Tuesday, May 24, 2011

north carolina. [the trip home.]

Though I'm notably still quite tired, I feel rested enough to write a wee bit about our time back home, and I feel like Jeremy and I experienced and did so many things (and still didn't get to do all we intended) that the longer I wait to write on it, the less I'll remember to include. Firstly, I must say that being away from those mountains made me appreciate anew and enjoy, like an old sweet song, the beauty, verdancy, and familiarity of those blue ridges. Being there again, nestled in between those mountains and sheltered by trees, surrounded by family and friends, we remembered and solidified our desire to move back home to those joyful things and settle down.
my mountains.

After a full twenty-four hours of travel once we arrived at the Foreman house, we stayed up a little longer to say hello to everyone there, receive and give long awaited hugs, and try to take in the reality that we were really there. Then we crashed. With the aid of a noisy morning and a Moments latte we awoke and again settled into the reality that we were home. Things were pretty crazy as it was two days before Laurel's wedding and Mom Foreman was working herself to the bone, as usual, to prepare the food to perfection, but we managed to see her and her sisters, Becky and Debby, in her kitchen to say hello and go in for more hugs. That Thursday was probably the calmest day we had, but we were still pretty busy helping Mom in the kitchen and running errands with Dad Foreman, not to mention picking kids up from school, and dropped others off at soccer practice.
The next two days flew by. There was a breakfast for all the girls at Laurel's house on Friday morning, with the famous blueberry pancakes and a topping that can really only be called icing, but it's so much better than that. It was great to take time to visit, meet, and enjoy the company of the women in one place before the craziness of the rehearsal and the actual wedding day. I also looked after Zoe, Rachel's daughter, that morning as both Rachel and Cory were working. It was fun to get to know my new niece, and get to know her stunning personality a bit more.
the Zoe.

The rehearsal was not in the location that the wedding actually ended up taking place as the rain had decided to let loose it's fury on the mountains that afternoon, but after a while we got things sorted and in a small respite from the rain we ran up and at least got an idea of what the ceremony would look like in the field it was originally planned to be. If the rain wants to exhaust itself the day before the wedding that was fine with all of us, but we implored it to finish and clear off before the actual wedding. [Which it reluctantly consented to do.]
Attempting a quick run-through before the rain arrives again.

The rehearsal dinner was full of love, laughs, and good company. Laurel and Kent so perfectly complement each other it was amazing to see them together, surrounded and lifted up by their closest family and friends, on the evening before they become one flesh in the sight of God.
The wedding day was another full one. There was a worship service in the morning at the site of the ceremony to set the day apart to the Lord, and it was done with reverence and joy.
Jeremy spending some quality time with our niece, Seren, after the morning service.

My job as photographer began around 2:30 in the afternoon, after helping with this and that at Laurel's before going back to the Foreman house to get ready.
Though the sky looked threatening at times, the rain abstained from its fall until much later in the evening. Though getting everything ready took a bit longer than expected, it all happened in its time and it was beautiful. The ceremony was so well done and put together, from the music, the prayers, the vows, the ring-bearer hound-dog, and ultimately the love between Kent and Laurel. The rain started to drop little by little as I rushed to get the group shots done, but it held up long enough to spend a good amount of time with just Laurel and Kent, though they definitely got a little wet on the back of the golf cart as we rushed to get them to the reception.
Yep, they climbed the high dive--in the rain.

The reception was full of good food, good people, good music, and some crazy dance moves. I was able to take my photographer mode down a notch and enjoy a bit of the reception as well. It was just lovely, and again, full of joy.
The next day everyone was pretty much shattered, but we went to church (again with the aid of Moments coffee) and after church headed back over to Merri-Mac where all the food from the wedding still was and gorged ourselves on leftovers. Yum. Eve's violin concert was next on the list, so Jeremy and I, Zak and Brittney piled into Caitlin's car and we all went to support Eve--who did amazingly in her concert. She's a great little violinist, and made me quite a proud aunt.
We spent some time with Josh and Christal and the kids after the concert before heading back out to see a movie with everyone. For anyone who cares, Priest had an amazing concept but utterly failed to deliver a good plot and story, so don't waste your time. Though I hear the comic books are brilliant, so if you're into that I have it on good authority to highly recommend them.
Priest was also quite short, and as some of the us went to a different movie we had to wait on them to finish as well--so we snuck into Thor and watched a little of it before we got the call to say we were ready to go. Jeremy and I have since gone back out to see Thor and thought it was a fun film, we definitely enjoyed it.
The next day I was able to reunite with my closest friend and dear heart, Chelsea Rose. The Rose and the Thistle together again! We went out to lunch at Las Cazuelas (finally, and yum!) and then took a walk about Montreat, just talking and catching up a little. It was as if we'd never been apart, just picking up where we left off--though at the same time we were both disbelieving that we were actually in the same place again. We took silly photos, as usual, and we laughed together and made plans to live near each other again.

After a while it began to lightly rain and we went back to pick up Jeremy. We went for another pick-me-up at Moments then headed out to Asheville. We stopped by Barnes and Noble for a while to wait on my brother, Jake, to call us back. He is now taking care of Cael for us, and we were, all of us, excited to go see the pup as well as my loving brother. So when we got the call we all got back into the car and rushed over to Jake's house.
Cael has gotten so big! In reality, I don't think he's that much taller than he was when we left, but he's fattened up a bit and filled in. He's no puppy anymore! But it was so wonderful to see him, pet him, and give him some long overdue loving. He seems really happy at Jake's, he and Peter have a dog as well, Olivia, who seems like she'll teach Cael a thing or two and keep him in his place. We spent some time there, and decided to stay for dinner as well. Chelsea took us back to Moments to get Jeremy's dad's car, as that was Chelsea's last night in NC and needed to spend it with her family. It was absolutely fantastic to see her, and I look forward to the next time as well. Maybe I can get my arse in gear, be a good friend, and write her another letter.
Back at Jake and Peter's we sat around, wine in hand, while the aromatic spices of Peter's cooking wafted around us. He put together an amazing chicken curry dish with coconut milk, and greens, and sweet potatoes and also some naan bread. I'm not doing justice to all that went into it, but it was delicious! It was lovely to catch up with Jake's life and hear about Peter's job search and projects he's got going on. And I'm going to say it again, it was so great to see Cael and really know that he's healing well and enjoying his place in Asheville. Thanks to Jake and Peter for taking him, and thanks to Drew and Kelsey for keeping him up until then.
Jake and Peter.

Me and my pup!

Jeremy and Cael.
The next two days flew by as well. I had every intention of doing so many more things than we were able to do, but I suppose that's how it goes sometimes. An inordinate amount of time was spent waiting on the locksmith to attempt to pick, cut, and eventually grind off the lock on our storage unit--the keys to which were lost or thrown away in the Foreman's moving house last December. We kept the key this time, knowing now that we'll be moving back in September. After that was finally taken care of, we went running errands with Caitlin, getting a storage bin for all the things we brought back with us from Scotland. We both had checked two bags each, and left one whole bag plus the majority of the other bag back in NC to begin moving our things back, hopefully we won't have as much to ship in September. After errand running we went for dinner as Las Cazuelas with Caitlin, Rachel, and Zoe. It was great to spend some time with them apart from the craziness of the wedding.
On our last full day we stopped by to see Cael one more time and to say goodbye to him, as well as Jake and Peter, it was hard to leave him again, but not nearly as difficult as it was the first time. I think knowing that we'll be home in a few months made the parting a little easier. After saying our goodbyes there, we headed back out to Arden to see Josh and Christal and the kids. It's always a good time with Josh and Christal, we enjoy their company so much and we love their kids as well, so there's always people to talk to, or in some cases, play with. Those kids are growing up so quickly, and I have to admit that it's been hard being here sometimes knowing that they're all growing up and changing without me there to see it. Josh and Christal graciously offered us dinner, though we implored with them that we didn't need to eat their food, but it was quite delicious. Christal's mother, Susan, was there as well, and it's always nice to see her too. She's like another mum to me as well. We spent hours there without really realizing it, and before we left Josh pulled out his guitar and Christal her cello and they played us some songs that they had written together. We were able to see them play together at the wedding, but it is always so incredible to see and hear them playing and singing together. They really are so talented, and another great complementary couple. It was sad to say goodbye, but again, knowing when we were coming back this time made it better. And as Eden said to his brother and sisters "It's only four months, and then they are coming back to stay forever!"
The breath-taking view from J&C's house.

Me and my little buddy, Eden.

Dimitri demonstrating his awesome hand-made kaleidoscope.

Josh and Christal about to play for us.

We got back late that evening, and soon realized any plans we may have had to squeeze things in in the morning weren't going to come to fruition as our ride to the airport had to come quite early because of other things needing to be done that day. So arriving at the airport at 9AM, thinking we were going to be able to switch my flight so I could travel with Jeremy for extremely cheap, basically being told 'just kidding', waiting around for hours, luckily realizing in time that my luggage was only tagged to Paris, fixing that, watching Jeremy fly away on his plan five hours before mine left, waiting, waiting, waiting, and studying for my exam, then finally beginning my arduous journey home, waiting in Atlanta until nearly midnight, then finally flying to Paris, sleeping through breakfast and almost not getting it at all, Jeremy nearly being able to wait until my flight in Paris and get 250 euros in the process then not being able to, and finally touching down in Edinburgh over another twenty-four hours later made for a crazy time of travel.
But were back now, and we have things to do here, things to see and experience and things to enjoy and photograph. So for now, Edinburgh is home, but we look forward to making that ridiculous trip over one more time and settling down in those Carolina mountains.
Thanks to everyone who gave us a bed to sleep in, a cell phone to use, a car to borrow, a meal in our bellies, one well-needed hug after another, a wedding at which to give joy, and so many other things. And apologies to those whom we meant to see and pass the time with but simply ran out of time to pass. We'll see you all soon, and catch up with no time limits.
Whew, that really was a doozy of a post. Thanks for slogging all the way through it if you did. I hope the photographs were able to break it up enough. No more long posts for a while, I promise.

Content right where she is and joyful for the opportunity to be home,



Ellar said...

Glad you guys had such a good trip!

Oh, and thanks for the note on Priest. I thought it looked like one of those that had potential, but couldn't quite tell if they were going to follow through on the potential or not. Good to know. :)

(My verification word is "quests.")

Amethyst said...

I miss you monstrously. It was awesome to see you. It was sad to wing away back to Vegas, knowing you were set go far away too. Let's start having babies so we can move back together! Teehee.