Home Sweet Home

I’ve been a little lacking in keeping up with this blog since we found out we were moving back home last year. It’s been a whirlwind—hubby’s new job offer  came while we were in Disney last September, and three and a half weeks later we were packed and moved. Easy-peasy, right?

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Family Fun

The weather in NC was fabulous–but that wasn’t enough to make up for all the family events we missed out on when we were far away. Of course, that was one of the main reasons we jumped at the opportunity to move back to PA a few months ago.

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We’ll take family and friends over anything–even toes in the ocean in January.

The months since we are back have flown by–birthday parties, drinks, and dinners, weddings, holiday get togethers. All things we had to either plan months in advance or skip when we lived far away.

It has been beautiful in PA–60s and 70s two weekends in a row. It is showing us what summer will hold–playing outside with the kids, pool parties, baseball games, and more fun in the sun.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Do you live close to your family? Have a lot of family events? If not, how do you chose what events to travel for, and which to skip out on? 


Signs of Spring

We are buried under a half-foot of snow in eastern Pennsylvania, but this week still showed some early signs of spring. Yes, I know that technically spring is still over a month away, but a girl can dream of warm, sunny days even in February, right? 😉

Wednesday was beautiful – 61℉ with mostly sunny skies. I went for what started as a short walk–and finally strolled back in the front door 6.4 miles later.

A beautiful day for a nice long walk.

A beautiful day for a nice long walk.

Unfortunately, as soon as the sun went down, temperatures plummeted, and by midnight it was snowing. I really can’t complain–this is really the first storm of the year. Until now it has been a very mild winter (almost North Carolina like).

A snowy morning. At least Pup was happy--she loves the snow.

A snowy morning. At least Pup was happy–she loves the snow.

Of course, I expect snow this time of year–it is February in the Northeast. But, I also know that there is one other awesome sign of spring that happens this time every year. Truck Day!

If you aren’t a baseball fan, you may be looking at the screen like I am insane right now. Heck, you may be doing that anyway. 😉

Truck Day is the day the MLB teams pack up all the equipment for spring training and head south, in most cases to Florida or Arizona.

I woke up on Monday morning to this:

I am a Phillies fan, but Hubby is a Red Sox fan, so this just made my week! Wednesday, the Phillies truck followed behind.

I love that Phanatic!

Next stop, Spring Training! Pitchers and catchers report on Monday. <3

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Are you on the lookout for signs of spring? What are some of your favorites? 


Settling Back In

After two long months in PA, I am finally back home and settled in. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to return to my daily routine–writing, cooking, and even some baking. Of course, I do miss the magical sink in my parents’ house–put something in and it disappears, only to reappear in the cabinet, clean and ready to use, a short time later. 😉 Hubby and I really need to get ourselves a similar sink! (Thanks Mom!)

We probably should have had Cam's "seatbelt" a bit shorter. ;-)

We probably should have had Cam’s “seatbelt” a bit shorter. 😉

On a serious note, it was nice to be home with friends and family for a bit, but I am happy to be back home. A big shout out to my parents for putting up with me for so long! Apparently, no matter how compulsive I am at home, there is something about being in my parents house that turns me into a messy teenager again!

After a few days of visiting with friends and family, we decided to drive back to NC on Saturday to avoid the craziness that is traveling on the Sunday of thanksgiving weekend. After hearing the horror stories of people sitting in traffic for hours on end on Sunday, I am so thankful that we left early!

Oh Christmas Tree!

Oh Christmas Tree!

Of course, leaving on Saturday also allowed us the extra time to get our Christmas tree and decorations up on Thanksgiving weekend–a definite bonus! Even better, we are finally at the time of year that I can listen to Christmas music with the windows open (thanks to the crazy-warm fall we are having) without the neighbors looking at me like I am crazy. 😉

Despite being sick since I got back, I managed to whip up some yummy Apple Crisp! <3

Despite being sick since I got back, I managed to whip up some yummy Apple Crisp! <3

How was your holiday weekend? Have you decorated for the Christmas (or any other winter holidays) yet? Baked any yummy cookies? Please share! <3


Fall with Friends and Family

One of the hardest parts of living in North Carolina is that most of my family and friends are five hundred or so miles away. The second hardest part is missing the lovely colors of fall in the northeast. Sure, the leaves change in North Carolina, too, but it always seemed more dramatic up north–brighter, more varied colors that just seem to stick around longer.

As much as I love life in the south, I have to admit I have been just a bit homesick.IMG_1627

When we relocated almost two years ago, we decided to rent our house in Pennsylvania out for a while the housing market recovered a bit. So far, we have been lucky. We have a great tenant who loves the house almost as much as we did. 🙂

Unfortunately, some storms did a bit of damage to the house, and we are now enjoying the fun of insurance claims and working with contractors–from five hundred miles away.

Do you see where I am going with this?
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The best way to cure homesickness is to decide to spend two months living with your parents in your thirties. 😉

Just kidding, of course! Actually, I have been in PA for about three weeks now, and I am loving all the time I am getting to spend with family and friends–though I could do without the insurance stuff. If my parents and I would have gotten along this well when I was a teenager, I may not have moved out. 😉

In the last week or so, the colors have just started to change on the trees, and I am in heaven. I absolutely love this time of year–though my allergies are not a fan! 😉

I may never have the opportunity for an extended trip like this again, so I am making the most of it. I feel refreshed and happy, and I love reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

IMG_2240That being said, it is really hard being away from Hubby (who is diligently working in away in North Carolina, happy to skip the fall experience–or at least the temperatures that go with it). But, in only a few weeks, I will be back in North Carolina, escaping before the frigid northeastern winter sets in.

Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? 😉

Do you have a favorite place to be at a certain time of year? Maybe the beach in the summer, the north in the fall, or the south in spring (some of my favorites)? Please share! <3


Beauty of Spring

Just as spring was starting to fully bloom in North Carolina, Hubby, Pup, and I had to make an unexpected trip to Pennsylvania. Because we had an already-scheduled vacation in our hometown a couple of weeks later, I ended up spending three (very cold) weeks sleeping in my childhood bedroom.
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Just starting to come back around in early April.

When we arrived at my parents’ house in early April, we were amazed at the difference between eastern Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Everything was still bare—no leaves on the trees, very few flowers. At the end of our trip, flowers were blooming and the trees had buds.  Our allergies were a mess! 😉 Essentially, Pennsylvania was where North Carolina was three weeks earlier. (Yup, we got to go through peak pollen season in two states. Fun stuff. No wonder we were both sick this week!)
North Carolina Welcome Center

North Carolina Welcome Center

I have to be honest, while I watched the changes happening on our trip, I didn’t think much about how much would change at home in North Carolina. I’m not sure why, but I was expecting it to look about the same as it did when we left. It probably had something to do with the fact that we usually only travel for a few days or a week, so in my head, we weren’t gone long enough for a drastic change. I should have known better, but I didn’t really think it through.
The view from the same spot a few weeks later.

The view from the same spot a few weeks later.

On Sunday, we came back to summer views and perfect spring temperatures. Tons of bright flowers, full leaves on the trees, and no more yellow cloud of pollen. It is beautiful, and just being outside lifts my mood immediately. Even better, the summery view from my desk makes me crave beaches and boardwalks—which is perfect when writing a coastal mystery! 😉
What does it look like outside where you are? Has spring taken over, or is it still working? Do you find the bright days of spring lift your mood as much as mine? Does it make you think of beach-bound road trips? 😉 

Family Rivalries and Opening Day

 One of my favorite days of the year is here again! Yay for Opening Day!

I have always been a Phillies fan, but I married a Red Sox fan.  For those of you that follow baseball, you know this is not usually an issue. Philadelphia is an NL Team and Boston is an AL team. They rarely play one another, and when they do, it is only one series a year.

At a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game (the Triple-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)

At a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game (the Triple-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)

Because of the lack of overlap, over the years I have become a Red Sox fan and my husband now considers himself a Phillies fan. Except when they play each other, of course! 😉

So, imagine our surprise when the 2015 MLB schedules were released and we realized (thanks to a change in scheduling) that the two teams play each other not once, but in two series in 2015–including on Opening Day. 😱

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A house divided.

Now, Hubby and I are a just a bit competitive. We like to heckle, and we like to gloat. And the fan of the losing team may like to pout a bit. (We share our prediction on who that will be, based on what we saw in Spring Training, but anything can happen–that’s why they play the game!).

Luckily, tonight we are back on the same team–we will put away our baseball differences, pick up our cheerleader pup (who is named Cameron–as in Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the Duke Blue Devils), and cheer our little hearts out during the NCAA finals–this time for the same team. 🙂

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Resting up before tonight’s game. 😃

For the record, Hubby is used to living in a house divided. He is a Red Sox fan and a Duke fan. His older brother is a Yankees and UNC fan. Which says a lot about Hubby–he loves a good rivalry! 😉

 Are you a sports fan? What are your favorite sports? What are your favorite teams? Who are you rooting for in tonight’s NCAA Basketball Finals? Oh, yeah, and #GoDuke #GoPhillies 😉 <3

Christmas in October

Just a few of last years cookies.

Just a few of last years cookies.

I love Christmas–the music, the cookies, the decorations, people going out of their way to help others (except in the stores–I avoid stores at all costs at Christmas time), and, oh yeah, the cookies! 😉 Even so, I have always had a not-before-Halloween rule for anything Christmas (except the shopping–that needs to be done as early as possible, thanks to the above rule of avoiding stores at Christmas).

This year, however, I am plotting out a new novel–a Christmas mystery–in October. Read More


Princess Puppydog

Bored in the car.

Bored in the car.

Jon and I don’t have kids–we have a pup.  We didn’t plan it that way, but we love our life and our baby, even if she is a five-year-old dog. 😉

We always planned to have one of us home with the kids once we had them.  The opportunity for me to leave my job and stay home presented itself about six years ago, and we decided to give it a try before there were kids in the picture.   At some point we realized kids likely weren’t in the cards, but we were already used to my being home, so we stuck with it.  Which is how I became a childless housewife in 2014 (or, as my husband likes to call it, a stay-at-home puppy mommy).
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Major Changes and Warmer Weather

The last few months have gone by in a blur.  In early February, my husband was offered a great new job. It was in the industry he wanted, doing what he wanted.  He was ecstatic. There was no question, this was the right move for him.  That didn’t mean it was going to be easy.

One of my favorite pictures, taken by my husband several years ago on the coast of North Carolina.

One of my favorite pictures, taken by my husband several years ago on the coast of North Carolina.

The new job is almost five hundred mile south of where we had both lived the majority of our lives. Rather than living minutes from our families, we would be eight hours (or more) away.

We knew it was going to be a challenge, but we decided to go for it.  We would be returning to an area we loved, the place we lived while hubs was in grad school.  Besides, after this winter, who wouldn’t want to go south? 😉

Two and a half weeks later, the two of us loaded as much as we could into my car, popped the dog’s bed (with her in it) on top of a suitcase, and headed south.  The other car was loaded on a truck a few days later, and would meet us down here. Read More