I think about life as a series of clues along a masterful treasure hunt slowly pointing you in the direction you are meant to go. However if you had asked my teenage self, if I would ever live in Vermont again I can guarantee you the answer would have been no.
At the age of five I begged my parents to let me start downhill skiing, I had been cross country skiing since two and was growing bored with the slow pace, I wanted to go FAST! My parents, who were always super supportive of my athletic endevours got me a private lesson at the very end of the season. I distinctly remember my first time skiing down the Lang at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl. I was in my jeans and white rear-entry boots snowplowing around giant patches of grass; to many these would be less then ideal conditions but for me it was perfection.As I made my way through high school and college skiing took a back burner as field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse were my focus and often coaches didn’t allow “extra curricular activities” like skiing. It wasn’t until living in Boston when I met this handsome man that Skiing took center stage again. Bob and I shared a great love for skiing from our childhood and like me he hadn’t been able to do much skiing in High School and College. Together we rekindled our love of the sport.In the winter of 2009 Bob had the brilliant idea that we should gather up a group of friends, and rent a house at Sunday River in Maine for the entire winter. It was the best idea EVER because the SHED was born, marking some of the best years of our life and bring together multiple groups of friends from childhood, college and work. To spend every weekend living with your 12 best friends, going skiing, apres’, family dinner, party, repeat, it was an amazing ‘lil adventure. I credit those years for strengthening my bond with Bob and the rest of our house, there were a total of 6 marriages that came out of the Shed…eat, drink and get married.Bob and I were the first of the ski house to get married; having a background in design as well as connections to many designers through my work at New Balance I took a DIY approach to bring a ski theme to life at our wedding . There was a rehearsal dinner hosted at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl. Vintage Skis for guests to sign in lieu of a guest book. Escort cards designed as ski tickets and attached to old school ski wickets collected over the ski season. Tables were named for our favorite ski runs, one from each mountain we skied together, and trail signs hand carved, stained, and painted by Bob. Instead of giving out a small gift to our guests we donated to the Maine Adaptive Ski Program which provides people with physical disabilities the opportunity to alpine and Nordic ski [Link]. My favorite touch was our silhouettes riding a double chair up the mountain perched atop our cutting cake.After our September wedding we chose to stay in Vermont for a Mini Moon to quickly escape without having to travel half way across the world, we chose this amazing resort named the Top Notch [Link] in Stowe, Vermont. The weather was less then idyllic, rainy and cold but we could have cared less, we ate well, slept lots and relaxed together in this beautiful setting. By this point you would think a move to Stowe Vermont was on our radar but life is funny that way and when you are in the moment the path ahead is never clear, so I can honestly say Vermont was a distant pipe dream and Stowe was not in the picture.In early 2013 after I set my annual New Years resolutions [Link] if you haven’t read my first blog post, we started to put together a 5yr plan to move to Vermont. While I made quick contact with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters it was a humbling experience to try and change industries after 10 years in footwear at New Balance Inc. It took me interviewing for three different roles and over nine months to land a job, by the time I received an offer I was six months pregnant! This made our decision extremely difficult; we had everything set for the baby in Boston, daycare, stable jobs for BOTH of us, and an amazing network of family and friends; could we really give all of that up for the unknown ‘Lil (Liljedahl) Vermont Adventure ahead of us? To say stress levels were at an all time high would be an understatement. Luckily the fall of 2013 when we moved here was spectacular, we had the support of all of our family and friends as well as Bob’s company so the dream became a reality.Five years and two boys later I cannot imagine a better place in the world to be raising a family. We knew we wanted to move to a place that allowed us to “live where we play” because it wouldn’t be realistic to travel every weekend once we had a young family. What we completely underestimated was how lucky we would get in friendships found in this beautiful small town. Every person you meet here has a similar story which means you get a community of people who all made sacrifices to live in this town and could not be more psyched to be living the dream.If you look back over the clues of life’s treasure hunt it seems obvious that we should be living our Lil Vermont Adventure in Stowe but if you tapped that 18yr old girl on the shoulder many years ago I would have never in a million years dreamed this up.
Thank you for reading 🙂 Now that you know our journey, what were the clues along your life’s adventure? Where do you live and what do you love about that place?