Friday, November 18, 2011

Falling in Love with the Mountains - Part 4

A few last, random things:


Asheville is probably most famous for it's historic Biltmore House - - - the largest privately owned residence in the United States. And we spent a fair bit of time there...
Next to biking, the kids' favorite part was probably the petting farm... though one baby goat, Nibbles, was particularly fond of eating McKenzie's ponytails, or Miles's hat, or my camera bag, or Carson's shirt... (yeah, we were on a first-name basis with the animals...)

Miles felt right at home here - while I was busy snapping pictures, he helped himself to some of the goat feed... into his mouth and everything.

Bert, the horse was a favorite, too.

And, more live entertainment that, once again, captivated Miles.
I, personally don't understand why anyone would want to live in a house as big as the Biltmore - - - seems like an awful amount to keep track of, even if you did hire out the cleaning and landscaping. Plus, it would be quite easy to never actually see your family. No, I think I'm happy living in my little house...


When I first found the splash pad downtown, I thought for sure we would spend a healthy amount of time there... but we actually only went twice. I'm used to roasting during the summers, but Asheville wasn't all that hot - and even during the dead of summer, on most days it didn't sound refreshing at all to get soaking wet.

Though the kids sure enjoyed it on the days that we went.


Over and over and over, these kids made that long drive. And I rarely heard any complaints from those sweet little faces. They sat, quietly coloring and listening to Junie B. Jones, or the Magic Tree House CD's coming in through the radio speakers, hour after hour after hour. One time they even let me listen to NPR the whole way. We spent around 70 hours in the car just driving back and forth - and I'm sure an additional just-as-many driving around for our daily errands/activities in both cities. Miles slept like a pro during his nap times, and the kids were kind and respectful to each other for the most part.

We usually made two pit-stops on the way home and came to know those rest areas quite well. I tried to make them fun by having some fun snack to eat as we got on our pajamas. The power of Cheetos is scary.

It's funny, looking through all of these pictures. There's an almost dreamlike quality to some of them that leaves me thinking, 'did we really just do that?' Such a stark contrast to feeling like it might never end while I was in the middle of it. And, you know, it feels good to accomplish something hard. . . I didn't handle every day with poise and grace, and I didn't handle every tired emotion and frustrating comment from my kids with love and compassion. But, I can say that I did my best, and that's an unusual thing for me to say. Generally I have a hard time figuring out just what 'my best' is (there's always something more you could have done, right?), but for whatever reason, I feel like I handled our separation the best I could - - - and now I trust that the atoning sacrifice of my Savior will make up the difference.

Maybe that was one of the biggest lessons I learned... that I can be satisfied with something less than perfect in myself. And that I should rely on the Savior to make up the deficiencies. And now that the lesson has been learned, here comes the hard part - applying the lesson to the rest of my life. Now I start taking this experience and stringing it through all the other 'imperfect' moments in my life. This could be a long process, indeed.

But, I guess it feels good to have my feet pointed in the right direction...

Sayonara, Asheville!


  1. I am glad you did get some fun in while Brian had to live away. I can't believe you survived 70 hours of car travel--solo! HOLY COW! You are my hero.

  2. Wow, that was a lot of time traveling. I'm glad you had some great moments and even more glad your hubby is home. My brother loves Asheville and talks about it a lot. It really makes me want to come visit. I miss you tons and I'm glad your family is doing so well.

  3. I love hearing about your Asheville trips. Seems like a really cool place. That last picture of Miles is so dang cute!!

  4. You are wonderful, I love the way you think and feel. I agree with you that a too big house is just a good way to not see your family. Your lesson reminds me of one of President Uchtdorfs forget me nots, "forget not to be paitent with yourself" Heavenly Father knows we are not perfect and thank heavens he provided a way to make up for it.

  5. Oh my goodness, that last picture of Miles is completely perfect. Total favorite!