The powder room pot.

31 01 2011

So, I hate this new blogging schedule I’ve assumed. I really want to be doing it everyday (or at least once a week) but it’s just not realistic for me right now. It’s sad but it is what it is.  Joe is in an awful season at work with merger nightmares so I’m experiencing life as a single mom (I’m currently obsessed with the life and psyches of single moms…they are my heroes) and I’m really grateful for the support and understanding of friends and family. I’m also grateful for the supernatural grace I’ve been given because it has been so doable.

That said, we’ve still had some drama. There have been some tragedies but a few comedies as well.

On the 14th or 15th night of dinner without Daddy, Bradley takes his mid-meal visit to the restroom and seconds after I hear the toilet flush he starts screaming “mommy come quick, Quick QUick QUIck QUICK.” The toilet is overflowing and no amount of plunging helps. So for the next two nights, after his late arrival home, Joe spends thirty minutes to an hour trying to get the toilet to flush. That was Wednesday and Thursday. Friday we leave the bathroom door locked and then on Saturday, Joe’s first day home in several weeks, we get up early to “work on the toilet”.  By 9 am it’s in the front yard and we discover what was in the toilet.

And guess who did it?

“but Mommy…it was a yucky apple.”

4 Lowes trips, and 7 hours later we have a new toilet for our dinner club guests (who are arriving just as we finish). Guess what’s for dinner. Just kidding.

A tater in the toilet, a potato in the pot…no mater what way you slice it, it was a pain in the ass.


While you wait on me…

30 01 2011

to figure out a new way to make blogging work for my life (because I obviously can’t find the time to do it the way I used to) here’s a peek at a super fun shoot with did with our dear friends Jen + Chris last week.

To date, this is my favorite picture ever. Click on this link to view the rest.

The Willow Cottage at Cold Mountain.

14 01 2011

Thanks to my Mom’s planning and effort, we have spent the last three Christmases in or near Asheville.  This year she found an amazing property at Cold Mountain, just outside of Waynesville, NC. After deciding on the Willow Cottage, we realized that the owners are relatives of a close friend of ours…such a small world.

When she first found this property we were smitten with the photos and the idea of having 200 acres for exploring. If you have boys with adventurous spirits you understand the appeal. The cottage itself, was designed by renowned architect Keith Summerour.  His idea was to take the very finest elements of luxury homebuilding and scale them down to an enjoyable, sensible size of 2300 feet. Inside, the materials, craftsmanship and design are beyond lovely. The exterior features locally harvested stone, cedar siding, and unbelievable Ludowici clay tile roofing. For me, it was a welcome change from the ultra modern environment I tend to appreciate and to create. We felt as if we were stepping back in time to an era when craftsmanship and materials still mattered and when children were free to enjoy the outdoors without the fear of human predators (we did see evidence of Bobcats and some other wild animals).

The Willow Cottage is one of two homes on the property at Cold Mountain and the other one was vacant so it was wonderful having the entire place to ourselves. The clear waters of the East Fork River run through the property just 300 feet off the cottage which is located in the heart of the meadow area of Cold Mountain and is next to a historic dairy barn and a bass pond bordered by Willow Trees. Being “out” was so perfect for our family this year but it was nice being just 35 minutes away from Asheville and 15 minutes from Waynesville.

My parents graciously offered to take Bradley & Bennett up almost two days early. I missed them, but having time to pack and clean was the best gift of the season. I cleaned out cabinets and drawers that have been accumulating junk for years. I also knew how great it would feel to come home to a clean and orderly home since we’d be trying to integrate all the new “stuff” that comes with Christmas. Poor little Dexter was a basket case for about 10 days leading up to the New Year. We have battled ear infections with him since he was six months old and having run out of options to treat them, we scheduled an appointment for him to get ear tubes on the 30th. We knew it meant leaving vacation a bit early but we had no choice. His constant crying and a five-day sinus headache for me, sadly put a damper on my experience but everyone else said it was the best Christmas ever.

Joe and I arrived on Christmas eve day just in time to enjoy my dad’s yummy chili and to go out and find a christmas tree. The backside of the property once had a small tree farm on it so there were still plenty of frasier firs growing wild.  They were super tall so we found one that we were able to cut the top off to use for our tree.  Bradley & I had been planning the ornaments we would make for the tree but we weren’t able to fulfill that vision because it snowed so much the next day we couldn’t hunt for the things we needed to make them.  Fortunately, there were several hydrangea bushes that we were able to harvest the dried flowers for tree decorations. It was simple but beautiful.

Like I said before, the accommodations were beyond exquisite. Every detail had been carefully considered.  The boys slept in darling trundle beds at the top of the stairwell beneath a majestic window.  It was almost too storybook to be real.  There must have been some magic slumber dust in the beds, because they usually require a dark, quiet cave for sleeping.

Christmas morning we were woken up by the pitter patter of little feet running to the window to check for snow…and while we were watching the first flake fell from the sky.  It only added to the magic.

We decided to take gift-opening more slowly this year.

Batman shirts, Legos, books, Mimi’s boots and Great Grandpa’s new i-pad were among the favorite gifts.

It snowed all day and night until every surface as far as we could see was covered with a fluffy white blanket (a little too fluffy for making snowmen). My Dad did manage to make an awesome snow fort (using a plastic shoe box to mold the “bricks”).

We sledded and sledded and sledded some more.

And I wished and wished and wished I was a photographer.

Dexter cried the entire time we were there, but Bennett was really good…

…and Bradley was really bad.  Just kidding. He was an angel.

The boys all enjoyed music time with Mimi and even when it wasn’t time for music they enjoyed getting into all her instruments. If I could handle the noise (or afford it) I’d replace all our toys with instruments. I’ve never seen them so content.

There’s a part of me that would love to begin creating some Christmas morning traditions in our own home but for now we are really enjoying the excitement of being away and together as a family for the holiday.