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Pumpkin Spice Time

29 Aug

The pumpkin spice coffee has been percolating each morning for about a week now and I’m starting to pack up my summer sundresses. I don’t want to jinx it, but this might be the first time I ever manage to pack away my summer clothes before the following spring. I’m so ready for boots and vests and pumpkin spice lattes and crisp air and foliage and it’s not even Labor Day weekend.

I’ve always been a bit of a back-to-school, new notebooks and pencils sort of nerd about September but this year more than any other in my life I’m nearly giddy with anticipation for fall. Maybe it was the oppressive August humidity. Maybe it’s because I swore myself to hold off on “inside” projects until winter (and I’m itching to dive-in to the growing list). By the end of July, I’d pretty much given up on any hope of wrangling our expansive yard into any semblance of groomed paradise garden when my first round of poison ivy nearly put me off gardening forever.

But the last week of cooler mornings has been looking up fall window box ideas, snapping up Halloween home decor and doing my annual “I should get BANGS” in time for fall. Oh, and I need to work on my collection of plaid blankets so I can style them on a chair with a pumpkin like in the picture above. Obviously.

This recent fall obsession also inspired me to impulsively book a weekend trip for Brian and I to Mt. Desert Island in Maine so we can explore Acadia National Park and do all the romantic couple-y things we’ve not made too much time for since we had Emilia. Like sleeping in late then spending hours reading over a leisurely breakfast. Ahh, the luxury. I’m also dying to poke around the thrift shops and antique stores of Bar Harbor now that I’m starting to figure out what pieces I really need for our beautiful new home.

Cabot_Trail_Westside
the Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia (credit)

I’ve always loved the sparse wildness of Maine. I couldn’t say why I’ve never gotten more into hiking since I don’t feel more at home than when I’m surrounded by forest. Embarrassingly, after consulting a map I was surprised to find that the area I’d set my sights on to visit, Southwest Harbor, was very close to Bar Harbor where my paternal grandfather’s family farm was many years ago. Further map inspection revealed that the whole lot of the areas I’d singled out for this romantic getaway were within easy distance to Acadia and separated from Nova Scotia by a mere ferry ride. (Sidenote, I’m a bit scarred by Nova Scotia after visiting as a teen. It was breathtaking and beautiful in its harshness but once you’ve seen ONE pine tree and gorgeous rocky cliffside vista you’ve seen them all.)

Anyways, I think my point is that I feel such an incredibly deep connection in my blood with this area of Maine that (despite my horribly poor sense of geography) I wasn’t surprised at all that I’d felt so compelled to visit this specific area as the weather started to turn cool. As much as I love spring and summer, I think I’m more of a true New Englander than I’d realized.

 

 

 

 

Happenings in July/August

18 Aug

This summer has gone by in a whir. I know I say that every summer but this one in particular. Moving into the new house and settling into a new town has eaten up just about every spare second not to mention that I’ve had an absolutely enormous workload hit right during what I’d consider the best weeks of summer (most of July). The oppressive humidity and high temps in late July really got to me too — I joked with my mom that we were actually beginning to go mad, though when I remember back to my state of mind these last few weeks, I think there might be more truth to the jokes than I’d like to admit.

Napping is on the fritzEmilia transitioned to the new house wonderfully without so much as a blip in her clockwork napping and overnight sleep schedule. As soon as Brian and I congratulated ourselves for our luck with such an easy adjustment period, naturally, we hit what we think is an early 18-month sleep regression right as we entered August. So the last few weeks HAVE BEEN HELL.

My mom who has been like Mary Poppins (more than usual, because honestly, she’s basically always been like Mary Poppins as far as her way with children) wondered if Emilia was gearing up to give up her second nap, so we experimented last week with only one to absolutely miserable results. Emilia is so NOT ready to move to one nap. She could barely keep her eyes open by about 5 PM on Monday so I let her have a cat nap on me for about 25 minutes and she went to sleep easily by 7:30.

Since I’m on “vacation” this week which I’d been looking forward to for the entire summer, it’s been my one true joy to tackle getting her back on track with her two naps a day and helping to reteach her to fall asleep on her own. We’re getting there. But Monday-Wednesday you’d have found me crying into my coffee cup as I sat vigil by the video monitor watching my sweet little girl sit in her crib clutching her teddy bear, just silently staring toward the door waiting.

I mean… my heart was breaking wanting to go to her. But it’d just set our carefully developed sleep routine back even further so we’ve powered through and as bedtime has improved over the past two evenings, so have the first naps. I just keep reminding myself “Sleep begets sleep.” Sidenote: we have a wonderful sleeper but she didn’t just magically become one. We had to work at it and a lot of effort went into educating ourselves about how a baby and now toddler’s sleep is affected as she develops and grows. We also owe a lot to a rigid adherence to our bedtime routine and careful attention to nap timing, gradually increasing Emilia’s wake time over the course of the day.  Anyways, I’m hoping we can get back on track by Sunday so we head into the work week returned back to the old routine.

On being incommunicadoAnyways, the other bit of crazy over these parts is that I’ve been without a cell phone for OVER A MONTH and am just barely hanging on. I never let Emilia play with my phone because we’re trying to delay the inevitable, so when she sees it lying out, she runs for it. On a particularly rough morning when I was bleary eyed and had been up very late unpacking, she grabbed it off my nightstand and did who knows what with it. I’m convinced it’s hidden down the side of a box that was moved either to the attic or basement, but either way, it’s MIA and I know it is here somewhere and stubbornly refuse to give in. I will find it.

It’s been incredibly liberating in some ways and equally frustrating in others. I can’t call to arrange a return or make a hair appointment, for instance. But as far as the hours I used to waste scrolling through Snapchat and Instagram, I’m grateful to have had the experience of being phoneless for so long and actually surviving. I did realize though, that for emergency purposes, having a cell phone is a must when you have a child. I panicked when I thought my car was overheating while driving the other day and realized I wouldn’t have been able to dial AAA, so a new phone is on the horizon.

Currently ReadingI managed to read two books in July which is pretty rare given the fact that I have a toddler and a lot of unpacking to still do, but I have no regrets. I finally reread the last Harry Potter just in time to start J.K Rowling’s new play that continues where the final book had left off. It would seem perfectly timed to have read the last book but it was a happy coincidence. I actually didn’t even know that she’d been writing so that was pretty awesome. It was so nice to dip back into that magical world again. I tried to read it as slowly as I could, treasuring every single word but I finished it in about a week and had the play done in about 3 days. Oops. In other news, I’m totally killing it on my reading bucket list.

Amy-Stewart-Drunken-Botanist

My other August read was actually a house warming gift from whom I’ve not yet identified. But The Drunken Botanist had caught my eye in stores more than a few times, so whoever the mystery giver is, they know my tastes well. Amy Stewart’s book is described as “biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology–with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners.” I mean. Perfection. I’m dying to go buy a bottle of Crème de cassis like, now. And about 50 other speciality spirits.

What we’ve been up toWe’ve been literally running since we moved in trying to unpack what we can during the week and busy on weekends with baptisms, the 4th of July at the Fairfield Beach Club, Newport Folk Festival and Diner en Blanc rounding out July, then spending the past few weekends furiously preparing for our housewarming party. We hosted a small bonfire get together with a few friends that turned into a really fun “Olympics Opening Ceremony.” We just sat around watching everyone walk out and shouting out guesses for how many Olympians countries had, discussing whose outfits were the best, and debating what “Independent Olympic Athletes” actually means.

Home Ownership has proven to be even more incredible than I’d ever hoped and as overwhelmed with to dos and projects as I feel, the overwhelming feeling when I wake each morning is incredible gratitude to have gotten this house. It’s charming and light-filled and the potential for what it will turn into in time is exciting and invigorating to me. The task is mighty but I love a challenge.

I’ll post a “One Month In” house update separately. Just wanted to share a little slice of what’s been going on lately while it’s top of mind.

Taking Stock: 03

12 Aug

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Pineapple Chime Door Bell by Thomas & Betts at Wayfair

Making: kale smoothies inspired by one I tried at Whole Foods
Cooking: more like living off oatmeal and peanut butter crackers
Drinking: Honey Dew iced toasted almond mochas
Reading: just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Wanting: to teleport to the ocean — the humidity is unbearable these past few weeks
Looking: up ways to remove tree stumps
Playing: hide + seek with Emilia (her latest thing)
Wishing: for more weeks of summer
Enjoying: the dahlias I planted that are finally blooming
Waiting: for tickets to Hamilton on Broadway
Liking: this pineapple doorbell cover
Wondering: if I should round up my mom-friends to go see Bad Moms
Loving: the Young House Love podcast
Hoping: to find a good quality American Flag for outside our front door
Marveling: at Simone Biles and Michel Phelps in Rio
Needing: a day at the beach
Smelling: my delicious coconut water facial spray
Wearing: the mom uniform which means Sperrys, uncombed hair raked into a dirty, messy ponytail, no makeup, maybe sunscreen, probably an inside out t-shirt stained with peanut butter, and yoga pants that haven’t seen a yoga mat in about 6 months. But definitely something with an elasticized waist.
Following: the Rio Olympics — Team USA in gymnastics and swimming
Noticing: How good my skin looks when I make an effort to take care of it
Knowing: that the fun of gardening is the planning and slow development of a landscape over time; trying to be patient and remember that it takes time
Thinking: That we’ll never get all our house projects done
Feeling: overworked and stretched too thin
Bookmarking: garden and arbor ideas for the yard
Opening: packages with my new window boxes (Squeee!)
Giggling: at Emilia’s michevous eye expressions and babbling
Feeling: complete and utter joy and gratitude every single day I wake up in our beautiful new home

Taking stock series: 0102

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