Thursday, December 31, 2015

12/31 - New Years Eve!

Day Six - New Years Eve!

We started off our day with a pleasant breakfast at the 1911 restaurant that is a part of the Inn (included in the price of our stay - yay!)  Then we set off to find the Petoskey Farms Winery & Vineyards.  There is a "trail" of wineries up in the area, which this one is a part of - something to bring us back exploring another time.  We were determined to find ourselves a good bottle to ring in the new year, which we did!  "Love" Sangria... how appropriate.  :)  It was a beautiful drive up to the winery and we were some of the first customers of the day, so we enjoyed a very private tasting.

We drove back sans-GPS for adventure and ended up in downtown Petoskey, where we meandered through shops and found some lunch at Jepeson's - a small diner that has been around for 112 years.  After such strenuous work it was time for a nap before deciding how to celebrate our first New Years together!  We found a gorgeous restaurant in Petoskey (Whitecaps) that was insanely delicious and then we headed up to the Boyne Highlands, a ski resort that was hosting some NYE events.  We caught the torchlight ski parade down their main slope, which was beautiful, and their big fireworks show!  Woohoo!

And now we are counting down the minutes until 2016... I am furiously writing to finish this blog project (reflective post to come... hopefully tomorrow?) and Collin is encouraging me by very purposely ignoring me.  :P  Ah, that's love.  Haha.  Time to turn on the Times Square broadcast and watch it in real time, open that sangria, and enjoy our first New Years Eve midnight kiss!  <3 Looking forward to the many to come.

12/30 - Petoskey

Day Five

It took us a little while to get on the road in Traverse City, but luckily Petoskey isn't too far away - just about an hour or less.  On the way we stopped in Charlevoix for lunch and browsing.  It was such a cute little town!  It was a bit on the cold side as we got up there... After about 20 minutes of driving out of Traverse City we were headed right into a small snow squall, which let up a bit over Charlevoix but not much.  Still it was fun to meander the main street of town in the snow.  We enjoyed poking around the shops.  

Then it was on to Petoskey and the historic Terrace Inn, a place where Collin's family had stayed over 20 years ago and where Collin has some of his earliest memories.  It was fun to see which parts of the building he remembered.  The area that the Inn is in (haha) is essentially entirely summer residences, giving the neighborhood a bit of an abandoned feel.  This also means that it is interesting trying to even get in to the neighborhood, as they close most of the roads to avoid extra plowing work.  Again, smart phones are only so smart.  But we were able to make it and settled into another lovely cozy room.  The building is gorgeous -- definitely has the feel of being potentially haunted... but that's as far as I'll entertain that thought.  :P

We had a hard time deciding on dinner but ended up at Mim's, a hole-in-the-wall Mediterranean place down the road with great reviews.  It was indeed worth it!  Then, another night in of planning our New Years Eve day.  :)

12/29 - Adventures in Falling

Day Four

We woke up to a white-blanketed Traverse City - perfect for cross-country skiing!  This was something I had hoped to get the chance to try while I was here.  :)  We rented gear from a local shop and then headed out to find the Vasa Trail....... which we found eventually, in a very round-about fashion.  Smart phones are only so smart.  Luckily, we found a nice quiet trail, perfect for little beginner me.  And Collin was always incredibly sweet about helping me when I fell down, all five times!  :)

It always felt really good to get back up after falling, no matter how much a particular fall shook me up from how it occurred.  Just the getting back onto your feet again is a kind of accomplishment.  Then when you actually start gliding along, you feel on top of the world.

The scenery was stunning and so peaceful.  A perfect adventure.

Later that day we met up with another set of Collin's relatives, who help manage the resort we were staying at.  It was lovely hearing more memories of his early years.  :P

12/28 - Traverse City

Day Three - The Storm Day

Breakfast at The Inn at Ludington was exquisite and more than enough reason on its own for us to discuss returning someday for a longer stay.

Fueled up, we left for Traverse City on the early side because of storm warnings, though we decided that the scenic route (up M-22) was still an okay way to go, as precipitation wasn't predicted until later in the evening.  We were treated with gorgeous views of wide valleys to the inland and lovely water to the lake side.  And we managed to beat the storm!

We were happily impressed with the Pinestad Reef Resort's set up for our room - practically a one-bedroom apartment style.  And we got in just in time; the snow began just as we were pulling in (my wish came true)!  The flakes were small but it was falling fast and piling up.  We still wanted to get out and do something though, so we braved the weather and the night to catch the new Star Wars movie at a local independent theater - a most excellent decision!  When we got out of the film we could still see the car at least, though the snow was really starting to pile up.  We managed to stock up for dinner and breakfasts at a local grocery and then it was time to stay in for the night and watch the snow cover the beach.  :)

12/27 - Ludington

Day Two and we spent the morning in Frankenmuth before heading on a longer drive across the state to Ludington.  We successfully acquired Frankenmuth fudge and poked around some of the silly little stores before getting on our way.  Our three hour drive across the state was not at all difficult, aided by a true road-trip style lunch, aka Erin feeding Collin crackers, cheese, and ham while he drove.  :)

We made good time to Ludington, where we stayed at the adorable "The Inn at Ludington," which was wonderfully Victorian.  Our room was gorgeous (again pictures when good internet is possible.)  We ran out to catch a glimpse of the Ludington lighthouse at sunset, though we decided to not brave the walk all the way out to the lighthouse as the waves on Lake Michigan were starting to pick up.  Then it was dinner time at a local Italian place where we warmed up with excellent pizza.  It was a night in with the movie Alaska, and planning for the next day's travels as the weather was slated to be quite bad!

12/26 - Frankenmuth

Day One of the Grand Tour of the Mitten State!

We started out by heading to Frankenmuth, a Bavarian town about an hour and a half away from Rochester.  It was so cute!  (Pictures to follow with a better internet connection...)

After a few crazy days of lots of family and new faces, it was wonderful to have some time to ourselves.  We walked around the little town as evening fell and ended up at dinner at the Bavarian Inn restaurant, which was quite tasty and festive.  It was pretty dark by that point so we made points of what to view the next day, though we did stop off at the covered bridge, which was right out of a scene from Anne of Green Gables.  My heart was happy.  :)

12/25 - Family

For me, Christmas is all about family - being together with those we love most, whether that is family we are related to and have grown up with, or family we have chosen.  I have been so lucky to meet and be embraced by a wonderful new family who, hopefully, will come to be my own in the future.  So much of the warmth of this day reminded me of my own family, close and extended.  Home is never far away when you're with the right people.  I am so grateful for the immense love that has been ushered into my life in the form of Collin and all of his family.  <3

Saturday, December 26, 2015

12/24 O Holy Night

Oh holy night
When Love came down
A heavenly son born
To wear thorny crown
Yet on this still eve
Let spread o'er the earth
Joy love and peace
From the Blessed One's birth

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Home is where the heart is.

Tonight I am home.


Oh love of endless years,
I dream of you no more.
Not of your arms and their embrace,
Nor the curve of your lips,
Nor the warmth of your being
That radiates from your heart.
Tomorrow you shall not be of dreams
But of flesh and bone once more.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

True Fictions

Her name was Molly - with a Y.  Molly Jane, a Swedish last name.  A ballroom dance competitor and instructor of Swedish and German descent, born and raised in Wichita, Kansas - the East side, wealthier than the West, though she wasn't one of those spoiled girls.

He was from Sicily.  Born in Italy, raised in Argentina.  A cellist, hired with orchestras in New York and Argentina, where he sailed back and forth from often, on cruises, though he loved to teach cello even more than performing. 

It was her dress that caught his eye: a bright silver, the tulle skirt dotted with gold stars.  She shone, whirling among the crowd of other couples on the floor, bright as the first star of the night sky.  He could not stop watching her, almost missing a beat of the reliable waltz pattern.  He caught it, though the first violin eyed him violently regardless.  Germans!

She didn't see him.  She looked at her partner blindly, her mind solely focused on the steps and the counts.  Winning the semi-finals here on the MS Stockholm would guarantee a spot at the finals in New York when they arrived.  It would be her first national ballroom dance prize, she could feel it - the electricity of the dancers, the audience, and the music pulsating through the floor and into her feet, propelled her ever-forward.  


"You should 'ave won," a baritone voice said softly behind her, startling her from her pose at the upper deck railing in the evening sea air.

"Oh!" Molly's pink wrap slipped from her shoulders as she turned toward the gentleman.  "Thank you, s--" Her voice caught in her throat as her eyes were caught by the deep brown ones looking into hers.

"No sir.  I am not sir. I am Roberto."  He smiled shyly.  "And you, miss?"

"Molly."  She felt herself turn red from top to bottom as he kissed her gloved hand.  "Were you dancing?  I didn't see you..."

"Oh no!" he laughed. "I do not dance!  I play - la musica - the music.  The cello!"  He mimed the instrument.  "You do not want see me dance!"

Her laugh lit up her eyes and again Roberto saw the stars.  "Well you don't want to hear me play the cello!"

"Well then," he grinned, a bright white against his tanned skin, "we are, 'ow you say, even?"


I met Molly Jane tonight and she told me just the beginnings of her story before she had to leave.  But her life sounded fascinating, so I wanted to imagine how she might have met her husband.  :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Fizzing in my veins
Spinning in my head
Counting down the hours
Until I bubble over
With joy!

12/18 - Four


Brown jacket


What does that have to do with the price of eggs in Egypt
Ah, puh
I love you


Sitting on the beach under the stars
Watching the dogs under the tree in the park


True Love.

12/17 - Thank You, Shia.

12/16 - Repeat

Today was yesterday
All over again
Except with a slightly muted tone
Color bleeding out
Sounds cotton-muffled

Or am I dreaming?

12/15 -

All he wanted was somewhere to be alone in this goddamned city.

12/14 - Friends

My heart reaches around the world
Meeting yours in fast embrace
How we could last for so many minutes
Ignoring the miles between us
I cannot say
But one look at your faces
And the feeling of the space between us
Came rushing in
Joy and sorrow, melded completely
As we once were, and shall be again

12/13 - Saying No

Sometimes we have to say no
To ourselves
And the things we aren't
to do,
beyond our own feeling that we are
to do so.

So we say no, 
and it's okay,
the world keeps turning,
and we can breathe a little bit easier,
despite the tinge of guilt
that stains our immortal souls.

12/12 - Perspective

Is what we do
or what we worry about
really worth all of the stress?

Work thoughts.  


12/11 - Thinking Ahead

The year is drawing to a close.  Thinking ahead (and tracing behind to try and catch up to the present moment), I imagine what else I might do with this space.  Perhaps I keep it going, just writing with a new focus.  Perhaps I tie it up with a nice ribbon on December 31st (or January 1st, just for good measure) and create a new space.  Next, I want to focus more.  Compose with a more direct purpose.  Except for this last month I have been so consistent.  I think the consistency can now be helped by narrowing the vision.  Fiction is the siren call - to flex the muscles of mind and fingers with worlds and people imagined, though not always entirely unreal.

12/10 - Progression

Personal progression is one thing.
Encouraging it is another.
But its occurrence is equally enticing
And similarly satisfying.

12/9 - She Spoke

She spoke for one thousand and one nights.
What if her voice gave out at one thousand?

Then she would dance.

Friday, December 18, 2015

8/22 - Untitled

For the ones who forget, God becomes a silence, a void that they only know must be filled but they cannot discover with what.

12/7 - Naked

I looked at myself
with my own eyes
And yet I saw with yours.
I saw with Love.
One who is beautiful.
Not perfect,
but lacking flaw.

I love you.

12/8 - O Come Emmanuel

O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears.

Rejoice, rejoice,
Shall come to thee,
O Israel.

Tis a season
of waiting,
for the sunlight to
break through
the grey;
for the bright lights
to shine
in the night,
sparking joy in hearts;
for the
Light of the World
to re-kindle kindness and compassion
in the souls of the lost,
the weary,
and the broken,
reminding us of our
humanity -
our connection to one another.

O come, Emmanuel.

12/5 - Window Light

floats in the window light,
caressed by the gentle morning;

it's too early.

But the warmth
of your skin
stirs my heart and my smile

the way the
air currents stir the

12/4 - Looking Forward

Just two more Fridays,
I was thinking.
We will make it.

(And we did).

12/2 -

I don't know
about this day
What is was
What to say

Thursday, December 10, 2015

12/1 - December, Baby

I plan December in July.
It's HERE!
The best time of the year!
And the time where we'll be
Together once more
Is drawing ever so near!


11/30 - Normal

How is there normal?
There is no normal.
Only before and after.
You change me constantly.

Each time we adjust.
In time we adjust.
Soon we'll adjust.
Then normal will change.

11/29 - 3AM

is kind of like
a nap,
instead of
not enough sleep.

11/28 - no

push away tomorrow
morning you are
with each tear
ripping through the
of the matter
whats the matter
is i cant stop
i cant stop
i cant stop
theres no
to stop
no time

11/27 - Don't Let Go

I'm holding
to the moment
Too tight
because I don't
want to let go
But it only seems
to move faster
than if
I let it be
So I will let it go
hoping it won't
let go of me.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I Don't Promise

I don't promise
To always be there for you,
To care for you in illness,
Or pain,
To carry you in weakness,
To lift you up through doubt,
To hold your hand through trials,
To go with you where life leads.

I don't promise these things.

Because promises are things people break.

I sing these things.

They are the melody of my soul 
And I sing them
To the universe and all creation.

That is the only way I know how to tell you
That I will love you always. 

Promises alone shall never be enough,
Shall never truly express
This One Truth.

So I shall sing to you
The melody of my soul
That is completed in each moment 
By your love.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

11/26 - Thankful

I am thankful for love -- all the forms of love in my life: dear friends all over the world, a family always by my side, the love and guidance of a merciful God, and the heart that holds my own.  I wept tears of overwhelmed joy today.  Life has always been moving forward and up, no matter when I thought it wasn't or that love in all of these ways was impossible for me.

No one is alone in this world.  There is love abounding, in any of these ways, just waiting to be discovered and cherished and rejoiced in.

I pray that we can all find it for ourselves and share it with the world that is so desperately in need for more.

11/25 - Father Dearest

First man of my heart,

Don't go too hard on the other man of my heart, okay?  ;)

Daughter Eldest

11/24 - Still Love Me

Still love me,
even when we travel
way too early in the morning?
<3 :)

11/23 - Rest


here in my arms,
where I shall tell the world
to be still;

here on my breast,
where I am strong enough
for your worries;

here over my heart
where I love you
more than myself.

11/22 - Enough

You are finished and complete.  You are enough.  You do not have to try to do more to be who you are, to express your heart to the world.  Simply allow the breath to begin and let the song come from your heart.

The Horse

It is a little difficult to get back on the horse when you've jumped off and walked beside it for a little bit of time.  Blog not forgotten or given up, simply paused for the break to enjoy full time with loved ones.  However, I meant to begin again and catch up on Sunday/Monday of this week... Here we go!