A Sunday in Four Parts

The house still smells like bacon.

We spent a heaven-sent Sunday in our little cottage house this weekend, napping, reading, watching television, drinking homemade lattes, and yes, devouring bacon. We don’t frequently get unscheduled weekends, so when we do, we hold on to them tight.

I captured these four, Sunday afternoon scenes yesterday using the stories feature on Instagram. (Are you guys on Instagram? Let’s be friends. It’s by far my favorite social media platform; so many interesting and beautiful things to see.) With that particular feature, the videos or pictures you post disappear after 24 hours. Which can be a fun and fresh way of sharing an adventure with your Instagram pals, and I really enjoy both creating them, and viewing other folks’ stories. Now and then, though, I want to collect the little bits I feature there and keep them as a token. A small little token that will forever remind me of what life looked like in a low-key, snapshot moment; even the seemingly unremarkable moments of a sleepy weekend afternoon.

sunday nap and mostly dead flowers

bacon and newspapers

What did you all do this weekend? Was it marvelous?


SIGNED, anya elise

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By the Numbers: On turning 30


At the beginning of April, I left behind my third decade of life, said farewell to the formative 20s, and ventured into the brave new world of my 30s. For indeed, I am now 30 years old.

On such a particular new age, I felt I had to write something to commemorate its arrival. I kicked around several ideas and themes, self-reflection and possible nuggets of wisdom. Then I realized that though I am no longer a “20-something gal,” I am mostly still figuring everything out, and I am just as goofy as that young whipper-snapper in the above photo. (Though I haven’t gotten that close to possibly setting my own head on fire in some time; there’s hope yet.) So instead of writing what I feared would be a contrived or forced essay speaking to what it means to be a 30-year-old woman, I numbered a legal pad page from 1-30, and crunched the numbers, so to speak. Here is the result of that effort. (And let me tell you, it was an effort; I really had to mull over what to note for some of these digits. Turns out 30 is a pretty big number after all.)

1> Number of traditional team sports in which I’ve participated (it was soccer, I didn’t last long)

2> Number of cavities (I was at least 27 when I finally got my first cavity; alas, my long streak of tooth health was broken)

3> Years I’ve been married (well 3.5, as of this writing)

4> Number of Semenoff kids (that is, my siblings and me) (Denver 4 for life!)

5> Number of choirs I’ve been involved in since high school (singing both as a soprano and alto, depending on the choir)

6> Number of times I have left the country

7> Number of years I worked at The Denver Post

8> Average number of bacon strips I would happily eat in one sitting

9> How old I was when the Atlanta Olympics took place and I decided I simply had to be a gymnast when I grew up

10> Number of childhood journals I was able to find stored in my basement

11> Age at which I realized my frequent growth spurts made me too tall to be a gymnast

12> Number of jobs (paid and unpaid) I’ve held over the years

13> Number of cameras I have owned to date

14> Average number of coffees I drink in a week

15> Age at which I first attended a public school full-time (sophomore year of high school; I was homeschooled up until this point)

16> (in months) How long I lived at my mother’s home after graduating college

17> Age at which I decided to pursue journalism as a career

18> Number of states I haven’t yet visited in the good ol’ US of A

19> Age at which I accidentally dyed my hair black

20> Number of coffees I will drink during the course of a particularly busy/stressful week

21> (in months) Longest stretch I’ve been able to keep a plant alive

22> Age at which I started work at The Denver Post

23> Age at which I moved into my last solo, studio apartment

24> Age at which I started my own business

25> Number of bags currently in my possession (I am preparing to stage an intervention for myself) (and yes, a massive donation effort is underway) (don’t judge me) (OK, you can judge me)

26> Age at which I got married

27> Approximate number of gray hairs currently on my head (this is obviously an estimation; who knows what’s really going on at the back of my skull)

28> Number of airports (domestic and international) to which I have flown

29> Average number of books I’ve read per year in recent years

30> Number of years I have had the privilege of being alive on this dear planet

And, scene.

To be honest, I was excited to turn 30 and become a 30-something. No existential crisis mode on my watch. My 20s were the dearest of my life. I accomplished a lot, I met so many of you wonderful people, and I had the distinct honor of growing in a career, business, marriage, friendships and so much more. It was a great foundation on which to build my adulthood, and I am very much looking forward discovering what this next decade may bring.

So, as ever, here is to you, and here’s to whatever comes next!


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spring blossoms

I was startled to find that it is spring in dear Colorado.

After an overly dry and mild winter here, it seemed like the flowers and the trees shouldn’t yet be able to bloom. Surely we needed at least one good blizzard before we might declare it spring?

Then, quite unexpectedly, I looked out my kitchen window while brewing some coffee one morning, and saw our sweet, little front-yard tree had positively burst.

tree blossoms spring 2017

tree blossoms spring 2017

tree blossoms spring 2017

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Things That Make Me Happy

wind in my hair and my face

In a world where the answer to “How are you?” is so frequently some variation of “busy”…”tired”…”hanging in there,” it seemed to me it was time we document the small, lovely things in the world that make us happy. As simple as that. The little occurrences; the mostly unimportant in a grand-scheme-of-things sort of way. But moments that are still present and sweet and quite happy nonetheless. So earlier this week I took a notebook along with me on my errands (which included decidedly non-happy things like preparing taxes and grocery shopping) and noted everything that delighted me along the way.

  • Coffee. (Duh.)
  • Sunshine.
  • Easy home solutions (i.e. the time I learned how to de-tarnish silver jewelry using baking soda).
  • Pink sprinkles from a sweet donut getting stuck on my lip.
  • The way my hair always blows all over my face in the wind, while everyone around me looks glamorous and quite prepared for their closeup. (See Exhibit A above, from a family trip to Seattle many years ago.)
  • The elderly gentleman at the coffee shop who had a full edition of The Denver Post rolled up and tucked into his back jeans pocket.
  • My local library named after a man called Eugene. (He wrote children’s poetry; isn’t that grand?)


  • Remembering to bring water along for my outings.
  • The simple wave of a fellow driver acknowledging you made room for them on a busy road.
  • Accidentally dying the back of my hand varying hues of pink and red while testing sample lipstick colors.
  •  Kids so gleeful with their tiny, kid-sized shopping carts.
  • My siblings. It is a rare occasion when they don’t make me happy, but sometimes they are particularly excellent.


(I did in fact try to take Emily out when I was two years old. But perhaps that’s another story for another time.)


SIGNED, anya elise

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pocket postcards vol. 1


Dear Daylight Saving Time:

Thank you for making us all a little bit crazy by snatching away a perfectly good hour of sleep that I imagine we all would have liked to hold on to. Thank you for confusing everyone with the “s” or no “s” spelling conundrum. (It’s no “s” by the way.)

To the egg and bacon scramble at our favorite local breakfast place — thank you for being hearty and fortifying on such a sleep-deprived morning.

To the lavender-scented laundry detergent — thank you for lulling us into comfortable, afternoon nap-time dreams in our freshly laundered bed sheets.

To coffee — you know what you do, you warrior.

To our smart phone alarm clocks — thank you for automatically accommodating the time change, no questions asked.

To the old-fashioned desk clock we bought for $10 at Target — thank you for confirming that our smart phones actually sprang forward accordingly when we frantically consult you in a moment of feared tardiness at 7:30 a.m.

To Arizona — you go, pal. We all aspire to be you.

To the national system that somehow still perpetuates Daylight Saving Time — we will never understand you. Please think about what you’ve done.

With love,

A groggy nation


SIGNED, anya elise

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