Today I drove down to the reservoir, which they drained for renovations.  Matt came with me because even though the reservoir is beautiful , there is a bit of walking to do from where we park and I needed to go deep into the woods to get out to where the water used to be.  I took photos of the frozen ground and debris.  It makes me sad to see the beer cans, bottles and fishing line.  That said, I am glad that so many people are appreciating this local natural resource; I just hope that we can all learn to take good care of it.    I can’t wait to see the final outcome in 2019 when Loudoun Water opens up the reservoir to the public again.  In the meantime, the trails are open.  We’re hoping to get back out there this April for another big clean up with the community.  I miss my lake that I grew up on and in some ways, the reservoir is a little reminder of home . . . it’s a beautiful space right in our backyard.  I couldn’t be more grateful to have discovered this place.


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First Snow

by Jessica on January 8, 2017

in Family,Humor,Levi,Parenting,Photography

Yesterday was the first snow of 2017.  We are New Englanders and we love getting outside in the snow.  Okay, let me be more honest.  My husband and my kids love going out to play in the snow.  I love going out to walk in it.  Maybe it is because I grew up on a lake that would be frozen from November to March and sometimes April.  Maybe it is because we’d pass rocky ridges and hills with long icicles hanging along windy roads.  Maybe it’s because I miss seeing the old fisherman sitting on their buckets on top of the ice at the cove, no matter what the temperature.  And maybe it’s because I miss trudging through feet of snow to make it up to my best friend’s house a half mile away to sled down the steep old hill at the abandoned farm across the street from her house.  Snow makes me feel like a little girl in Connecticut.  And when I go out walking in the snow, the air feels cleaner and crisper and everything feels calmer and quiet.

As a kid, the snow falling meant that there would be work to do . . . my sister and I would have to get out and shovel the driveway with our parents, and often it was a heavy, wet snow that would create frozen walls of snow heaps as we piled great shovelfuls at the base of the driveway.  And we’d curse the plows that would drive by and block us back in, but we’d go back out several times a day and push the shovels again and clear the snow.  And we’d grumble under our breath at our father who made us do it even though we were girls.  And then we’d drink hot chocolate and bundle back up and go find our friends to sled, throw snowballs and jump in piles of snow.   The snow didn’t care that we were girls and neither did my dad.  Snow meant work and snow meant play and it’s just that way when you live in New England.

As an adult living outside of Washington, D.C., I complain sometimes about the snow.  Mostly, I complain that I’m stuck at home and can’t get out.  Yes, we go out and shovel and I’m married to someone who spoils me and shovels the snow for us.  But even with our getting out to clear our snow, in Washington, D.C., there seems to be a less organized way of handling snow . . . drivers will pull their cars over and abandon them.  So many people here aren’t from here (we aren’t), and they don’t know how to drive or cope with the white stuff.

It surprises us that even just a little ice will usually shut down the schools for at least a two hour delay.  And when there is less than a foot of snow, the schools close.  I get it though.  Washington, D.C. doesn’t get as much snow as New England and so they don’t have the plans and tools that New England does for living with snow and clearing it so that you can go on about your day.

And I digress . . .

So we had our first snow and it was a light one with just enough to make snowballs.  But no matter.  We gladly accepted and headed out to walk through it and throw snowballs at each other.
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Back at home, I stopped to take photos of our lawn deer, which we’ve received notices about from our HOA.  The deer are, I’m afraid, offensive to the HOA, or at least to one of our neighbors.  So, in an effort to help the deer blend in with season decor, we are now making an effort to dress them up for the season.  Since January is a time of celebration and parties, we (and by we, I mean my daughter and I) dressed the deer up as flappers and 1920s gentleman.  I think in February I will get the hot glue gun out and turn our reindeer into amorous cupids.   The way I see it, we will find a way for the deer to persevere, ;-)










Winter Museum Trip

by Jessica on January 8, 2017

in Annabelle,Levi



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Congratulations to Levi and his hockey team the Yellow Jackets for getting to play at the Verizon Center after the first period of the Washington Capitals vs. the Jets game yesterday.  What an awesome game and awesome experience for our kids!  So proud of our kids and how well they did!


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Last night we went to the Caps versus the Jets game at the Verizon Center. Levi’s hockey team, the Yellow Jackets, were selected to participate in the Mites on Ice.  Before the game, we headed down to the ice and watched the players pre-gam practice.  It was AWESOME!!!!!!

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Rome and Sistine Chapel

by Jessica 28 October 2016 Annabelle

We stayed at a great little hotel in Rome that was in walking distance of everything.  Most mornings we would get dressed, walk downstairs and grab a quick bite to go and then start walking. One of my favorite walks was to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican because it was a shaded pathway in […]

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Cinque Terre

by Jessica 27 October 2016 Family


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Pumpkin Season

by Jessica 22 October 2016 General

We’re carving pumpkins today . . . 

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by Jessica 14 October 2016 Annabelle

Everyone was all smiles by the time we reached Florence.  We dropped off Money Penny at a garage and then taxied over to our apartment.  It was dreamy.  I mean, as a mom, I will say that this apartment was dreamy.  It included a washer and dryer, a kitchen (not that I wanted to cook […]

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Mastering Manual

by Jessica 13 October 2016 Community

As part of my efforts to share my love for photography with others, I am now offering photography workshops as well as an online forum for new photographers to visit and learn. My photography program is called Mastering Manual and the educational website is available at   Please let me know if you have […]

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