Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wishful Thinking {guest post ~ The Magpie's Fancy}

Over the past twenty years, my husband and I have lived in various apartments, condos, and houses in several cities sprinkled across five different states.  Every move we made was for school or jobs, and while we liked nearly every place we called home (with the possible exception of a brief stint in graduate student housing, where the prison-cell chic of cinderblock walls was the norm), there was always one place we longed to return to someday: Portland, Maine, the beautiful city on the coast where we’d first met as students and fallen in love.
Moving back to Portland was our greatest wish, and yet it was never possible for us to just pick up and go because we are academics; in academia you go where the jobs are, and there are so few jobs in humanities higher education that to get any position verges on the miraculous.  So we ended up in eastern Massachusetts for a decade, and while it was a good ten years, Maine beckoned to us from just up the coast.  My husband was working toward tenure, so we needed to be near his university.  Portland was just a little out of reach.  
And then, in the fall of 2009, something wonderful happened.  We both took a semester off to work on writing projects, and we rented a tiny cottage on an island just fifteen minutes from Portland by ferry.  It was an island we had visited often when we were young, so we knew it well, but we weren’t prepared for how-over-heels we would fall in love.  We spent four months there, from September through the end of December, and I count those months among the very best of my life.  Island living is challenging.  You need to plan each day carefully to coincide with ferry schedules and tempestuous weather, but if you are willing to put up with small inconveniences, it is a rewarding way of life.  The village on our island is tiny, but it has a post office, a few stores, two restaurants, and even a library.  It is the only place I’ve ever lived where everyone waves to one another as they drive, bike, or walk down the road, and where neighbors are quick to introduce themselves and invite newcomers to supper.
The island sparked several changes for us.  Suddenly we realized that we needed to make our dreams and wishes come true.  Since that fall we have moved up to Portland, where I am working as a freelance writer, photographer, and teacher of writing.  My husband, now tenured, commutes to his job in Massachusetts a few days a week, and we are saving to buy our dream cottage on the island.  We visit it often.  In fact I like to take long walks on the island in search of cottages for sale.  These are my wishful thinking walks, and I love them because after twenty years, I know some wishes are worth waiting for, and the best ones really can come true.

The Magpie's Fancy was one of the first blogs I started following, for I instantly became a devoted fan of Gigi's writing.  And shortly thereafter, a friendship bloomed.  She is one of those rare souls who ponders life and all it has to offer, finds pure beauty in nature's treasures, and maintains a peaceful, fulfilled daily life with her cherished husband.  I admire her in so many ways.  Recently, Gigi launched The Magpie's Pen, a place where she offers "ways to keep your pen moving and your fingers typing" ~ a resource for inspiration and to sharpen your writing skills.  I strive to string words eloquently together just as Gigi does on any given subject.  She is a poet, a writer, and so much more.  Visit her, you will instantly feel at home.

[images by Gigi Thibodeau]

Monday, April 25, 2011

From Paris ~ With Love

Last week, we were spoiled.  Our friend, Sherry, returned from Paris with indulgent gifts, and the crumb will most likely never be the same after her over-dose on Ladurée teddy bear chocolates....she is begging for us to take her to "the city where chocolate is so pretty".  I have to admit, I love that my kid recognizes the beauty in food as well as the sharp taste buds to appreciate quality at its finest.  She makes her mama proud!

I never thought sour apple would rank high on my  Ladurée macaroon list of favorites, but its lime green goodness will hold steady in the top 5.  And there is an addiction growing over the Jean-Paul Hévin mendiants, we love  how the ginger and fig pair so perfectly with the smooth dark chocolate. So thank you Sherry for putting all our senses into over-drive ~ our eyes cannot stop looking at the  perfection of these works of art, and our taste buds are dancing with glee.  The only problem is that we are now suffering from a severe case of Paris wanderlust...

[Reverie-Daydream Images]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wishful Thinking {guest post ~ Paris Atelier}

A wish is a magical little device that gives you hope. When you close your eyes and whisper your wish into the world it makes it feel as though your dream is absolutely possible.

I wish for travel. This wish is not only for myself but for everybody and especially for my Son. I believe in traveling to places unknown, favorite spots with wonderful memories, countries unimagined, and places that can soothe the soul and allow one to recharge. I grew up in a family that was always traveling to new and exciting locales and I have learned so many incredible things about our world and the people we share it with on our voyages. Travel brings cultures together and offers us an understanding of other people and places. It broadens our realm of just what is possible on this Earth and teaches us compassion and tolerance. It brings people and families closer together, connects us to our roots, and makes wishes a reality. 

I have visited places that I can never forget and daily long for. These places hold some of the most beautiful memories and special moments of my life. I am certain that I have left a piece of my heart in each of these spots. I long to one day share them with my son and hopefully, gift to him unforgettable memories, adventure, and the magic of possibility. Whether camping nearby for a family reunion, taking a road trip to other States, or voyaging across the ocean in search of foreign countries, travel is my wish. 

Whether you make your wishes when you see a shooting star, blow out your birthday candles, or toss a coin into a fountain or wishing well...I hope all of your wishes come true.
Paris Atelier is written by the lovely Judith who lives her life with a French flair. Judith shares inspiring posts of magnificent destinations and fabulous history of glamorous periods. She travels the globe in search of vintage and estate treasures which are offered in her etsy boutique, and she is currently in the process of opening a brick and mortar shop.  I look forward to visiting for the grand opening and sharing a glass of bubbly with this très chic lady!

[image by Paris Atelier]

Monday, April 18, 2011


Melissa’s lucky man here. Today is Melissa’s Birthday, and I wanted to thank all personally for all the support to Melissa these last few days. Melissa, Gaia and I spent the weekend in Carmel-by-the-sea remembering some of our favorite family times with Ashton and quietly celebrating Melissa’s birthday. Ashton loved to run on Carmel beach and then dine on our laps at Casanova’s for dinner. As Melissa mentioned, she received Ashton as a gift the very morning of the day I walked into her life fourteen years ago on Valentines Day.  Ashton has always been our little cupid and I thank her for her arrow to my heart. Happy Birthday to our love Melissa, and Ashton you will always be in our hearts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Beloved Ashton

You came into my life at the wee age of 5 weeks old.  The Georgia breeder handed you over prior to a proper weaning from your mother, so I did what any person would do who falls madly head-over-heels in love with a bundle of fur weighing no more than a sack of sugar, I bottle fed you, carried you in my coat pocket everywhere I went, and held you right by my side morning, noon, and night.  We were inseparable. 

I should have known you were extra special since you entered my world on Valentine's Day 1997.  The same day, I met the love of my life.  We always joke that if it were not for you, and your cupid arrow, then we may not have become happily ever after.  It didn't take long for you to snag his heart, and the moment I realized he adored you and never blinked a 'macho' eye when being pulled around by your leash, my heart became his too ~ truly a package deal. 

We were a great team.  Traveling around the world with you right by our sides.  Oh how you loved the gelato in Florence, the warm croissants in Paris, the white sands of Carmel, the warm breezes in Laguna, the Adirondack chairs in Tahoe, the stone hearth of a crackling Georgia fireplace, the golf cart rides in Florida, and your fluffy pillow spot at home in Sausalito.  Rarely were you ever left behind, and when you were, we fretted over how long we were apart despite the fact we only left you in the very best care of friends and family.  You were a very important part of our little family.

You have always been pure goodness, and you continued to prove this when the crumb made us a party of four.  I think you planned your hearing loss around her 6-week-old mark because you were always that wise and preferred a quiet, peaceful home.  We were never able to train you {remember, you were a puppy school drop-out}, but you trained us. 

These past 14 years went by too quickly.  You were never suppose to grow old, and I held onto you for as long as I possibly could.  Today, when I wrapped you up in your favorite blanket {warm from the dryer just like you always liked it}, I hope this was one of your fondest last memories of how much you were loved, how much warmth you brought to our lives, and how your memory will always be entangled in our hearts.

I already miss you so much.  My heart is shattered into a million pieces.  If only I could have your sweet head sleeping on my arm throughout the night, or hear your soft rumbling snore, watch you snatch a dangling piece of bread from the crumb's hand, or see you bask heavenly in a warm, sun-filled spot...if only I could just have you back.  

We have loved you so much, for so many years, and it breaks our hearts to let you go.  Good-bye my sweet girl, you were the best in every way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wishful Thinking {guest post ~ Kimberly Taylor}

I wish that I remembered to appreciate every moment with our boys each and every day, as they are growing up so quickly and will be gone before I am ready.

I wish I could take my teenagers and have their little heads to kiss, just one more time (or 100 more times as one is never enough).  I wish I could hold their soft little hands, bury my face in their sweet curls, and breathe in the scent of my babies.  I wish I could go back and nurture their precious little souls more than I did, take more time to listen to their stories, slow down enough to enjoy their childhood excitement and wonder.

I wish I could go back to the days when I was their world (thankfully I still have one of those) and no one knew more than I do.  Back when they turned to me for every skinned knee or lost stuffed toy or broken matchbox car.  When playing with their Thomas the train set or rubber dinosaurs for hours was their greatest joy.  I wish they still followed me around the farm, with their own little shovel, "helping me" in the gardens.  Days when the discovery of a ladybug, or a caterpillar, or a dragonfly could result in squeals of delight and excitement.

It is so fleeting- the time we have with these precious beings.  Before you know it, they leave their babyhood behind, become children, and then young adults.  Their lives become their own, and while they still need you just as much as they did, they don't know that.  

And then they are gone - gone off to explore their world, off to adventures of their own, off to make memories, while you are left with your own memories of your baby.  Because no matter how old they are, to me, my four boys will always be my babies.  They are my heart~

Kimberly Taylor is a daydreamer, who lives on Blackberry Farm, with a camera that captures incredible images of every day life, food, travels, and anything else which catches her talented fancy.  Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to meet Kimberly as she and her husband traveled through the wine country.  Her zest for life is contagious, and she is always in search of inspiration which leads to her grand ability of surrounding herself with beautiful moments and experiences.  
[image via kimberly taylor] 

Friday, April 8, 2011


But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, 
and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
~Thomas Jefferson

[reverie-daydream image]

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wishful Thinking {guest post ~ Fern & Feather}

When I think of wishes I think of them as fleeting, maybe a little impractical and full of light hearted love.... so please forgive me if my wish seems like all of these things... I wish to one day go back to Chateau Dumas with my best friends, who I have collected through my life and my family that we have created. Last summer, on my own, I went to France on the most magical trip of my life. I met up with 14 ladies who I have never met before and fed every little part of my creative soul. Although, the quiet alone time was a gift in itself, I missed my sweet husband, my precious son and dreamed of my dearest friends to share this with. I don't know why we would all find ourselves there. Maybe for a big birthday, maybe for an anniversary or maybe just because life is too short not to create magical moments. As our family grows and the fabric of our lives gets more and more vast I wish I could one day bottle up all of those sweet souls and show them my favorite place on earth.

If you have been around Reverie for awhile, you already know my adoration for Alexis and her soulful zest for life and those lucky enough to be a part of her beautiful circle of love and light.  She continues to amaze me with her creative skills and her eye for discovering vintage treasures.  Not only is she a very dear friend, but she is also a joy to work and collaborate with too.  And as for her wish....our bags are packed, Alexis, we are ready to visit your magical place ~ just say when!

[Fern & Feather Images]

Friday, April 1, 2011

April {My Month}

April is my favorite month of the entire year, and I was lucky enough to be born within its 30 days of blossoming Spring splendor {perhaps this has a lot to do with my adoration}. Everything is so fresh and alive.  A palette of pastels spreads across the landscapes, gardens are planted, nests are filled with life, parks and  outdoor cafes echo with laughter, winter skin is warmed by the sun's rays,  and our souls seem to be renewed with vibrant energy along with a healthy dose of languid repose.  

I'm going to soak up every bit of sunshine this weekend has to offer, and I hope wherever you are, you feel the warmth upon your shoulders too.  Bonne fin de semaine ~

[The Hammock, Giovanni Boldini]



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