Notes from Vermont: Starksboro, Before the Wedding

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I haven't downloaded the photos from the wedding yet, but I did pull these from my phone last night and they're some of my favorite photos of all time. Kind of like how conversations with strangers are always the best kind of conversations, admiring new lands with old companions is like getting to know the familiar in unfamiliar ways... this is why getting the hell out of dodge is worth every penny and stress and post-vacation sad face.
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So much went down over the three day wedding extravaganza but one of the highlights was sitting in a field with the kids and Hal and my in-laws who brought bubbles for the kids and all sorts of amazing crafts for them to do with each other and oh, man... is it ever beautiful there... like a dream it feels like. (I wrote the same thing on our last trip but it's always true, you know?)
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In every photo I have of my kids in Vermont they're either running or picking flowers. Or making things with flowers. Or running with flowers in their hands while making things... with flowers and running and flowers.
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P.S. Someone needs to give birth to a boy in this family because poor Archer, who is a fantastic sport about being ever surrounded by ladies, was like ENOUGH ALREADY, WHERE MY BOYS AT? on this trip and spent the entire time hanging out with adults... because the kid's table was a bit.... yeah. (We actually discussed taking a friend along for Archer next time. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be the oldest in a sea of cousins, all of whom are girls. Like, literally, there must have been 20 kids at the wedding and Archer was the only boy besides one very small and deliciously adorable infant.)
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Nana, like Fable, likes to sketch and then paint everything she sees when she goes on trips. When we traveled together, fourteen years ago, we would sit together in a field and she would paint the landscape and I would write about the boy who dumped me before the trip and how I wanted to die because life without him wasn't worth living and everything was the worst. I was a teenager at the time and was terrible at communicating so Nana and I just kind of sat together and created side by side.
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Nana sketching...
photo 2 (68) (This of Bo holding a balloon kills me. Nana nailed it, right?)
photo 2 (70) photo 1 (63) photo 4 (38) My Grandpa Milt, Uncle Art & Dad
photo 3 (54) photo 4 Oh, hello. I love you, sir with all the babies. 
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Our room for the weekend was cozy. Revi and Fable slept in the top bunk, Archer slept on bottom and Bo slept underneath our bed. I'm not even kidding. That is the only place she wanted to sleep so that is where she slept. (The kids went to bed at midnight pretty much every night because we eventually gave up trying to get them down at a normal time and decided to keep them on west coast hours. So, yeah.) 
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With the kids out of school and our summer vacation already behind us, I'm feeling like it is my duty to do what I can to get my kids out into the world as much as humanly possible. For me, travel was the most important part of my childhood... it is what I remember above all else and it's what solidified my relationships... 
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And yet. Traveling with four children is not cheap or often possible with Hal's work schedule, which is why we take so many day trips to places in and around LA. Home is where the heart is beds are. The heart is everywhere...
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I love living on the west coast. It is all I've ever known. But I also love leaving... I love leaving Los Angeles and California and all that the Pacific represents and seeking new shore lines and seas... and even with the crazy and the stressful and the upsetting, there is nothing I love more in this world than exploring somewhere new with my family. Nothing.
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photo 1 (62) Vermont, I am yours.
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photo 2 (71) More, soon... 
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