stuff done and another week to sleep and sit around and perhaps go to a vacation-y spot. Alas, I managed to cram it all into one ten day span! And there are still a couple more days!

Monday I went to the dentist. Clean teeth: check. And I went grocery shopping. Tuesday I went to the eye doctor and got my haircut. Healthy eyes: check. New purple glasses: check. Hair trimmy-trim: check. Scott has been in various states of an ear infection all week – pain, fever, vertigo. Stinky stinky stinky.

Wednesday morning I hit the road to Chapel Hill! Had lunch with my oldest friend, Emily Silva, before she moves to NYC next weekend! Go Emily go! Went to Trader Joe’s to stock up – one day the Asheville store will open! Thursday I spent the day with my mom in her classroom. Her kids had a really neat Poetry Coffeehouse in the morning where they read some of their original poems! I had lunch with my dad at Merritt’s Store and Grill – really terrific BLT – and had a nice time catching up with him. After school was over Mom and I spent some time going around her house and making a list of things I want to have from her house while she’s in Kuwait. Among various other conversations and general hanging out! It was a very brief visit, but lovely. Thursday evening I headed back home to the mountains!

Friday ended up being a general catch-up day. Laundry, some errands, picked up my new glasses (!!!), lovely relaxing, hanging out. Saturday I worked at my weekend job again and Mom came up for the weekend! Easter Sunday we had a nice brunch – pancakes and bacon. Mom and I borrowed our friends sweet pooch, Cricket, for an afternoon walk and had a lovely time! Then we spent the evening in and cooked a nice simple Easter dinner of ham, roasted potatoes with cheese, and green beans. We watched a fair bit of Downton Abbey and hit the sack! Monday brought another fun day of running around. A lazy morning, late brunch, an early afternoon visit to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, a walk down to the Screen Door (where I found an awesome little children’s size ironing board that I intend to use for plants), a visit to the Biltmore for their wine tasting, and another delicious dinner together! Followed by some more Downton Abbey!

It was a lot of mish mash and this that and the other thing this Spring Break. Today was glorious! It snowed some earlier this Spring Break and we have had some lovely weather mixed in, with some rain too. The weather has been up and down and all around this spring. One day it will be consistently warm though! I was very productive this break, I got to travel, and I got to spend time with some of my favorite people! Scott is finally starting to feel a bit more like himself, which is such a relief. He still has some vertigo, but he was able to come with us to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge earlier! And I am very glad because it is our six year anniversary today!!! All in all it was a great break, a much needed rest, a rejuvenating time off, and a good week mixed with some productivity!

Loving our hyacinths!!!

Snow over Spring Break!?

Kitty!

Stocking up at Trader Joe's!

4th Grade Poetry Coffeehouse!

Merritt's!

Sunset on the road.

New specs!

Easter bunny pancakes!

French Broad Chocolate Lounge!

Weekend Review: Awesome 80s Prom!

Last weekend we headed to Chapel Hill for the show my mom was in! One of her former students contacted her to be a part of the East Chapel Hill High School play Awesome 80s Prom! And we couldn’t miss it! My marvelous mother was Mrs. Patty Lascalzo, the drama teacher, and the school was called Wannaget High! It was an audience interactive show in the gym at Lincoln Center. The gym was set up like a school dance and it was decked out for your 1989 Senior Prom! The music was great, the costumes/outfits were so much fun, and the whole evening was a blast! There were bits and pieces on the stage and the characters all interacted with the audience on the dance floor throughout the night. Whenever there was a slow dance my mom (the drama teacher) and the principal came around with rulers to separate people! It was so funny! It was such a great show, and such a fun weekend! We got to see some good friends, family, and had a great time at our 1989 Senior High Prom!

On Sunday afternoon, once we were home from Chapel Hill, it was time to do a bit of gardening! We bought some spring flower bulbs on super sale a couple of months ago and it was really almost past time to plant them. So I spent some time digging in the dirt, dug a nice big hole, and planted some hyacinth and tulip bulbs! They were so beautiful! I am really excited to see them in the spring!

Also, in honor of Election Day, here’s my photo. I voted early last Thursday! I really hope you voted too.