Monday, October 8, 2012


Dad surprised me/us by planning a short road trip to Vermont so we could experience more of the fall colors, go apple picking, and see if Burlington is an area we would be interested in settling.  It definitely stole our hearts as expected!  The somewhat mountainous, more open landscape gave us enough of a West coast feel that, for us, is the perfect mixture with the town's East coast charm and gorgeous Lake Champlain setting.  Add in a little French culture from nearby Montreal and we were smitten.

there is a huge local/natural food culture that exists in Burlington so we were able to enjoy locally raised grass-fed burgers, pate, and of course Vermont cheese and maple syrup

arriving at the apple orchard, mom  a little chilly from the rain that day... didn't stop me from picking a bushel and a half mostly myself (that's about 50 lbs folks)
okay, maybe I had a little help :)

as it turned out the rain made for a picturesque setting filled with all sorts of natural wonders

free apple cider to the crazy improperly dressed lady of the day
(the parents in this household have yet to purchase rain gear for ourselves so there was nothing that could be done in this case; I just "pretended" that I forgot my rain boots for the day!)

once there were picking poles involved, you were totally up for the challenge!

the adorable stretch of shops in downtown Burlington
Overall, a great trip filled with lots of wonderful memories.  I see resumes being sent in the near future!  We couldn't help but notice what great little travelers you two have become.  I used to be afraid of taking road trips but no more!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wrapping Up Summer part 2

I had a couple more pictures lingering on my camera that more or less illustrate our summer.  From dog-sitting "Jolie," to zoo visits, to baseball in the courtyard, to talking a lot about trees around here, we've been busy!  I have a bit of anxiety about the dark winter months I have noticed, both last year and now this year; it's not so much about the cold/snow as it is about the darkness in the sky.  Strange, especially considering I detest the heat and never got this feeling when the AZ summers were about to hit.  Anyhow, that won't be for awhile and like I said before, we are very much looking forward to a brilliant autumn.

sweet Jolie putting up with you crazy kids!

Luthien, one of your favorite lunches is what we call "Nibble Trays." This is how you organize yours, I feel it explains a lot about your personality!

we spent about two weeks discussing trees; here is one of your related creations

and another shot, thanks to you Bastian!  I love how you captured the light on that bird's nest!
we picked a perfect day to go to the zoo in which the weather alternated from rain to sunshine; the animals were out and the humans were not

the otters followed your yellow ticket anywhere you moved it; pretty amazing tracking abilities from the otters and lots of giggles on your part!

we admired the new baby beavers for a LONG particular we could not get enough of tiny beaver tails

Luthien you are so excited about starting school... apparently this is what it will be like


Sunday, August 26, 2012


Dearest Luthien and Bastian,
The summer is quickly coming to an end, and while I am not looking forward to shorter days and less vitamin D, the excitement and anticipation of the colors changing, school schedules and routines beginning, and apple and pumpkin picking is keeping me going!

Luthien, today was one of those days where I couldn't stop squeezing you and giving you kisses.  I have to admit that I do this a bit more often with Bastian, probably because for now he is still the baby in our family.  But today you looked especially grown up and beautiful to me, and acted the part as well.  We were handed down an antique writing desk and I love to watch you sit there for up to an hour at a time, working on your latest creation.  It was only a few months ago that I was worried about your disinterest in art (I know, I know, you were only 3).  Today you sat at that desk and created many brilliant things whilst singing a medley of Sunday songs.  I love the joy and excitement you get out of putting your writing utensil to the paper and discovering something new each time.  Today my favorite was, "Mom, I just made a sapling!"  I wrestle with not wanting you to feel like your end product has to be something in particular, but at the same time we have recently enjoyed sitting down with eachother and drawing or painting together, and you love to mimic the things I am creating and ask me how to do whatever it is I am working on.  You have been hard at work at your desk working on mostly trees, spiders, mosquitos, snails, slugs, grass, turtles, and suns.  You practice these over and over again.

In other news we had the opportunity to go to the most gorgeous wedding!  The pictures don't do justice to this amazingly quaint New England locale in the town of Little Compton, Rhode Island.  Unfortunately we forgot our camera on our walk to the marshlands and ocean, not to mention the kite flying for kids that was written into the program.

 the friendliest hotel/farm resident cat I've ever met; you two were ecstatic about this part

comfortable chairs with fabulous ocean and kite flying views

the exchanging of vows/rings was supposed to be on the beach, but it was a little rainy that day so they decided to keep it on the hotel grounds; we didn't mind a bit since that meant we had the beach to ourselves
the beautiful "fairy" bride as we called her (our friend Gillian); she had a gorgeous crown of fresh flowers...
also pictured is the greatest local band with an awesome playlist for the evening!  

and what wedding would be complete without the coolest hotel to go potty in, with a friendly staff offering you juicy local peaches to snack on while you wait for food?

I won't even mention the menu; it was in my top 3 favorite meals of my life, and those who know this mama know she can be picky

when the fire-pit lit up and they brought out fixings for natural/organic dark chocolate smores, I almost had to leave, it was too much!
Almost is the key word :)
 Our summer and all the experiences we are having together as a family have made me reflect on how grateful I am to have started a new life here in Massachusetts.  We are blessed with everything we need somehow, as well as good friends and opportunities to grow and learn in ways I never expected.  What a beautiful surprise this chapter of our life has been, I can't wait for what this new [school] year brings!

p.s. "school" year has taken on a whole new meaning this year because it is not just Dad that is going!  Luthien, you are stoked to be going to preschool 2 mornings each week at this adorable little arts-based school!
p.p.s  MANY thanks to the love and support from our family (mostly all of your grandparents) back in our home state of AZ and beyond!  This wouldn't be possible without them!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Friends and visitors

Dear children,
I have yet to catch you up on our amazing Rapier family reunion we recently had but I will continue to go on to quickly tell you about a few fun things.  First, friends!  As of a couple months ago we have found more great friends that you are thrilled about.  We recently had a great trip to the Providence zoo where we ended up skipping the animals and instead had a picnic outside on the lawn and played at their brand new nature/creative playspace.

we found this great tree and used it as our house

peeking inside through the door

gathering food

showing off the leaf plates all set up with food for a feast!

inside the zoo, the newly constructive playspace I mentioned- checkout that treehouse!

catching fish and putting them down the stream was the favorite activity

more water play

In other news, we have had some visitors!  Pets, that is.  We have enjoyed pet-sitting one doggy and are looking forward to our other regular dog guest, "Sarah" coming this week.  Perhaps even more exciting than that have been the SNAILS!  (And slugs and worms)

yes, I heard, "look Mom!" and saw this when I turned around :)
 Luthien I have mentioned that you love animals and insects of all kinds, and we had been dying to play with some snails this summer because we talk about them a lot, especially after Nana got you a great snail book and stuffed animal for your birthday.  Well, since we are walking the dog early in the morning now, your wish was granted!  We found 6 snails, 2 slugs, and 2 worms over the course of 2 days outside our little city apartment.  We had literally been digging in the few real dirt spaces we have in our area for months, so needless to say we were surprised to find them all in plain view one morning on the sidewalk where we walk the dog.  We set up a little temporary habitat for them and enjoyed them a few days, but I am happy to say that today was the release day.  You of course resisted this at first, so I just kept mentioning it casually and slyly read and told stories about animals kept in captivity vs. living freely.  You were ready to re-home them this evening, and at dinner when we each went around telling the happiest part of our day, you said, "when I found a home for my snails in the wild."  Hooray!

more visitors?  Nope, just my little wild animals at play...these fabulous masks were a birthday present for you Luthien, made by a dear friend/your teacher at our church!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Going to Brooklyn, Going So Fast.....

We gladly worked an impromptu trip to Brooklyn into our schedule this past weekend.  Aunt Trisha's show, Sister Act, is scheduled to close in August on Broadway and we realized this was the only weekend we could make it there to see it!  We had an awesome trip and were reminded once again that we need to get you together with your cousins more often, even if it means 4 hours of Dad cursing while driving through Connecticut and New York.
the beautiful Brooklyn Art Museum, with a fabulous water display in the front

Bastian and Olivia awaiting the arrival of the subway

Miss Luthien awaiting as well, adorned in your self-chosen birthday headband

cousin Georges and Uncle Beau giving you, Luthien a tour of the city, pointing out the Empire State Building

looking at the city from the 78th floor of the Empire State Building where Aunt Maria works!

Mom and Dad on our date to Aunt Trisha's she is on the poster outside the Broadway theatre!

some shots from our backstage tour :)...we were so pumped after the amazing performances by Trisha and the other actors... Mom seriously had goosebumps the entire last act!

we couldn't miss out on getting our picture taken with none other than Raven, the star of the show (an arguable claim) For the record, Aunt Trisha said she would have come out of her dressing room so we could meet her, but we didn't want to bother her of course :)

"strong muscle" shots after eating your vegetables

What a fabulous trip... and I didn't even mention or take photos of our jaunt to Central Park!  Can't wait to do it again soon!