Sunday, August 2, 2015

1 Paddle

We had a lovely branch picnic at Lake Shaftsbury yesterday.  We had grilled burgers, pie eating contests, three legged races (Jeremy and I won - since our legs are the same length), stick pull competitions, giant jenga, and potato sack races.  We had a great time.  

My favorite part was a taking a little canoe ride around the lake.  A member of our congregation graciously brought his two canoes to the picnic.  Our canoe had three life jackets, but only one paddle.  Our second paddle was in the other canoe.  It worked out great for me though.  Jeremy did all of the work while I just took in the gorgeous views.  He really is my favorite and I just love chatting with him.  I'm definitely hoping for some more canoeing this summer. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Letters

Dear August,
Well, you have arrived.  And so quickly it seems.  Typically, you are for back to school prep, but since Jeremy and I are both not students for the first time EVER, we will just be playing.  Summer is in full force and we want to soak up every bit of it.  I'm hoping for more s'mores and drive-in movies.  This is going to be great.

Dear Nature,
You have been killing it.  I love everything about you, except maybe the bugs.  Yep, I could do without those.  The fresh air, the mountains, the lakes, the streams.  I feel like I'm living in a dream.

Dear Mountain Bikes,
We made the big purchase today!!! Sadly, they had to be ordered in the right colors/sizes so we don't have them just yet.  We are now just waiting for the precious gems to get shipped and built.  We can't wait to get on the trails and go exploring... on wheels!!

Dear Meteors,
I am mesmerized by you and think you're about the coolest thing around.  Your spectacular show is on it's way in just two weeks and I have been scheming away trying to figure out the best place to watch it.  Luckily, Vermont has about zero light pollution, so we are bound to see a good show. 

Dear Running,
Our relationship has been completely rekindled since our race at the end of June.  I know we took quite a break and I abandoned for other methods of exercise, only flirting with you here and there.  I have finally rediscovered how fun you can be, especially when I have such inspiring roads to run on.  We may have to reevaluate things come winter though.

Dear Great-Grandma Verland,
I have been thinking about you a lot lately.  You had an adventurous soul in your later years and I find you quite inspiring.  I love that you took up painting in your late 60s and you were actually good at it.  I look around me these days and I feel deep within my bones an urge to paint the beauty around me.  Some might dismiss it, but I think to myself... it's in my genes.  I can surely start in my 20s if you started in your 60s.  

Xoxo, Katie

Friday, July 31, 2015

Lake Paran

Sometimes I get done with work before Jeremy, ok almost all the time.  I have started packing some running clothes almost everyday and then I just go an outdoor adventure until he's done.  Today I finished work a few hours before Jeremy, so I ran three miles to Lake Paran from his office, sat in the sun for about an hour and a half, and then ran three miles back.  It was delightful! 

I got trapped by a train right before I was about to leave and it just camped out right over the road I needed to cross.  After patiently waiting for 10 minutes and exploring all other options, I just crawled right under it.  Don't worry, momma... I was speedy fast and I won't do it again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Robin's Lookout

Another Wednesday, means another hike. (Because I don't work on Wednesdays unless there are important meetings.) This week took me to Robin's Lookout.  It was a great little hike wandering through the woods and crossing over streams.  I was the only one on the trails that afternoon and the peace was sublime.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Solo Mornings

Jeremy works every other Saturday, which means I get to do whatever I so please while he's earning the big bucks.  This Saturday, I dropped him off and headed for the hills to hike Lye Brook Falls, about 15 minutes from us.

It was a 4.6 mile hike round trip.  I hiked it solo and prayed I would be loud enough to scare away any bears.  Listening to conference talks along the way really helped.  It was rather enjoyable and the falls were a sight to see.  Since I went pretty early in the morning, I had the falls all to myself for about 15 minutes before I decided to start back. It really was the perfect start to my day. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mountain Tops

Yesterday on my day off, I hiked Mount Equinox with my friend Laura.

While I liked the hike the first time I did it with Jeremy a few weeks ago, it was even more enjoyable this time around.  It wasn't raining, we actually had views at the top (although we had some clouds), and I had a much more willing hiking companion. It's such a tough hike though (6 miles of steep trails).  My legs were achy the rest of the day and my calves were on fire the day after.

I just love hiking.  Nature, sore muscles, conquering something, chatting with good friends... what's not to love?  It's decided.  I belong on mountain tops.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Weeknight Exploring

Last night we went to the park to play some tennis.  We played for about 30 minutes before we decided we were both done, atypical for us.  I wanted to explore this walking trail by the courts and Jeremy is always so nice to humor me.  It lead us to the beautiful Battenkill River.  I may have found a new favorite place - it was so calm and lovely.  I can't believe I live here.  We are loving Vermont.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Over the Border

Last night we ventured over to New York for a classic drive-in movie with some friends.  We went to Hathaway's which is really only 25 minutes away and watched Minions.  I loved everything about it, the sunset, the popcorn, the company, the giant movie.  We were too tired to stay for the second movie, hopefully we can have more endurance next time.  We will definitely be going back!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Brave Women

Ashmae is an artist that I think is pretty cool.  
I have her SLC Temple painting and her Love Birds painting that I just adore:

Besides being an awesome artist, she is also a great advocate!  She started an awesome movement called, "We Brave Women" and is now on Kickstarter for her project called "Brave Women Art Cards."  She has painted and researched 50 amazing women in history and wants to make a deck of art cards that share a painting and brief history of each woman.  

History is biography, written mostly (if not always) by men and women are often left out of the accounts. There are many of the women that she has included that I know nothing about... and that makes me so sad.  I want to know more about these women that have come before me and the amazingly brave things they have accomplished.  I want the women around me to know.  I want my future children to know, that women can do big and courageous things that can change the world.  I want them to know that they can do those things, too.

I am passionate about her project and would think it's totally cool if you feel the same way.  Feel free to check out her Kickstarter to buy your own deck and then (please!) spread the word.  I am definitely buying at least two decks.  I want to give one to every little girl for their birthday.  Celebrate the brave women in your life.  Celebrate the brave woman that is YOU!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy 4th!

Our 4th of July started off with a "strenuous" hike.  We climbed a whole mountain - Mount Equinox, to be specific - and boy did we feel every bit of it!  The trail didn't consist of switchbacks... it went right up the face of the mountain.  It was steep and exhausting.  It started raining when we were about half-way up and didn't really stop the whole time. 

After 20 minutes of trudging in the rain, Jeremy stopped, took a breath and said, "I hate hiking.  I hate the rain.  Why are we doing this?" I offered to go back down, but he refused.  I was really enjoying myself and the scenery, grateful that it wasn't 90 degrees outside and thinking about how I needed to find a complete guide to hiking in Vermont.  

Jeremy and I obviously have different views towards hiking.  He is more of a nature walk kind of guy, while I like to breathe hard and work up a sweat.  While we continued up the mountain, we struck a deal: I will do "crazy" hikes by myself on Wednesdays (my day off) and we will do regular hikes together on Saturdays. Win-win!

We did end up making it to the top and I carried my American flag the whole way.  Something about the 4th of July makes me want to get out there and experience the beauty of it.  When we got to the top, we were quite literally in the middle of the clouds, so the views were non-existent.  I told Jeremy we would just have to hike it again to get the full experience and he decided he would just drive (there is a toll road) to the top to meet me instead. 

On the way down we spotted 21 orange newts!  1 was dead, but the rest were alive.  Cool little guys!

After our lovely hike, we took naps and then spent the evening at our friend's house, eating delicious food and chatting until the stars came out.  We loved it.  What a great day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Letters

Dear July,
You are the epitome of summer for me and in Vermont, you are especially lovely.  You might be the best month of the year, because we are in the midst of summer, but we aren't approaching those days in August, when the world gets a little sad because school is on the horizon for every kid out there. July, let's make this the best summer yet. 

Dear Independence Day,
You are certainly one of my favorite holidays.  I get all sorts of giddy thinking about hanging out with friends with barbecues, sparklers, s'mores, and fireworks.  You certainly know how to party and I hope our patriotic celebration includes all of these things.  So let's bring out the red, white, and blue!

Dear First Paycheck,
You rolled in today(!!) which means we are officially leaving the student days behind us.  And it feels so good!  Now I guess we can get serious about those student loans. 

Dear Vermont,
We have been here about a month and we are enjoying every bit of you.  Everything is beautiful and breathtaking.  I am soaking it all in, because I know summer doesn't last forever.  Good thing I try to have year round outdoor hobbies, so I can look forward to every season you have in store for us.  You are totally killing it this summer.

Dear New Job,
We are off to a slow start.  Hopefully, we can figure each other out and be good friends.  I just want you to know that I am doing my best.

Dear Manchester Outlets,
You are way too much fun.  I am trying to keep my distance because dangerous things can happen with so many deals at my disposal.  I think we can work out something that keeps us all sane and speaking to each other.  I just love the shopping possibilities you offer to this small town.

Dear Hiking,
I can't wait to get lost in these mountains, figuratively speaking. This Saturday we are coming for you!  I'm awaiting steep trails and beautiful vistas.  Hope you can deliver.

Xoxo, Katie

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Job

Here I am after I survived my first day at my new job!

I have now been at it for a week and half.  The first bit has been pretty slow.  You know... doing trainings, feeling overwhelmed, learning new systems, meeting great people.  There is a lot of new stuff to get accustomed, too.  I will be working 2 days in a PCP office supporting patients with a history of opiate abuse that are doing Medication Assisted Treatment and then 2 days a week doing general mental health in an outpatient office (and a day off in the middle of the week to boot!!).

I am excited to feel comfortable with the new positions, which always takes a while.  I hate the learning process sometimes.  It can be so slow and painful.  I need to hone some patience for myself and trust that I will figure it all as I put in the time and practice.  I love my field. I tell you, working with a bunch of therapists is about the most supportive work environment you could ever work in.  I love Love LOVE it.  My new co-workers walk past my door and are always checking in with me about how things are going and see if there is anything they can help me with.  It is great.  

Interestingly, the day I started my new job, I found out that my picture is on the website for my old job.  Crazy!!  I miss those good, good people.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Late Night Decisions

I have learned that I have the most fun when I do things with a little spontaneity.  So when I got a message from my friend, Betsy, last night at 11:00 seeing if I wanted to run a 5k this morning at 9:00, I thought, "Well, why not?!"  So I dropped Jeremy off at work and went to run my guts out jog about on the Vermont foothills.  Funny thing is... I won 2nd place in my age group, which was uber surprising considering we kind of mozied about on the course.  But when you live in a small town, then you have a small race, which means you feel like a total rockstar for running a barely sub30 5k.  Maybe I will train for the next one... or maybe I will just try to get a more decent night's sleep and hope for low registration numbers again. 

Cracks me up!!

Monday, June 22, 2015


Jeremy's parents came to visit us and flew in Friday morning.  We did some outlet shopping while Jeremy finished up his half-day of work then we went to lunch and showed them around our little area.  We found 5 covered bridges over the course of the weekend. 

Friday night we stopped by a Festival of sorts in Manchester with a live band and we had to have an ice cream stop.

Saturday we started the day with a short hike to Equinox Pond.  We will definitely come back to explore some of these other trails - the trail head is only 10 minutes from us (!!!).  It was beautiful.... and I still can't believe I live here.

After our hike, we went to Cilantro for lunch (which is quickly becoming our favorite local place) and shopped at the outlets in Manchester.  I would love that to always be our Saturday routine - hiking, eating delicious food, and then shopping.  :)  

After the morning of fun, we stopped by the Norman Rockwell Exhibit at the Sugar Shack, where we also had to buy maple syrup, and then we went to the Robert Frost Home.  It was a cool day learning about the famous people that spent a lot of time in these Vermont mountains and it was so fun having visitors!  Everyone is welcome!