Signs of Spring

We are buried under a half-foot of snow in eastern Pennsylvania, but this week still showed some early signs of spring. Yes, I know that technically spring is still over a month away, but a girl can dream of warm, sunny days even in February, right? 😉

Wednesday was beautiful – 61℉ with mostly sunny skies. I went for what started as a short walk–and finally strolled back in the front door 6.4 miles later.

A beautiful day for a nice long walk.
A beautiful day for a nice long walk.

Unfortunately, as soon as the sun went down, temperatures plummeted, and by midnight it was snowing. I really can’t complain–this is really the first storm of the year. Until now it has been a very mild winter (almost North Carolina like).

A snowy morning. At least Pup was happy--she loves the snow.
A snowy morning. At least Pup was happy–she loves the snow.

Of course, I expect snow this time of year–it is February in the Northeast. But, I also know that there is one other awesome sign of spring that happens this time every year. Truck Day!

If you aren’t a baseball fan, you may be looking at the screen like I am insane right now. Heck, you may be doing that anyway. 😉

Truck Day is the day the MLB teams pack up all the equipment for spring training and head south, in most cases to Florida or Arizona.

I woke up on Monday morning to this:

I am a Phillies fan, but Hubby is a Red Sox fan, so this just made my week! Wednesday, the Phillies truck followed behind.

I love that Phanatic!

Next stop, Spring Training! Pitchers and catchers report on Monday. ❤

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Are you on the lookout for signs of spring? What are some of your favorites? 

Savoring the Spring Green

A winter shot of the golf course.
A winter shot of the golf course.

Spring is in full bloom in NC (and much of the east coast, I would imagine). My favorite part of spring is being able to spend more time outdoors, whether that is a simple walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the farmers market.

Late last summer, I finally joined my family–all major golf fans–and played my first round of nine holes. I followed that up with a few more rounds of nine before tackling my first full round of eighteen last weekend. Keep in mind this was literally my fourth time on a golf course, so it wasn’t pretty, but I did play all eighteen holes.

Some holes, I would love to ignore altogether. I may or may not have uttered language but I was not aware was part of my vocabulary.

Our scorecard--don't tell hubby I shared this! He was not happy with his round.
Our scorecard–don’t tell hubby I shared this! He was not happy with his round.

But all that was worth it for one beautiful hole. Check out number 13 on the above scorecard (ignoring 14 altogether). A beautiful drive, followed by a strong second shot, had me throwing a party because I made it on the green in regulation (two shots less than par, so for a par four, you should be on the green in two shots) for the very first time. Then I walked up to the hole, and saw this:IMG_7838

That yellow ball was mine. I’ve always been better on the putting green than anywhere else. I knew I was capable of making that shot, but I was also very skeptical. No one was more shocked than me when it actually went in.

Birdie!

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I immediately texted my mom, asking where she was with my birdie shot. I’ve never golfed with my parents (something I’m hoping to change shortly), but I have long heard about my mom’s little container of shots and the tradition that everyone does a round when someone gets a birdie.

I guess I’m just going have to figure out how to do that again. Hopefully, lightning really can strike twice. 😉

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What are your favorite spring-time activities? Are you a sports fan? Watching? Playing? Both? Or do you prefer to lounge outside with a good book (another of my favorites)? Any suggestions on how to celebrate the Birdie that I doubt will ever happen again? 😉  

Baseball is Back!

Opening Day. One of my very favorite days of the year.

IMG_1018Full of hope, optimism for the year ahead. The media has analyzed every player, every stat, and have made their predictions, but none of the that matters now.

Now, all that matters is the game.

Two days in, and the hope is still alive. Win or lose, there is still plenty of time to make up any deficit, plenty of time to fix mistakes. At this point, everything is still a work-in-progress.

At a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game (the Triple-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)
At a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game (the Triple-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)

Normally, Opening Day is also a sign that summer is on its way and sunny days and warm temps are just around the corner. It seems that time can’t come fast enough for may teams this year, as games are cancelled for cold or snow. Brrr.

Even if I did have to turn my heat back on this morning, I am hopeful for an exciting season ahead, full of ups-and-downs, teamwork, new faces, and yes, warm weather.

⚾️Play Ball!⚾️

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Are you a baseball fan? What is your favorite part of baseball season? How are you combatting the spring cold? Please share! ❤

A Quick Weekend Getaway

Sometimes, you just need to get away, even if it is January. Or, more likely, especially in January. 😉

More beach walking
Perfect day for a beach stroll.

It is no secret that I could spend all day, every day at the beach, so when Hubby suggested a January getaway to the beach, I jumped at it! After all, Carolina beaches in January aren’t too cold, right?

Well, kind of.

Surf competition in front of the hotel
Surf competition in front of the hotel

On our 3-day trip, we had one day of mid-60s and sunny, one of 50 and rain. And one bright and sunny, with a high of 34. Brrr.

And every minute was worth it. We had an ocean-front room, so even in the cold, we could watch (and listen to) the waves crashing on the shore. We brought a whole stash of board games and a computer for Netflix. All in all it was a beautiful, relaxing weekend.

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Perfect!

And the last day may have been cold, but the sunrise made it all worth it. ❤

Have you ever take an off-season vacation? Where did you head? Did you find it to be as peaceful and relaxing as I did? Please share! ❤Blog Signature

A Bit of December Sun

The days are getting shorter and the countdown to Christmas is in single digits, but you wouldn’t know it from the weather on the east coast. From what I understand, the west coast is making up for it with record lows and a good amount of snow. As far as I am concerned, they can have it. 😉

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 4.24.56 PMI am a warm weather girl–it is one of the reasons I agreed to move to North Carolina with Hubby when the opportunity presented itself. I love fall, but would be very happy to skip over winter and go right to spring. So, seventy degrees in December works for me!

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Puppy keeping watch over the neighborhood.

Yesterday, Puppy and I spent some quality time outside, playing in the back yard. Once I wore her out, she took up residence in her favorite chair (next to my desk) and enjoyed the breeze from the wide-open windows while I wrote. Perfect afternoon, if you ask me! ❤

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My morning view from my desk. Beautiful, sunny skies! 

Of course, Sam Champion (of the Weather Channel) had even better weather in Miami, but it is Miami, so I guess I can’t complain–though I did ask Hubby if his company has any locations in Florida. 😉

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I have to admit, I would much prefer to be here! 

 

 

But, you can’t deny the perfect rich blue skies of Raleigh yesterday. I don’t often open my blinds all the way as I write since I overlook a parking lot, but I just couldn’t resist yesterday!

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It really is a pretty perfect blue, isn’t it? 

 

The forecast says we are supposed to be back to normal temperatures this weekend, so I think I better get outside and soak up all the sun I can before winter appears.

How about you? Are you experiencing the east coast warm up? If so, are you enjoying it, or do you prefer blustery Decembers? ❤

Fall with Friends and Family

One of the hardest parts of living in North Carolina is that most of my family and friends are five hundred or so miles away. The second hardest part is missing the lovely colors of fall in the northeast. Sure, the leaves change in North Carolina, too, but it always seemed more dramatic up north–brighter, more varied colors that just seem to stick around longer.

As much as I love life in the south, I have to admit I have been just a bit homesick.IMG_1627

When we relocated almost two years ago, we decided to rent our house in Pennsylvania out for a while the housing market recovered a bit. So far, we have been lucky. We have a great tenant who loves the house almost as much as we did. 🙂

Unfortunately, some storms did a bit of damage to the house, and we are now enjoying the fun of insurance claims and working with contractors–from five hundred miles away.

Do you see where I am going with this?
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The best way to cure homesickness is to decide to spend two months living with your parents in your thirties. 😉

Just kidding, of course! Actually, I have been in PA for about three weeks now, and I am loving all the time I am getting to spend with family and friends–though I could do without the insurance stuff. If my parents and I would have gotten along this well when I was a teenager, I may not have moved out. 😉

In the last week or so, the colors have just started to change on the trees, and I am in heaven. I absolutely love this time of year–though my allergies are not a fan! 😉

I may never have the opportunity for an extended trip like this again, so I am making the most of it. I feel refreshed and happy, and I love reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

IMG_2240That being said, it is really hard being away from Hubby (who is diligently working in away in North Carolina, happy to skip the fall experience–or at least the temperatures that go with it). But, in only a few weeks, I will be back in North Carolina, escaping before the frigid northeastern winter sets in.

Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? 😉

Do you have a favorite place to be at a certain time of year? Maybe the beach in the summer, the north in the fall, or the south in spring (some of my favorites)? Please share! ❤

Beauty of Spring

Just as spring was starting to fully bloom in North Carolina, Hubby, Pup, and I had to make an unexpected trip to Pennsylvania. Because we had an already-scheduled vacation in our hometown a couple of weeks later, I ended up spending three (very cold) weeks sleeping in my childhood bedroom.
Early April
Just starting to come back around in early April.
When we arrived at my parents’ house in early April, we were amazed at the difference between eastern Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Everything was still bare—no leaves on the trees, very few flowers. At the end of our trip, flowers were blooming and the trees had buds.  Our allergies were a mess! 😉 Essentially, Pennsylvania was where North Carolina was three weeks earlier. (Yup, we got to go through peak pollen season in two states. Fun stuff. No wonder we were both sick this week!)
North Carolina Welcome Center
North Carolina Welcome Center
I have to be honest, while I watched the changes happening on our trip, I didn’t think much about how much would change at home in North Carolina. I’m not sure why, but I was expecting it to look about the same as it did when we left. It probably had something to do with the fact that we usually only travel for a few days or a week, so in my head, we weren’t gone long enough for a drastic change. I should have known better, but I didn’t really think it through.
The view from the same spot a few weeks later.
The view from the same spot a few weeks later.
On Sunday, we came back to summer views and perfect spring temperatures. Tons of bright flowers, full leaves on the trees, and no more yellow cloud of pollen. It is beautiful, and just being outside lifts my mood immediately. Even better, the summery view from my desk makes me crave beaches and boardwalks—which is perfect when writing a coastal mystery! 😉
What does it look like outside where you are? Has spring taken over, or is it still working? Do you find the bright days of spring lift your mood as much as mine? Does it make you think of beach-bound road trips? 😉 

Family Rivalries and Opening Day

 One of my favorite days of the year is here again! Yay for Opening Day!

I have always been a Phillies fan, but I married a Red Sox fan.  For those of you that follow baseball, you know this is not usually an issue. Philadelphia is an NL Team and Boston is an AL team. They rarely play one another, and when they do, it is only one series a year.

At a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game (the Triple-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)
At a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game (the Triple-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)

Because of the lack of overlap, over the years I have become a Red Sox fan and my husband now considers himself a Phillies fan. Except when they play each other, of course! 😉

So, imagine our surprise when the 2015 MLB schedules were released and we realized (thanks to a change in scheduling) that the two teams play each other not once, but in two series in 2015–including on Opening Day. 😱

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A house divided.

Now, Hubby and I are a just a bit competitive. We like to heckle, and we like to gloat. And the fan of the losing team may like to pout a bit. (We share our prediction on who that will be, based on what we saw in Spring Training, but anything can happen–that’s why they play the game!).

Luckily, tonight we are back on the same team–we will put away our baseball differences, pick up our cheerleader pup (who is named Cameron–as in Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the Duke Blue Devils), and cheer our little hearts out during the NCAA finals–this time for the same team. 🙂

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Resting up before tonight’s game. 😃

For the record, Hubby is used to living in a house divided. He is a Red Sox fan and a Duke fan. His older brother is a Yankees and UNC fan. Which says a lot about Hubby–he loves a good rivalry! 😉

 Are you a sports fan? What are your favorite sports? What are your favorite teams? Who are you rooting for in tonight’s NCAA Basketball Finals? Oh, yeah, and #GoDuke #GoPhillies 😉 ❤

Emerging from Hibernation

After a few months in a bubble (also known as my winter hibernation), I’m excited to be getting back out in the world. OK, that sounds like I didn’t leave my house for three months. I did, even though I really didn’t want to. 😉 But, there is something about spring that makes me want to join in with the rest of the world again.

11057844_1568442350105137_6669274058664438353_nDaffodils and tulips are blooming, dogwoods are covered in pretty pink flowers, the sun is brighter and sticking around longer, and we no longer have to put on seven layers of clothing to step outside. (OK, that last part may be an exaggeration.)

That being said, winter wasn’t all bad.  I finally found my writing groove again, and I am thrilled! We are finally settling into our house in NC, and the area is starting to feel like home.

So, as we approach the new season, the warmer season, I am filled with optimism. I am looking forward to brighter days, new friends (and a visit with old friends, too), fresh adventures, and a lot more words. 🙂

Are you a fan of winter, or do you prefer the bright colors of spring? Did anything great (or not so great) happen while I was hibernating? What are you looking forward to in the warmer months ahead? Please share! ❤

The First Signs of Fall

It is only August, but I am already seeing some early signs of fall, my favorite season of the year.  The evenings are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to fall, the kids are, for the most part, back in school.  College football starts this weekend, and the NFL a week later.

Major League Baseball is starting to talk playoffs, with only a month left in the regular season.  Those of us that are Triple-A baseball fans know that the regular season ends in just a matter of days.

It still remains to be seen if my favorite minor-league team will make the playoffs–they are in a tight race for the wildcard spot. Either way, the last game of our 18-game season ticket package is tomorrow evening. Read more