Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The post you've all been waiting for. Our vacation. :)

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I (still) honestly have no idea where to begin.  Like I've mentioned, when we first got home, so much wonderful took place on our vacation it's hard for me to fully articulate what actually went on. 

As you know, we headed south, to Virginia to meet this homegrown and beeyoutiful gal, and her family, face-to-face and then on down to Tennessee for the duration of the week, visiting there with dear friends of ours and then back through VA, stopping there, overnight, to visit Scott's stepmother - at least meeting her for dinner.

Just to let you know right now.  This post of our week long vacation will have to be done in separate postings.  It will get way too long, I'm sure.  Let's start with our first stop in Rocky Mount, VA. Follow along, in postings, as we've travelled our route.

When I first bailed out of the car and into the warm embrace of my blogging friend Amanda... it was like "coming home". 

I'm serious.  This was a moment to remember.  Her warm, friendly southern soul just exuded hospitality to the inth degree.  It was a joy to walk into their home, be fed a delicious hot, home cooked meal and the best sweet tea - evah!, and oh my... the front porch.  So charmingly sweet.

If only porch swings could talk.  It would share many a story, I'm sure.  But as I sat there on her porch, I couldn't help but notice...

The windchimes a playin'...
The soft breezes blowin'...
The corn crates, the milkcan, the flowers a bloomin'...
The pillows that she so creatively sewed...
the scent of Lavender long filled the nose...
the creak of the porch swing...
a sip of some tea...
the laughter out back from the children, you see
were the memories in makin'...
A gift, just for me.

If only we could have spent more time, together. (And we tried...) It truly felt as though we only scratched the surface.  We really only got to spend one wonderful afternoon and evening together.  We stayed overnight with friends of theirs... more on that later.

Our children played so well together, as though we've done it a thousand times before.  Our husbands even willingly enjoyed this moment - knowing it was meant for their wives and their budding friendship.  Their conversation(s) soon took a turn from what do you do for work? and all the small talk to the deeper stuff of hunting, fishing and cars....oh, and family life too. :)

I failed to mention that the best homegrown strawberries and fabulous dessert that you could possibly imagine was waiting to be shared. 

Oh my goodness!!


Like I mentioned.  Our children played together so nice.  When I first saw these photos (looking back through what I had captured), I got the goosebumps.  Our children, together, on the same photos!  So surreal.
I just love how Sadie has her hand in the crook of Aubrey's arm.  And, it looks like the boys sure did get to gigglin' about something.  Too cute.

All around their home, inside and out, was charm.  I loved Amanda's kitchen.  (sorry, no photo's).  I loved the way Amanda was busily working with her hands while visiting at the same time.  You should've seen her scurrying around, washing up dishes, drying them and putting them away all while chatting up a storm.  Next thing I know she was packing up a "food basket" to go off to where we (our family) were staying for the night.  The folks we were about to meet had prepared a potluck dinner that evening and a get together with a couple of other friends.  More on that in a minute.

I'm telling you... there was natural beauty everywhere. All around their lovely one acre homestead.  
Even here with...

Amanda and her girls.  Just beeyoutiful.

Our families exchanged some gifts.

Scott and I wanted to say "thank you" for their hospitality in a way that would be unique and special and truly remembered.  So, I thought ahead a bit...

I made skirts for each of the girls, which thankfully fit them perfectly, and a hand painted (on feed sack cloth) checker board for Levi.  I wanted to find acorn caps (and paint them accordingly) for him to use for the game pieces and although we looked for some, here at home, we couldn't find any.  I felt bad giving him only half the game.  I'm sure Amanda's blog will fill in more details of this... head on over there, if you'd like. :)  However, she told me that the game has been played every night since we left. ;)  That warms my soul.

I also baked a home made Funny Cake, to leave with their family.  Something unique to our area of PA!!   I'll be sure to post a recipe sometime in the near future.

In the meantime I had asked if Levi could come up with a hand carved fishing pole for Caleb... so we could give it to him as part of an early Birthday Gift.  This is what he came up.  Well, he and his daddy did.  I knew doing a little project like this would be right down this homegrown country boy's alley. :)  It was.  A fine job was done, indeed.

Here is Levi explaining to Caleb a bit about the bobber... and how it works.


Learnin' Caleb the In's and outs of the tackle box.   I think these boys, if given enough time, would have fished the creek wide over - had they had the chance.  By the way.  The southern drawl this little guy had on him made a big impression on Caleb.  You should've heard Caleb... doin' his best to speak like his buddy Levi was.
So.  We agreed to be hosted by friends of Amanda and her husband... for overnight, Saturday night.  It was a bit nerve-racking at first if we thought about it enough.  We had never met Amanda & Matt - face to face, up to this point in making our plans - and now we were agreeing to be hosted by their friends?  How crazy is that?

But let me tell you what...

Doing this was one of the best experiences we have ever had. This wasn't crazy at all. Hospitality isn't just meant to be given.  It is also meant to be received.

It was so wonderful. 

Meeting Rick and Sarah and their beautiful (grown)girls... they were just a joy to be around. I could share many stories.  In fact I will.  Just of our stay - while at their lovely home.

Hopefully tomorrow (or at least the next time I post) with more photos. 

Here is one to leave you with, in anticipation...

Wait.  I forgot one thing.

The parting gift that Amanda put together for us.  This girl is amazing.  So sweet.  Too sweet.  This basket was stocked full of ...

* Homemade Sourdough Bread * Virginia's Best Self-Rising Flour * yummy 7-layer Bars (for the road) * two kinds of her homemade bars of soap (check out her etsy shop) * Coffee cups (because we didn't have time for the coffee while there) * flower seeds (lavender) for the children to plant*
(I feel like I'm missing something)

And last of all, and what brought the whole thing together, was the most charming of baskets that I think will possibly get used to go pick our own strawberries somewhere locally around home.   It just seems like the perfect kind of basket to do so.

 Amanda and family!  Thank You!  You certainly are a kindred spirit(s).  Your hospitality was completely felt and thoroughly enjoyed by our family.  I love that as sister's in Christ (and via blogging) we will always be close in heart...even though our homes are far apart.

Thanks for the many memories made, my friend.

I miss you so much, already. We all do. So, so much!!  How do you like this photo? I just had to share it here at the end as sort of a parting shot- it was one we asked Caleb to take of us. 

Oh! To see your face again...

For the rest of you...stay tuned for the rest of the trip - as I said.

EDITED to UPDATE:  Photos that didn't show up.  Homegrown and Beeyoutiful photos used by permission.


  1. Your too much. I'm so happy you felt welcome and loved.

    ...when we parted Saturday night. I can't tell you how hard it was to say goodbye...got that lump in my throat and everything was flooding me...thinking, I have so much more to talk about!
    So when I got home and really thought about our time together I felt certin that I MUST come to PA next. Yes, we only touched the surface my friend and I miss you too!

    So get ready. Go on a plan a trip cause Amanda is heading North when the baby gets a little bigger to give us time to let them run around and play too!

  2. What a joy to read both sides of this meeting!!!

    Sweet, sweet, sweet!
    Love Carissa

  3. Hi Bev,
    It's doing it again. I can only see some of the pictures but not all of them are showing up. Just blank. :*(

  4. What a wonderful time you had with Amanda! I'm so glad you got a chance to meet her and her family.

    Like Mitzi, I can see only some of the pictures. Don't know why. But I love the ones I do see.

  5. Hello~
    I'm popping over from Homegrown and Beeyoutiful. What a sweet meeting you two had. I have met bloggy friends and it's always such a sweet time. Like we had known each other all along.

    Love your thoughts on hospitality.


  6. How wonderful...two peas in a pod.
    I can feel the warmth and love between the families.

  7. What a beautiful, precious time for both of you! Makes me want to let out a contented sigh...it looks like a perfect time.


Thanks for coming by, today! You're visits always mean so much...

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