Catching up!

We’ve had a lot going on, so fair warning: this is a long post.  We kicked off the week with a much too short visit from my stepmother Ruth last weekend.  She ran up from Asheville to spend the night showering Asher with Grandmotherly love and it was just so nice having her here for the evening!  We’re looking forward to an upcoming trip to NC in November so that Asher can meet his great (truly great! 🙂 ) aunt and uncle, his grandfather, his aunt Julie and so many more.  Here are a few pictures of Ruth and Asher together:

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After Ruth left, Drew and I started the week with the purchase of a new (to us) car.  The salesman that we worked with, Ahktar, proved to be a highlight of the week as well.  We were at the dealership for a looooong time over two days, and during that time talked for a couple of hours with Ahktar about his life in Pakistan before he moved to America, his experience as a Muslim in Charlottesville, international realtions and more.  He told us about living in Europe, and wowed us when he said that he was fluent in seven languages.  We talked about the importance of education with regards to improving international compassion, and Ahktar said that his father once told him to look at the trees bearing fruit.  The trees that were heaviest with fruit (knowlegde) bowed down to offer their fruit to those on the ground rather than forcing people to climb up to the tree’s level for harvest.  Ahktar said that he has tried his whole life to remember that knowledge does not make a person superior, and that it is so important to make sure that each of us is reaching out to help one another understand, or at least respect, all points of view.  I’m afraid that I might not be doing his words justice, but hopefully you can get the gist.  Drew and I both felt like it was very serendipitous that we got to spend this time with Ahktar, and walked off the lot very happy customers indeed.

100_2660After spending a lovely day with my mom on Tuesday, Drew and I drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway yesterday to hike to Humpback Rock and see the fall colors from the sky.  You might remember the we did this hike with Jo Ellen when she visited in July, and I can say without a doubt that it is much easier to make it to the top of the mountain when the baby is being worn on the outside!  (Especially when your kind husband is the one doing the toting!)  Although I still have a long road ahead, it really is so nice to feel my body working a little more to my liking these days, and there is nothing like the promise of sweeping views of color muddled mountains to get this girl moving.  On our way up, we saw a coyote, and walked the trail with tons of chipmunks making us laugh as they lead the way.  Later in the day, I was on a walk by Monticello with my friend Megan and a red tailed hawk came swooping out of the woods next to us and proceeded to perch in a tree above us and then fly ahead as if showing us the way.  It felt like an honor to be so close to one of my all time favorite birds.  Anyway, here are a couple more pictures from our hike to Humpback:

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Drew showing Asher the big beautiful world

100_2667There is nothing like the air at the top of a mountain!

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One of the chipmunks took this.

And finally, some pictures of Asher as he heads into his 7th week.  He’s smiling, cooing, kicking, pushing himself up, and even surprised us with his first roll over on Tuesday. We’ve had a great week, we’re anticipating a quiet Halloween night tomorrow, something new for Drew and me, but we’re keeping good company these days, so a night in with our favorite guy is a fine way to celebrate.

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smiling and playing under his dingly dangly toy on the couch.

Bark.

Drew and I like the woods.  Especially in the Fall (Spring is for fields, Summer for rivers, Winter for the covers) but hiking in the Summer is always welcome, and it’s something that we’ve done less of as I’ve turned into a movable mountain this year.  If we take a camera when we hike, Drew inevitably takes pictures of tree bark, a quirk that delights me even though I poke a little bit of fun at him for all of the pictures of bark that we’ve acquired through the years.  The best are the pictures of the bark in Costa Rica which made our Locust trees look welcoming, but good old pines will intrigue him too.  In a way, Drew’s painting style is quite a bit like tree bark…seemingly random patterns until you look closer and see the beautifully intricate design of a meticulous mind.  I am not sure what we’ll do with the bark pictures, I have a vison of constructing a large photo tree with them one day or maybe bark wrapping paper sounds neat to me…I bet there’s a way to have your own wrapping paper printed, and I can certainly think of some simple ways to make my own.  For the time being, I thought that I would share a few from our recent hike to Humpback Rock as a view of the world as Drew sees it.  I’ve left them full size so that you can really get a feel for them…100_2408

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Jo Ellen’s Visit!

Drew’s mom, Jo Ellen, came to visit this past week and we had a ball!  Drew and Jo drove up to DC Thursday morning to do a power tour of the Nation’s Captial and came home full of stories and sites on Friday evening.  They really saw a lot of Washington and venture that they walked many many miles in their two days there.  They both loved seeing the museums, and particularly liked the monuments around the National Mall.  On Saturday we went to the local Farmer’s Market, did a little work in the back yard, checked out downtown Charlottesville and had a great meal with Mom and Skip Saturday night and then Sunday we headed up to the parkway and hiked to Humpback Rock for a fine view of the Blue Ridge mountains.  Drew got a smoker for Christmas and has since rounded out his grill master status with his excellent smoking abilities (insert wry statement here) and so he smoked a chicken and some local corn for supper, and we had a lazy night in.  Jo Ellen takes to the sky this evening and we’ve already got plans for her return in September when she’ll come to meet the newest little man Walton.  Of course these trips always feel too short, but we loved loved loved having Jo Ellen here, and it was particularly special that Drew and Jo got to share the trip to DC together as that was a favorite vacation of Jo Ellen’s history loving mother, Jean.  100_2299

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