a winter morning.

last night, it snowed. a sweet, fluffy couple of inches. this morning, it was frigid and clear. we were at the park before 7. brett on skis, lu with her frisbee, and coffee in my hand. we were a happy trio.

it's funny how quickly your mind can change. last night i was muttering mean things at the giant snowflakes obstructing my vision of the slippery, slushy road as i drove home slowly. i dragged my dirty summer tires out of my trunk and into storage in the basement. i shivered pumping gas and thought, "why on earth would i choose to live in winter? this is it. we're moving."

and then this morning: the sun was shining. the snow sparkled. the sky was blue. we laughed. we frolicked. and i remembered, i actually really love winter. 

be grateful that you are here.


rivers & roads.

friends, this morning i had a serious case of the grumps. i overslept, cut my workout short, was late to drop my car off to get snow tires put on, and felt rushed as i headed to an all day training. i put on some favorite music for the long drive to help adjust my 'tude. it took a while, but finally, as i was off the highway i drove on a road that paralleled the river, and i admired the peaceful water. and then, this song came on and i had no choice but to put on a smile and belt along with the band. picture me starting at at 2:00 pretending i'm in the band. oh yeah.

i love this song for many reasons- because it was the first song by the head & the heart that i loved, the raw emotion, the idea of missing those who are far away, and just the sweet, simple tone.

your place.

"is it not possible that a place could have a huge affection for those who dwell there? perhaps your place loves having you there. it misses you when you are away and in its secret way rejoices when you return. could it be possible that a landscape might have a deep friendship with you? that it could feel your presence and feel the care you extend towards it? perhaps your favorite place feels proud of you..."
-john o'donohue


gratitude, days 20-26.

yes, i fell very far behind on my goal. my gratitude looks a bit like this:


living life from miracle to miracle.

found on the bulletin board in my grandmother's painting studio:

"i learned then that happiness is not smiling or having money or being in good health, although those are conditions worth having. happiness really is only living, taking life on its own terms. i'm passionately involved in life: i love its change, its color, its movement. to be alive, to be able to speak, to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings, it's all a miracle. i have adopted the technique of living life from miracle to miracle."
- arthur rubinstein


congrats, kat!

last week i headed down to brattleboro for an afternoon to see my good friend kat graduate from her masters program at SIT. we had a brief but lovely adventure that included her graduation ceremony, a splash of bubbles, some sweet cake, and a walk around campus. 



i'm a little late on my sharing my gratitude with the internet, and also did not manage to complete my "gratitude yoga practice" this year-- but i hope i will still fit this in over the weekend. so, in the very briefest of words:

i'm grateful for my people, my health, my life and my love. every word of this post rings true, and i commend myself for writing it so thoroughly & eloquently. go enjoy it, and then tell me what you're most thankful for this year.

i love thanksgiving for the conscious gratitude that the world embraces. my facebook newsfeed today was bubbling with positivity, gratitude & thankfulness. i wish only that every day contained a tenth of that positivity- rather than complaints, frustrations & unnecessary whining. the world (internet & live) is such a better place with a little gratitude.

so remember to give thanks tomorrow, too.


hitting the slopes.

on saturday, brett & i headed to sugarbush for opening day on the slopes! i wasn't quite yet in the "ski mindset" yet given all the sunny and sometimes mild days we've encountered this fall, but brett was pumped to get some turns in and i was happy to oblige. we pulled out our gear, packed the skis, and headed to the mad river valley to meet brett's coworker aaron. we sunned ourselves in the parking lot for a bit, strapped into those stiff old boots, picked up our passes, and off we went. without much natural snow, sugarbush has done a great job taking advantage of cool nights to make snow. the base was good, but very hard. it always takes me a while to get my ski legs going, and i don't think i ever really hit my stride on saturday. we just enjoyed a few runs before we decided to call it a good warm up and head to the base for a beer & nachos. 

i'm hoping this winter will bring us plenty of fluffy white stuff. last winter was disappointing for all those who enjoy snow sports, and was a bit of a stinger for those of us who had recently come from snowy colorado. 

this will be brett & my 7th ski season together- wow!

today marks opening day at steamboat, and the opening of their 50th season! a little bit of my heart will always be in steamboat on opening day, where opening day is filled with hopes for a powder-filled season ahead and a strong economic season fueled by tourism. wishing my friends out there many a breakfast burrito, feet upon feet of champagne powder, safety, new adventure, and a high five at t-bar at the end of the day. enjoy.


happy things.

make that puppy snuggles.


gratitude, day 19.

today i'm thankful for my far away friend, cayla. she is talented, funny & oh so sweet. she's living in india right now, and i miss her. a lot. happy birthday, cay!

important things.

"good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them... 
your smile, your hope, and your courage."
-doe zantamata


gratitude, day 18.

grateful today for an afternoon walk with my parents. they make the best company.

a november ride.

last sunday i enjoyed a backroad bike ride. the sun was shining, and my thermometer read 63 degrees. i pulled out my bike shorts, shirt & dragged my bike out of the basement. my bike & i took to the roads, peddling up and up and up out of town. all with my phone blasting music out of my back shirt pocket. i was greeted by both funny looks & shared smiles as i peddled dirt roads with franti singing. i soaked in each moment- the painful climbs, the zippy flats, and the wild downhills. seeing as we've had many frosts by now, there were no bugs in the air so i could smile as i wide as i pleased on my way down the hill. it felt like flying. 


gratitude, day 17.

today, i am thankful for the mountains.


gratitude, day 16.

today i am grateful for friendship. one of my favorite blog posts ever was a tribute to my tribe of women, and i hope you'll go revisit that today. i'm ever thankful for the stars in my sky- those friends who i keep so dear to my heart no matter where we all have traveled. i'm grateful, too, for the collection of boys in colorado who so affectionately referred to me as their den mama and welcomed my motherly role into their scattered ski town lives.

today is a day to celebrate friendship. this afternoon i'm headed down to brattleboro to cheer on my dear friend kat as she graduates from her masters program! then i'll come back up north to host a wonderful evening with some of my oldest childhood friends who find themselves in vermont this weekend. my heart is already full in anticipation.


"try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. and when you get angry, get good and angry. try to be alive."
-ernest hemingway


gratitude, day 15.

today i am grateful for my career path. five years ago, i was living in colorado and applying for jobs in both steamboat or boulder. i was resistant to a desk job, but was willing to work indoors if it was for a good cause. in one month, i applied to work for a company organizing tours in africa, a nonprofit organization that ran outdoor leadership programs for girls, and for a philanthropic organization.

in november 2007, i started working for the philanthropic organization in steamboat. since then, my career path has continued to grow in the most interesting of ways, and i am so thankful for that. so many people say that they want to "make the world a better place" and i love that i am literally doing that each day. even on a boring day of meetings, calls, and sitting at my desk, i know that the end result of the work is improving the environment and lives. i like to joke that i've made a career of giving away other people's money. philanthropy is a remarkable field, and i've enjoyed both working with an assortment of donors and nonprofits to improve the steamboat community, and now working for a large company to improve the quality of life in communities where our employees live, work & play.

bike ride teaser.


gratitude, day 14.

Grateful for laughter. Belly-aching. Tear-inducing. Little chuckles. Uncontrollable gasps. Quiet giggles.

give & keep.

"among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile & a grateful heart."
-zig ziglar


gratitude, day 13.

i'm thankful today for good, quality food. for choosing to spend our money on local, organic or delicious food. for growing a great garden in the summer (still harvesting kale, carrots, beets, onions and maybe a few brussels). for time spent cooking and exploring recipes.

[it's totally hilarious that this is my gratitude for the day-- half of our dinner tonight was highly mediocre- awesome roasted asparagus and totally blah mac&cheese with shrimp. ah well. you win some, you lose some. and something under the burner caught on fire. i had flames. in the kitchen. and our fire alarms are wired straight to the fire dept. thankfully i got the fan out and calmed things down. and i laughed through the entire experience].



gratitude, day 12.

day 12: i'm thankful for npr. we spend oh so much time together during my commute. it's a good day when i catch the writer's almanac as i'm pulling into the office (around 8:35). it's a great friday when i also catch storycorps (around 8:20). i'm glad to be informed, educated and have such variety in programming.

rules for healthy living.


catching up on gratitude.

gratitude, day 9: a tasty beer with good friends and new friends.

gratitude, day 10: a clean, cozy & safe home.

gratitude, day 11: outrageously warm weather and sunshine, celebrated with a 13 mile bike ride.


sunny saturday.

we enjoyed soaking in some sun on the porch this afternoon. 
lu napped & oversaw the neighborhood while i read. lovely.

you are every single day.

i love this so much.


lately, again.

book, dog, blanket. 

eat local, eat real food, but sometimes: 
eat pillsbury cinnamon rolls on sunday mornings.

first snow.

snow on kale.

today's quote.

The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you. 
— Neil deGrasse Tyson  


gratitude, day 8.

a joyous hug, a warm yoga class, a delicious beer and juicy burger. with a dear friend who has been a constant in my life since age 4. such a blessing.


life through instagram, lately. 

j turns 29.

lu waits for dinner.

sunrise on the state capital, early morning walk.

movie watching: teen wolf c. 1985.

casual friday jeans meet snappy new blazer.


the excitement of this week's election sent me looking back to remember four years ago, and the obama rally i attended with friends! check it out here.



gratitude, day 7.

grateful for the little things: a favorite song on the radio, a reese's cup from a coworker, a great new job for a deserving friend, and bundling up in a hat & down layer for an early morning jog to the gym.

and for the big things: obama's re-election, shumlin's re-election, maine & maryland voting in support of gay marriage, the most women ever elected to senate (20), our first buddhist senator, our first gay senator, our first hindu congresswoman. those, my friends, are things to be proud of today.

short list.


gratitude, day 6.

today i am grateful for: small town voting (mom by my side, crossing paths with brett in city hall), a bold blue sky, snowcapped camel's hump, a quick recovery from a miserable headache, delicious chicken tacos, and an exciting [and nervewracking] evening as we determine the next president!



attitude of gratitude.

as thanksgiving starts to come near, there seems to be a lot of gratitude floating around the internet. i am loving it, naturally. there seems to be 30 days of thanks, 30 days of gratitude, and a few other projects out there for the month of november. i've mostly encountered it on facebook or instagram, where folks share something that they are grateful for each day (either specific to that day, or in general). seeing as this blog is all about appreciating the little things, and finding gratitude, this sounds like just the project for me. my version: i will try to post a minimum of one thing i am thankful for each day for the remainder of november. 

granted, i'm five days late. so today i will start with five.

november 1: brett & lu. 
november 2: a day of reconnecting with an old friend. the comfort that follows.
november 3: my community. the bounty of gifts that presented themselves this day through community-spirited events and activities.
november 4: seasons- the gentle transition to the heart of fall. a long walk, early darkness, a harvest meal.
november 5: waking up to a snowglobe out the window. 

if it is not too dark.

this sweet piece was shared at the end of yoga class on saturday. it made me smile, and i hope it brings a similar smile to you today. 

If It Is Not Too Dark
Go for a walk, if it is not too dark.
Get some fresh air, try to smile.
Say something kind
To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.
Always exercise your heart's knowing.
You might as well attempt something real
Along this path:
Take your spouse or lover into your arms
The way you did when you first met.
Let tenderness pour from your eyes
The way the Sun gazes warmly on the earth.
Play a game with some children.
Extend yourself to a friend.
Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants -
Why not let them get drunk and wild!
Let's toast
Every rung we've climbed on Evolution's ladder.
Whisper, "I love you! I love you!"
To the whole mad world.



the weekend, in brief.

the weather is really getting colder, grayer & darker. this change in seasons has such an impact on my tastes and cravings. i crave soups and warm dishes rather than salads [unless there are beets & sweet potatoes roasted on top- then i always crave them] or grilled items. i want meat, root vegetables, and muffins. i want blankets, good books, and a candle burning.

satisfying these cravings feels so indulgent, and yet it's so easy and worthwhile. this weekend was all about self care and indulgences.

saturday i helped out at the onion river ski swap for the morning. it was a chilly, and slightly drizzly morning- just right to get people thinking about skiing. four hours and ten freezing fingers later, i headed to the wellness fair with jenna & our moms. the wellness fair is delightful-- samples of delicious local products, foods, and treats that are all sold at our local coop. it's like a market, but with no pressure to buy. then j & i headed over to the yoga studio, where there were free classes all day! we enjoyed a nice flow class with a great teacher i hadn't practiced with before. we walked home, with a stop at the library before parting ways. i came home, grabbed a new book, a blanket and the dog and settled in to read. brett & i enjoyed thai takeout and played a new card game.

today i was up early with the time change, enjoyed my coffee and cozy time, and was off to the grocery store, coop (had to buy a few of the treats i sampled at the fair!) and gas station well before 9 am. brett & i enjoyed a yummy breakfast of scrambled eggs and cinnamon rolls before he headed to work. i went to the gym briefly before enjoying an hour of heaven: a massage, thanks to a christmas gift certificate from last year (i'm a saver, what can i say...). it felt amazing. i came home, heated up leftovers for lunch, enjoyed a visit from dad, and then headed out on a long walk with j & the pups. lu & i stopped to visit mom afterwards and then came home to make dinner with brett: pork tenderloin, and sweet potatoes with ricotta, kale & garlic. plus pumpkin muffins baking in the oven.

oh yes. happy fall.


i like.

"well, i like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love. i like to work, read, learn, and understand life." 
-langston hughes



florence & the machine is the best friday music. it mellows me out and pumps me up at the same time! enjoy.


a little confidence can take you so far. in the past 24 hours, i've had three bursts of confidence and it's amazing what a difference it can make in attitude and spirit.

superficial: i just loved my outfit yesterday. my clothing was comfortable, it fit well, and i felt rather snappy. there was nothing particularly special about it, but it was just a well put together outfit. riding boots, black tights, black & grey patterned skirt, grey shirt, dark rose scarf, jean jacket & earrings that matched the scarf. i owned it.

mental: i had to speak to a group of about 35 people, and my voice did not quiver all over the place. yahoo! public speaking is not my strength. i'm still haunted by social studies presentations in middle school. i couldn't sleep for nights before jenna & alex's wedding: part eager anticipation for the big event, and part anxiety over sharing my toast with 100+ people! but yesterday, i was calm, cool & collected (and i knew the subject well). i did not shake, and i felt good. i will carry that with me for future confidence.

physical: at the gym this morning, a woman told me & my workout buddy jen that we had "michelle obama arms." heck yes!