Mud Season

Snow last week; almost 70 degrees one day this week! So, of course, my kids spent that whole day in the yard. Daddy started doing some spring cleaning (please excuse the piles of recycling). My 2.5 year old went through 3 pairs of pants in as many hours. He later moved on to the surprisingly less wet activity of ice throwing/smashing. And my almost 5 year old came inside with “my friend beetle” in her hair (who later flew away). Goooooood times. :) Here’s my video to commemorate. Welcome to Mud Season in Vermont!!!

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How Starbucks Spring Blend Saved My Life – Or, Moving 300 Miles Away

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I’ll always remember what we did this Spring because we moved from New Jersey to Vermont… and we only had 11 days to do it. My husband had applied and interviewed at a few different places and we were waiting to see if any of those jobs would pan out. We had already gotten permission to do a 6 month extension on our lease, just in case, but once we got the offer for this job in Vermont, it was now or never. Eleven days is almost 2 weeks – totally do-able, right? I don’t think any of us actually believed we were going to go through with the move though, because we didn’t pack a single box until that day.

Not only did we wait until the last minute, we also have 2 young children who made packing nearly impossible during daylight hours. I don’t know how many boxes were unpacked while I was distracted elsewhere and how many times children had to be evicted from box houses (and other newly empty structures) before I realized it was much more productive to pack after bedtime (which luckily isn’t too late at 7 pm). Even so, the adults were up until midnight or later on most nights.

It’s probably not surprising that this adventure involved A LOT of coffee. With fortuitous timing, to say the least, I received a bag of Starbucks’ 2014 Spring Blend to sample! But, since images of us drinking the coffee would also include bleary eyes, no make-up, messy hair and ragged, not-afraid-to-get-dirty clothes which just shouldn’t be broadcast online for all of eternity, instead I give you…

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Only because I received my coffee sample right before all this chaos started, I can tell you that Starbucks’ 2014 Spring Blend is delicious. (By the end of the move, all I could have said was that it was hot and caffeinated). I’m not sure I tasted the chocolate or sweet orange undertones, but I was surprised that the few sips I savored were light enough for my palate, even with this blend being described as a medium body (I generally favor breakfast and other blonde blends). My husband, who is drawn to dark roasts, also enjoyed it. Of course – the one coffee we can happily share is only available seasonally, haha. Coffee can be stored for a long time in the freezer, right? (– looking it up now.)

The day we loaded up the rental truck, New Jersey decided to punish us for leaving with monsoon rain all day and all night. (Worst move ever!!). But the following morning, like an omen of a happy future, we were greeted with nothing but sunshine. We fueled up with more coffee for the 6 hour road trip and it was blissfully uneventful. I would have loved to pair my drink with buttery shortbread and early harvest berries as Starbucks suggested, but unfortunately, I was at the mercy of the convenience stores’ inventory, and it was more like peanut M&Ms and cheese sticks. Luckily, the taste of the coffee didn’t suffer from the lack of sophistication. :)
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And now we’re in Vermont – getting to know the people and the area. Most of the trees were still bare when we arrived, but it only took about a week before birds were singing and flowers were blooming (tons of dandelions). I don’t know if my kids will remember ever living in New Jersey, but I will. This is the Spring that we moved 300 miles away. And maybe every Spring hereafter, when the snow completely melts and there’s no threat of it coming back, I’ll sit on my front porch with a cup of Starbucks Spring Blend coffee and thank god I won’t have to move again for a long, long time.

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Our Spring Hunt

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Even though there’s still snow on the ground (!!), my 3-year-old and I braved the weather and were still able to find some proof that spring really is coming. After we found the first plant, O ran around shouting “I’ll find more plants!” and did a great job with searching. I showed her leaf buds on a bush and on the tree branches. We even found some flowers that managed to push up from the frozen ground and had already bloomed. If anyone knows the names of the flowers I photographed, let me know.
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It was interesting to notice the wide variety of plants popping out at the same time in the same area. We touched the leaves gently and smelled the flowers. We honked (and said I love you, haha) to some migratory geese. And at the end, climbing on a tree stump wasn’t really spring-y, but it sure was fun. This is definitely a tradition we’re going to do every year (although I really hope we’re in short sleeves next year).

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