Thursday, August 13, 2015

north carolina so far...

so far, we are loving our experience here in north carolina. simon and I flew into the raleigh/durham airport last sunday morning, the 2nd. I had been nervous about flying with simon. he was going to be my lap child even though, let's be honest, I already had a lap child in me. perturbing dreams of an upset baby in the skies danced in my mind the nights leading up to it, but I was so relieved when simon was so calm and good! he relaxed on my lap during the flight to denver and slept during the connecting flight to raleigh. I, of course (thanks, murphy), was having braxton-hicks contractions during the last and longest leg and was sitting next to the only person in the entire plane (not exaggerating) who left the overhead light on in order to read a book. it was 2am. needless to say, once we arrived home, simon and I both ended up sleeping in that morning.

since then, we have been in and out of a hermit-like state. last week we put everything away in our new place, and we did not do much exploring outside the local home depot and costco. but, as the shelves and closets and walls have been  filled and we've felt more at home, we've been able to venture out and explore our surroundings. and, we've come to a conclusion about north carolina: it's beautiful. we've always been lucky to live in beautiful places throughout our lives, but north carolina is much different from any place we've been so far. it is SO green here and everything seems to have been carved out of one huge, dense, lush forest. in a way, all the flora has added to the sense that I never seem to know where I am or where I am going -- there is no mountain to the east to be a constant -- but I think that's also something so fun about this area: the challenge of learning this place will give us pride in (one day) knowing it. just yesterday, we decided to get in the car and go exploring around duke campus. the more we go out and drive around, the more we are able to identify places and connect where we are with where we've been. it's a labyrinth that we are slowly unraveling, and we are happy to call this place home

^^ on sunday afternoon, we drove down to apex to visit the raleigh temple. 
it's a beautiful place.

^^ we tried the new fast food,

^^ found ourselves in hog heaven with pork bbq, mac n' cheese, and fried okra,
^^ and then had this local favorite for breakfast one morning. we tried the donuts (not pictured because, umm, we inhaled them reeeeal fast like) and then some breakfast sandwiches. SO.MUCH.GOOD! we tried the "breakfast banh mi" and the "just peachy" biscuit sandwich (with pork sausage, gouda, and peach jam). heaven. heaven. heaven.

^^ we visited duke campus. we got a little lost on duke campus. then we finally found this building on duke campus that phil will be spending his days in. this university could not be more beautiful and different from any other place we've known. there are trees and gardens and flowers and nature-goodness everywhere.

^^ and here we are just preparing for the new baby to come to us in the next few weeks. we've got a massive double stroller, a bassinet, clothes, diapers, and lots of love waiting for this boy.

hogle zoo

we were able to go to the hogle zoo with family a few weeks ago. this was a place I definitely wanted to visit with phil & simon before we left.

west coast trip: lake arrowhead

our last leg of our washington/california trip last month was spent in my hometown of lake arrowhead for a cummins family reunion. there is nothing, in my mind, that matches the 4th of July fireworks over the lake or the feeling of being in the home&town you grew up in surrounded by family. it was all so familiar and good for my heart.

^^ playing in the driveway with cars and bubbles and some good rounds of chase. the girls enjoyed chasing and being chased by phil around the house. they would chant after him, "oh philly!"

^^ at the pool

^^ the kick-off to our family reunion was at tavern bay. being at the lake with all the munchkins was so much fun.

^^ of course, the highlight of the trip was fireworks show over the lake. a big barge goes out into the middle of the lake and fires them into the sky. people can watch from their boats, the shorelines, or from any viewpoint they can get. my dad found a clearing near our house, and he and my younger sister spent time there sweeping out the pine cones, setting up chairs and tables, and getting it ready for all of us to come. then, my earnest dad decided to spend the next SEVEN hours there in order to really secure that spot and watch over the set up. dedication, people! it was a good thing he did too, because by the time we arrived, there were tons of people already around staking out other good spots.  we really had the best though. since it was simon's bedtime by the time we arrived and before the fireworks began, we fed him his bottle, settled him into his stroller, and then the boy slept through the entire show! I thought for sure that he would get startled at one point, but that little rock was exhausted.