36° 59′ 56.3″ N, 109° 2′ 42.6″ W

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the middle of nowhere, yet four states at once. the only place where so many states come together at one point and there isn’t a thing but desert around for miles and miles. pretty cool though, we stood like giants!

and for tgif, a few things that grabbed my eye on the big wide web: one fish, two fish, three fish, blue fish | or these, french fancy | who knew keds had grown up so much! red, white, & blue | this looks really fun (although i am a major sucker for blackened marshmallows) | cheeky | for summertime | my favorite mascara ever, and it’s under $10! | this set of 8 bar glasses, perfect for pool or lakeside | possibly the cutest bunny ears ever.. | have a great weekend!



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arches

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“stay is a charming word in a friends vocabulary.” (amos bronson alcott)

i can’t say for sure, not being the guest but rather the host, but i’m pretty sure our friends feel a strong sense of being welcome. if you happen by us on a warm afternoon and blink, we’ll have you in a chair with a cold one and you’ll wonder what happened hours later. this definitely happens at our house. and for having a one bedroom, teeny tiny house, we’re often full to the brim. have you ever noticed that small houses seem to teem with people and large rambling ones have only their regular occupants with room to spare.

to feel welcome is one of the best feelings in the world. someone wanting you around. to visit. to linger.
to stay. no matter what is going on (not for lack of a busy schedule but despite one). the person that makes you feel truly welcome regardless of what life is throwing their way, oh i love that person.. that friend. do you ever go (or maybe even just ask to go) to a friends house and they hem and haw and say how much they have going on but sure come on over or well, yes, come, but… the dreaded but! among other things, having a friend that lights up with even the idea of you visiting, could there be much better?

we enjoyed every minute of our time in arches, it’s mesmerizing. husband conquered a hike that seemed undoable last year, there’s a bit of height involved and it was windy as all get out last time we tried it, wind and height, not so much for him. this year, we made it! best hike in the park for us, we savored every second; well, except for climbing down a crazy steep side of a rock with no real footholds. think walking a crack and if you slip it’s not going to end pretty, i didn’t love it, but i made it, and he made it, and we felt victorious!!



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utah

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you know what i don’t understand, huge neon roadsigns flashing – warning! watch for animals on road! danger! – uh, yeah. well it’s pitch black in the middle of the mountains (this was our drive to glenwood springs after seeing gaffigan in beaver creek), no ambient light to speak of, nothing but inky darkness on either side of the car, so what exactly are we supposed to do in precaution? we’re going the speed limit, we’re in no way needing continuous danger signs to freak us out, it’s not like you can see the animals coming until they are right in front of your headlight beams, it’s kind of like those – watch for falling rocks signs – really? they might as well just say.. good luck.

anyhoo, a few pics from our drive to moab and some meanderings in arches on our first day, 45mph winds be damned! and just because, a few bobbles from around the web! enjoy your weekend!!

if you’re going to give me wine, please give it to me in this | does it get any more preppy? | some goodness from where else? jcrew delivers.. clip, black & white, neon citrus, weekday love,  and more stripes | royals for happy hour | limoncello please | gazelle’s a leaping. awesome. here & here | zebras!!! | and a little bit old school, streamlined. |



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vail + gaffigan + change

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hello, hello. we survived a long long winter, are safe and sound in edgewater, oh to be home again! we’ve been recouping, working on minor home projects, and… that sweet husband of mine surprised me with gaffigan tickets for valentines day (thanks honey!) in beaver creek no less. perfect excuse for a road trip, which we turned into a loop’d'loo tour of the west. vail is just the beginning.

to all of those thinking of making a change, i have heard and lived this. embracing change comes in threes, three days for some, three weeks for others, and the long stretch of three years for even bigger things, beyond that, who knows. i have always lived by the philosophy that if you make a change for all of the right reasons, to be better, to do better, to stretch and reach for more, to risk everything for the hope that you/we/i can become more than what we’ve known, a life that has possibly been quite comfortable, that this courage, to go and risk it all, will be rewarded.

when i first watched eat, pray, love i heard the echo of this belief in the final quote of the movie; “if you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.” (elizabeth gilbert)

moving west was exhilarating and exhausting for me. i might as well have been living upside down. heartache, tears, frustration, bewilderment, strange land, strange people, stress, renovation, snow.
i never wavered that leaving north carolina was the thing to have done, starting over either, never wavered on whether buying our house and pouring everything into it was crazy. i did question if i could truly feel at home here, out of the south, one of my true loves and the only thing i really know. i didn’t worry that mistakes had been made in the getting-here because i really believe(d) that we were doing everything for all of the right reasons. three years later, reward.

i came back to colorado and felt wow! it’s really good to be home. a lightness and happiness about this place, the one that has been shadowed by the most tumultuous up and down adapting over the past three years. it’s home and i’m happy here, we’re happy here. we’re truly feeling like we made it! we can see the light! of course a million other things (that i still hold to the same wisdom) have yet to be sorted into place, but that we are right where we are supposed to be, what a good feeling. change is good.

this trip, that i have much more of to share, it was sort of our first real salute to this part of the country that we now call home, our first time as both travelers of this western land and locals. it’s good to be back.



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chicago

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well, said pooh, what i like best, and then he had to stop and think. because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. (a.a.milne, winnie-the-pooh)

isn’t that what travel is all about? the wonderful anticipation of it all. the new and old sites to see, the dearest of friends to meet with, chicago was just the best. and now, it’s time to work.



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minneapolis

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i’ve been thinking about the word legacy. what will my legacy be, our legacy, the blue-eyed boy and i.
i know that i want to create something beyond myself, leaving behind tracks better for me having been here. i am trying to answer the how’s and what’s of my time, talents, passions, so that whatever i/we do going forward is building something that makes life better, that creates lasting value for others.

thinking about creating a time-withstanding legacy really makes me think about what i spend my time on and how or whether those things are creating a better life for myself, my husband, family, friends, neighbors, community, and beyond. do you think about this regarding how you spend your time? with what you pursue? i want to leave a legacy that is relevant regardless of year or trend, regardless of changing times. something tangible, something life-improving. what would you like your legacy to be?

in other news. on our way to north carolina we stopped in minneapolis. i’ve wanted to see the cherry and spoon forever and i took a ridiculous amount of photos of it, i mean hello, you don’t see these things everyday. if i was a weather be damned type of girl, i dare say we’d be moving to minneapolis/st paul. those twin cities made me fall hard. the land of 10,000 lakes is no exaggeration, plus the skywalks, bike paths, bridges, falls, river, and overall spectacular scenery, yeah. i loved it. we’ll be going back for sure.



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buffalo + balance : a new schedule

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in our lives, the season changing from summer to fall marks the beginning of our busiest time of year and of travel back south. although we are not leaving yet, it’s right around the corner; the phone is ringing early in the morning once again, people calling, anticipating our arrival.

i’ve spent some time thinking about last fall/winter and this blog; blogging (even as a hobby, as mine is) has become so ingrained in my daily life that it seems odd to let it be, even when life is not conducive to it. last year i forged on, schedule be damned! this year i have made the executive decision to allow for a change of pace. i’m starting a little early so that i can focus on our last weeks, readying for the transition
of life here versus there.

this is and will always be a place for me to record our lives; the special weekday or weekend happenings, the renovation of our little home (without this i would never have kept up with the progression of our house from start till now, and even i, having lived through every minute of it, wouldn’t believe how far we’ve come without it to look back on), and most especially this is a special place for us to reminisce over our travels, the thing we love to do the very very most.

while sparse and infrequent, if we do something momentous, see something beautiful, have thoughts that must be shared, i will be on here in a fury. but, as was the case and i’m sure will be again, with the exception of our travels to (we have a few fun stops planned and i’ll definitely be sharing those), what most of our next months will consist of is dark mornings till dark evenings and lots of twinkle lights, oh how christmas season comes early for us with husbands holiday business.

so until the next good thing, i’ll see you on the flip side.



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monday

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forest + memories

a query about your method of memory keeping. this blog is a diary for us, i don’t write  a (paper) diary, not my style, i don’t scrapbook or keep albums, so this is it, memories preserved. whether you blog or not i have this question, do you schlep the camera with you to the top of the mountain, to the faraway beach, to the big city, to the countryside, do you? so that you can snap at least a few photos to look back on in one or twenty years? or do you soak in the sights unencumbered by the nikon neck albatross knowing that remembering-you-were-there will be all that you carry with you?

i try to balance when i do and do not take the camera, it’s a learning curve and i’m getting better at leaving it and at taking fewer, more specific photos when i have it with me. i watched this video on diana mieczan’s blog last thursday and it struck a cord with me, particularly after having just written this post. it made me think more about the camera (since we currently don’t have smart phones this is not an issue) and whether it is, not the same thing, but along the same lines. what do you think? i’m super curious to hear your thoughts!

 



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porchtalk

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“and, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” (paulo coelho)

i recently mentioned falling down the royal rabbit hole, still obsessed in case you were wondering! (; rather than it all being frivolous, here’s what i take from the duke and duchess of cambridge, inspiration. sometimes finding an accessible role model or mentor is hard, maybe you don’t have a person in your life that you can emulate to become the better version of yourself. but what we all have access to (in one form or another) is media, which is pretty much 24/7 in our lives, so what a good place to pick a person to learn from.

as i watch these two i am not envious of their lives, they may not have the same worries as the majority of us but their lives are scheduled to the max and watched by the world, i cannot even imagine! what i see over and over with william & kate is grace. meeting and speaking and shaking hands with the public at large with a kindness that radiates, there is a lot to be learned from that kind of elegance under the pressure of a public life.

i think to myself, if day in and day out they can smile and be gracious and kind to all of the people wanting a little piece of them (when they too have bad days, tired days, stressful days) then i can surely show grace in each of my (non-publicized, scrutinized) encounters each day.

what about you, is there someone in the media that you admire and can learn from ?

(image)



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lantern love

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have you shopped for lanterns recently. oh. my. word. so many i found looked innocent enough, nothing fancy, just good basic lantern bones if you know what i mean, then i would click over to the pricing page and just about die right there. which meant craigslist and thrift stores (which i love anyway). this big beauty was found on a lucky thrifting spree back when mama mia was in town and scored for the low low price of three dollars! it needed re-wired which mr. blue eyes handled, another six dollars, the chain and ceiling cap were missing, which upon searching was looking to be a teensy bit pricey, lightbulb moment! thrift another light and use it’s parts, five more dollars, and we had the paint, grand total $14. yippee!

but first. i am a big believer in spray paint. anything and everything can be sprayed, don’t you agree? anyhoo, i wanted to use the beautiful rhett pumpkin paint color (on our front and side door) which is not a spray (obvs) so we tried a liquid to spray gun, which seems absolutely brilliant, except it does-not-work. back to the store, returning with the ever so humble sponge brush, somewhere in the seventy cent range. putting us at a true grand total right around $15. oh happy day!



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