August 9, 2018

Thank You and an "Old School" Blog Post of This And That

Hello friends and thank you so much for the comments and e-mails from my most recent posts. I have to say that there have been times when I have felt like this blogging thing had run its course for me. It is hard to keep up with all of those polished and shiny images seemingly everywhere on social media and easy to think my home (and life!) isn't quite up to sharing. But then you all reach out to me in a way that makes me remember that it is all about the community. Not about perfect homes or people. But about real people who share the love of home and family (and dogs too!). Thank you for that. I needed the reminder.
I'm not really sure why it took me by surprise as the stress of Billy's retirement was mounting for weeks (months, really), but his actual retirement day and the days since hit us hard. We were humbled by the kindness of many of his co-workers and the time they took to let him know that he mattered to them.


 In between Billy's last days of work and before he starts his new job, we have been spending as much time as possible in the mountains this summer. Everything just seems to flow easier in the mountains.
I've added some fun camp inspired decor to the family cabin. It's nothing fancy but I just adore this house in the woods and the memories we have made there.
I keep a pair of scissors in my Jeep to stop and snip some wildflowers along our back road travels.
And display them throughout the house in various containers.
There's this little ice cream spot in the Adirondacks called Donnelly's that sells one flavor of homemade ice cream (twisted with vanilla) each day. They make the ice cream in a machine that is a half a century old. It's fun to watch the schedule on Facebook to see when our favorite flavors will pop up. It is the truly the best ice cream I have ever tasted. When we visited last week, the flavor was blueberry. Yum!
We also happened upon a roadside ice cream stand at Wilcox Dairy's farm in Vermont. We are familiar with their ice cream because we buy it at our local general store in the ADKs. 
Billy enjoyed a cup of farm fresh ice cream on his 50th birthday in lieu of cake. Have I made you hungry for ice cream yet? :)
It's been a simple summer, just what we needed. We love to kayak on quiet ponds. There is just something about being at water level, alone with the sounds of nature, that is tremendously comforting. Almost transcendent.
It helps to have strong boys to carry the kayaks in.
We've spent lots of time just hanging out with our pups.
And relaxing by the lake.
It seems like sometimes the middle child gets overshadowed by the older and younger siblings, but this summer we have spent a lot of quality time with our middle guy, Kyle. He just turned 17 and recently acquired his driver's license. He will be a senior in high school this year and is planning on becoming a high school history teacher (yay!). We visited the Robert Frost trail in Ripton, Vermont together this summer. The poems are displayed among a beautiful trail in the woods, right near Robert Frost's summer residence.
Of course I had to take a picture of my favorite poem that the title of this blog references, Nothing Gold Can Stay

I also want to share a quick update about my mom for those of you who have been following along for a while. It has been three years since her devastating stroke and she recently started driving again! She was offered the opportunity to take driving lessons at a nearby hospital with a stroke rehab program and they have her back behind the wheel, with just a few modifications necessary for her car. It is such a huge step for her in regaining her independence. What an inspiration she is to never give up hope - no matter what the doctors might tell you. She works hard every single day at getting better and she continues to do so, little by little, amazing us all.
Lastly, I can't wait to share our latest project. We gave our 10 year old kitchen island a makeover with some trim an paint. Below is a "during" shot. 
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It's looking great and we are putting the finishing touches on it this week. Then I just need to get it photographed so I can share it with you all.

37 comments:

  1. I simply adore your blog! I always leave with a smile and linger over your lovely photos. Keep on being you and sharing your lovely family....hugs from Texas!

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    1. Awww, thanks so much. Comments like this help me to keep going!

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  2. I am so glad you are finding joy in your blog again. I know you have had a lot on your plate, but I really enjoy each post. Your blog and your house is REAL! Some of the decorating blogs are simply not the way people live! Give me a little dog hair on the floor! ��
    So happy to hear about your mom’s progress! Where there is a will there is a way! Tell her I said, “you go girl!” ����

    Chris Texas

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    1. I will certainly tell her, Chris! She is amazing. I tell her she is still teaching my kids and me, each day, how to live and persevere, no matter what. She still gets very frustrated, understandably, but that fuels her to keep trying. Thank you for appreciating my realness. There is always dog hair in my life and I would not want it any other way.

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  3. Sounds like the perfect summer and yes, now I want some ice cream too

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    1. Haha, Marty. I just re-read my post and I was thinking I went a little heavy on the ice cream mentions. ;)

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful and relaxing way to spend the summer. So happy to hear your mom is doing so well, and driving! I love that they have a program to help patients regain their independence. That's awesome. Can't wait to see the island finished.

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  5. Just recently I stumbled on your blog. Loving looking an ready about real people. Do what you can and don't sweat the rest. I find peace and comfort going to our lake house too. There is something about all of it that is so comforting, time to relax and chill. Who doesn't love ice cream :). Hoping that retirement is wonderful for your husband and a new chapter can be started. Enjoy

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    1. Thanks Dinelle. We are both very lucky to have a place to get away to. Thank you for your comment today!

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  6. Sounds like the perfect summer! Love hearing about your family and your home. And as always I can’t wait to see your home decorated for the holidays. I like that you don’t go out and buy all new things and do amazing things with what you have. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only sentimental one left that likes a cozy, cheerful, colorful holiday decor.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and hope to see lots of fall color pictures. We moved from Michigan to Florida four years ago and I do miss the fall season.
    Take care

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    1. I hope we have a colorful fall to photograph this year. Last year, not so much. I love the colors of the seasons so I always decorate with that. And, yes, not only does my budget not allow for lots of new things each season, but I like things to feel collected over time. I'm sentimental too. Us old souls need to stick together! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting today.

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  7. Just wanted to tell you that I enjoy your curtain changes in the kitchen. I copied the radish dish towel curtains you had up last summer and just put them up again recently. I am always looking for new "curtains" to hang - it's fun to make the change.

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    1. Yes!! Those dish towel curtains are soo much fun and so affordable. I am so glad to hear you enjoy that too. :)

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  8. Courtney you know how much I care for your blogging friendship and how much I just love your blog posts. You touch each of us in so many ways. So happy you will continue to blog and share your life and decor with us. You have had a lot of big life changes in the past few years and that can really make us come to a dead stop in our lives and regroup to continue on through these changes. You are doing it with such grace and with you stopping to feel and think about your feelings is going to get you through all the big changes in life. Glad you have the mountains as a sanctuary to enjoy. Your mom looks wonderful and I am so happy to hear how well she is doing. Being a nurse I have always told patients do what is in your heart and mind and not what doctors dictate the norm will be. Your mom is an example of that. If she has a will she can do it and defy the odds. Bravo to her.
    Enjoy what is left of this beautiful summer. Hugs to you sweet friend.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. Kris, you already know how much I value your friendship. It is one of the most valuable things this blog has brought into my life. xoxo

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  9. You have certainly been busy this summer living life to its fullest!

    I wish you all life's best with your husband's retirement......keep up the good work enjoying your family and lovely special places and homes. God bless!

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  10. I am so glad you have been able to take time in the mountains...just being a family and adjusting to the changes in your life. It is beautiful there and I always enjoy your blog visits!

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  11. I love reading your blog because it’s real life. I’m originally from South NJ and I always feel like I’m hearing from someone from home who’s letting me know what’s going on with them and their family. Your home and the cabin are beautiful but I love you letting us know how you’re doing with life in general. So glad to hear about your Mom’s progress. She is looking great. Can’t wait to hear from you again.

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  12. What a wonderful summer you've had! I just love your mountain cabin and the stories you tell about your visits there. Congrats to your mom; she's absolutely beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca. My mom is beautiful, inside and out. I am a lucky daughter for sure. Thanks for stopping by and commenting too.

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  13. Thank you for being so transparent. You have a beautiful family. Many blessing to you all.

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    1. Thanks for this comment, Tamra. It isn't always easy for me to put myself out there so it means a great deal.

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  14. I always love visiting you here, Courtney - it's nice to catch up with what's going on in your life! Your hubby is fortunate to be able to retire so young! And how lovely to spend extended time in the cabin and area you love so much - enjoy every second of it, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! He's only retiring from law enforcement, he still needs (and wants) to work for a while longer but it is a big milestone nonetheless :) We are enjoying our summer but it will be difficult to return home to NJ once the kids are back in school. I need to find a way to live in the mountains full time like you did. You are an inspiration to me in that.

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  15. It sounds like you are enjoying Summer to the fullest! I have always enjoyed your blog, although I'm not one who leaves many comments. But here again, like with your last post, the similarities between us made me smile, so I had to comment. My son, who just got his license in July, will be 17 in October. He is also going to be a senior this year and wants to be a high school history teacher. :)

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    1. Thanks for commenting today, Gina! We certainly have a lot in common. I hope your son enjoys his senior year.

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  16. Beautiful family ! You are blessed !

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  17. This a great post with so many recent happenings in your life to date. I'll go back to read your last post, but if I can make a guess, its about what I and a lot of other bloggers are asking: Is what I'm writing about and sharing relative anymore? It does seem like its a steady flow of young women with children, often starting out on Instagram,gathering 250,000 followers within months, and then finding that blogging gives them more space and monetary opportunities. Its a great time to be a young mother/woman, and bringing in an income. But don't let it stop you. We are in a very interesting and full-on growth in our lives, and we have a faithful audience. :)

    I love your cabin. Its decorated like...a cabin, but with your touch of cosiness and warmth. Are you on the lake? And...do you encounter any wild animals, like bears?! We have coyotes at the lake in the woods across the road from us. We've also been spotting foxes. I just worry about my dogs which are a lot smaller than yours.

    I'm so happy for your husband. We live in a neighborhood that is full of police officers and firefighters. Here, you have to be a resident of Chicago to be on Chicago forces. We are on the edge of the city limits, so its a nice area filled with generations of families doing this brave and honorable job.

    Best of luck to all of your sons. Your younger one looks a lot older and mature for his age! He looks like a 'thinker'!

    Sending love,

    Jane

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    1. Jane, Yes! You always "get" me and I appreciate that. My boy is a thinker for sure. So am I - so I love that about him. Our cabin is in the woods about 4 miles from the lake. My in-laws originally bought it for its proximity to the snowmobile trails, but we have grown to love it year round. Personally, I prefer the smaller ponds and trails on the mountain to the bigger lake, especially during the busy summer season. Yes, wildlife abounds here. There have been lots of bear sightings in our area this summer. Also, there has been a moose around town that has everyone excited. They even have a contest to name the moose. We haven't caught a glimpse yet ourselves but we are constantly on the lookout. I have enjoyed reading about your summer at the lake too! I hope you enjoy the rest of it.

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  18. I enjoy your blog so much, the simplicity of it, and I always feel like it your home is a home I could be comfortable in. Some blogs show very lovely homes, fancy and grand, but not a place I could call my own. I love the comfortable feeling your home exudes. I'm loving your description of your son, Kyle. My son Chad is 17, a senior with a new driver's license, and also is thinking of becoming a history teacher. Good luck to you and Billy on his retirement and transitioning, it isn't always am easy time. My husband had to retire early because his aerospace company closed their production in our town. It was a high stress job, but unexpected retirement isn't always the easiest to navigate. Hope you continue to enjoy a relaxing and beautiful summer. Wish I had a lovely place to kayak like you do!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa. It sounds like we have much in common. The biggest compliment you can give me about my home is saying it looks comfortable. That's what home means to me. We are both lucky to have such wonderful sons. And you get the whole early retirement thing which I appreciate. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment today.

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  19. Good article, but it would be better if in future you can share more about this subject. Keep posting.

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