Friday, March 17, 2017


Dear Olive, 

What a lovely weekend we had with you.

Gabriel is so proud that you taught him to ski!

I fear though that he has inherited my coordination.  Remember when you tried to teach me to ski and we just ended up rolling on the bunny hill laughing and accidentally tripping children skiers?

This is what we looked like:

What a lovely friend you are... to volunteer each of your Saturdays as ski patrol and to then let us reap the benefits of free passes for fun.  It was especially fun when the sun came out!

I love to be with you friend!

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Dear Olive,

Well, we didn't get the cottage.

I stood outdoors at the auction as a fairytale flurry of snow drifted down, knowing it was not to be.

Jason and I had crunched the numbers, interviewed roofers, and done a million walk throughs to make our decision.  In the end, it was the layers upon layers of lead paint that was the final straw.

We could have pulled the trigger and paid someone to take out the dangerous materials.  But the point was to do this ourselves as a family project.  And as we increased the list of things to outsource, the scales were tipped.  Ultimately, we realized it was not just a risky choice but also an irresponsible one.  The same week that we got the news of the paint, I evaluated a child with neurological damage due to lead exposure.  I took it as a sign.

So I stood amongst my neighbors and watched as our dream was sold to the highest bidder.  Perhaps the point of this journey was to underscore the gratitudes that I sometimes take for granted... a safe home, a husband who bands together with me to make my heart's desire a possibility.

I wore my hot pink tights, green coat, and chartreuse gloves to the event.  It was the outfit I had worn to work, but I realized how I stood out in the crowd of black wool coats.  My friend Robin attended with me out of solidarity.  I was struck by how in mourning my dream, I also felt relief for being exactly who I am, despite the things around me.  So many friends have asked the outcome of this adventure.  In it, I feel lucky to place emphasis on the friendship instead of the attainment. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Dear Olive,

Saturdays are for sleeping in, laying like cats in pools of winter sunshine, and for freezing walks to the warmth of the local donut shop.

It doesn't get much better than this!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

DREAMING OF: The Cottage in the Woods

Dear Olive,

We are circling in on the auction date for the cottage.  And my dreaming is running full force.  Here are my fantasies for the property:

I would love to add window boxes and an arbor of flowers over the door

And thought about painting it a creamy white with black window panes
I would definitely add English garden perennials throughout the property and perhaps extend the stone wall to add a picket gate

I would do this to the stairs:

And fashion an outdoor kitchen and pergola in the exterior

I would extend the fireplace to the ceiling

And use cream and color throughout the living room with calm cozy furnishings:

via                                                              via
I would install these stair runners

And take all of the curtains off in the sunroom, constructing bench seating, panes, and wall mounted lighting


I would beam the kitchen ceilings and add open shelving, either with black cabinets... 


Or white, with a custom range hood

Surely, there would be a breakfast nook


In the bedrooms, I would extend the built-ins and add mirrored inserts for light: 

I would keep the period tile and add a mosaic floor in the bath


Upstairs, I would  turn the 3rd floor into a master suite with this laundry:


And an attic closet:

I would add sconces and a window seat to the room with the eyebrow windows.  And install bookshelves on the opposite wall, turning it into a library


I would make the best use of the built-ins and angles for a luxurious master bedroom:


I am daydreaming incessantly about fixing the property up as a family and living there through the summer while the kids play in the creek.

Wish us luck for the auction this week.  Maybe soon, it will be more than just a dream!

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Dear Olive, 

I cleaned up our toy room in the basement.  It will never again be cleaned or organized, so I photographed it for posterity.

See how each busy bag is so carefully hung with consistent contents?


Yeah, it's going to be in a pile of toy soup in 2  days.

Enjoying the stacked bins and vacuumed floor?

There will be a plastic jungle of junk in there shortly.

See the painstakingly photographed and labeled contents?

These kids eat Montessori for breakfast.  The days of those laminated labels are numbered.

Shortly after this footage was taken, a sword fight ensued and the carnage was great.