Mug Exchange

This year I participated in my third TTC mug exchange (a monumental effort seamlessly executed by fellow blogger Chelsea at Trials Bring Joy).  Each year I’ve been matched with a wonderful partner: women who are kind, gracious, hope-filled, and who—unfortunately—emphasize with this sojourn called infertility.

This year’s mug exchange was no different.  This year I was matched with a lovely mug partner who lives in a neighboring state. While our routes to mamahood are taking different paths and our medical diagnoses are very different, we still walk side-by-side dealing with the same struggle.  Although she’s not a blogger so I can’t link to her site, I hope that she’ll take it up as an outlet and a means to connect with other IF women.

I was so blessed to come home yesterday after being away all weekend to find this package awaiting me!

I got a handmade mug, pineapple socks, a 60-day devotional written by fellow blogger Caroline (In Due Time), and a huge book of fertility facts.

Now I regret not posting pics of the last two years’ mug exchange; but trust me, they were just as good.

The women who make up the online infertility community never cease to amaze me.  There is strength in numbers. 

Ecc. 4:9-10.

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Vermont by Train: I Fell in Love

Somewhere in Connecticut

No fertility talk today. Seriously, if all I ever talk about on this blog is how not pregnant I am then I’ll probably put you all to sleep. Myself included.

So, something different: travel!

Recently I attended a three-day work convention in Vermont sponsored by a professional association I belong to (a convention for legal-ly stuff… I won’t bore you with the deets). I’ve always wanted to visit the New England states, but never had reason to, so it was kind of perfect. Plus, my friend/former colleague who lives in the same town as the event was also going to the convention and welcomed me to stay in her home. So, I hopped on an Amtrak and headed north!

Waiting to leave Philly, my city that I love to hate and hate to love.

Once we got past these places…

NYC
Hartford, CT

…the entire landscape opened up, and everything that I imagined NE to be came true. Each scene, each town, was like something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Immediately I loved it. It was like I was home, even though I’d never visited this place before. Weird.

Rhode Island
Massachusetts
Vermont

After the convention events wound down, I had a day and a half to explore. My resident Vermont friends showed me all the non-touristy spots that I otherwise wouldn’t have found. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I ended up absolutely, completely falling in love with Vermont!  

By nature, I am a conservative person in my religious, political, and social beliefs. That said, there is this complete, entire other side of me that’s uber hippy dippy/environmentally conscious/earthy/libby type. Catering to those elements of myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find in Vermont:

  • Green taxi cabs and recycling recepticles everywhere.
  • A walker-friendly, bicycle-friendly state where motorists don’t try to mercilessly mow you down just for kicks. 
  • Dogs are welcomed virtually everywhere! 
  • Miniature free library stands scattered around random public places. Why add to a landfill what someone else could enjoy? Plus, they’re ridic cute.
  • Vegetarian food abounds! Aside from a very few select areas, Philly is severely lacking in the veg department, save maybe a frozen veggie burger or a bland salad available on some restaurant menus. But in NE, I was treated completely normally when I requested that my hot chocolate be made with non-dairy milk. Every place we went was veg friendly! It was refreshing to actually have real options for once.

Also, I found that:

  • Locals were so friendly and extreeeeeemely chill. 
  • People didn’t drive like complete crack-addled maniacs, unlike the trafficky, crap-icky mess that I usually drive in.
  • Outsiders are enthusiastically welcomed.  My “Vermont friends” are actually relocated Floridians and New Yorkers. They couldn’t say enough about how hospitable and welcomed they were made to feel in their adopted state. 

Right now Jake is in school for the next eight months finishing up his degree. We’ve been discussing lately where we’ll move to once he graduates (we’re currently renting and, three years in, haven’t even fully unpacked our stuff. We’re very uncommitted). Even though most of my family lives in the area, I’m not thrilled about staying in PA. Jake is originally from down south, so there’s literally nothing keeping him here. I left PA once before (for nine years!) before deciding to move back, but there’s nothing stopping me from leaving again. I love my family and all, but I know that it’s healthier for me to have relationships with them long distance. It’s complicated.

Obviously it’s a huge decision that won’t be made after just one visit, but Vermont so far is my #1 relocation choice… Jus’ sayin. 🙂

Now for the best part—pics overload:

Former mills renovated into modern workplaces.
Much love to my almond milk latte that apparently hearts me back.
Fall foliage
An adorable downtown…
…complete with a convenient husband depository!
Love the idea of handmade caramel apples. But there’s no universe in which I could justify that pricetag! (If you can’t read the teensy sign, they’re charging $8 for one apple.)
Seriously delish… Or should I say “wickedly” delish?
Best season of all!
Hunting for Champ (American version of Loch Ness Monster) in the waters below the Adirondacks… I didn’t find him. Better luck next time I guess. 😦
No shortage of brewery pubs. So much fun to sample the many, many beers available!
Leaving my new fave place. 😦 😦

Peace.