(This is a LONG post with TONS of pictures...I know this comes as know surprise. Just remember this isn't just my blog it is our families "story" so this is one of those posts for me to capture the memory and hold on, because it will never happen again. It may totally bore you-just a warning! Also keep in mind I just write as I go, read it once, and post so don't be surprised if it makes no sense...)
I can't believe we moved a way from Fletcher (right outside of Asheville) 8 months ago and this is the first visit we have made back up the mountain. I have to apologize to those of you we didn't get to see. It was such a quick trip and we didn't give a lot of notice we were coming. Next time we will give more of a heads up and see a bunch more of you! The main point of the trip was to let Jake see his class again since he missed his last day of school there when we moved. Because Glen Marlow is the best school in the history of the world they let him eat lunch and stay the rest of the school day. It was a day filled with such mixed emotions...As soon as I walked through the doors I didn't want to leave ever again. One of my good friends Tracey Shaw (the mom of one of Jake's best buddies since 1st grade-Cade) met us there for lunch too so it was so great to see her. She was going to a concert that night so she made a special trip to school to see me. I was so glad to see her and chat. She is amazing. She just finished up chemo and radiation the beginning of the year for breast cancer...But any way I am making what is going to be a long post even longer! It was like we never left! All the kids were so excited to see Jake. Mrs. King the principal met us in the office as we were signing in and we were so excited to see her. (I forgot to take pictures of so many people...) She tried to talk us into moving back...And just to prove that Marlow is the best school ever, she is the Principal of the year for the state of NC. I got to see my old PTO buddies and it was just like the old times. They were all busy, like I used to be. As we were walking into the cafeteria we walked past the Guidance Counselor and she said "Hey Jake...JAKE!!!" She said it was just like we never left...Even the janitor was happy to see me and said hi. (I was at the school A LOT). If felt like home, but it's not anymore.
We spent the morning at the park by the library with Bella and Stephanie. Bella is the little girl I babysat from the time she was 8 weeks old or so until she was just over 2 when we moved. It was the park I used to take her to story time at...She has grown so much and we have really missed her and Stephanie. Stephanie used to pick Bella up take her AND Jake to the park while they waited for Matt (Bella's dad, they aren't together any more, they split their time with Bella) to come and get Bella for the night. They are awesome and we were so happy to see them again. When we left Bella was just starting to say little sentences, now she is a chatter box. It felt like home, but it wasn't. We even drove by our old house and saw that it looks the same besides the fact that the new owners added a statue of the Virgin Mary to the landscape...Nice. We got to see our awesome "across the street neighbors" (Nena-the mom of Cody and Mia. Cody was another one of Jakes's good buddies) that we also miss. They said the new owners of our house kept to themselves and that they missed us a lot.
After lunch, while Jake was at school, I went to visit Carla Silver another great friend (She lives in the next neighborhood over from our old one. We used to get together and walk the dogs, go to the pool, grocery shop...etc!) for a little while before I went back to school to go through the car rider line.
The car rider line was a place I spent tons of time with Cheryl (we were room mom's together in 1st grade. She is one of the crazy ladies that I went to the New Kids on the Block concerts with. Need I say more?), and we met there again. We both were in different cars than usual and were texting back in forth to figure out where we each were. Turns out we were parked diagonal of each other. It was so fun to do it all again and chat in line like we always used to do. It was awesome, but not quit the same.
After school we went over to Fletcher Park and let the kids play while we chatted. It was fun to hang out again and watch the kiddos play like we never left. Cade's dad brought him and his sister to the park to play too and they had a blast. Kim Garner brought her kiddo's over and it was so great to catch up with them too. I missed the chats we all used to have. I am so glad we got to visit and relive some of our memories with our friends at places we love. We used to take Emily to that park and let her swim in the river. We met lots of friends there to play. We even used to have a walking group from church meet once a week. Good memories of a wonderful place and wonderful friends...That I am going to do a better job of keeping in touch with!
Our last stop of the way back down the Mountain was to our favorite pizza place. It used to be called Bellafulla and it was the best pizza ever. Right as we were closing on our house back in November it changed owners and became My Three Son's Pizza or something like that. We had it once with the new owners and at that point they hadn't changed it much. So, we couldn't leave with out getting some and bringing it home to Aaron. It was an interesting experience. It was still delicious but it wasn't the same. As we were driving down the mountain eating our old favorite pizza we realized we missed what it used to taste like. It was one of those "Aha" moments for me. It made me realize the mountains are still awesome-but it isn't the same. And that isn't a bad thing. It just isn't home any more. I loved the time we had in Fletcher (don't get me wrong it wasn't perfect. Moving away makes you miss the good things and forget about the hard things) and the friends we made there we will always remember, miss, and keep in touch with. But it wasn't the same. It made me realize that we are right where we are supposed to be. To us the weather is better in the mountains, the views are better there, the schools are better there. I could go on and on, but that is not where we are supposed to be right now. Eating pizza reminded me of that. It reminded me that the Lord is mindful of my family and that we are on the path we are supposed to be on. It reminded me that life goes on and that we do too. Part of me would move back in a second, but I know it wouldn't be the same because that isn't part of the plan for our family now. We are learning and growing in our new home. We are making new memories and friends. We will never forget our time in Fletcher and it is awesome to go back and visit, but it isn't the same...and it isn't supposed to be. Isn't is funny how the Lord works. It took a trip up the mountain and pizza to remind me that life goes on and home is where ever your family is. As long as you are trying to follow the path that Heavenly Father hopes you will he drops little reminders to make the journey easier. I had a blast and I am excited to visit again, but I don't need to get the pizza next time. It just isn't the same. :)
Heading up the mountain!
Jake and Bella climbing.
I love this picture...Look at the way she is looking at Jake. So sweet...
Playing in the sand.
And jumping off the swing.
Bella pushing Jake on the swing.
Bella still doesn't like to have her picture taken so you have to catch her quick.
Jake and Bella catching bugs.
We had a fun game of toss Bobo.
Bella in the sand box.
Jake swinging high.
Jake, Stephanie, Bella, and Bobo (Jake gave Bella his beloved Bobo stuffed animal-the first one he ever named, when we moved) playing in the sand.
Jake and Mrs. Scannell. Jake's 2nd grade assistant teacher.
Jake and Cody. Our old neighbor and buddy.
Jake, Cameron (one of his best bud's since 1st grade), and other kiddos in his old class.
Jake and Kaili. The were in 1st grade together and the beginning of 3rd grade. (This is one of Cheryl's daughters.)
Jake and Cade
Jake with his old class.
Cheryl in the car rider line.
Jake and Kaili in the car rider line...Memories...
Two goof balls sticking their heads out of Cheryl's sun roof.
Me, Jake, Kaili, Cheryl, and Kaci.
Jake with Kim, Olivia, Madeline, and Clark Garner.
Cade and Jake climbing trees at the park and finding a comfortable spot...or that is what they said...How is that comfortable?
Jake agreed it was comfortable...Ok...I will take your word for it.
Jake with his pizza.
Going back down the mountain...
Jake hanging out on the way home.