Monday, March 30, 2015

Very Special Visitors

We have been looking forward to some very special visitors for several months even when we weren't sure where exactly we would be living at this time.  I am so thankful that our move to Raleigh did not prevent this visit and that our friends could still make a stop to see us on their southern road trip.  We were so glad to welcome Dave, Natasha, Sam and Rachel to our new home which is about 75% settled at the moment.  Although I had really hoped to be able to show them the city that we have called home for the last almost 8 years, I was equally happy to show them our new town which also has a lot of significance for Eddie and I as the place where we first met in college.  Raleigh also has a lot to offer in the southern charm and hospitality department.  And there's also the good food and sweet tea although we do miss some of our favorite restaurants in Charlotte already.  Anyway, this special visit afforded us a chance to officially meet some folks who have just become very dear to me over the past almost three years.  Who knew you could come to really love people you have never even met in person?  I feel like I know this family better than people I actually know in real life.  This is what blogging is really about.  We share so much with one another through our blogs and e-mails so it really doesn't feel like this was our first meeting at all.  Still, it was just amazing to get to hug and talk in person and see our kids finally getting to interact with one another.  And I do think our kids were pretty happy with their new friends.  Although I suspected it from our blogs, I was quite surprised with how similar our children are.  Our friends arrived on Wednesday night in time to eat dinner with us at our new local Mexican restaurant close to our house.  We were so busy talking and eating and keeping the kids from going crazy that we didn't take any pictures.  We also let the kids all come back to our house to burn off some energy in our backyard on the kids' new trampoline because Sam and Rachel had spent so much time in the car that day.  The next day, we met up after getting a good night's rest and prepared to head into Raleigh to meet Eddie for lunch and then check out our state's history and science museums which I thought was a great "free" way to let them get a little southern NC history and culture.  We ate lunch at a barbecue place in downtown Raleigh called The Pit, and we were all super impressed with the food.  Dave and I thoroughly enjoyed our eastern NC style chopped barbecue with vinegar based sauce, and Natasha was able to enjoy a little vegetarian tofu barbecue.  No, I didn't know they actually served that until we arrived so it was a nice surprise.  I had thought she would at least enjoy the vegetables offered, and she did love her fried okra.  She also continued to get her fill of southern sweet tea.  After lunch, we headed over to the museums.  Although the kids prevented us from really getting to immerse ourselves in the history, we all enjoyed our little museum tours, and the kids enjoyed getting to see the dinosaurs.  After a tiring day keeping up with so many little ones (five kids 8 years and under), we stopped for a refreshing treat at Sonic (Natasha has also been trying to get her fill of this southern treat as well).  She actually introduced me to the new cherry ice cream slush which I had not tried yet.  It was so yummy!  Then, we headed back to our house to let the kids play together.  Eddie stopped and picked up pizza for dinner so we could just enjoy a quieter evening at home.  The older kids actually enjoyed a riveting game of Monopoly together while Natasha and I escaped for a couple of hours on a shopping trip to Target, Marshall's, and Ulta which was just wonderful.  Kudos to Dave for playing Monopoly with them for about two hours!

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Me and my very dear blog buddy, Natasha. 

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Dave and Natasha really enjoyed this barbecue joint.  Dave wanted a t-shirt with the NC flag pig symbol on it, but they didn't have the color he wanted.  

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Natasha and Rachel enjoyed holding baby Mattox. 

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A very special picture.  Natasha has been such a special friend throughout our journey losing our precious baby Mattie and then welcoming our little rainbow baby Mattox.  

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Loved this picture of us with Baby Mattie's picture and Baby Mattox.  Thankfully, we actually did get a few pictures hung on the wall earlier this week.  

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Our kids loved this big globe outside the Natural Science Museum. 
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Brody and Rachel enjoyed running around in the grass. 

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Rachel was the only one who would cooperate for a picture by this big granite rock.  Sam did make it in the picture though. 

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Walking up the little mall between the museums in front of the state Capitol building. 

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Our first stop was the history museum.  
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We managed to get a shot of the kids with this Continental soldier. 

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Brody enjoyed the pirate ship and this cannon.  Mostly, he just enjoyed running off ahead of us and making me have to run after him.  Sigh.  Thankfully, Natasha was there to watch Mattox for me because Eddie left us to go back to work.  
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Shooting at the other ships. 
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Rachel enjoyed learning to milk a cow. 

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Since Natasha was the only one of us who had ever actually milked a cow, she gave the kids a lesson. 
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Evan gave it a try. 
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Brody gathering eggs. 

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Working together.  

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I just love this little farmhouse.  

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A replica of the Wright Brothers' plane they flew at Kitty Hawk, NC.  We saw the real one at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum last year. 

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I thought this special table set for POW/MIA soldiers was so sweet.  

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Evan, Rachel, and Brody loved this cannon outside the museum. 

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I thought Rachel looked so cute in this picture. 

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And this one of her swinging on the cannon. 

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Evan and the little Indian woman statue. 

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Natasha and Rachel posing like the Indian woman. 

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Trying to get a picture of Baby Mattox on his first trip to see the dinosaurs. 

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A picture of our little group with the big sauropod that the mean Acrocanthosaurus attacked.  Natasha has pictures of her family on her camera that I hope she will share soon. 

Here's hoping we can make a trip up north soon to visit our best Canadian friends.  I have been planning that trip for a while, but I really need Eddie's new work schedule to cooperate.  Ha!  We did get one more day with our friends which was very special because we got to celebrate our two big boys' birthdays together!

3 comments:

  1. It was so awesome to meet you in person Sherry!!! And I agree that, because of our blogs and e-mail, it didn't feel like we were meeting for the first time. We had such an awesome few days with you and can't wait to do it again!!!

    Due to Sam's birthday, and Easter/Passover being this weekend, I probably won't be able to continue blogging about our trip again until next week but I WILL catch up!

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  2. I am so glad and so jealous that you all got to meet. I bet it was just wonderful! Looks like you all had a great time!

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  3. Well this is just all kinds of fantastic! I'm so glad that you got to spend time together and that everything went so smoothly. All the outings sounded fun and the food sounded delicious.

    Where in Canada will you be going? And is that before or after you come to AZ? Ha ha!

    ReplyDelete

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