Monday, July 11, 2016

Millenimalism

I'm loving Brenna's new blog.     Millenimalism.  Say that three times fast!

 It's definitely a grown unschooler's perspective and I have enjoyed every single week of it so far.

It's about this:

WORK LESS, LIVE SIMPLY, AND USE YOUR FREE TIME TO PURSUE YOUR DREAMS


And it's written by this woman.  My daughter.  I adore her.  She has good stuff to say and says it well.





Enjoy!  And Thanks for Stopping By!  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Breathing Room




This has been a long stretch of crazy for our family!  We were not yet recovered from the springtime trip to Texas when my dear Uncle Jim had a stroke at his apartment in California in early May.

Uncle Jim and me about five years ago in Los Angeles

Our extended family has been taking turns in Los Angeles and San Diego as we worked on getting him back to health and moving him and all his belongings to Florida so he could be closer to family.  I was first in Florida to help take care of my Mom and then flew directly to California for over 2 weeks to help with my uncle.  It has not been an easy couple of months but I'm finally home!

On Saturday, Broc and I had our first day in weeks to do something together and we took full advantage of it.  We hit up the Farmers Market, then High Five Coffee, and an afternoon movie, The Fits, at the new Independent Theater in downtown Asheville. While the movie has some good critical reviews, neither of us liked it that much.  I give it 3 stars and Broc would probably give it 1 star.  However, we were the only people in the theater at 1:30 p.m.  and it had big comfy chairs


Our sweet friends have a new two-person kayak and they lent it to us in the early evening.  We live right on Beaver Lake but in the over five years that we've lived here have never been out on the lake.  What fun!!  It was a gorgeous day and we so enjoyed just paddling around and enjoying the scenery.












A bit later on we walked down to our sunset watching spot with our wine to end a perfect day.







Thursday, May 26, 2016

Two Views

Hooray for Spring!   As fans of fair weather hiking, Broc and I have been lucky enough in the last month to hit up some gorgeous trails with very contrasting scenery.

In late April, we were in Texas and hiked at Enchanted Rock which is close to Fredericksburg.  Then, in early May, we headed out intending to hike Table Rock in North Carolina and somehow ended up at Linville Falls.  After both hikes, we said, "This was the best hike ever!"  That's always a sign of a good hiking day."





My last few posts have been heavy on the writing and not very uplifting. This one is all about the images.

 We are so happy to be back in Asheville but our hike to Enchanted Rock was definitely the highlight of our Texas trip.  Here's a whole bunch of photos of our amazing day there.


Happy Feet in Texas




That little speck is Broc!




View from the top.




The wildflowers and blooming cacti  were everywhere







Broc's hand is completely submerged in the clear water

Wildflower heaven










We hiked for hours and in addition to the great trails and beautiful wide open scenery, we also saw a roadrunner, a very long snake that I almost stepped on and an animal that looked like black squirrel.

                        Only a couple of hours from Austin, this is definitely a hike worth taking.




The next weekend after we returned to North Carolina, we decided to hike out at Table Rock because it has some amazing views.  Not sure where we went wrong, but we ended up close to Linville Falls.  This is the location where scenes from the movie, "The Last of the Mohicans" was filmed.  Just stunning.  We hit up every trail out there and some of the last ones were a bit challenging.  Here's a few of our favorites shots.




           To give some perspective, we hiked to that waterfall from this spot this photo was taken.



Long before I sprained my ankle!



On our way down to the waterfall



                                       Texas may be big and it certainly has its beauty.

                                However, our hearts and feet definitely belong in Sweet Carolina.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Legacy Hideaway


We were in Texas, Y'all!  Yes, we were.



In spite of some bumps while we were there, we were so lucky to spend time with people we love, stay at an amazing vacation home and enjoy an enchanted hike on a warm sunny day.



A little history.  I lived in Austin for 14 years and loved it so much.  Both my kids, Brenna and Logan, were born there but this was my first time to stay in the Hill Country.  We were there at such a beautiful time of year.



I've known my sweet friend, Anita, since we started a playgroup when our grown up kids were toddlers. She recently made a dream come true and bought a gorgeous piece of property not far from Fredericksburg, Texas. She's been remodeling the lovely ranch home as a vacation rental and getaway retreat for her own family called Legacy Hideaway. She graciously offered it for Broc and I to have our own much needed Texas mini-vacation.









The interior is gorgeous and I can't believe I didn't take any photos! When she goes live on her website I'll stop in here and add a link..






It was so quiet and secluded that we could have been on a island. We spent a bit of time exploring Fredericksburg but mostly just enjoyed sitting outside watching all the wildlife and walking throughout the property.  It is a bird watchers paradise!
























While I've seen numerous Hummingbirds and Towhees in North Carolina, this was my first time seeing a Painted Bunting.  I was like a kid at Christmas!

Very early one morning, I walked out to watch the sunrise and was greeted by deer playing in the front field and a wild turkey.






Our time at Legacy Hideway was so peaceful, and memorable. It is truly a magical destination in itself and also so close to fabulous hiking, biking, wine tastings and the lovely town of Fredericksburg with all its treasures in food, shopping and music.


If you happen to be in Texas anywhere close to Austin, take a little drive out that way.  You'll be so happy you did. And if you do as much hiking as we did, you might return feeling as relaxed as this little guy.


                                                           Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Love is All You Need





My last post was about weddings and what not to do.  This one is about some of the things that do make for a happy wedding.  Hummingbird Haven wasn't born when this wedding took place so I've gathered a few photos to share about the loveliest wedding I've ever attended.

        Kristle and Aaron invite you to attend their wedding.........

We were all so thrilled to go to New Mexico for my niece's wedding several years ago.  Kristle had brought her fiance, Aaron, out to Florida to meet us all and we planned for months in advance how we would all make it to their wedding.  Our group flew in from Florida while other family came from California and all over the southwest.

We were all invited to the lovely rehearsal dinner which was held at a restaurant not far from the wedding site with a rooftop view of the Sandia Mountains. It was in late May so the weather and the blue New Mexico skies were just perfect.


Cousins, Chelsea and Brenna, with the Sandias in the background



Broc hugging Kristle



Dad and Daughter


The wedding and reception were held at a lovely venue just outside of Albuquerque.  Parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends galore were there to join in the ceremony and festivities. My sweet niece, Cailin, was the flower girl.


Both of Kristle's Dads walked her down the aisle.  They were a little nervous but were all smiles a bit later on at the reception. Kristle's parents divorced when she was quite young and she grew up with her step-dad, Clint, while visiting her dad, Skip, during the summer.  Both were so honored to be part of their daughter's wedding day.





Kristle and her Dad sharing the first dance

This is the kind of family I'm lucky enough to be a part of.  It's the kind of family that has grown and  been strengthened through the years  even if sometimes marriages within the family didn't work out. We sometimes joke that you are not allowed to leave our family.  Truth is that life is too short for pettiness and I think we decided long ago to just keep on loving each other.  I give my Mom all the credit for helping us learn that life lesson.

All the parents with the Bride and Groom


Dad and Step-Dad all smiles


Weddings are not just about the bride and groom.  Entire families and many friends gather together to celebrate love and commitment and family.

 In the end, it doesn't matter how fancy the food or the dress or the colors or the photos.

 What matters is how it makes people feel.

 What matters is the kindness and love.







Grandma (my mom) and Kristle
I remember this wedding like it was yesterday and I still smile every time I hear one of the songs that was played. Skip played guitar with the band for part of the reception. Kristle and Aaron made a CD with many of the songs to share with guests which made for a lovely remembrance.

 I especially  remember the hugs and smiles and dancing and the pure joy of being part of it all.





My cousin, Wendy, and I at the reception




Kristle and Aaron are now parents to two amazing kids who are 11 and 4.  It continues to be such a joy to share in the milestones of their lives and to be part of this big crazy family.  We're lucky enough these days to have Skype and Facebook to stay in touch with messages and photos and face to face contact even though we live far apart.





Kristle sent me a few of the photos I've shared here.  Sofia, her four year old,  was so excited after seeing her Mom going through the wedding photos that she got all dressed up in one of her favorite outfits.


Sofia with the Biggest Bouquet!

So here's a toast to weddings and families caring for each other.  To celebrating and being part of it all. To children growing up surrounded by it all.  Here's to Love.  Here's to Kindness.  Here's to having  photos to help you remember some of these special times.  Much love to all my family and special hugs to my New Mexico clan for including us in your life celebrations.

                                                                       CHEERS!!