Packing Like We’re Moving

Well- we are moving. Like- NOW. It was all unexpected. Not the move, but the timing. So, I have been thrown into the trenches of sorting, packing, donating and selling. Quickly.

packing and movingBut wait- I haven’t told you the best part! We don’t know where we’re going. Oh the exhilarating feeling of living life on the edge- the freedom of just letting the wind carry you, without a care in the world!  The previous sentence was deep sarcasm and I don’t recommend that you try this at home with normal, sane people. To be honest- this is all just the cat’s ass. (Thank you Linda at Tales from The Cabbage Patch for that term. I shall cherish it and try to use it wisely. It seems to fit here.)

Let’s see, how can I catch you up? I’ll give you a little mini house tour and I’ll tell you what I know.

packing and moving
The current packing station situation. I try not to look at it. (Also- I will NOT miss the kitchen(to the left) in this house-HATE it)

So……. Europe seems to still be looming large, but our current lease is almost up and we don’t want to commit to another year here. Meanwhile, my husbands opportunities are exploding in a really great way. It is actually super exciting to see him this way. It’s amazing when you take a leap of faith and you get out from under the seemingly “safe” option, and you just leap out there for all you’re worth……and  the doors just swing WIDE OPEN. It is all quite incredible. It all just FEELS right and we have a lot to be thankful for.

packing and moving
Slowly emptying out 5000 square feet of house. The top floor is almost done! The futon comes with us.

That whole part is all really exciting when I think about it. But usually I am just thinking about things like our next landing spot and wether or not I actually NEED 3 crockpots. I think about our kids mostly and all of their plans and endeavors. We try to take an advisory, back seat role in their plans, piping in when we are asked. And we try to be sure that they have some kind of safety net should they ever need it. Much like it was when they would go across the monkey bars when they were little.

packing and moving
One of the things I loved about this house was that it had a dedicated gym.

I am also missing my family in Virginia. I want to get home so badly for a visit. At the moment, that is going to have to wait. I really miss them.

I have about a thousand posts in my head to be written, but not much time to write at the moment. My current goal is to schedule a once a week post until we are moved to the new, magical, mystery spot.

packing and moving
This emptied out sunroom is my current favorite place to write!

It turns out that 5000 square feet of house is a lot to pack, but I’m on schedule and after moving 5 times in 5 years- I’m practically a pro. Honestly, except for my carefully packed memories, I think I would just pile the furniture in the yard and set fire to it.  After 5 moves, you are ready to live your life out of a backpack.

OH and here’s a fun thing- today I realized that after packing all of our big mirrors and just being stuck here at the house by myself, I hadn’t gazed into a mirror for 3 days. THREE. DAYS. PEOPLE. But fret not chickens, I shall return to my reasonably high maintenance self after we get moved,but right now I’m in “get sh*t done” mode and I guess it’s just not pretty. This is what sturdy girls do. We go all in and get it done. Our freak outs are few and the ones we do have are kept under cloak. We organize the daylights out of a situation, lay out a plan and then roll up our sleeves and make it happen. And thats where I am.

I’ll be honest, I am not getting in any real work outs in right now, except running up and down the stairs with boxes. We are down to the point that we are eating for convenience more than anything else. I make a couple of large casserole type meals at the beginning of the week and thats lunch. I still make dinner each night but it’s usually something that doesn’t take too long: fish tacos, steaks, chicken enchiladas, etc. Winston and I still take a long walk every day to our favorite spots out here and I truly feel blessed to have spent time in this beautiful place. I truly love Colorado.

Taking an early morning walk as the sun rises and splashes on the mountains is one of my favorite things.

packing and moving

And then there are the lights of Colorado Springs in the evenings. This is the view from the house, looking toward the city.

packing and moving

As we prepare for our next hop, I guess I am feeling more excited than anything. I will miss it here. I will miss the friends that I’ve made and I know I will see many of them again. But the way forward feels good. It feels right. It feels like a new adventure and I am happy to have my family to experience it with me. I’m beginning to think adventure just may be what we do best!

I’ll leave you with a picture taken today of my favorite feature of this house, the back deck. It stretches across the entire back of the house and has a beautiful view of the mountains.

packing and moving
A blanket of fresh, spring snow.

Thanks for allowing me to get a little personal on here today and thanks so much for reading and commenting. I truly have the best followers. Let me know if you like seeing the inside of the house- I’ll be sure to add more and give you a good look at wherever our next abode will be!

Cheers!

Melissa

 

 

 

Thoughts on the New Year

New Year at fresh Air and false Lashes
Happy 2017!

I don’t really do resolutions, but I love the idea of really letting my mind soak in the events of the past year. It is my nature to immediately brush aside any unpleasantness or hardships in my life as I am experiencing them. I don’t often dwell on the difficulties of my life, as I am going through them, but I like to intentionally take the occasion of the New Year to think back, even briefly, on all that has transpired. Both the good and the bad.

Because of things that simply go with the territory of my husbands (now former) job, I have found myself becoming quite reactionary and a bit calloused as we have had to ride this rough road for so many years. Sometimes you find yourself in survival mode and thats ok, because that is what has enabled you to, indeed, SURVIVE! And thats what that mode is there for! But take my word for it, you don’t want to be stuck in that mode for too long. It isn’t meant for the long haul……..it’s meant to get you through the tough times.
I backpacked, I camped, I snow shoed and snowmobiled. I was stuck in a few blizzards and drove through a hurricane.  I travelled to Scotland and hiked the Cairngorms. I was high on mountaintops and I was down at the seashore. I had a huge black bear come up onto my front porch this year and I bought my husband a giant puppy. I made a lot of new friends in 2016 and I also lost a friend. I welcomed our daughter home from South Africa and I dropped one of our sons off at the airport on his way to Australia. I watched my Virginia family go through some difficult situations without being able to be at home with them. I met some amazing heroes this year and was honored to have them dine at my table. 2016- you were not boring.

In 2017, for me personally, I would like to become a little softer again. I would like for the Lord to soften and open my heart in a way that has seemed impossible over the past several years. To help me become more thoughtful, less reactionary and more grateful. I would like to rediscover an openness and a willingness to just let go and let the Lord work in our lives as the changes come, which they most certainly will.

I am quite blessed to have family and friends who are not only there for us, but who will instantly roll up their sleeves and get dirty with us. I am thankful for our own children, who never bat an eye at anything that our family might go through, they just lean in and press on. We have all learned to weather storms as a strong and unbreakable team. And that’s pretty priceless, really.

In this New Year, I hope to continue my yoga practice and get deeper into it. I am amazed at the way yoga has been so good for my mind and body! I will continue to eat well and experiment with different work outs and nutrition plans to keep growing in that area and figuring out what works well for my body and what doesn’t. At 48 years old, I feel like this has really moved up on my list. Mobility, feeling good, having energy……..those things are really important.

I am sure there will be a lot of travel for us in 2017, and I am looking forward to it! I hope to constantly hone my travel habits and skills. I hope that each new place will  further help me to become more “at home” no matter where I am in the world.

It is my intent to grow this little blog of mine in 2017. I want to write relevant and engaging content that will put a smile on your face and make you look forward to stopping by here.

And lastly, in this New Year, I hope to drink good wine, eat delicious, food and really open my eyes to the world and the people around me. I want to intentionally laugh more, smile more and be kind when it isn’t necessary. May I learn to savor the good moments and be grateful for them!

And that is my wish for you in 2017 as well.

A New Year at Fresh Air and False Lashes!
Happy New Year!

2017- May we greet you with unbridled enthusiasm!

Happy New Year!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas! Here at my house I felt so blessed to have all three of my children, as well as my husband all at home. It was for just a short time, but I was super thankful for it. Over the years we have spent many, many Christmases apart due to the nature of my husbands work, so it never escapes me just what a blessing it is to have him at home with us. The kids are all mostly grown, so work schedules don’t always allow for time off around the holidays, so I was just so super thankful to have them all here.

Our Christmas card!!! I love it so much!

I do what any good mother of grown people would do when my children come home; I feed them huge, copious amounts of delicious home cooked meals and let them sleep in. There was Sausage gravy with biscuits, eggs benedict, ham biscuits, shrimp cocktail, Cinnamon rolls and a crazy good leg of lamb. It’s sneaky I know, but this ensures that they continue to keep the time brief in between visits. A mom has to do what a  mom has to do!

Christmas morning!
These are them. We love them so much!

We had a great time, and we even were able to use Face Time to be with our family back in Virginia during their traditional Christmas Eve party! Technology is amazing. What a time to be alive.

In other news, I have been slogging through blogger hell. Please forgive my recent lack of posts.  Not long ago I realized that I needed to change blogging platforms <insert scary music here>.

To prevent your eyes from glazing over, I’ll just stop right there and tell you that: I’ve been doing that. And it was soul sucking and painful. However, thanks to the people at WP Beginner, it. is.done. And now I can get on with life and with blogging! YAY! So,  I am back up, ready to roll and I am super excited about 2017!

Here are just a few pictures from our home this year.

                               CHRISTMAS 2016

Winstons First christmas
Winstons first christmas! He was pretty jazzed about the whole thing.

 

 

The 12 foot tree! I love how it turned out.

 

We crafted Christmas stockings this year!
My daughter, Savannah is super creative. She talked me into CRAFTING <shudder> Look how great they turned out! All the stockings hung above the fireplace !

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Melissa

 

Reviving the Cocktail Hour

At my house, we’ve become big believers in the cocktail hour. Our children are grown and only pop in here and there, so what used to be the big  family dinner time hustle, is now much more calm and laid back for us.  Instead of having to economize and really stretch a dollar on dinner as much as I did when the kids were young, now you will usually find me fixing something new or something a bit more complex for my husband and myself (and whichever of the kids might drop home for the evening.).

Enter: The Cocktail Hour

Cocktail hour- cranberry martini

 

My husband and I have really come to look forward to this in the evenings.  Its the time of day when the two of us can talk about our day, relax and just BE in a way that was, lets face it, pretty dang rare when you’ve got a young, growing family!

I love it! My husband usually likes an Old Fashioned or just a nice scotch straight up and I almost always have a cold gin martini (which I am constantly trying to perfect….I’ll keep you posted).

If it’s nice outside, we sit out on the deck and watch the sun go down, but sometimes our best conversations happen just sitting in the kitchen at the breakfast nook, sipping our cocktails. It isn’t a long time……45 minutes….maybe an hour, but it’s nice. It’s like our time, carved out and special. Of course it doesn’t always happen. His schedule is all over the place, but when he comes home at a decent hour, we make a point of it. After that, its dinner, some TV, emails, texts and all the rest.

But The Cocktail Hour. That’s ours.

Speaking of cocktails, we are still on a quest to find new, Christmasy cocktails that we enjoy. Martini fans rejoice!  I have your Christmas cocktail. This is light and not too sweet. Definitely not as sweet as a cosmopolitan, but just as pretty and with a taste that is little more complex.

The Cranberry Martini

Cocktail hour- cranberry martini

Recipe:

1.5 oz vodka

1/2 oz orange liqueur

1/2 oz dry vermouth

2- 1.5 oz cranberry juice cocktail

Chilled martini glass and cranberries for garnish

Combine all liquid into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until frost forms on the shaker. Pour/strain into the chilled glass and garnish with cranberries.

Cocktail hour- cranberry martini

Let me know what you think. This is an easy one to adjust to your personal sweetness preference as well.

Do you have anything that you do routinely, to spend time with your husband or significant other?  (And maybe yours doesn’t revolve around alcohol, but hey- no judging).

I’d love to hear about it. As always, thanks for reading!

Cheers!

Melissa

 

Christmas Cards, Saint Bernards and Waiting

I’m just sharing a few minutes at my place today.  Do you know that awkward time when a big change may be about to take place in your life, but it hasn’t yet? Those times when you’ve done all you can do, it is completely out of your hands and you just have to WAIT? Well, thats where I find myself. And to say that I am severely lacking in the patience department is the understatement of the year. “Worlds Worst Waiter”. Thats me. Lets talk Christmas cards!

It is definitely feeling like Christmas here in Colorado. The snow is here and the mountains are just beautiful. I always tell people it’s like living inside of a Christmas card. Speaking of Christmas cards, do you guys do the family picture Christmas cards that are so popular here in the US? My whole family has always done them. To be sure, just getting everyone together and looking in the right direction at the same time, has made for some really funny memories. And remember, my sister is a professional photographer. She says we are her toughest gig all year. Surely she exaggerates. We are a super fun loving group- after its over (an over abundance of patience doesn’t run in the family, apparently).

This is one from several years ago that I really love, because our Uncle is in it with us. As I look at this photo, I can’t believe how many changes have taken place since then! image

I find sending Christmas cards to be so relaxing. I like to find a quiet time to do it, put on some Christmas music and pull up all my addresses on my lap top. I enjoy writing out the cards and thinking about each of the families.  I find a bit of Earl Gray goes exceedingly well with Christmas card writing.Christmas cardsChristmas cards

This year I have Winston too keep me company as I address all the envelopes. So, if your card has a teeny bit of slobber on it- sorry- I’m doing the best I can here. He is VERY loving and likes to sit right with/on me. He has personal space issues……he doesn’t realize that there are any.

And for the record…it is VERY hard to ignore a saint bernard.

Christmas cards and Saint Bernards
Look at that sweet face. So what if he takes up the whole sofa? No judging.
Christmas cards and Saint Bernards
HOW can you not love him?
Christmas cards and Saint Bernards
This right here? This is why my caps lock is always on. Winston likes to lay his head on my keyboard to get my attention.

To get a family photo this year, we had to travel to Winter Park, Colorado. Our boys live and work there. Its such a beautiful little Colorado town. At this time of year, you will find our sons, either working…. or on the slopes. Yep. Thats their life up there. They seriously hit the ski slopes as soon as they get off work. Not a bad life, for sure.

We all huddled together for a picture, as we got Winston to stop trying to greet every.other.human.in.sight. and after one phone dying , my sis snapped a pic for us…..just as a big snow storm rolled in. It was freezing and windy and we all have our hair dusted with fresh blown snow. But we did it. Mission Accomplished. I’ll be sure to post it as it gets closer to Christmas!

How is it at at your house this week? Do you send family picture Christmas cards? I wonder if it is as popular in other countries as it is here?

As always, thanks for reading. Forgive me if I am a bit scattered……waiting does that to me.

Cheers!

Melissa