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!


snow to sunshine

On Tuesday I decided not to lead my kids in a snow dance for fear that it would jinx any chance of us actually getting the forecast snow, and therefore also jinx our possibility of a snow day. So instead we all just carried on as normally as we could. As we were getting ready for bed on Tuesday night I looked outside my window, shrugged, and tried to remind myself that it wasn’t supposed to start snowing until after midnight anyway.

Wednesday morning looked like this:

A light dusting

Snow day!

Ladies and gentlemen, I do live in the south and this immeasurable light dusting closed school for the day! We had a snow day!!! After receiving four text messages, all telling me school was closed, I bounced around looking out the windows excitedly since it was the most snow we’ve gotten in a long time. Then I tried valiantly to go back to sleep since I had the opportunity to sleep in as late as I wanted, but that just wasn’t going to happen. So, after some breakfast and lounging, I set up my “office” and had a spot of productivity.


Letter writing.

The snow, as per the norm here in the south, did not stick around for very long and the days got warmer very quickly. On Thursday morning I rediscovered my pink kicks and reveled in their pinkness all day. And it was a good day.

Pink kicks.

The days continued to get warmer and Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. Scott and I, both feeling rather blah lately (come back, immune system!), enjoyed a long walk at the Biltmore in hopes of kick-starting our health. I, for one, would like to think that it worked.

French Broad River March 2013

What a week, indeed.


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!


Indulgence Part 1: French Broad Chocolate Lounge.


Waiting for wine tasting!

Vino vino!

Indulgence Part 2: Biltmore Wine Tasting.

Vino and Bananagrams


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!


I am so thankful for today.

I woke up with a sore throat. Day six of a sore throat. Needless to say, it was not a great start to the day. But I managed to turn things around and make it a good day!

It was a peaceful day with my munchkins. It snowed while we were out on the playground – just flurries, and no accumulation, but it was snowing nonetheless. And I was pleasantly reminded that these kids – my kids – really are something else. They are sweet and loving and smart and creative and funny. Don’t get me wrong, they can be very challenging too, but today was a good day. And for that I am thankful.


Get Ready, Kuwait!

Here she comes!

Have you met my mom? Well, just in case you haven’t, or you didn’t already know – she is AMAZING! She went to Boston this weekend (just in time for the storm) for a job fair and is coming home with a job teaching elementary drama at the American School of Kuwait! She has been planning and interviewing and researching and writing resumes and filling out applications and orchestrating the adventure of a lifetime! This weekend was the moment of truth and everything is falling into place! She had back-to-back interviews for many hours straight, truly exhausted herself in telling everyone how awesome she is, got three job offers (in Turkey, Kuwait, and UAE), and is coming home with a position teaching elementary drama at the American School of Kuwait!

Shut the front door – I’m choking back tears!

Dear Mom,

You are truly an inspiration to me. I have watched you suffer for the past several years, wishing things were better, and my heart has ached for you. Through the unfairness of it all you picked yourself up, put yourself out there, and got the best response you could have possibly gotten! I know how challenging this has all been for you and I know how on top of the world you must feel right now! You received some incredible feedback, boosting your self esteem right back up to where it should be, and then even higher! I am elated for you and I can hardly wait to see how this adventure of a lifetime unfolds for you! 

I truly believe that I speak not only for myself when I say that you deserve every bit of this gift! You are an incredible woman and I look up to you and aspire to be my best because of you! 

I love you so much, I am so proud, and I can hardly wait to see what the next few years hold for you!

Love always, Adrianne

My amazing mom!

What a woman!

Flood gate of tears now open. I’m going to go get a tissue.

P.S. I believe the next several months will include some whirlwind go-help-Mom-get-her-things-ready-to-move-to-Kuwait weekends!!! I can hardly wait!

P.P.S. Christmas 2013 in Kuwait!? I think so.

“I went on the internet and I found this!”

Top Gear anyone? Jeremy Clarkson? Yeah, my boyfriend watches this and I may or may not have seen a few episodes. It’s great when I’m in the mood to half-listen and half-watch a TV show while half-doing something else entirely. And it’s a bunch of silly men with British accents talking about cars and other silly things. I mean, come on. Let’s be honest. It’s mostly the British accents, because if it were American it just wouldn’t be as funny.

Moving on. In many episodes Jeremy Clarkson refers to going on the internet and finding something. Now, you (as the audience) never actually see what he found on the internet, but the reaction from the other silly British men is what makes it all that much funnier. Here, I show you.

Which brings me to the entire point of this blog post:

I went on the internet today and I found this! Emergency Compliment. And this was my Emergency Compliment. (Commence fits of giggles.)

It’s Tuesday night folks. Yep, Tuesday night. Here we go week!

Weekend Review: Belated Christmas with Dad and Dean

Since Dad and Dean were in Hawaii for Christmas (and they forgot to buy us tickets to go with them … wink wink) they came to visit us last weekend for a belated Christmas family-time of sorts. We didn’t really do Christmas-y things, though we did still have our Christmas decorations up. We spent some good time exploring the art galleries and studios in the River Arts District and some others downtown on Saturday, followed by dinner at The Walk. Then on Sunday we had a lovely brunch at Sunny Point Cafe (Oatmeal Brûlée with cream and fresh fruit – drool) and a terrific adventure at the Biltmore Estate. All in all, it was a glorious weekend! Thanks for coming to visit guys!!!

Insert photo of Dad, Dean, Scott, and me smiling jubilantly! }

Tandem Bicycle at the Screen Door

Scott found a chair he likes.

Where's Waldo ... er ... Dad!?

Oatmeal Brûlée

A Walk.

Today it was almost 70 degrees here in Asheville. I wore pants – and I should have worn a dress or something because it felt like spring and my body was confused. Scott wore a thermal shirt. He was not thrilled with that choice, much like I was not thrilled with my pants choice. We took ourselves on a walk at the Biltmore and it was lovely. It is not winter weather right now, and tiny parts of me wish it was winter, but I did thoroughly enjoy the warmness of the day. It was absolutely wonderful to get outside and walk and enjoy this beautiful place.

The Biltmore

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.