All this beauty

Kates and I had Part II of our anniversary celebration this weekend. We went up to the family farm for four days and three relaxing nights … I slept better this weekend than I’ve slept in a long, long time.

No boundaries, no plans. No cell phones. No Internet. No TV -- well, no cable TV at least. And no clear picture, really … On Thursday night, I tried watching the Dodgers-Phillies game, but eventually I turned up the volume and closed the TV cabinet because I couldn’t stand the flashing and snow of the picture.

Therefore, we also missed any of the American League series on TBS, including last night's 11-inning thriller ... As well as Thursday's special SNL, which our DVR failed to record.

We did, however, hike up the hill. We gazes at the horses in the pasture next door. Played an intense game of Phase 10. Took naps. Danced. And caught up on our reading.

During the course of our trip, Phoebe got to see both sets of grandparents and one of her great-grandmothers. She also got to meet her aunt Jeane …

But our drive through the countryside on Saturday might have been the best part of our weekend. I can’t remember ever seeing a more magnificent display of fall foliage. It was so breath-taking I wanted to stop the car around every valley and bend to snap pictures. But I didn’t, and I’m not sure any pictures could’ve done justice to the reality of it …

… At one point, almost on cue with The Weepies’ “All This Beauty” playing on the iPod, we came over the crest of a hill upon another brilliant scene of red and orange and golden colored trees. Kates and I both sighed and she exclaimed, “It’s all so pretty!”

We marveled throughout the weekend at how much our lives have changed in the last year. When we were last at the farm a year ago, Phoebe was only in our imagination. Sure, we had her name picked, but back then we were just as sure we were going to be welcoming a son. That was the weekend of looking to the future and talking about the changes we were about to endure; I started formulating ideas for her playlist.

This time around, with Phoebe along for the ride, we’re still looking forward to the future and talking about the changes we’re about to endure. We’re much more engrossed in the issues facing our country. And fearful for our fortunes and well-being.

We hope it won’t be another year before we can get back to that place that brings us such peace and serenity.

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