Monday, January 25, 2016

The Light Fantastic

Clearly I didn't settle in to regular posting about our idyllic new life as New Englanders, despite best intentions, given that my last post was over 6 months ago. I swear I had them (the best of intentions), with a camera memory card full of "before" photos of our new (and now not so new) house to prove it.  Let's hope that a lack of follow-through is not what I become known for in my decidedly "middle aged" years.

Speaking of middle age...

This is what it looks like to turn 40. It's brilliant and blinding. And I'm not just talking about the candles.

I can only hope that I can do so with as much grace and enthusiasm (I'll let you know next year!).

To show you that we are, indeed, embracing this (bracingly cold) New Hampshire life, here are a few photos from our first trip to the local sledding hill (not that this is our first time sledding, mind you - any hillock is fair game around here!):

The sledding hill is known as Wagon Hill, because it has (as you can see) a delightful old wagon parked at the top. It's apparently one of the most photographed sites in the area, for obvious charming and beautiful reasons. This view catches some of the sunset, and one of these days I'll get myself there early enough to capture the view at sunrise, too. What you can't tell from these photos is that just over the hill and down a little path is the coast. We are finding so much to love about this area - it's a stone's throw from the ocean and marvelous little cities like Portsmouth, a short drive from the mountains, and a hop, skip, and jump from one of my favorite places on earth - Maine. I must admit, I do miss Maryland (perhaps more than I thought I would) and all the people we love there, but this feels like the place where we're supposed to be. So cheers to a new year and a new decade, a new us, and a new you.

Monday, July 6, 2015


After a nearly 8-month hiatus, a dusting off of this blog is in order, it seems. A lot has happened between last November and now. When I left off, irresponsibly (and predictably) falling short of my promise to put up a blog post every night during M.'s trip to Morocco, I neglected to mention the potentially life-altering situation that was afoot. A couple of days before M.'s trip, you see, he was offered a new job - a dream job, really. And while everything was crazy and uncertain and roller coastery for a while, I'll make a long story short by saying - we moved!

A few weeks after Christmas, we packed up the kids, the cat, and all our belongings, and left Maryland for the seacoast of New Hampshire.  Did you know that New Hampshire has a seacoast? It's a whopping 13 miles of coastline sandwiched between Massachusetts and Maine. It's tiny but action packed, and we are about 20 minutes west of the actual coast, in a small-ish town with a great school system.

While we arrived just in time for the snowiest, longest winter of our lives (ha! understatement), we have been loving it up here. M.'s commute, which was typically nearly an hour and a half each way in D.C., is now 15 minutes. We live less than an hour from my parents (and many other friends and relatives!), and an hour and a half from my parents' house on Sebago Lake. We've been living in a rental house which is actually the original farmhouse on a working apple orchard. I've been working from home, and I feel very fortunate that I'm able to do that. It's insanely bucolic and ideal and everything we had been hoping for, but never thought we'd get. Srsly.

And now, NOW - we bought a house. Here are a couple of photos, most of which were already posted on Instagram and Facebook (sorry!). More to come...

M. and I toasting the night we closed on the house. We are happy, exhausted, and poor, can you tell?

The front of the house. Dear Readers, I HAVE A YARD!!

A tiny peek at the kitchen, with flowers snipped from the front of our rental house.

And finally, a sighting of my disheveled, sweaty children who tried so hard (and failed so miserably) to be patient while we scurried around cleaning and moving boxes and sanding and spackling this weekend.

Happy 4th, indeed!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Medina, Belly Dancers, and More

Uh oh, guys - it's only Tuesday, and I'm just about out of wine. I didn't plan this well.

So yes, it's Tuesday, and things have been going well for both me and M., with only one small exception. Poor little Annie did, indeed, kick the bucket. We had a little funeral for her in front of the toilet. We sang. Lucy sobbed. Then we went to school and work. Finn took it pretty well, actually, even though she was his fish - probably because he's already seen so much fish death over the last year. He's jaded.

I didn't post photos from M. last night because I was tired and cranky. Not for any specific reason, though - the kids have actually been pretty good. So far. Well, Lucy's been a bit much, but that's kind of typical for her lately and nothing I'm not used to. My point, though, is that tonight you get TWO days worth of Morocco photos to look at, courtesy of M. No photos from me, mostly because I completely forgot to take any.

This was M.'s breakfast in the hotel courtyard yesterday morning:

Another pic of the hotel grounds:

See this tree with hanging lanterns?:

Here they are at night - pretty!:

This is a mosque M. passed on the way to the medina (shopping area). While he was in this plaza, a man put a snake on his neck! He did not ask first, because I don't think M. would have said yes! No photo, because they would have had to pay the guy:

Mosque/plaza up close:

On the way to the medina:

 Cool doors:

 More cool doors:

A shopping stall at the medina:

Lots of people and lots of smells, according to M. He said everything at the medina smells like camel, which kept him from pulling the trigger on any fabric related gifts like rugs or scarves:

Which reminds me - I need to ask him why he hasn't sent me a picture of a camel yet!.

Another photo of the medina:

The medina photos were all from yesterday, when M. had some time to do some sightseeing. Today he worked all day, and then apparently relaxed with a local beer:

While watching belly dancers. This was at the hotel restaurant/lounge:

M. said the belly dancers were just phoning it in. I'm not sure how he knows that...?

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Not much to report today. M. didn't make it to his hotel until about 4 pm Moroccan time, after a layover in Germany. The kids and I spent a lot of time in our jammies. I did take Finn to a birthday party and (pause)

Let me just note that M. is the one who picked out the birthday gift for this particular party, and he chose one of those Minecraft swords, because Minecraft is apparently THE thing to love if you are an eight year old boy. He nicely bought me some wrapping paper, just in case, so we could wrap the gift and be prepared for the party. But he did not actually wrap the gift himself before winging his way to Morocco, he left that to me. Have you ever tried to wrap a sword? Real or, um, flattened and foamy? It's not easy. I speak from experience.

(unpause) we all got dressed (I even showered!), I did a little grocery shopping with Lucy (who was HORRIBLE today, god what is WITH her?), and also conducted other routine household chores like taking out the trash and cooking and whatnot. But we did not do anything remotely worth photographing, so I have nothing to share. I do have a few photos M. sent me, and I'll put them up in a second. Just know that I would ALSO have photos of our day, if our day had anything remotely remarkable contained within it.

Actually, that's not true, there were a couple of SORT OF remarkable things that happened, though they were not photographable. First, the kids and I started listening to Christmas music. Now, normally I am of the "not until after Thanksgiving" mindset with all things Christmas. But we were in the car, and the kids heard an ad on Sirius XM radio for their holiday channels, and insisted I tune in to one of them (channel 17 - Holly - for those who want to know). And from there, it was all over. We got home, and I turned on Pandora and sampled Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser, and Trans Siberian Orchestra channels. There is no going back, I'm hooked.

Second, we almost had to hold a funeral today. In striking (for us) news, Finn's fish that he's had the longest (remember how we gave him a fish tank for his birthday just over a year ago? Oh, wait, I just checked, and I never actually blogged about that. Sorry! But to catch you up, we gave him his very own fish tank for his 7th birthday), Annie, is about to die. His small, 2.5 gallon fish tank has seen it's fair share of death, but Annie has been the constant. And she was floating belly up today. I scrambled to change the tank's filter and some of the water, but it's a desperate move that isn't likely to work. She's still hanging in there, but just barely. I had to turn the tank's pump off so she wouldn't get stuck to the intake, that's how weak she is. So expect an update on tomorrow that Annie Is Dead. It will be a sad, sad day.

OK, on to M.'s pictures, so I can get to bed (I meant to post earlier, but I got caught up in an episode of The Good Wife).

Here is a view of his hotel from the patio at night:

He had mint tea this afternoon after getting a grand tour of the hotel and getting some things set for the coming week:

The hotel lobby has some unique umbrella lights:

Tomorrow he's off to the big "market" area (I'm blanking on the name - Medina, I think?) - he has most of the day to do some sightseeing before things ramp up with work related stuff. He claims he will NOT bring home a rug or anything big like that. We'll see...