September 10, 2020

A Reluctant Return to Our Regular Routine


Hello friends! How was your summer? We hid in the mountains as much as possible and got lots of work done on the cabin there. It was very hard to pack up and come home to NJ but our youngest started back at school last week and so it was time. We chose to start the school year with a hybrid schedule which means he is in school 2-3 mornings a week as opposed to fully online learning. It was a hard choice for us, not so much for him. Like many high schoolers, he is very social and the need to have more time with his friends outweighed any other factor. With the infection rate still somewhat low in our area, we decided to give it a go - for now anyway. We will see how long any version of in-class school can last in our pandemic world. I am glad that he was at least able to start the year this way having met his teachers and learning first hand what their expectations are for the year. Our middle son is fully online for college this semester and that seems to be going well for him. He too would prefer to be in class, but his school chose to put all their effort into online learning and, so far, it seems like a good choice, especially at the college level. He's a strong student and I know he'll do well. His girlfriend went away to school and is currently in quarantine in a nearby hotel after being exposed to the virus by her roommate.  She's a very smart and responsible kid who worked so hard to get a scholarship to go to this school and it's heartbreaking to see her have to struggle because others didn't choose to follow the rules. This virus is so much about us all taking care of each other and it is disheartening just how many Americans have failed to learn that lesson.


We spent a lot of time working on our cabin but we also took time to explore. It is easy to stay socially distanced in the mountains. Billy and I joke that we were made for quarantine - the things we enjoy most are the things everyone else seemed to be "discovering" this summer. So we explored our favorite ponds by kayak.

And we also explored via a new-to-us canoe that a friendly neighbor put at the edge of their property with a "free" sign on it. We'd been planning on buying canoe so we could take Dax along on more adventures. Our lucky day! Or should I say, Dax's lucky day?



The best days of the year for me are always when all my boys are together at camp. My greatest hope is that the bonds they have formed here will last their whole lives. (Note - Dax is only sitting on the ATV for the picture and we all wear helmets when we actually ride.)

I always love a good tree lined driveway and I thought this one near Lake Placid was exceptional. Can you imagine that being the path that leads you home? What a dream.

Also in that same area, I think I found the inspiration for the song Fields of Gold. I could almost hear Eva Cassidy singing it (have you ever heard her version? It's so hauntingly beautiful and it moves me to tears every time I hear it, especially considering her untimely death).  

The next few pictures are of Vermont.

We visited Vermont in the earlier part of summer when our neighboring county in Upstate NY was still allowed. Vermont has some of the strictest Covid guidelines in the nation and it's worked very well for them. By the end of the summer, there was an outbreak in a nursing home in the county our cabin is located in so we were no longer allowed to cross state lines and we were grateful to have gotten our Vermont "fix" for this summer back in early July.

Can you tell I love red barns? I am always on the hunt for them in our travels and it's fun how they seem to pop out at you when driving the backroads.

2020 had been a year like no other. There have been dark days and it seems inevitable that there will be more in the future. I think it's so important to talk about because I do think many are feeling that way too.  But there have been great days too. I took a break from most social media and I have to say I've been content with a quieter life. I have been begun decorating our NJ home for fall, slowly, and I will begin posting to Instagram again soon.

I have so many pictures to share of the changes we have made so far at the cabin so I will be going though them and writing a few posts to document our journey. And, of course, there will be the usual fall decor posts. I hope you stay safe and well.


  1. I've been thinking about you...and so good to hear your update...that all is well and that you've unplugged a bit from social media... I have gone through some of your older posts...for some inspiration while you were taking a break!

  2. Thank you for the beautiful photos. . I agree sadly, that we have more hard times ahead. Please keep blogging , we all need some sunshine in our lives.

  3. Beautiful photos!2020 has been a difficult year for so many. I love to escape and visit blogs from all over the country, especially now since we aren't doing much travel. How exciting for your high schooler to be back at school part time .so important for their morale!

  4. Beautiful pictures Courtney! Thank you for sharing. I wish you and your family a healthy transition to the school year.

  5. I love your photos and I have missed seeing your posts, especially on Instagram, but I totally understand. Glad you had some wonderful family time this is important to experience uplifting moments, especially this year, to get us through the difficult times.

  6. Love the pictures, thanks for sharing them. Very excited to see pictures of the cabin and your fall decor. Thank you and your family had a healthy, safe summer. And great score on that canoe!

  7. Oh my gosh Heaven!!! I would have a hard time coming home too. I think we all need our sanctuaries with all that is going on. The pictures are just stunning. Glad you had some family time. Missed seeing your posts. xoxo Kris

  8. Beautiful pictures! Makes me want to explore that part of the US

  9. Beautiful pics! I just love Fall and can't wait to see your home decorated and also the changes to the cabin.

  10. I so enjoy your blog. Your photos are fabulous. I worked at a summer camp on Lake Placid when I was in college. That area is beautiful. Looking forward to seeing your cabin and fall home decor ideas.

  11. So great to hear from you! I've been blogging so sporadically but I think many of us are off kilter. I'm glad to hear your son in HS is doing the hybrid route with classes. That's having some good results right now, I hear. We have so many teachers in my family and I worry so much for them. My daughter teaches from her classroom directly to her student via video. From the teacher's perspective, the disappointment and fear lies in the poor planning in what to expect when the school year began. So what else has gone wrong this year?!

    What a paradise you have. I've said it before but I haven't been that far north so those mountains get me every time! The countryside is very pretty, one of my favorite things to do here at the lake is just drive the backroads and enjoy the scenery. I'm fortunate that I've been here most of the summer despite a late start April in the confusion of staying put in Chicago with family near, or coming up to a more isolated area. It's worked out great, I love the fresh air, hanging with the new pup, Poppy (well, the first Gotcha Day was a few weeks ago!), just taking walks her and playing with her on the beach makes me see things through new eyes!

    Looking forward to seeing you fall decor!! Stay safe, Courtney!❤️


  12. Such a lovely post, is so beautiful there!

  13. Your pictures are stunning!!
    Glad you had a nice quiet summer.

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  15. Visiting your blog is such a wonderful escape. I love getting lost in your beautiful photos. It looks like you had a nice relaxing summer away from it all. Your photos are breathtaking - and I see you made a visit to Woodstock too! My older son and husband went to VT to play golf once this summer but I didn't make it up. Luckily, VT has very strict health rules like you said...maybe this fall I'll make it up. I'm glad school is going well for your sons. Our hybrid plan is going okay too. We're just taking it day by day. Stay well and enjoy this amazing weather!


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