24 December 2013

merry and bright

Please accept our happiest Christmas wishes! May your holiday be merry and bright.

Sending much love from our little family to you and yours!

02 December 2013

frozen in time

We went up to the Lac Vert, (Green lake)just beyond the Plateau d'Assy ski area,  a couple weeks ago after the first snow.  It seemed to mirror my feelings of being caught between two seasons.  The autumn  leaves held on tight,  still peeking out from underneath the weighty snow.  And the magnetic pull of winter set in, while the Mont-Blanc showed off its new coat of white just beyond the trees.

It was one of those magical weekends that I didn't want to end.

Then again, who ever really does want the weekend to end?   But at least since it feels like the week days seem to have sped up a notch again, the weekend is never all that far away.

So, back to our blissful time out and about in the snow and the sun... after a walk around the lake, we had eclairs as an afternoon snack while we watched the parasailers take off across the valley.

Let's all hope for a week of smooth sailing.

Until then, take care!

24 November 2013

a stop over in Annecy

Can't you just feel the gentle autumn sunshine in this picture? It was snapped while strolling leisurely though the old town in Annecy a month or so ago. Time just seems to move at warp speed these days. We've since traded brisk autumn weather for artic winter cold and although the snow arrived seemingly early, it feels like it's time to hibernate with the ever shorter, dark days of winter. Here's to soaking up the sunshine wherever we can!

29 September 2013

inspiration everywhere

What is it about autumn?  So lovely and fleeting that makes it feel imperative to enjoy each moment that comes.   The vibrant hues of fall have slowly started to amplify across the hills and mountains. The first rogue leaves have begun to flutter across the road on my way to work.  And week-ends are filled with time outdoors a little too hot underneath a thick sweater but no longer warm enough to be without it...

I've been feeling so lucky in this season of our lives.  Félix has finished his Masters program and Clover started school.  Work is crazy. But I'm starting to be able to catch my breath every now and then. The days and weeks are flying by so fast that it feels even more essential to enjoy these sweet moments when they come about...

We stopped at to the Barrage d'Emosson the other weekend on our way to meet up with friends. The Emosson dam is past Chamonix just over the border into Switzerland.

We didn't make the hike to see the dinosaur tracks but we marveled at the dam's engineering nestled in among the peaks...

We admired the view all the way down into the valley below.

And we made wishes on dandelions...


Really, all the perfect components of a fall outing.

Hope you are finding many beautiful and fleeting moments to enjoy this season.

15 July 2013

still around

photo credit: the always amazing JYR

Hello! I certainly didn't mean to go so long without a word here.  I went back to work in April and the world has moved at hyperspeed ever since. It's a challenge but a new chapter that I am enjoying immensely.

The other weekend, I ran my first trail race.  We started in the village and then ran up and  flailed down the super steep paths all around the valley.  It was a lot of fun and pretty challenging. A12km race by teams of two was the perfect initiation into the excitement and adrenaline of trail races.   I had a delightful friend as my trail-running partner.  We had great encouragement from Félix and Clover and our friends. Such a fun surprise to come down through a trail and see everyone cheering.  It lifted our spirits every time.

During the course,  I had decided that I was most definitely not going to ever run a trail race ever, ever again.  Those hills were killer but, once we crossed the finish line and joined the festive post-race ambiance, that feeling was quickly forgotten.

13 April 2013

an ocean away

The days like waves lap at the shore and melt away. My heart swells.

After an early morning phone call with my mom I am thinking of sunny, winter days on the beach in Washington. And even though land and sea separate us it feels almost like we live right next door to one another.   Talking with her is so restorative.  Our catch up sessions never fail to right a balance and buoy my spirits.  

Thank you, Mom!

20 March 2013

a tight-knit community

In our tiny village people know each other very well and in most cases are pretty supportive of one another.  Last winter our community was tightly-knit for another reason, Street Art!  Specifically, yarn-bombing!

Our town was warmly bundled up against the cold. All throughout the village stitches upon stitches brought a touch of warmth and color.  Even one of the gondolas at the ski area got the wooly treatment.  This year, they are yarn-bombing the forest (near where I like to take my walks) in the cross country ski area, here's the commercial that runs on the reader board in the square, inciting people to get their needles and yarn ready for this year's project.  Do you knit? 

See more good yarn-bombing here!

10 March 2013

birds of a feather

After reading through some of the archives the other day, I see that I repeat a lot of the same themes. Two things I mention often are appreciating the changing seasons and how much I love coffee.  It's true that sometimes I look forward to the next morning mainly because it means another opportunity for my ritual café au lait...or two. And yes,  I openly admit addiction but, now there is another reason to happily greet the first rays of the day aside from my latte. It's because the birds are back and chirping again. Such a joyful tune to hear!  Their sweet song is made all the more amazing by their prolonged absence during the winter.

In honor of their return, here is the best of the web-- all things avian.

1.  Birds with mustaches, no. really. They have mustaches and they aren't trying to be ironic. It's called an Inca Tern. Handlebar mustaches have never been so wonderful.

2. This Bird Ballet video is beautiful --so beautiful you get completely lost in the movement, the music, the sunset and shadows.  A must see! ( via Black Eiffel )

3. This clip of the finest bird song of 1890. Yes, 1890! It's amazingly realistic.  Created by Bontems, a noted Parisian specialist, maker of automaton singing birds. Genius!  (via Even Cleveland)

4. A fun DIY Bird Feeder to make with kids.  Easy and entertaining for all.

5. My glittering hibou above is from this outing.  I found it at the adorable shop, Sweet Bee,  if you are ever in the area, it's well-curated and worth a browse.

As always, these aren't sponsored links, just fun things I wanted to share. Happy clicking!

01 March 2013

let's march

We've made it to March! Nevermind that there are still big piles of old snow all over the place. Forget about the fact that it is still -6°C in the mornings here. Details! Minor details!   

Those mornings are brighter and lighter and the days are growing longer, stretching out like a big bear after a long hibernation.  There are good things on the horizon. 

What are you looking forward to this month? I'm excited to hang up the month of March on my calendar.  It's beer + food pairings and anytime I want pizza this month it somehow seems justified.  

I got it from a calendar swap I did with Greedy Girl.  I was matched up for the swap with this girl and I have to say, I love her taste in calendars. 

25 February 2013

on building bridges

When Clover and I were back in the States, we took a sunny stroll with my mom along the Antique Row in Snohomish. Well, I should say my mom wrangled Clover while I popped into a couple cute shops. Just before we headed back to give the little guy his nap, we were treated to the most lovely view of the river.

Some days home is here in France. Some days it's still back in the States.  I suppose it is all the places I carry in my heart.  They are numerous and it's not necessarily due to the length of stay at a certain address.  I've been surprised to learn that like most things, a sense of place, of belonging, is ever-changing and it's a lot more encompassing than just one's residence.

08 February 2013

what the world needs

Today, the world needed me to go and ski with two, wonderful girlfriends.  I would like to thank the world for being so thoughtful and generous, especially for offering a bluebird day with 60 centimeters of freshly fallen snow and bright sunshine.  

I have come alive! 

Have a great weekend!  And if you feel like sharing, I would love to know -- what makes you come alive? 

01 February 2013

weekend survival with rocks, brooms and maps

Here's to a beautiful weekend.  I never get tired of this view, a snowy Mont Blanc from a Saint Gervais vantage point.

I learned a new joke about an obscure winter sport. Want to hear it?

How do you keep bacon from curling?    You take away their tiny, little brooms.

Cute, don't you think? If you are as unfamiliar to the sport of curling as I am, then you might enjoy my write up of the international curling competition in Les Contamines. Read it here.  You don't have to like the sport, you just hopefully have to like my pictures.

If you were bummed to arrive at the end of 30 Rock, here is an awesome infographic of nine classic jokes from the hilarious television series.

And the third thing I want to tell you about is an online map-making class taught by the lovely Anne Ditmeyer from Prêt à Voyager. I'm already registered, come join the fun and take it with me!

What would you make a map of?

28 January 2013

why you should go

This is a personal reminder to go ahead and get out there. Just take the first step, you'll feel so much better once you do.

Really, you can reheat your coffee when you get back. Just go. Go now.

Start walking and then, pick up the pace.  Try to see the same path with fresh eyes. Look at old stones in a new light.

 Dressed for it or not. Just go. Should you misplace your gloves, pockets will work nicely for keeping you hands warm.

Because once you go, you'll find that your energy is abundant and your smile cannot be contained.

So go already, Mills. Just go.

22 January 2013

my run-in with a yeti

Do yeti exist? Is that why all these people are cheering?

I don't claim to be a girl that has all the answers but you'll be informed on the above questions in my most recent article for the Les Contamines webzine. Read it in french or in english, if you like.

19 January 2013

doughnuts: an introduction

On our recent trip back to the States, I introduced Clover to the sprinkle doughnut.   He perfected his eating technique within minutes --which is to gobble up the icing and sprinkles and pass off the rest of the doughnut to someone else.

Once finished,  he looks around to make sure he can't help anyone finish their stray sprinkles or tasty frosting.  You know, in case a person just couldn't entirely manage that difficult task on their own.

I admit this introduction came about for a selfish reason; I was craving a doughnut.  My favorite is the buttermilk bar or the classic old-fashioned.  But in the face of fried dough and sugar, there is really quite little I would refuse. Some might call that gluttonous.  I prefer the term easy-to-please.

06 January 2013

To begin again

The start of a new year feels full of promise. Light, bright and exciting. Let's hope 2013 holds much adventure, prosperity and goodness.

Is there anything you are looking forward to most in this new year?

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