15 July 2012

A Visit to North Carolina, Part 1

A few weeks ago, our little family headed out East to visit old friends in North Carolina.  We had such a great time.

The boys did beautifully on the airplane.  They both sorta understand how it works so their were very patient during the flight.  Oliver made sure to pack with him his Angry Bird, his beloved stuffed Fox and his tiny globe.  (Oliver's godmother Laura travels around the world a lot so he wanted to talk to her all about her travels.)  Any spare time at the airport was well taken care of by these monkeys.  They were proud of their Spiderman skills.

We split our trip up into two sections.  Since I have so many pictures from our trip, I will split this post in to two sections as well.  The first leg of the trip was to visit old friends whom we haven't seen since we left the Triangle three years ago.

First stop was with my fellow teacher friend Wendy.  Wendy and I met when we worked together at an elementary school in Durham.  Wendy teaches ESL (English as a Second Language).  I really got to know her and appreciate her my first year of teaching when a little boy came straight from El Salvador into my classroom knowing no English.  As much as I wish I was bilingual in Spanish, I can't speak it well and needed her to help.  We have been close friends ever since.  Her little girls are about the age of my little boys.  So, it was fun to get our kids together and catch up!

The next day, Jess (Brian's M.Div classmate from Duke) met us at Dame's Chicken and Waffles.  This is a new restaurant in Durham.  Jess, who is getting her PhD in Theology from Duke, says Dame's is a very hot place in town.   Who would have thought fried chicken and waffles with syrup would takes so good?!  It was delicious!  And it was just as good to see Jess again. :)

After enjoying Dames chicken for breakfast, Brian and I split up so he could meet a few old professors of his from Duke and so that I could meet up with a sorority sister I haven't seen since we graduated almost ten years ago.  Nicki and I are Kappa Delta pledge sisters.  I loved getting to see Nicki as a mama.  This girl hasn't changed a bit since college and she is ever bit as tender and loving to her girls as I have ever seen someone be.  Unfortunately, we didn't get a very good picture or a picture of the kids because Madison (Nicki's oldest, sitting in her arms) apparently fractured her elbow while playing in the Chick-fil-a playplace.  So, after our playdate, she ended up taking her girls to the doctor where Madison ended up with a cast.  Poor thing!  Thank goodness Nicki is a nurse herself!  I love this girl and am so glad we had a chance to see each other again!

On Sunday, we had a chance to visit our old church, St. Luke's Epsiscopal Church, that we attended when we were in Durham.  (This is a last minute picture of the few people who were still at the church when I remembered I had brought my camera for a picture.)   It was so fun to go back and see so many sweet and smiling faces.  The church continues to thrive.  Both Brian and I really enjoyed visiting as it reminded us why we loved the church so much.  We liked being able to show Oliver this particular church as he was baptized in it 4 years ago.  And it was a honor for us to introdcue Bennett to the church congregation who prayed for him from so far away during the time of his birth and diagnosis three years ago.  (Cynthia Henry, if you read this, you are one of several people we missed getting to see while we were there and thank in person for all the support you have given Bennett!  I will make sure to catch you next time!)  

Then, Brian and I had a chance to see some of our best friends, Cynthia and Tim and their sweet babies.  This is where Bennett got his first kiss, which makes me chuckle every time.  Miss Molly, who is just 3 days younger than Bennett is so adorable as she has such a fun-loving personality.  And little brother Evan is just scrumptious.

Molly and Evan are the younger siblings to a baby dear to our heart, Cara Grace (whom I wrote about here).  Cara is Cynthia and Tim's firstborn who was to be born just months after Oliver.  Her passing is a very big moment in our lives and most certainly in the lives of our friends.  Having been with these friends as they walked through some of their darkest moments in life, it was such a joy to return and see them experience some of their happiest moments in life, as well.  For this reason, Molly and Evan are particularly special to us.

We had lots of fun visiting Tim, Cynthia and company as they took us and the kids to their local pool where we had fun in the water for about 15 minutes before a storm rolled through.  But we made the best of it and loved watching the children play wildly with each other throughout the pouring summer rain and flashes of lightening.  Thanks Tim and Cynth for your hospitality!!

Last but not least, I had a chance to catch up with one of my besties, Chelsea.  Chelsea and I had planned to hang out with our hubbies and kids on my first day there.  But the night before we were to play, her son Myles, ended up coming down with the stomach virus.  So, we used the opportunity to steal some girl time and hoped we would find time later in the week so our kids could play.  It's such fun to visit friends whom you can just pick up talking right where you left off last. Chelsea is one of those friends!

Unfortunately, our scheduling changes meant that our hubbies didn't get to come along when we finally found time to let our kids meet each other again (and for the first time).  While I missed getting to see Chelsea's hubby, Will, I was thrilled to get to see how big their daughter Ada and their son Myles have gotten!  Ada, who is Oliver's age, is *so* cute.  She smart, thoughtful and very sweet, just like her mother.  Myles is a tender little boy who loves to run and experience the world around him.  It was so fun to let the kids enjoy Durham's Children's Museum and Butterfly House while we were there.  Many times we took Oliver and Ada when they were toddlers.  It was fun to go back together again, this time with preschoolers!  Unfortunately, neither Ada nor Oliver was interested in a hand-holding picture.  Now that they are nearly 5, they are too aware of boy-girl differences.  I suppose this will all change when we come back to visit when their 15! :)

I am so thankful for all the people we were able to visit in Durham, even though there are so many more we didn't get to see!  There is something so beautiful and wonderful with revisiting old friends.  I find that a hidden piece of myself emerges only when I am is able to reunite with old friends again.  These pictures remind me of these moments and I am thankful for each one of our North Carolina friendships.

Part 'dos' (that's two in Spanish) of our trip still to come...


  1. <3 We so enjoyed seeing you guys!

  2. I can't think of a sweeter boy for Molly to have her first kiss with:) We loved seeing you guys!


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