Saturday, October 28, 2017



Talk about a momentous occasion. Our little brood is finally one with a permanent address. After years of twists and turns, we signed closing papers on a dream home this week and were able to carve out some time from our hectic schedules to walk through the front door as a foursome today. I've been choking back tears, running through memories of our family journey and everything it took to get to this day.

Nathan and I have spent lots of years together..adventuring, struggling, celebrating, searching, discovering, creating, and making the most of whatever life threw at us. Our path is not one we predicted but the strength in character the unexpected created has become a treasured central feature of our family. We are a little band of travelers who cherish our time together and know, more than anything, that no matter where our mail is sent to "home" is wherever we happen to be together at a given moment. Whether we are in temporary university housing, a rented apartment, a car traveling across the country, a cheap hotel room, a cabin in Vermont, a friend's apartment in NYC, or our very own honest-to-goodness purchased home, we are happiest when able to experience the world together.

When I think about our story, I feel all sorts of gratitude for the help we received while going through Nathan's grad school years. We relied on generous family and friends, thoughtful teachers and compassionate schools, and government assistance programs that are often branded as a waste of tax payer money. We accepted this help with gratitude and did our best to counter with volunteer work, always hoping we would be able to find our feet and go it alone someday. There were moments we lost hope but powered through, on the lookout for a lucky break or sliver lining.

Here we are now..proud owners of a house we completely LOVE. Finally able to give our kids a yard to play in and rooms of their own...a place to add to the memories they have already collected. Our adventuring doesn't stop here, of course, but we are swimming in the glorious reality of having a home base in which to kick off our shoes in between road trips and busy days.

There's no way I could list all of the people who have contributed to this moment in time for us. If I tried, I'd end up in a puddle of tears, unable to finish this post so I'll just go ahead and share some pictures of the house, knowing that those of you out there who have rooted for us all these years will look through them with a smile on your face. If you do, know that you are one of the many people we feel thankful for. Thank you all for your support and love. We would not be "us" without you. Our door is always open so come on down to South Texas any time.

So awesome to look out the window and see these two playing in their first ever backyard

So far the kids win the prize for super star packers. Owen in particular-he's been a packing fool! I love love love, catching sight of his are two of my favorites so far: "Memories and Pokemon cards"...and...

..."Owens stuffys and slippers"

Living Room

Living Room/Kitchen

Kitchen (we bought a bunch of furniture from the previous owners...score!)

Screened in Porch!!!!

Hot Tub!!!

My kids. Playing in OUR YARD.

Built in countertop for outdoor grilling there, if you can see it...

Area next to the hot tub. It feels private and spa-like.

Master bedroom with a door leading out to the hot tub

Master bath with a shower very much like my mom's shower, which I covet. We realize we will need to get used to keeping that shower door clean, don't worry--on it!

Oh you know..just relaxing on the screened in porch. No big deal.

We went to a few stores and got ourselves set up with a fire pit, ingredients for s'mores, and pizza so we could end the day with a hang out session at home before heading back to our apartment. We don't have time to pull off the actual move for a couple of weeks so settled for an evening for now.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Owen's Birthday Party and a New Neighborhood

I haven't had really any time at all to take pictures lately, since I'm spending all my time and energy adjusting to teaching. I've missed my camera!  Here are just a very few shots from a couple of recent family happenings...

Owen's birthday party was last weekend. He had a surprise visitor from Colorado--his best buddy Verity!  It was a great day of swimming with good friends.

..and today we drove over to our (fingers crossed!!!) future neighborhood.  While we bite our nails waiting for the last couple of house buying hurdles, we find moments to skip over there and check it out. We were so excited to find today that the beautiful park RIGHT across the street from our (fingers crossed!!!) future dream house can be accessed literally around the corner.  There are seemingly endless hiking/biking trails with about a million deer running around.  Please, please keep your FINGERS CROSSED!!! for us.  If all goes well we will own our dream house in less than 30 days.

...and then I took the kids out for a dip to wrap up the weekend. They helped me experiment with some shutter speed practice. I want to get the hang of a technique I learned about in an online class a while ago. I don't have it yet, but got a few close calls today.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cape Week 2017

Our annual family trip to Cape Cod was a smashing success yet again. We had a smaller crowd this year, but the magic remained. It's so fun each year to notice how much the kids have changed...most notably for the Stith clan this year was the independence we were able to let Zoe experience. She and her fellow older cousins spent much of the week going back and forth between the beach on bikes, creating their own memories, while the adults relaxed back at Regan Road. We soaked up our "sittin' circle" (lawn chairs surrounding our beloved Mom/Gram) with the constantly rotating collection of cousins, aunties, and uncles. I love the traditional destinations we always hit but cherish those quiet conversations with my nieces and nephews, watching them bond with each other and Gram.

I'm proud of the pictures I took this year, so wanted to share a handful of them. Next year I hope to capture more of the Regan Road vibe but we will see...something pretty great about putting all devices away and just soaking up the together time.

Let the countdown to Cape Week 2018 begin!

Kayaking at Flax Pond

Fisherman Owen



Edgar getting a good toss from Uncle Mike



Gram and Zoe
Jill and Ess soaking up the fun at Flax Pond




Owen getting launched by Uncle Ben


Regan Road! You can see Gram at her perch there...nothing better than stumbling out with a cup of coffee each morning to head down for a sit and chat with that lady

Zoe and Auntie Catherine escorting little Sammy down to one of the houses to find more cousins to play with

2 week old Toby

Gram and Toby

Otto and Ali sharing a float at Scargo



Handful of cousins!

Owen and Toby

Zoe and Toby

Lukas trying out the skim board

Alex showing us how it's done

Gymnasts and Target shoppers, Taylor and Zoe often discover they have the same items of clothing. Popsicle swimsuit twinsies this year.

Cheering on the skim boarders

Alex waiting for just the right moment


Nathan got totally knocked over by a wave at Big Wave Beach

3 of 4 Grabowski sisters...we missed Rachel this year, but she and her family pulled off the cross country trip of a lifetime, so we don't feel too bad for them :-)

Got some great QT with Catherine this year. Can't wait to organize a trip to see them in Georgia sometime sooner rather than later

Big Wave Beach (not it's official name)

Lots of seal sightings at Big Wave out for sharks!
So long Cape Week 2017. Thanks for the memories!