Saturday, August 31, 2013

Looking ahead.

I don't think I've ever done any thing big on Labor Day weekend {except GET MARRIED ♥} and this year is no exception.

I think of these three days as a chance to regroup after the craziness of the first few weeks of school and to get excited.

I've been mulling over all of the fun things that the rest of the year has to offer {a dear friend's wedding, pretty leaves, pumpkins, hopefully getting our apartment to not smell like old gross, the holidays, family...} and I feel like we have T-minus 48 hours from right now until it all starts happening. Quickly.
Taken last September at Arlington with my mama.
My dad always tells me that time moves so fast for him these days and I can see how that all begins.

Here's to beginnings, happenings, and all the in-betweens. !
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wild night!

With some Parks and Rec and trying to finish this book:
I'm having a great Friday night - especially needed after one of longest weeks on record.

Here's to a bit more activity over the long weekend!!!
xoxo, natty ❤

Thursday, August 29, 2013

One more day.

I just got home from Back-to-School Night and I'm POOPED...but happy.
And even happier with bed soon to come.
Here's to doing Friday and a long weekend!
xoxo, natty ❤

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day two.

And day three is on the horizon; thus the school year begins and thusly it continues to barrel on {some days faster/slower than others} until eternity aka June.

We're enjoying some sultry weather {nothing like you Minnesota!}, which is fine since I'm taking a few days away from running {more on that later} and I had another nice night, this one with pizza and friends {and their 2 month old squishy baby!}.

Here's to mid-week!
xoxo, natty ❤

I owe an email to few people out there; I haven't forgotten you it's just that zombies got to me but I'll be free from their wrath soon!

Monday, August 26, 2013


Last night Guinness lost his momentum on the way up the stairs.
And in some positive news!

1} I got through day 1 of the 2013-2014 school year!!!! The second day is always the hardest since all of the adrenaline and momentum from the first day is sapped, but getting through that first day? A major feat in and of yippee!!!

2} My wonderful husband made us a wonderful dinner both last night AND tonight; thank you SO MUCH sweetie for supporting me during these busy days.

3} It's almost September...that seems like a good thing to me today.

4} I get to go to Minnesota next month.


What's good for you today Reader? Are you enjoying the back-to-school time even if you're not a student or educator? I mentioned last year that I think that this time of year is more ripe for renewals that New Year's is and I'm still of that belief.

Here's to a good week folks!
xoxo, natty ❤

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Ideal Home.

We live in a wonderful apartment and I'm extremely grateful for it.

But there's dust EVERYWHERE.

It accumulates very quickly.

But, in the long run, I guess I can deal with it.

Do you have any home-related minutiae that irks you?

And are you ready for the week ahead of you?!

xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Tonight we went to the Washington Redskins old stadium to watch DC United play soccer against Toronto.

I loved the feel of the old stadium and thinking about all the yards run there in years past; maybe I'm getting excited for football season to start? Maybe I'm looking forward to fall? I never really have anticipated this season; maybe because I'd never really experienced a legitimate summer?

Or maybe it's just time to stop asking questions and get on with my evening!

Happy Saturday.
xoxo, natty ❤

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Mall.

I had a thoroughly suburban night; I walked around the mall with a girlfriend.

Happy Friday!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My favorite salad.

We're enjoying THIS lovely salad tonight; there were squash in our CSA the past two weeks - doesn't it seem early for that?
Can you believe it's almost Friday?!
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Around a lake.

Today on my run I saw the following:
  • turtles
  • deer
  • a crane
  • some other water bird
  • and two golden retrievers
Did you see any fun creatures today?
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, August 19, 2013

Even though.

Even though we don't have a garden, we've been enjoying some beautiful tomatoes from our CSA.
Olive oil, salt, and pepper are the best accoutrements for this kind of fresh summer tomatoes, in my opinion.

In other good news this week...

1} I've been commuting for a week and I'm still going back each morning!

2} I get lunch at work; this is something I would like to sing and shout from the rooftop. Very loudly. 

3} I've been running after work at work, or in the neighborhood. Since it takes me almost an hour to get home, and because the couch is oh-so-devious, getting in my miles before I hop in the car is a great idea for me. It's not the same, nor as varied, as going down to the mall and roaming around, but it's still new to me and motivation-wise, I certainly have a bit more before my commute.

4} This week, though busy at work is relatively {compared to last week!} quiet at home, just the way I need it to be the week before classes start.

5} I think we'll have some more tomatoes tomorrow!

What's new and/or good in your neck of the woods? Is it cooling down yet? 
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, August 18, 2013


We got home a couple of hours ago from our 24 hour adventure in Shenandoah National Park, a beautiful place.

Our campsite was picturesque, to say the least; right beyond those green bushes on the other side of our tent lays the Appalachian Trail {read about it HERE or HERE}; I loved thinking about all of the intrepid souls who've hiked past our little site. 
And the view beyond that that Mike's checking out here is just a big, beautiful valley.
The campsites were clean, spacious, and bear free...for us. The rangers told us that they had been chasing out bears and to very meticulously keep ALL of our goods {except firewood} inside of our bear locker.

They even fined our neighbors who had left out some stuff, so they are serious about keeping Smokey {& Yogi} away.

I'm not gonna lie, I appreciate their efforts!
Guinness loves the part of camping that involves being inside the tent. Other than that, since he can't roam freely {we're not about to risk a fine; they're quick on these in this park!} he sits and whines at us.

We got in about 5:45, quickly set up camp, cooked and ate dinner, tried to enjoy a weak fire, then turned in for the night.

Which was good timing because it soon began to pour and was still at it when we drove out at noon today.

I had never been camping in the rain, nor had I ever cleaned up camp in such conditions; we certainly got wet but only in the clean-up stage since we had a tarpaulin that we rigged to cover our tent for the night {CLUTCH idea from the ranger}.
The morning rain and fog were very pretty in their own, rainy, foggy way.

We ditched cooking breakfast and hiking so instead we drove through Skyline Boulevard {it's a 105 mile long road that runs the length of the park} a bit and checked out the visitor's center and lodge.

We're actually planning on going back next month with a group of friends and I'm looking forward to a wee bit more leisure in our pace {an extra night and a whole day more} but this was a FABULOUS way to spend a weekend.

xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Tonight we're venturing to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia for some quiet nature time.
Until tomorrow!!!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, August 16, 2013

Puffy eyes.

I'm predicting that I'll awake with swollen orbs in my face tomorrow. After a long and full week at school, tonight was the back-to-school BBQ, though in true Maryland fashion, it was a massive Old Bay seasoned crab boil. Someone on faculty actually drove out to the eastern shore of Maryland and purchased bushel after bushel for the feast. 

We malleted and picked out crab and had a grand old time.
And it was delicious.

But Old Bay, delectable as it is, contains a bunch of sodium and I do not look pretty the morning after a salt binge.

Oh well, it was worth it.

Also, it was weird and a bit sad to not be at my old school's back-to-school BBQ. I missed and miss all those dear faces and places so much but I am truly grateful to be in a large and welcoming community of teachers and learners, all the way out in The Free State.
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Dear Becs mentioned it earlier today and I had been thinking about it a bit this summer : it's been a decade of knowing, loving, and being friends with three special girls that I met in pre-season of cross country at the start of our sophomore year of college {there I go dating myself}.
They've helped me get ready for lots of things.
It's been such a fun time having these friendships as a part of my life and I'm so grateful for them.
Let's not forget Florida and Carlisle.
After thinking about it all afternoon, I wanted to take it here and ruminate a bit, though not too seriously, I'll save that for when all four of us get together next month for a  very special wedding.
I'm so happy to know and I'm a much better person for knowing these three souls. They've brightened my days and nights and made me laugh and run miles and miles with me. 
As a major tangent, Emily has run the most miles with me, I think, though she was the superior runner in college, from what I can remember we ended up doing a fair amount of our training {except for track! Me no likey 800s...} together. 
"Substitute Teacher".
Each of my friends is very significant and special to me and signifies different and many of the same {shared} memories that are oh-so-memorable.
There's one of me and Becs from this weekend but I love how cute she is here!!!
Here's to another ten years and a happy friendiversary friends, I love you each so much.
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hoping and hoping.

We think we may have kicked the flies; us for the win!

In other Tuesday news, it's been sultry out and that hasn't encouraged any running. Maybe I'll spring for a short one tonight but I might just hold out for the cooler weather that's being promised for tomorrow.

But currently I'm relishing some ac-cooled couch time.
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, August 12, 2013

Aaaaaand hit "publish".

I had several posts from this weekend that hadn't been published; now they are!

In other positive news.

1} I went back to work today. It wasn't that bad considering since we have meetings through next week and full-blown teaching doesn't kick in until after that. It's always a bit of a shock to the system going from vacation to work, especially on a Monday, so I'm grateful for today. The funny thing is that it's never that bad, ever, but the build up to that first day of meetings just seems to get out of proportion.

2} I saw some amazing people and spent wonderful time with my family in California. It was a tonic and I'm so grateful for each day I was there.

3} We're seeing the Giants tomorrow!!!!!!!! {Despite the heat}.

4} I get to see some special gals {& guys} next month. 

5} I got reunited with my better half and the dog. That was wonderful.

What's up where you're at?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Up in hurr.

The plane just landed after a sleepless red-eye.

It's a darn good thing that there's a cute husband, a dachshund, and the promise of bagels with cream cheese followed by a nap all here waiting for me.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Travellin' travellin'.

I'm here {Oakland}; soon to be there {DC}.

Ciao California, it's been an amazing two weeks and I miss You already.
xoxo, natty ♥

Dinner and flies.

We had a great dinner with my dad tonight {grilled salmon!}.
There were dachshunds acting like big babies everywhere.

And meanwhile my loving husband is battling what's become a major issue {only in the past week though} in our apartment back in DC; flies.

He's been killing at least 30 or so every afternoon when he returns from work and they seem to regenerate by the time he gets home the next afternoon. All of the windows are seemingly secured and we are totally confounded; where in the world are these coming from? The kitchen sink's drain? Thin air?

Maybe they'll be gone by Sunday morning when I get home. I know that no matter what, though, I'll be glad to see my better half and our scrappy little dog.
xoxo, natty ❤

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Moving quickly.

Time is moving much too quickly for me; I go back to DC late Saturday night and it's Thursday night! 


I also go back to work on Monday. 

Double EEK!!! 

Let's all of us make the most of the next two days then!!!
xoxo, natty ♥

A meal; balanced, no...delicious, yes.

xoxo, natty ❤

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Unconditional Fountain of Love.

Oh I am remiss - this is a day late. But a magnified a day's worth of love.

Happy Birthday Ellie!!
I made some of my most dear and TREASURED friends in college. As I write this I'm getting misty-eyed thinking about meeting Ellie in the basement of Bigelow in August 2003; 10 years ago!!!

After a decade of friendship, I am even more enamored and admiring {and I could go on} of this girl.

Earlier this summer Fencey came to visit us in DC and we {she, Mike, Guinness, and I} were chatting about how we comfort each other and our spouses. That's when I verbalized that Ellie is my unconditional fountain of love. Everyone one deserves one, or a few, and I am a grateful, thankful, happy, blessed girl to have one in her.

¡¡¡¡Feliz cumpleaños Elie {one "l" because it's Spanish}!!!! ¡¡¡Te quiero muchísimo y te espero un día feliz y una vacación maravillosa!!! 

Besitos y abrazos fuertes,
tu amiga de Bigelow.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Today's been a great and uneventful summer day in my hometown. So even though I miss my husband back in DC...

1. I ran and being back at sea level made the miles go by even swifter!

2. I had lunch with my mom.

3. I had dinner with my dad.

4. The crickets are singing outside in the backyard.

5. I get to see great friends this week.

How was your Monday folks?
xoxo, natty ❤

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Long drive.

After a beautiful morning and then a long drive home {thanks to I-80 traffic} I was totally ready for the Indian dinner I had tonight.
Even though San Jose's not my home right now and despite Tahoe's beauty and fun, it felt so good to pull up to this street - I think there's a lot that I love about a good neighborhood.
Plus there's a nice bed and a hot shower here :)
xoxo, natty ❤

Saturday, August 3, 2013

As mentioned a while ago...

Tonight I made Atlantic Beach Pie.
We've yet to try it but I have high hopes.

Good Saturday!
xoxo, natty ❤ 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Quality time.

My dad, stepmom, and I ventured into Reno for a Basque dinner.

And then we walked around Harrah's to people watch and spend a few dollars.

It was a fabulous evening!
xoxo, natty ❤

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Having fun.

We're still having fun up here. Today was a bit windy and I needed to recover from yesterday's sunburn {who? me?} so I stuck to non-beach activities.
And there are dachshunds everywhere, of course.
xoxo, natty ❤