Vermont & Doggie Parenthood

In early August we visited our favorite campground in Vermont.  We’ve been going on family camping trips for as far back as I can remember.  When my siblings and I were young, our family of five would go multiple times over the course of the summer; now that we’re older, we’re lucky if we’re able to synchronize our schedules and make the trip once a year.

kelseyathomevt3We first discovered Winhall Brook Campground several years ago and it quickly became one of our top spots.  A quiet campground sat upon a river, it’s the perfect place to go to unplug and decompress.  At night, you can see the stars so clearly that it’s like you could reach out and grab them.  This time of year, the trees are so green and lush that the air literally feels lighter; more pure.

Not much has changed since the time we first visited; the hiking trails, the river and, our favorite, the volleyball net (which we use to play badminton) remain the same.  What’s different this time around is that I now have a fiancé who joined us, as well as our little pup.  Our family of five has grown and I can only assume that over time it will continue to grow.

kelseyathomevt2Camping with a dog (a lap-dog, at that) presented its own challenges that made for a completely different experience than I was used to.  Camping had always been my time to get away and unwind, but after the first night away with Tessie, I realized my time was not at all my own.  Granted, Tessie had never been camping before and I don’t think she really understood what was going on, so she was clingier than usual.

Instead of just worrying about myself, I was making sure Tess was eating, going for walks and being occupied.  Because we were out of our normal environment, there was a definite learning curve for each of us.  We’ve had Tess for a little less than a year now and we still face foreign and difficult situations which we have to navigate, and camping was no exception.

kelseyathomevt4No matter what happened during the day- like Tessie growling/barking at my parent’s dog because she thought their dog was encroaching on her food bowl- at night we were all able to settle in around the fire and let the happenings of the day go.  Tess would snuggle up on my lap and we would drink and chat and just be with each other.  And, at the end of the day, that’s all you really want from your family.

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All photos were taken by my awesome sister, Madison, on her Canon.


 

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Island Time | Block Island, RI

This past weekend, my fiancé and I visited Block Island to not only celebrate his birthday, but to bask in and appreciate our planet’s beauty, as his birthday falls on Earth Day.

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It was overcast and rainy when we arrived; this combined with the fact that it’s the island’s off-season made for an extremely low-key and quiet weekend.  We ferried the car over so we could explore the lesser traveled areas and admire the beach-front properties.

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We visited the bluffs and hiked down- and then up!- ten flights of stairs to the rocky beach.  We visited several other trails but didn’t do much walking on account of the rain.

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And you know I have to include at least one food pic!  We ate at one of the four restaurants open this time of year, the Mohegan Café & Brewery, for both lunch and dinner on Saturday (we were going to try another place for dinner, but they closed early, I’m assuming because there was no business).  Jeff ordered these delicious coconut shrimp- perfectly fried and crunchy and nicely complemented with a sweet Thai chili sauce.  The mixed drinks here were only okay, but we enjoyed all the food we ordered.

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We stayed overnight in the Honora Sullivan room at Dodge Cottage, a part of The 1661 Inn, the only place on the island that’s open year-round.  The room was clean and cozy and The Inn offered a delicious buffet breakfast (which was included in the cost of the stay) with eggs, pancakes, ham, baked goods and mimosas.  The staff was friendly and accommodating- we would definitely stay here again!

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Sunday ended up being a beautiful spring day.  We walked the beach to the North Lighthouse, and of course got some nice pictures along the way.

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Jeff and I have been to BI before during it’s peak tourist-season, but traveling here when everything’s quiet is a totally different experience.  It was the perfect way to celebrate love, life and the beauty that Earth grants us.

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Snippets of Our New Home | Photo Diary

As I predicted, moving out of one place and moving in with someone else in another has presented a set of challenges that is completely foreign to me.  Even though Jeff’s laid-back attitude is the perfect complement to my Type-A personality, we still have to work at finding balance in our new roles as homeowners.

I was met with my first challenge while unpacking both mine and Jeff’s things.  I wanted our home to be a cohesive mixture of our own individual styles and personalities, which meant incorporating Jeff’s vast collection of Guinness pubware into my décor.  Luckily for me, though, before now I never really had a style.  By combining our collectibles and other items, I was able to create a style that is completely unique to our house.  And by doing so, I’ve managed to create a home for the both of us- a place that is welcoming and cozy and ours.

While it was overwhelming at first, I’m quite proud of what I’ve done.  We still have much to do, and perhaps we’ll never be done designing and changing things.  But for now, we have a beautiful little home that showcases who we are and, as promised, I’d like to share some photos of the progress we’ve made here.

Like I showed in my Movin’ Out post, the house was not finished when we decided to put an offer in.  The transformation is gorgeous and we couldn’t feel more blessed to call this place our home.


 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am so proud of the blue cabinet that I, myself, assembled.  It took me a couple hours but hard work pays off!  This accent piece (bought at Target, of course) not only gives us ample storage for our many DVDs, but it complements the blue décor I’ve chosen for the living room.  Jeff’s Dubliner Pub sign even has some blue-ish, teal tones that tie in with the theme nicely.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAhh… The kitchen.  I think it’s my favorite room in the house.  The beautiful cabinets and tile make it a place I really want to be in.  We’re still on the hunt for a dining room table so we’ve been eating off of a pop-up table and mismatched chairs- an eclectic theme, if you will.  Jeff had this metal motorcycle silhouette which looks awesome in the tiny entryway near the back door.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur contractor told us that when he bought the house, there was a window in the middle of the shower.  He thoughtfully removed that eyesore (not necessarily referring to the window, but instead to the potential of someone seeing me showering) and gave us a beautiful skylight.  It makes the room feel so much bigger and provides that gorgeous natural light.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd finally, our beautiful backyard, captured here in the middle of our first snow storm of the year.


 

Like I said, we still have much to do: hanging pictures, collecting more furniture; and Jeff has a lengthy plan for our yard come springtime.  But we’ve put a lot of love into what we have here, and that’s enough for us.