this week.

oh, hello.

forgive the radio silence.
it was a busy weekend: quality time with my people, a going away party for a vermonter headed to colorado, the last outdoor farmers market, a maple creemee, preparing for winter with my parents, and so much walking.

this week has felt a little crazy as well prepared for sandy's arrival, but fortunately she spared us up north. not so fortunate for our friends farther south.

last night we carved pumpkins at j & a's house, and tonight we handed out candy to trick or treaters at my folks' house. tomorrow i have a meeting. and then, it's the weekend again.

happy halloween, y'all. i'll be back soon- i promise.




a present.

"i'm going to let you in on a little secret. every day, once a day, give yourself a present. don't plan it. don't wait for it. just let it happen. it could be a new shirt at the store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee."
-agent dale cooper, twin peaks


happiness by raymond carver.

So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

kicking off friday.

lu & i enjoyed a quiet walk around town this morning. there's something so magical about the early morning, when town is quiet and the sun is just rising. i sipped coffee and we walked across town and back, waking up. as we got close to home, i heard the opening notes of "teenage wasteland" blaring out of a nearby minivan. the woman driving the car was sitting inside, grinning, and listening to the song. if you know this song, you know that the opening of the song can make you feel like you're walking into a movie scene, or powering through a sporting event. i kept walking towards the house, feeling pumped. just then, a subaru drove by, same song pounding off the radio. they also parked, and then stayed in the car with the song on. apparently this is our friday theme song today!

pump it up...



today: j's bday, a good workout, a jacob mushlin chance encounter that left me smiling all day, blue skies, roasted beet salad leftovers for lunch, laughter with coworkers, productivity, a mild dog walk, texting with my favorite twins, and a burger & beer out with b. success.

happy day.

happiest of birthdays to my best girl, jenna. 28 has been quite the year, but i'm certain 29 will be another amazing year! here's to a year of hiking, biking, skiing, puppy walking in the park, new recipes, good movies, cozy fridays, fresh magazines, family time, and sweet treats. enjoy that beautiful house, handsome husband, loving dog & may all of your days give you at least one thing to appreciate. i'm grateful for you!


your life.

"this is your life. do what you love, and do it often."


the very best saturday.

brett and i enjoyed a rare day off together on saturday. while i always have weekends off, brett doesn't have the same days off each week. so since moving to vermont, our days together have been precious. for a while in steamboat, we always had weekends together and i can say with certainty that we took that time together for granted. even when brett was managing a ski shop there, we always had sundays together for skiing & fun.

this saturday, we started off with a trail run in the park, exploring a whole section of the park i'd never set foot before. it was an unseasonably mild morning, with low fog burning off to spectacular blue. while i'd never call myself a runner, i do enjoy a slow run on a trail. lu ran circles around us while we ran steadily for about an hour.

we took our muddy selves to the farmers market for some beets, apples & cheese. home for a shower, a few errands, and we were off to plainfield to try the new brunch menu at positive pie. it was a cozy spot & a tasty meal. saturday happened to be our good friend schmeltz's birthday, so we toasted to him from afar with bloody mary cocktails.

we hopped back in the car and headed out to a new(ish) brewery that's making one of brett's current favorite brews. we enjoyed the sunshine and sampled a variety of hill farmstead beer. we let lu run around the field and explore. so fun!

on our way back into town, we stopped at morse farm for a maple creemee. we got home, ready to settle in, and then were invited to meet up with some friends for dinner. so we headed right back out for dinner in waterbury.

it was a packed (and pricy!) day-- and as brett said, 'one full of memories.'
here's hoping we get another glorious weekend day together soon!


the weary kind.

i forgot how much i love this song, until just now:


a mirror.

"the best mirror is an old friend."
-george herbert

burnt rock.

my favorite grace potter song was written about burnt rock. not high quality video, but the only i can find for this song.

here are a few more photos from our saturday hike.


more appreciating.

after a long workday: singing along in the car, a walk with lu while b makes dinner, a big glass of milk and a chocolate chip cookie, josh ritter recording on NPR, and a great new book. mmm hmm.

appreciating the little things.

today i love: a vanilla latte, florence & the machine, blue sky burning through fog, butternut squash bisque, corduroys, and laughing with coworkers.

the weekend, in brief.

friday: working late enough to catch the sunset. i know this will be a regular occurrence soon as the days get shorter, but on friday evening, that felt like a big deal. sushi takeout for dinner (yum!). a pile of harvested tomatillos & peppers before the first frost. catchup time with brett. and then, a beer with a best friend. my long-distance neighbor kate came to vermont for the weekend and we enjoyed some good quality time together.

saturday: freezing morning! a walk to get bagels, and a stop at the farmers market for apples. then a grand adventure day! hiking burnt rock with j, the pups, her parents & another couple i've known forever. while the peak foliage has passed, there was still some beautiful yellow coloring lower down, and a spectacular blue sky. the views were clear as we could see to lake champlain & the adirondacks, camels hump, sugarbush and beyond, and the whole worcester range. it was refreshing and so much fun. jenna & i have enjoyed some great shorter hikes this fall, but it was so nice to get out for a full day adventure in the mountains.

i got home late afternoon, showered, and rallied out for dinner at three penny with b, jen & al. what's better than a good burger, a tasty beer, and good company to round out a great day?

sunday: a cozy brunch with kate and another friend of hers, a bit of shopping downtown, all the usual chores (laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping) plus a bit of work for a montpelier committee i'm serving on, some work to get ahead for the week, a walk in the park with j, and then a kitchen extravaganza with b. he made tomatillo salsa, and grilled pork. i made banana pumpkin muffins (delicious), nutella cookies (not worth making again), brussel sprouts, and roasted acorn squash with apple. yum.


last week.

the most peaceful moment of my week. driving to fairlee.

it was another hectic week. i spent two days of the week down in fairlee for a farm to plate plan meeting-- which was great! the local food energy in vermont is incredible, and the momentum is only growing.  i also found a bike at the hotel and rode around the lake twice. it's always interesting to see aloha in the off season-- something i've become familiar with growing up in vermont, visiting during work gang, and now attending two conferences on lake morey. the camps looks so quiet and well tucked in for a long winter, but there's also this little buzz of energy there. i know how vibrant and alive the camps are for a few warm months of the year, and there's a little bit of soul belonging to so many of my people that reaches out for a little squeeze when i pass along the road.

back in the office for the end of the week felt like a never-ending crawl up my massive task list. i believe i have one of the most interesting jobs around, but that does not mean it is easy. the last few weeks have just felt crazy, as i've been out of the office for at least 1-2 days every week since august (for fun, trainings, work travel, or conferences). my time out of the office has caught up with me and there is just too much to do and not enough time to do it. by the end of the week, i was exhausted.

luckily, i had a refreshing weekend enjoying some of my favorite activities with people i love. what's better than that? 


then & now.

about a year ago.



ben harper.

last week, brett & i saw ben harper perform in burlington. in high school, college, and soon after, i loved ben. when i saw he was coming to the flynn for an acoustic show, i bought tickets immediately even though i don't listen to him much anymore.  and the show was just great-- like sitting in your living room with a trusted friend. i have such strong memories associated with so many of ben's songs, it also felt like many old friends and moments were circling through the "living room" to stop and say hello. there is so much comfort and emotion that can be tied up in music that's been such a regular part of your rotation for years. i enjoyed stepping back to revisit that for the evening.


"happiness isn't about being cheerful all the time. it's about being interested in things- finding out more about something, learning how to appreciate something better, incorporating something new that fits with what you already have." 
-john sharp


tiny desk concert.

i don't know this band. but i love npr's tiny desk concert series. this was a really fun afternoon pick-me-up. enjoy--



it was a pretty good day, for a monday. i was up early to get a workout in (i'll miss my usual tuesday workout group tomorrow), off to work wearing a new skirt. i saw two hot air balloons on my way to work. i used to see hot air balloons often from my apartment and office windows in steamboat, and i always considered it a good omen. the day passed quickly, with lots to do and a few meetings interspersed. as the day wrapped up, we noticed (the same two) hot air balloons launching from the field behind the office. it was so fun to watch them fill up and take off into the crisp air! i came home to already-made pot of soup, a beautiful sunset, and then we enjoyed the company of jen, alex & od for dinner tonight. after some good playtime, lu & od each settled down in a way we've never seen before. what a treat for a weeknight.

tomorrow i'm off to fairlee for a two day local food meeting. this will be my second meeting at the lake morey inn, but i get a kick out of heading to the hotel for meetings when my only previous experiences involved karaoke! i'm hoping i might be able to squeeze in a walk/jog around the lake, a hike to the bluff, or a trip to farmway. we'll see.


the weekend, in brief.

it was a weekend full of comfort & fall fun-- just what i needed!

a mild evening walk all around town with lu. we walked through the busy downtown, around the capital, back through town, up to my parents, and home. 3.3 miles. soon after, brett arrived home with thai in tow.

a great cup of coffee. a good workout. a walk in the park with the dogs, jenna & mom while we enjoyed children's books as part of storywalk. a belated birthday brunch with mom, some farmers market goodies, and a continued mother-daughter date with a field trip to waitsfield for the baked beads sale. upon returning to town, j invited me for a spontaneous matinee date & a glass of wine. quality time with my people fuels my happiness.

the day started with a very brief skype session with cayla, who is in india for the year! a morning hike up spruce with jenna & the dogs. a year ago, we hiked spruce when od was just a little pup and lu wasn't a part of our world. it was fun to revisit the hike with both dogs leading the way, and the foliage was gorgeous. i returned home for a grocery shop, and then had a little fun in the kitchen. i tried a new pumpkin muffin recipe, which was delicious, and prepared an old standby soup recipe in advance for dinner tomorrow. i squeezed in an hour of work in hopes of making this workweek less crazy for me. brett got home and we enjoyed tomato soup and grilled turkey, cheddar & apple sandwiches.


"invest in the human family. invest in people. 
build a little community of those you love and who love you."

-mitch albom


a year with a dog.

a year ago, brett and i met after work and headed to a nearby kennel to meet a group of sisters who had recently been rescued. we were greeted by three little furry, squirmy creatures (one had already been adopted). we played with them for about an hour before we agreed upon the one we would bring home. she had four little white paws and a neat blaze on her chest.

lu & her sisters

lu has grown from 12 pounds to 51, and we've had quite the year. raising a puppy, and owning a dog, has been just as much work as i expected it would be. however, i love our little lady more than i ever anticipated. i love snuggling her as much as i love running with her and watching her tumble around with her best friend od. i love her wagging tail and happy greetings, and i love that brett & i both enjoy her so much.


oh friday, so nice to see you.

it's been a hectic few weeks. my last full week in the office was the week of august 27th, and my next full week will be the week of october 29th. a combination of mini-vacations, work travel, and offsite meetings & trainings is sending me all over the place, and it's hard to maintain my work-life balance while still trying to stay on track at work. this week we had brett's parents & grandmother visiting, which was so lovely but also added another element of busyness to an already scattered week. this morning we said farewell and sent them on the road back to indiana, and while it was bittersweet to see them off- i am very eager for thai takeout and to settle back in to our little world.

one day this week i was feeling particularly worn down by the pressure of too much to do and too little time. we'd been out late the night before and i hadn't gotten enough sleep (which never goes well for me). i rushed through my workday trying to tackle too many tasks at the same time, dropping pieces and rushing through others. i left early for a doctors appointment, racing down the highway to arrive on time. by the time i was done, i knew i needed to do something to recharge. i rearranged my remaining hour to fit in a particularly sweaty stairmaster session at the gym, and then put on my rainboots and headed out to the garden to harvest a few veggies. this combination of two of my best recharge activities did just the trick, and i was a much better person by the time we all headed up to my parents house for a nice dinner. i'm often surprised how easily i can actually create a better day.



at the end of the yoga class i enjoyed in banff, the instructor read this poem. in that moment, it was perfect. i hope you enjoy it.

"The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky,
water and clouds.

It needs you to breathe gently
for the miracles to be displayed.
Suddenly you hear the birds singing,
the pines chanting,
see the flowers blooming,
the blue sky,
the white clouds,
the smile and the marvelous look
of your beloved.

You, the richest person on Earth,
who have been going around begging for a living,
stop being the destitute child.
Come back and claim your heritage.
We should enjoy our happiness
and offer it to everyone.
Cherish this very moment.
Let go of the stream of distress
and embrace life fully in your arms."

-Thich Nhat Hanh



i love this image.
special moment with two of my very favorite people.


happy day.

yesterday was the birthday of my dear mother. happy birthday, pretty lady! xo