Friday, February 28, 2014

the calm before the storm

Is it really almost March? I'm starting to see pictures posted by friends in warmer climates, of flowers and sunshine and first signs of spring. We've still got a ways to go, I'm sure-- last year spring didn't really arrive until late April. Right now we've still got mountains of snow outside, and snowflakes showing on many days of the week's forecast. So it goes.

In the next few weeks we should find out when Zach's official work start date will be, and which preschool Quinn will attend starting in the fall. Once we know those two things (the When, and a more specific Where), we can really start planning our move. Part of me feels eager to figure this stuff out... part of me is enjoying this lull, this calm before the storm.

Friday, February 21, 2014

nomadic ramblings

This picture shows one of my favorite things about snow. One of the many surprising little discoveries about snow and winter is that snow, that plain white stuff, right? It literally has a "cool" blue color cast to it. When you combine that with the warm, golden tones of early morning or late afternoon sun, it creates this really gorgeous glow. I spent a lot of last winter marveling at this effect, and I recently realized that I've hardly noticed it this year-- I don't know if that's because we've had less sun, or I've been indoors more often during those times of day, or if I've just been too self-absorbed in my ZOMG WINTER SUCKS pity party. Perhaps there's a lesson there.

I was thinking the other day about our move in a few months there, which got me looking back on all the other times we've moved in the past few years, and I tried to actually count back...and I realized with a bit of shock that the last time I lived at one address for longer than two years was in 1998, when my mom and step-dad married and we moved in with his family.

I have spent the past 16 years moving at least every two years.

Some of those moves were within the same city, just to a new apartment. But most were fairly major- moving to a new city, or state, or even to a new country and back. Some we sought out, many landed right on our laps whether welcome or not. Part of me is so damn tired of constantly moving, constantly picking up our things and starting over...and that's not to mention how much more difficult and heartbreaking moving becomes as the boys get older. At the same time, I look back on all of the adventures we've experienced, all the people and places that have entered our lives and our hearts and all the ways we have been transformed by them, and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. A few weeks ago someone on facebook posted this article on how living abroad changes you, and many things mentioned in it resonated with me but particularly the idea that when you live in many different places you no longer ever feel fully at home in any one of them because a part of you always longs for the other far-away people and places you have known. The author spoke specifically of international destinations, but for me it certainly hits home (hah) not just in regards to the tenderness I feel remembering our little farmhouse in Switzerland and the friends we met there (including our next-door neighbors who welcomed us with a warmth and enthusiasm that challenged every stereotype we'd ever heard about the Swiss), but also thinking of how much I enjoy our visits back to Austin (despite how much the city has changed in the 10 years since we moved away, part of me still considers it "home"); everything about California that I so look forward to going back to; and also everything about New Hampshire that I already know I will miss dearly when we leave.

I don't really know what to expect from here on out. Our hope is to make the SF bay area our home long-term, that in a year or two we will have a better sense of stability and be willing to plant down roots and buy a house yadda yadda yadda. I also know better than to have very firm expectations of what the future will bring, and wonders what other adventures we have in store for us yet.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


This past weekend I flew to Austin, TX to help throw a bridal shower for my friend Danyelle. She and I met when we were fresh(wo)men in high school and were inseparable for the next many years through most of college, until we each moved away and have lived in different states since then... but we've remained friends all the same, and now she's getting married in a couple months and I get to be her matron of honor. #squeewoot 

Hence, the bridal shower. I've been helping the other bridesmaids plan this thing for a couple months, and then winter decided to throw a great big wrench in my plans in the form of a winter storm hitting all of New England on the day of my flight. I freaked out for a good day or so before the flight, then Thursday morning I drove in to Boston early and managed to get in to the airport right before the bad weather hit. I sat at the terminal watching thick snow blowing directly vertically from the high winds, and as my flight time started getting pushed back I just readied myself for the inevitable cancellation...

See how blown-out white it looks outside the windows? That's not a trick of exposure, that's really what it looked like because the snow was so thick.

Thankfully, the snow stopped after a couple hours, the runways were cleared and planes de-iced, and my flight left after all landing me in Austin around midnight. Woohoo! The next morning, on Friday, Zach sent me a picture of the 1.5ft of snow they got back in NH: 

Texas has also had a much harsher and colder winter than normal, but the weather gods smiled down on me this time and it was sunny and in the 60s and 70s the whole weekend. I cannot express in words how amazing this was. When I stepped outside on friday morning and felt that warm sunshine on my bare skin, after the winter we've had and how cold it's been here, I seriously wanted to cry it felt so amazing. And all these years I thought it was Zach who was so affected emotionally by the weather... 
 I got everything done I needed to that day, then unfortunately started feeling a bit off later in the afternoon and before long accepted that I was coming down with the nasty cold Zach had last week (and is still fighting even am I... this thing sucks...). I felt fairly crummy the rest of friday a good bit of saturday, but still managed to pull everything together for the shower. We had a few hiccups with the planning, but it was a really fun group and no one cared that half the food and all the booze didn't even get there till after the party started. So despite the snags I'd say it was a roaring success.

The bride-to-be and me

Early sunday morning I boarded my planes to head back to New Hampshire, back to the cold and lots of fresh snow. It was a bit of a shock to pull back into our neighborhood and see the massive piles of snow plowed from the roads after that last snowfall. Yesterday was gorgeous, if cold. We spent a good chunk of the afternoon hanging out with Jeremy, Ethan, and Sam, and the boys had fun playing in all that snow (the kids are all on winter break this week).

It's snowing a few more inches today. Zach and I are still battling this same cold, and D woke up feeling miserable this morning. Not ideal, for sure... but it was a great weekend, and now it's nice to be home. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

my wild things {17}

I'm spending my days alternately cursing winter, and honestly trying to enjoy it while it's here or at least appreciate the better/more fun parts. With the latter sentiment in mind, on Saturday we went to Occom Pond for part of the Dartmouth Winter Carnival. It was a gorgeously sunny day, not too cold (relative terms, people), and really a great way to enjoy the perks of winter. They had a bunch of cool ice sculptures along with ice slides, food, games, and the boys each got to try their hand (feet?) at ice skating. Fun times.

Yes, that is Quinn *licking* the blocks of ice.

This was a few minutes after Q took a bad tumble on a different slide. He was a crying wreck for a good 10 mins... what's the first thing he does, then? Go head-first down this other slide. Because of course.


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