Local Beauty.

We've had some serious weather this week- frigid temps, dumping snow, sleet, rain, and more. Among the weather adventures, we had some stunning moments. One morning Lu and I took a chilly walk around town as the sun was rising. With the moon still up, it was quite the scene. Because I'm out of town all day all week, it feels like such a treat to walk around town and see it waking up. 

Midweek during the storm, we had the biggest snowflakes I've ever seen. They were literally the size of a ping pong ball, and incredibly wet and heavy. They were quite the sight!


a long and gracious fall by david budbill

i shared this poem last fall as well, but came across it today and it just felt so perfect i thought i'd share it again:

A long and gracious fall this year.
The leaves are down. Gardens: emptied,
manured, tilled, smooth, waiting.
Mower and tiller serviced and put away.

Smoker put away, as is the summer table.
Prayer flags, windsocks , and their poles: down.
Twenty-foot homemade badminton poles,
peace flag at the top of one, store-bought net-
all down and put away for another year. No more
outdoor summer chores.

Fall planting-- peonies and tiger lilies-- done. 
Summer flower stocks removed, beds mulched,
a blanket for the cold. Fall pruning done.

Woodshed roof hammered down and sealed again.
Cellar closed. Drive staked and flagged so the
snowplow knows where to go.

What else is there to do? Finally, for once, we are ready
for the snow. Ready to come inside. Time now for
words and music, poems and shakuhachi. Time now
to light some incense, sit and stare at the candlelight.



I thought I'd share a few tasty recipes we've made lately.

Last weekend we had friends over for dinner-- a fabulous opportunity to play in the kitchen, enjoy some of our wedding-gifted kitchen & dining items, and feel like grown ups. I love a good dinner party.

I kept the meal simple and made dishes that could be done in advance. What's better than having everything staying warm in the oven when your guests arrive, instead of scrambling to finish cooking?

We had butternut squash roll-ups, salad & garlic bread. As one must do with all weight-watchers recipes, I basically doubled the cheese and added sausage :).

For dessert, vanilla ice cream and soft monster cookies. Baked with toffee bits, m&ms, and chocolate chips. So easy, and so good.

We're well into soup season in Vermont. Yesterday I tried out this crock pot minestrone soup. B says he had never had minestrone (how is that possible?), and he loved every bite. It was super easy and made plenty for leftovers, too.

What have you been enjoying lately?


The New Basement Tapes

the basement tapes, which are unreleased songs by bob dylan & the band,  have been ever present the last few weeks. dad & i caught a fun show in burlington that was the basement tapes project by howard fishman. it happened to be the same week that the basement tapes were re-released.

this week i discovered the new basement tapes- an allstar group of artists covering the songs (and making a showtime show or something like that). so far this is my favorite track, though i haven't listened to them all yet.


sweet, sweet summer.

i love each season for a dozen unique reasons, but summer consistently trumps the others. this little video highlights what a delightful and special summer we had this year. fresh veggies, bike rides, cape trips, weddings, amazing concerts, and fun with friends. yes, yes, and yes. 




life lately? making new friends, cherishing time with the oldest of friends, snuggling in for winter, cooking squashes galore, hunting for houses, enjoying a musical date night with dad, loving my little town, watching downton abbey with mom, and appreciating the little things. 
blue, blue everywhere.

baby steps.

kings of the hill.

fancy new chair, i'm in love.

mamas working it.

sunday morning brunch date.


birthday girl.

for thirty plus year of friendship, laughter, growing and loving. and for all of the decades to come. happy birthday, pea. xoxo


these two.

after 12 days away, these two are finally coming home tonight. cannot wait to have them back!



hey there, remember me?

summer flew by, filled with bbq'd meals, bike rides, and garden feasts. and now we find ourselves in the chill of fall. the indian summer fled to the hills and we're settling into dark mornings and chilly evenings. here are a few recent highlights. 

when the sky is blue, the foliage is stunning, the weekend forecast is dreadful, and dad says he wants to get out for a hike, you absolutely say yes. 

being best friends with a one year old is the best ever. i feel like the luckiest auntie ever to enjoy frequent play sessions, squawk-offs, and giggle endlessly with this kiddo. couldn't be more grateful to watch his parents grow with him each week, or for the joy he brings to me constantly.

we celebrated mom's bday with a late summer feast. lu's got her eye on the lobster!

scenes that make my heart sing.

sunday funday bike rides.

the only thing better than one leeper boy is two. i got to spend a lot of time with both of these guys during my first couple months dating brett, so this having brad stay with us for a week was a fond little reunion.

happy hour, vermont style.


One Year.

In honor of our first anniversary, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. This year has passed so quickly, but our hearts are still full with memories of bunting, spirit sprinkles, flash mobs, friends & family. It was absolutely the best day ever.



you guys. i'm the worst. my apologies for the few who have been waiting eagerly to hear from me.

here's the thing. it's summer in vermont. and that, my friends, is a limited time offer. i've been busy making the most of it: biking, hiking, swimming, camping. gardening, eating, visiting, and spending my spare time outdoors rather than at a computer.

we've been to the cape (a couple times), to colorado, and kept ourselves around vermont the rest of the time.

and it's been awesome. in short, i'm killin' it this summer. can't wait to tell you all about it. xo


Another year gone by.

The second week of July is full of cheer for the Leepers. 

July 10th is the anniversary of when we started dating. I'm not sure exactly how one manages their 'dating anniversary' once they have a wedding anniversary, but I feel like the first 7 pre-marriage years shouldn't fly out the window just because we went and got hitched. It's hard to believe it's been 8 years since our summer at VVR, but I'm so grateful of the adventures we've shared since then. These pics are all of our visit to Colorado this past week, which was a fun trip down memory lane. 

July 9th is Lupita's birthday. This is Lu has a bitty puppy (less than three months), and this week she turned three years old. We love her for her companionship on adventures on the trails and in the woods, endless frisbee catching, sweet snuggles, and little kisses. At age 3, Lu loves treats of all kinds, her toys Clifford & Piglet, high fiving, and playing with her best friends OD and Danny. She's a good house guest at my parents' house, listens well, and finally doesn't require 2 hours of hard exercise a day. I'd say she's growing up!


Weekend Fun.

It was a most delightful weekend- full of family, friends, community, and beautiful weather. We gardened, walked, ate outside. I had a great bike ride on Saturday, and motivated myself out for a quick ride this morning before work. Is there a better way to greet the day?

Saturday night J & I went out for a bite to eat and then met my mom to see the movie Chef. I highly, highly recommend this one!  So good.

This is how we start summer mornings (especially Monday mornings).

Sunday lounging. 


Best dog tip I ever got. Hate cleaning out your empty pb jar? Let the dog help you. Then rinse & recycle.

Happy Girl on a Saturday ride.


happy father's day.

Grateful for the wisdom that this man provides every day, the newspaper clippings & emailed articles, the excellent taste in music that he has passed on to me, the community engagement he demonstrates, the quality of life he embodies, and the adventures and passions that we share. Your pride humbles me, Dad. xoxo


smitten kitchen.

smitten kitchen is my go-to blog for recipes. want to make muffins? let's see what deb's recipe looks like. thinking of a cake? let's see what she has in store.

this week i made deb's peanut noodles. delicious. i've made many a recipe, and i'm always eager to try a new one for some standard peanut noodles with veggies.

i also left work an hour early one day to squeeze in a bike ride, and pulled into the driveway with a sheet of rain. what's a girl to do instead of ride? make pies, of course.

i'm going to have strawberry rhubarb pie remains for breakfast today. do you know how much i love pie for breakfast? so. much.

i'm smitten.


happiness, lately.

there's plenty of things for me to be stressed about these days, so i'm trying to balance that out with a lot of intentional small pleasures.

such as more deeply exploring bands i think i might like, including the oh hellos (coming this summer):

engrossing myself in books- currently enjoying "the last letter from your lover" by jojo moyes.

getting pumped for season two of orange is the new black (arrived on netflix last night) by listening to the audio book on my commute.

planting our vegetable garden. it's our third time 'round and i think we're doing great. cannot wait to enjoy those beets and kale and carrots and more later this summer.

walking in the park with b & lu. it is so green, so quiet in the morning.

going for mid-day office escape walks.

trying to enjoy bathtime with my favorite little man and his mama at least once per week. he's growing like mad, and i want to soak up (no pun intended...) all of the time i can with him.

and getting his mama out and about. pedicure date = best.

eating ice cream. a lot. maple creemees, creemee stand trips, ice cream in the freezer. why not?

floating in boats with friends.

making summer plans. we're officially going to colorado in july for a friend's wedding and i'm psyched. it's been 2.5 years since our last trip out there, and four years now since my last summer living in the 'boat. we've already got two cape weekends planned.

showing my love to those i adore. little texts, notes and calls.



Tonight, happiness is crawling into bed early with a good book, good music, and the sound of falling rain. 


"some people grumble that roses have thorns; i am grateful that thorns have roses."
-alphonse karr


Here's to 32!

Happy birthday, B! Celebrating the best with the best.


Spring by Linda Pastan.

Just as we lose hope
she ambles in,
a late guest
dragging her hem
of wildflowers,
her torn
veil of mist,
of light rain,
her dandelion 
in our ears;
and we forgive her,
turning from
chilly winter
we throw off
our faithful
and open
our arms.