Life: Version 2.0

happiness is a simple life



Autumn in Virginia – Family Trip

or view the slideshow on flickr

favorite things: part one

*This post inspired by my long-lost younger sister
  • spending time with my daughter in the woods searching for evidence of fairies and other magical beings
  • hiking in the woods and listening to how it sounds
  • thunderstorms, and the sound of rain
  • the smell of morning
  • Target
  • cooking during a snowstorm, listening to coltrane with the fireplace going and I am slowly sipping on a glorious glass of cabernet
  • the mountains
  • picnics at the vineyard
  • Autumn
  • (you are right Debbie!)
  • my new Canon digital SLR camera (especially when I can figure out how it works)
  • Charlottesville
  • Listening to my daughter sing when she thinks no one is listening
  • when my son shares his new music with me
  • planning future adventures
  • bungalow-style houses, like this one

Sklyine drive – a rainy day in October

Skyline Drive on a rainy day

One of my favorite photos from our trip down Skyline drive last October…



Thanksgiving Magic

Dear Mom –

It’s Thanksgiving day today and I am home with my family. Thanksgiving is usually my favorite holiday but I am just not feeling festive today. This does not mean I am not thankful, just not very festive. When I was young you used to make holidays magical. I usually do that too, but for some reason I am struggling today.

 I figured that it would help to share this with you and remind myself about the things that I am thankful for today:

1. My children. They are my number 1 source of inspiration (and sometimes stress).

2. I have options. I have a created a life for myself that is full of options. The challenge is to figure out which doors to open (and to close)

3. The ability to appreciate the little things. Everything from the color of the leaves, to the smell of rain, to the sound of morning. I have met people who miss out on this because they are too caught up in their own drama.

 4. My pets. Because they love me, unconditionally.

5. That I am able to appreciate you. No one is perfect, and I understand that. I am not angry at you for what you did – I just miss you. I try to focus on all of the wonderful times that we had and all of the important lessons you tought me. I will continue to think about this today as we give our thanks.

That is all for now. I love you always and miss you dearly.


Thankful for Thirty: Day 14: Rain

I am working really hard not to be mad that it’s raining, because we REALLY need it. We are leaving for a mini-adventure trip tomorrow, to drive down skyline drive in the Shenandoah National Park. I was hoping for crystal clear views and beautiful fall foliage. I am not sure if that is what I will get. Either way, we will go. If it is sunny, then we will have beautiful views. If it is cloudy, we will experience the forest in the rain – which is beautiful in a different way. Either way, I have decided to be thankful for the rain. It cleanses the earth and and provides sustinance for us all.

Thankful for Thirty: Day 13: Autumn in my neighborhood

I snapped a few photos on Saturday – fall colors are at their best right now. Here is the tree in front of my house:

tree in front of my house

Every year at this time I fall in love with Virginia all over again. Seems like things are so much more vivid and alive this time of year.

West Virginia autumn train ride

Daryn and I traveled to Romney, West Virginia this past weekend to take the Potomac Eagle Fall Foliage train ride through the mountains. Only 2 hours from our house (a beautiful drive), it was a beautiful October day.


The three hour train ride took us around the base of a mountain where there are no roads and the land is untouched. We saw several civil war-era ruins and homes, but the best part was the Bald Eagles. We saw at least 8 of them. I wish I had a better camera (I am working on it).


The beauty that is in our back yard never ceases to amaze me. I can’t believe there is so much unspoiled land in such a beautiful place! It was really magical.

Recipe: autumn harvest roast

It is no secret that I absolutely love the fall. I have been craving pumpkin and the like for a while now, so I decided to roast some delicious fall veggies.

Preheat oven to 425, line a baking pan with foil and set aside.

Peel and cut each of the following into 1 inch cubes (you can use any combination of root veggies or winter squash):

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam
  • 1 large vidalia onion

Place in a large mixing bowl and add:

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • just enough olive oil to coat

Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake in the oven until tops begin to brown – about 30-40 minutes or so.

Remove from oven and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of real maple syrup accross the top – toss the veggies and place back in the oven for 5 minutes.

 Remove, cool and enjoy!

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