TEN

10 things about Gabrielle on her tenth birthday …

1.  She was born on the summer solstice which somehow I believe, greatly impacts who she is as a person. Bright and happy, full of light.

2.  She loves ballet. Like loves loves it.

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3. She loves to swim. Way more than the rest of us.

4. She seems to have a brand new soul. One that is completely untainted by past hardship. It is quite something.

5. Her favorite city is Paris, the birthplace of ballet. I cannot believe she was there just a few short weeks before her 10th birthday. She requested a Parisian breakfast on the morning of the 21st.

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6. She loves her brother. She loves everyone really, but she loves him in such a genuine way. I am grateful for the moments when they truly enjoy having each others company.

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7.  She can be extremely chatty. gab gab gab gab gab gab gab gab gab. gab.

8.  She is quite bright and is becoming more articulate with each passing day. Noah has always been the more studious of the two where Gabrielle has always flourished in art, music, and dance. It is exciting to see her thriving in academics as she approaches fifth grade. I should say, she is well-rounded.

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9.  She is messy. Messy as they come. Stuff shoved under the bed, clothes half hung up, wet bathing suits thrown on the carpet floor … food. food in places it shouldn’t be.

10. She loves fruits and veggies. Like give up cake and ice cream for strawberries and carrots. Like pass the meat (for as long as I can remember) and gimme the broccoli. Like eat 100 pieces of watermelon and have room for the kale. I love that about her.

aaaannndddd … she is just about as adorable as they come.

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Happy 10th birthday wonderful girl. You are such a joy my dear and I love you oh. so much!

xo, mom

Anyways …

My Grandmother was here this weekend. She is eighty 5. She came to tell us all about her recent trip to Russia.

When she comes, conversation turns intense. Straight away. Every time.

We talk about life and death, religion
and science, souls and spirituality, happiness and despair. Past and present, future and fear, self-doubt and hardship.

During one particular chat, we both agreed that is it quite hard to be a person on this planet, living this life. That self doubt is a constant for both of us. We were both surprised at the others admission as well as relieved. Relieved to know that we are not alone. Not alone in wondering why everyone else seems to have it so together. So together that we feel like we don’t measure up.

How ’bout that.

We are not only not alone, but it doesn’t seem to get any better, even with age.  But that is okay. It is okay to realize that this is part of the human condition. To recognize such things about ourselves is vital. Vital to feel fear, accept fear, and continue on anyway.

My grandmother was afraid of some aspects of her long journey to Russia. She sat with that fear a good long while.  accepted it. and carried on with the journey despite it. And you know what they told her?

They told my Grandmother that she was an inspiration. Being the oldest traveler on the trip seemingly without fear to go such a great distance. That she seemed to have it all together.

She says to me, “I’m a God Damn inspiration Brittany!” >insert fist pounding the table here<

It is in that spirit that I dedicate this short family video to her. Not only for the help in facilitating our travels there but in encouraging us to go everywhere. To go anyways. To go always …

England 2014 from Brittany Witt on Vimeo.

Abroad.

For those of you who may not know, The Witt’s went across the pond for Ten. Whole. Days. 

How does one even begin to describe, in written word, such an adventure?

Where do I begin?

How do I tell you ev.er.y.thing???

I don’t. It’s impossible. So I am simply going to make a list because I love list making and it seems effective.

Let us begin …

1. Doors. I would move to England for the doors alone. You don’t even want to know how many pictures of doors, digitally and mentally, I hold in my possession.

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2. Breakfast. It was long and chatty, with coffee and bread. In a kitchen that feels like home and visiting that fills you all up until the next time.

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3.  My Dad & Sue’s house. Tucked away in a small village, it is quiet and quaint, beautiful and artsy, cozy and fun … it’s pretty much the tops.

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4. Bikes.

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5. Chequers. The pub that has the most amazing indian dishes, delicious red wine, & where my dad plays his guitar on certain Wednesday nights.

6. Pubs. They are fun. Especially when your dad is a regular and you get to see the locals. In the same chair you saw them last time. 2 years ago. Amazing.

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7. Cambridge. Eating at Bill’s in Cambridge to be exact. And the magnificence of the colleges, cobblestone streets, cyclists, outdoor markets, local maker craft shops … it is all so fantastic.

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8. Tom and Tina. Sue’s Nephew and his lovely lady. Such fun those two.

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9. Walking the Dyke. yep.

10. Ending up at the fair.

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11.  The ruins.

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12. Neon. I was especially excited to be able to see Sue’s artwork on display at one of the College’s in Cambridge. Her work is so inspiring and I so loved our own private tour of the pieces with the artist herself!

The 1st one pictured below :: her mum.

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This next one was inspired by our Gabi, for she went on a little stint of saying this very thing when she was around 3 years old ::

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13. Not commenting on which side of the road folks were driving on. Mister Witt and I made a valiant effort not to say and/or ask anything stupid.

14. The cows. they are different from Vermont cows.

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15. The flowers.

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16.  The apartment in Paris. Words cannot describe.

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17. Taking a seat at the foot of the tower. Red Wine. Fresh Bread. Fromage. Waiting for it to shine.

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18. Being there with Mister Witt. And my Dad.

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19. Riding the Eurostar under The Channel.

20. The. Parisian. Ballet. Probably the most fantastic performance I have ever seen or will ever see in my life. Not only was the dance captivating but the energy of the audience, rhapsodic.

21. London. A personal favorite. I could/should live there.

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22. The Tate. And the story of how Sue was part of a filming project there before it was what it is.

23. Flying. I’m not afraid anymore. Much to my surprise.

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24. This car.

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25. Wally.

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26. Gabrielle

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27. Locks of Love.

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28. Noah. And his teeth. I know this picture is a bit … close up. But it is documentation and all, I don’t want to forget.

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29. The Bread. Baked by my dad, in his kitchen in England. Nothing has ever tasted to good.

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30. Jay and Sue. Their Hospitality. Generosity. Genuine kindness and loving nature. You showed us the most unimaginable time. A time that we will hold in our hearts forever. We thank you kindly, for everything.

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The end.

Post Script :: This Juice. God I love bits in my juice. It is so. much. better. then pulp.

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Spring Garden …

Once upon a time, Mister Witt and I thought we would like to try our hand at farming. Being a couple of city kids … ahem, suburbia kids … I am not sure if we really knew what that meant.

What we did know is that we wanted to grow our own food and live closely with the land.

baby steps ::

Spring 2014 from Brittany Witt on Vimeo.

Life Lately …

Getting :: ready for our trip abroad in just a few. short. days!

Loving :: Gabrielle in her new Hunter Boots.

Making :: lots and lots of pinafores!

Drinking :: coffee. lots and lots of coffee.

Waiting :: for my new travel cardigans to arrive in the mail.

Hating :: seeing Noah with the chicken pox for the SECOND time.

Feeling :: sore from cross fit workouts and spring sprints in the woods.

Enjoying :: new friendships. so much.

Worrying :: about my kids; their education, their place in this world, their future. always. 

Reading :: nada.

Playing :: catch up.

Enjoying :: planting, tending, growing a garden.

Dreaming :: of a new adventure.

Wondering :: if I will ever stay put.

Choosing :: happiness. every day.

Working :: on financial independence. slowly.

Longing :: for Mister Witt. Every moment he is away from me.

Embracing :: thirty 5

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Warm.

A warm breeze is blowing in our parts today. This inspires many things … like this here celebratory beverage ::

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Tons of ice.

Lemonade.

1 shot of your favorite Vodka … or not depending on your age, convictions, and/or time of day.

Delicious fresh mint.

Not rocket science I know, but not bad for a couple of squares either ::

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35 things …

…off the top of my head, in regards to Mister Witt, on his 35th birthday.

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1. His birthday is today, April 8th. He is an aries.

2. He has the same eyes as me.

3. He is a picky eater. More so then you would think, seeing that I have the reputation around here for only eating certain foods.

4. His favorite season is summer and he is currently counting how many he may or may not have left.

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5. He was born in the Sonoran Desert. He loves the feeling of a wide open sky. The kind that you can see for miles in every direction.

6. He makes up his own language. He lives in code terms. It wasn’t until I learned to speak in those terms did we became very best friends.

7. He is the funniest person I know, 2nd only to grandpa Jay.

8. He is a family man, to the very core of his being. All of his passwords contain the word family in them some way or another.

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9. He is a musician. He can play anything you put in front of him.

10. He is an amazing lover. I can say that here because we are both 35 now.

11. He shares my love for the number eleven.

12. He is quick to temper and even quicker to forgive, forget, and move on. He does not hold a grudge.

13. He gives of himself like no one I have ever known before. He gives to us everything from his time to every last cent he earns.

14. I am so in love with him that sometimes I feel as though I cannot breathe.

15. Sometimes I want to punch him in the face.

16. He let’s me cut his hair. And praises my efforts the whole time.

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17. He is terrible at correspondence. Doesn’t call. Doesn’t write. Nothing. Nada. I am the correspondence. 

18. He LOVES the Grateful Dead. I don’t know WHY, but he does.

19. He is very passionate about his interests.

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20. He loves my cooking, most of the time. And he always thanks me for my efforts.

21. He is so excited about growing food this year that he won’t. stop. talking. about. it. Like talking in his sleep about it.

22. He loves his animals and is super good at animal husbandry.

23. He is a writing a book. I can’t wait to see what happens.

24. He drinks his coffee black.

25. He dreams about going to Bora Bora. I hope I can take him there some day.

26. He loves watching The Amazing Race, that’s where he first decided that he loves Bora Bora.

27. He calls me his cuddlestick. He holds on to me as good as the day is long ;-)

28. He loves IPA’s. Like seriously LOVES them.

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29. One time, he was going to buy a gun from our neighbor. For protecting and all. He went over to see about it and when our friend took it out to show him he almost blacked out.

30. He is a pacifist.

31. He has the ability to laugh at himself and allows me to join in. We laugh a lot.

happy birthday darling. We love you very, very , very, very, very much...

32. He named his red prius Salsa Verde, and he will defend its honor to the end.

33. Thirty three was a really good age for him and it’s only getting better.

34. He made up a mating bird dance for me, oh my goodness you guys …

35. He is the very best husband, in all the land. I feel so. incredibly. lucky. to be his wife.

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end of list.

Happy Birthday Darling.

For the love …

My love affair with Iced Coffee began long ago, at a sweet corner shop, back in the Sonoran Desert … and by Sonoran Desert I mean Scottsdale.

Chloe’s Corner was seriously my favorite place to be. Upon entering its doors meant, that in just a few short moments, the very best part of my day was about to take place. YES I had four smushy cheeks that I smooched and sent off to school and YES I had a husband working diligently to support our very comfortable lifestyle and YES to so many other things that should really have been the best part of my day …

but this :: I would stand in line that was filled with culinary eye candy, then upon my turn I would hand over 50 whole cents, the darlings who rang me up knew me well and already had my cup in hand, I would proceed to self serve the most delicious iced beverage currently on the breakfast market to date. And then I would take a sip …

One sec … I need a moment.

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The search for this same experience has been nothing short of excruciating. Either the coffee is too strong, too weak, too sugary, too bitter and most every time TOO EXPENSIVE. I have been diligently working in my kitchen to replicate some decent form of a chilled caffeinated beverage and have come up short every time. UNTIL NOW.  And by God I think I’ve done it.

Let’s proceed, shall we?

1. Ice. This is very important. It has to be that delicious kind of ice. Not the crap you make yourself. This goes for all other summer drinks as well so just go ahead, do yourself a favor, BUY SOME ICE. 

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2. Choosing the right sweetener. What a nightmare this has been for me. But I have finally found one. One that is so pure and so awesome and so abundant here in Vermont. It is not yucky processed dairy creamer. It is not those fake sweeteners that makes you want to barf. And it is not straight up sugar which always makes me go a little crazy eyes.

It’s. Maple. Syrup.

Hallelujah.

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3. The coffee. No more important than any other the other parts to this drink, it is the main part however so we must take great care in its preparation. It is not about the kind I don’t think, it is about brewing and timing. I prefer same day brewing and I prefer it on the stronger side. I make a cup or so in my french press first thing and stick it in the fridge. When I come back an hour or so later it is all ready to go. This could problematic on Saturday morning when there is an immediate need. Plan accordingly!

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4.  I suppose the next step is all about your preference. Mister Witt will most likely stop here. I on the other hand, need to lighten things up a bit. Add to your liking ::

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5.  Enjoy.

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xo

Time for Romancing …

Mister Witt and I.

We have been married for twelve years. Together for 14. Our physical selves have known each other for twenty + 2 years total. And I do believe our souls have been together since the beginning of time.

Amazing really.

Amazing to think with all those years, and so much love, that we spent the last week wanting to punch each other in the face.

Yes. That happens here.

It is cyclical in nature. The highs cannot remain high forever and the lows always do turn themselves around. Matt is really good at recognizing the lower points. He understands and can see that it won’t last forever, he seems to just know that all will be just fine. I, on the other hand, am a bit more dramatic then that … and mostly, I think a good punch in the face is just what I need, to deliver that is.

With that said, I must admit that my favorite times are when corners are turned and things begin to look up. Sick man babies get better and angry nurses soften up. The forecast says snow but your heart says spring. And the romancing begins again. It is these times that make me appreciate the darker stormier ones, for they allow us the most precious gift …

to fall in love again and again. 

In honor of that sentiment, tonight I am taking my Mister Witt to see the premier of Wes Anderson’s new movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel. We are going to The Roxy, downtown. This has come at the most perfect time, for it is something we both love so much (Wes Anderson movies that is) and I find it romantic to keep it a surprise. For this is the hard work of marriage my friends. Taking the good, the bad, and the ugly, out to a movie to start anew once again…

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