camp DISS

Camp DISS 
definition: Camp Dissertation: an intensive couple weeks that consist of getting very familiar with the computer screen and key board, understanding the effects of not sleeping, comprehending the meaning of reading, writing, editing and re-writing, acknowledging you’re hungry but knowing that chocolate has all the nurtirance that you need and it’s easy to eat, and lastly managing the stress by giving yourself multiple large knots in your neck and back area that take weeks to go away.

Sound fun? Sign up for a PhD program and you will get to enjoy all of that. 

A couple weeks ago Bear turned in the first draft of his dissertation to his advisor. This is the last big step (beside apply to jobs) that he will take in his PhD program. The stack of paper that he printed is an accumulation of years of research and hard work. It feels slightly unreal that this entire process of being a grad students wife is winding down. But as the wife, I couldn't be more excited about what the future holds and proud of all of Bears hard work.


Our Local Farmers Market

Every Friday vendors from across the state gather in the middle of our town to sell their produce, baked goods, flowers, and local honey. We go for the organic produce, the occasional bunch of sunflowers, and always hit up the pickles guy. One time I bought a pint of pickles and had them almost finished off before I even made it home. What can I say, the pickles are tasty.
I can never get over how huge and beautiful the sunflower bouquets are. And I’m sure this week  the pumpkins will have arrived and we will buy one or four of them. You can never have too many pumpkins this time of year. 

Farmers markets are a fav of mine. I love the atmosphere and seeing everyone out and about enjoying themselves. It makes the town feel more like a community.  It's been fun watching this particular farmers market double in size in just a few short months. Bring on the fresh produce. 


A Day Trip to Philly

Recently, Bear and I wrote down all of the stuff we want to do while living on the East Coast. We could fill up everyday for the next 6 months with the activities we have on our list thus far. However, there are a couple things on that list that are must dos, and one of them was a day trip to Philadelphia. I have been to Philly multiple times for work events and visiting friends but Bear has never 'officially' been. So we played history buff tourists for a day and made our way around the 'city of brotherly love'.  please excuse the horrible quality of iphone pics. If you have any other fun suggestions of things to do in Philly, please share with us. 

^A picture in front of love sign is a must if you visit Philly. I fell in love with this city many years ago when I came for a work event and I have been talking it up to Bear for years.^  

^Bear is standing on the Independence Hall lawn. The Liberty Bell sits to the left of him and Independence Hall is right across the street. The grave site of Benjamin Franklin. ^

^ The Christ Church Burial ground and the outside of the Free Masons building ^

^^Philadelphia City Hall^^

^Inside Independence Hall. This room is where the Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution were debated and adopted. ^
^Last but not least, the Reading Terminal Market. We stopped and had lunch at Dinic's Pork and Beef shop. The pulled pork sandwich was pretty tasty.^

Philly, you have always held a special place in my heart. From all the history to the yummy food (don't worry, we will be back to taste test cheese steaks and pretzels) you have never disappointed.


6 years

Six years went by fast, in a good way, in a VERY good way. We have done, seen, felt, and explored our way through the past 6 years and it has been great. To celebrate our accomplishment we kept it low key and enjoyed one of the best breakfasts ever, walked along the beach, and explored the town of Highlands. 

^ First stop was breakfast at the Vintage Kitchen. Can you see why this place quickly became my favorite little breakfast spot. That my friends is fresh toast, ham and brie style. Sounds a little gross but let me tell you it. was. delicious. ^

^The beach was clean and the views were beautiful. Shento played around while Bear and i collected sea glass. Bear has a keen eye for that stuff. and if you look closely in the picture to the right, you can see the NY skyline. It was a perfectly clear day (which doesn't happen all that often) and the skyline was shining brightly. ^

^ Walking the trail around battery loop at Hartshorne State Park.  The loop circles two WWll gun batteries and some great views of the ocean. ^

^we couldn't end the night without some couple pictures. Happy 6 years to us. ^


birthday celebrating

This birthday was low key. 
a day at the river, dinner at a great BBQ place, and time spent with Bear. 
Happy Birthday to me. 


loving you for 2,191.45 days

happy wedding anniversary to my best friend, my partner in crime, and my love. thanks for sharing your life with me. I love you with all my heart and soul. 


a happy birthday list for me

1.   2.    3.    4.    5.    6.

My birthday is on Monday and I wanted to share with you a few things that have graced my birthday wish list. 


A Day Spent in Bernardsville

A couple Saturday ago we took a spontaneous trip to Bernardsville, NJ. I had recently read about  Cross Estate Gardens and marked it on our list of things to do this summer. 

The town of Bernardsville was lined with gorgeous houses and mom & pop shops. Before going to the gardens we grabbed lunch to go at the local deli.

The gardens were landscaped in the early twentieth century and they feature a perennial garden, a wisteria- covered pergola, a mountain laurel allee, and a native plant garden. Plus, a maple leaf tree that the family planted when they first built the place in 1905.

The wisteria-covered pergola was magical. It reminded me of the secret garden and how I always wished that one day I would find my own enchanted garden filled with pink flowers and willow trees.

The family that built up this land in 1905 also built a gigantic water tower.  The tower is made entirely of stone and was used to pump well water into the home.

After exploring the gardens, we headed to the ShermanHoffman Wildlife Sanctuary. The area is filled with miles of hiking trails that weave through forests, fields, and along the Passaic River.

With the area being a wildlife sanctuary and Bear being a lover of birds, we did our share of bird watching :)

And toad hunting. These little guys are great at hiding, they camouflage themselves into whatever tree bark they are sitting on.  Bear making sure that we are on the right trail. He makes for a great hiking companion. 

We ended the day with some delicious chocolate and coffee ice cream from the local ice cream shop in downtown Bernardsville.

The day was spontaneous, unplanned, and perfect. I can't wait to go back, next time we will try one of the local restaurants. There was plenty available and they all looked yummy. 


life lessons for the month of may

I've been thinking a lot about lessons, life lessons. I have been working hard to become a more positive person and taking pleasure in small things. Like yesterday, I did yoga on our deck and it was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly and my yoga mat fit perfectly in the shady part of our deck. Life lessons don’t have to be ground breaking, they just need to make you pay attention to your surroundings and make you think.

Every month I will be sharing little thoughts, reminders, and lessons that I have learned or noticed through out the past four weeks. 

This month I learned that a wedding is a moment in time between two people and the amount of love and affection that is felt is incredible. I remember when Bear and I got married, I thought the day was perfect. All of our family and friends were in attendance and we became husband and wife. I thought I couldn't love Bear any more than I did that day. Little did I know that the memories and feelings we created at our wedding will never be replaced, but the love we have for each other continues to develop and get stronger every day.  

I learned that being around family is like an instant boost of sunshine and happiness. Their warmth, love, silliness, and comfort makes everything in the world seem right.  

I learned that facing a fear, a fear that causes tears and anxiety, can feel like you have climbed a thousand mountains and made it to the top to look out onto a stunning view. Being able to look out onto that view reminds me how much strength and control I have over situations. That view is my life in a panoramic picture and every step I take gets me closer to something good.

I learned that I was reminded the importance of appreciation and counting your blessings. It’s the little things that matter and remembering to show gratitude is what it's all about. 

I learned that as time moves forward people change, and not always in ways you expected. Dealing with differences and separation is hard but relying on the saying “Trade your expectations to appreciation and the world changes instantly” from Tony Robbins helped me set things into perspective.   


happy tuesday

We stayed around the house for most of the long weekend - I don’t think I changed out of my running shorts (I never even went running) and old t-shirt for three days. Bear had writing/work to get finished and I got into a weird mood that consisted of me wanting to deep clean and organize everything.

Since the weather has gotten warmer we spend most of our waking hours outside. We got a BBQ this past week and I planted flowers in pots on our deck. We spent Sunday evening sitting outside under the white twinkle lights that hang around our deck. It was a romantic evening. Sometimes romance can come when you least expect it, we weren't making out under the dark sky- even though that would have been fun too- we were just enjoying each other’s presence and having conversations about gun control (how romantic huh), raising kids, if we are a good judge of character, and why we love hanging out with each other. 

Together we have been reading Love Does by Bob Goff. It’s funny and creatively written and although Bear doesn’t love every story that he writes about, it has given Bear and I topics to discuss and think about with our own life. One of my favorite quotes so far from the book is “We get to decide each time whether we will lean in toward what is unfolding and say yes or back away.”  There are so many times in my life that I want to back away – run away for that matter, and sometimes I do. More recently, I have been trying to embrace what is in front of me, good or bad, and feel blessed that I have the decision to say YES.

Let’s enjoy this week. Take some time to plant some flowers, have some romance, and say YES to something unfolding in your life!

have a happy tuesday, and a happy week for that matter. 

(photo source