Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Break Mini-Getaway : Asheville

Jason, being the romantic at heart he is, planned an amazing fall break getaway for us.  It was also a belated anniversary trip, seeing as we were about to leave for Alaska on our anniversary in June this year.  Alaska was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but in a tiny ship cabin with Connor, it wasn't a romantic getaway.

Two days alone, in the beautiful town of Asheville.  We had visited once before, on our anniversary several years ago, and we were anxious to return.

After dropping Connor off with my parents (feeling guilty, but knowing he was in good hands), on Wednesday morning (the first day of our short fall break) we made the drive.  The scenery was gorgeous and the conversation was easy.

We arrived in Asheville, and since it was too early to check into our hotel, we hit the Tupelo Honey Cafe.  We tried this restaurant on our first visit, loved it, and were certainly not disappointed this time around.  Jason's fried chicken, biscuits and gravy looked amazing, and my grilled cheese and tomato soup were divine...and inexpensive!

After lunch, we walked around downtown, then headed to the hotel.  Jason planned for us to stay at the Grove Park Inn, a historic location that feels out of the way, although it's only a few minutes from downtown Asheville.  This was the view from our room:

After looking at the gorgeous view, we relaxed a bit, then took a walk around the property.

That first night, we headed back into town (only about 5 minutes from the Inn) to walk around and enjoy dinner at the Early Girl Eatery.  Jason had a catfish sandwich and I had a yummy plate of chicken salad and fruit.

After a wonderful and restful night's sleep in a huge, cozy bed with the breathtaking view you saw earlier, we woke up Thursday morning to an included breakfast, complete with a view of the sun rising over the mountaintops.

After a relaxing breakfast filled with French toast drowned in warm syrup, bacon, quiche, and fruit, we spent the day doing the most magnificent activity I could imagine...absolutely nothing.  Jason and I lounged around the spa area, read books, talked, and simply enjoyed each other's company and the beauty of the surroundings. We didn't even move from our chairs until almost time for dinner at 7 p.m.  It was one of the most wonderful days in recent memories.  It was spent with my handsome, romantic, husband and was filled with nothing but each other's conversation, a few good books, and the beauty of God's creation.  It was truly perfection.

Dinner that evening was special, mainly because as a part of our stay there, it was free.  Therefore, Jason and I were able to indulge not only in each other's company, but in a host of delicious food without having to worry about the bill, which is rare in our lives.  We both had an appetizer (I had lobster tail and he had a crab cake), I had a salad (Jason hates salad, so he got another appetizer, shrimp cocktail.), we both had steak (with blue cheese), along with the best corn pudding I have ever eaten and a huge portion of creamy mashed potatoes.  Then there was dessert:  I had the peanut butter pie with an Oreo crust, and Jason indulged in the largest cream puff I have ever seen...I must admit I was a bit jealous once I saw it.  With the combination of my husband, the scenery (We ate outdoors.), and every mouthwatering bite, it was one of my most memorable meals to date.

By the time dinner was finished, we were ready to pack up and get rested for our drive home the next morning.  It turned out to be a sign of things to come when neither of us slept well Thursday night due to a crying baby in the room next door.  Looking back now, I think it was foreshadowing for things to come at home.

We woke up Friday morning to our last breakfast at the Inn, and took a few last-minute photos of one of the most beautiful and relaxing places we have ever visited. Then it was time for goodbye.  I have already informed Jason that we must go back for some anniverary in the distant future.

On our way out of town, nerds that we are, we stopped by Thomas Wolfe's childhood home, where we walked around and snapped our last photos of the trip.

After a four hour drive and a fast food lunch, we arrived just in time to enjoy this sweet face waking up from his nap:

My real life at home with Jason and Connor is more magestic than any Asheville inn, restaurant, or historic location, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a romantic husband to take me away for a couple of days.  This trip reminded me just how important the bond between a husband and wife can be, and how much I enjoy Jason's company.  Our daily schedules are so hectic that we rarely, if ever, take time to sit down and just talk, without some noise or distraction.  I believe we both learned from this trip to value each other, to nurture our relationship, and that spending time alone together makes us all the more rejuvenated and excited to see Connor and devote our attention to him.

Thank you, Jason Scott, for a better getaway than I could have imagined.  I love you, and I love us together.

When writing this post, this song came to mind:

May there be many more "you and me" moments to come.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Facts and Photos

Again this week I have been slacking on posting.  I miss writing, but with the revival, Connor not sleeping (We are still struggling with this.), and trying to get caught up once the revival was over, I have been too tired at night to do anything but crash onto my pillow each night.  Please keep praying for us, that Connor will stop being fearful of his room and start sleeping again like the happy, content little boy we are used to.

On Friday night, I took a night off from Jason's revival (with his blessing, of course) to attend the Begley Scholar Reunion at Lindsey Wilson College's Homecoming.  My sister and I were both so blessed to receive the Begley Scholarship.  I can honestly say that the experiences and memories as a part of the scholars changed my life in a most positive way, exposed me to people and places I never would have had the opportunity to meet or visit otherwise, and allowed me the opportunity to develop a relationship with Pres. and Mrs. Luckey, two people whom I admire greatly.  The night was wonderful.  Lindsay and I were both able to catch up with friends we had not seen in years.  For me in particular, I was excited to catch up with Brittani, Jamie, and Larissa, three LWC alums who were so kind to me when I arrived there, and with whom I made many memories, particularly on our trip to San Francisco with the scholars.  Larissa is truly one of the main reasons I fell in love with LWC and even decided to apply for the Begley Scholarship.  She is one of those people whose beauty truly comes from within. She simply glows with happiness, and her presence always makes me feel at ease.  The food, fellowship, and conversation reminded me just how much I loved and miss LWC.

Saturday was a busy, busy day.  Early in the morning, Mom and I took Connor to the urgent care clinic.  After two weeks of almost no sleep and complaining about his ears for two days, we found out that there was absoutely nothing wrong with him and no reason he shouldn't be sleeping (according to the doctor).  Of course I don't want him to be sick, but I was hoping for a reason for this lack of sleep, but we are still stumped.  I am wondering now if Connor's ears hurting are actually a result of his molars coming in...I feel a little bit of bumpiness in the back of his mouth.  However, it doesn't explain his absolute fear of going to bed at night.  I am so sad that my little boy who used to ask to go to his bed now is afraid and upset when we put him there. 

Shortly after returning home, we (Jason, Connor, me, Mom, Dad, and Linds) made the drive to Etown to celebrate Dad and Lindsay's birthday with a trip to Red Lobster, my dad's favorite eatery, especially when Endless Shrimp is an option.  Afterward, we all headed to the revival together and took turns wrangling Connor in the pews.

Sunday was the last day of the revival, and Jason had to preach both Sunday morning and evening, so it was an early start to the day.  After a yummy meal with too many dessert options at the church, Jason and I decided to kill the time between by heading to Etown and window shopping.  We eventually made our way to Barnes and Noble, where Connor spent an hour playing happily with a Thomas the Train set.  Eventually we made our way to the mall and another play area, which Connor was reluctant to leave when it was time to go.  A delicious dinner at Rafferty's was followed by a final trip to Magnolia for the revival.  While it was a tiring weekend, we are always blessed to spend time with the people at this particular church.  They were particularly enamored with Connor, and he adored all of the attention.

Monday was Lindsay's official family birthday party.  Sugasisters made the decadent wedding cake and pumpkin spice cupcakes, my mom made a cheesy, yummy baked spaghetti, and Connor helped Aunt "Ninny" open her gifts.

Tuesday was one last celebration for Lindsay's 25th birthday,with our favorite kickboxing girl, Robin, and our former kickboxing pal Mandy.  We met at Cafe on the Square (with Connor in tow), ate my favorite ever sugar cookie (To.Die.For.), and talked until well after closing time.

Wednesday I had a faculty meeting, so Jason was in charge of Connor, and was also my hero, because he took Scout to the vet (with Connor along) after a small scare.  It turns out that Scout will be fine, but there was some blood loss and medicine involved, so it was scary at the time.  For those non-pet people, this will seem silly, but we've had Scout since our first anniversary, and she is such a special part of our family that I was worried sick that something terrible was wrong and she'd have to be put down.  Thankfully, that wasn't the case and she is doing much better.

I also headed over to a costume shop on Wed. (with Mom and Connor) to finalize our costumes for Halloween.  Yes, we are that nerdy family who are all dressing up together.  Jason is borrowing a Woody costume, I rented Jessie, and Aunt Linds bought Connor a Buzz costume, so we are a Toy Story family this year.  I will be sure to post embarrassing photos next week.

Thursday was a day I had been looking forward to for weeks.  Typically, as I may write about, when it comes to concerts and music venues, Linds and Jason are almost always the ones to venture out to such events.  I am usually home with Connor, enjoying some quiet time.  I do, however, love music, and was excited when I was finally invited to tag along with them to see the Avett Brothers.  We all had delicious burgers at deSha's before the show, and then walked to Rupp Arena, where we had general admission tickets, meaning we stood on the floor.  Adventurous Linds ended up with a second row view, and while Jason and I hung back a bit, we still had a great view.  The show was better than I had anticipated.  My favorite ever live band is DMB, but this show gave them a run for their money.  The cellist was outstanding.  I had never before seen a person jump around on stage, cello in hand.  The guys' voices were passionate and clear, and their love of their music (and the crowd) was evident with every song.  I truly enjoyed every moment, despite losing a few hours of sleep on a school night.  I hope I get invited to tag along with them again.  :)

If you haven't ever given The Avett Brothers a listen, these are two of my favorite songs:

Random thoughts for the week:

- BIG NEWS: Connor peed in the potty twice this week!  Both times were at the church where Jason was in revival.  Jason just happened to ask Connor if he wanted to pee-pee before church, and he said yes.  Jasno took him in, held him over the big potty, and he peed!  He did this again on Sunday morning at church.  Since then, he hasn't responded to our multiple offers to pee-pee in the potty, but at least it's a start.

- His new word this week is "backward."

- Connor has begun to love salad, especially with ranch dressing.  He, however, calls it "saddle."  :)

- After church, when I put him in his carseat, he said, "Shoes off.  Comfy."  I love to see how rapidly his communication is progressing.

- We are still having sleep issues.  After multiple nights having to "Supernanny" Connor (putting him back in his crib each time he tried to crawl out, until he eventually fell asleep), we purchased a revolutionary device known as a crib tent.  While it has not solved the sleep issues, it has given us peace of mind that Connor cannot hurt himself trying to escape his crib.  We were given lots of advice from different people, but ultimately as his parents, Jason and I do not feel that Connor is ready for a toddler bed and all of the freedom (and danger) that might come with it.  That day will eventually come, but for now we feel comfortable knowing he is "trapped" (sorry if that sounds harsh) in his crib, safe and sound.  I cannot figure out how this happened, but my sweet boy who loved his bed and put his hands behind his head and said, "Night, night Mommy, each night, now screams when we try to put him down.  We have kept our bath, book-reading, rocking, singing routine, but it hasn't helped.  He simply throws a fit when we go to put him in his crib.  We have a nightlight, we have his blanket, Muno, and a couple of toys in his crib, and there isn't anything in particular in his room that he seems to be scared of, but it still happens every single night.  Since we got the crib tent, he will cry for about 10-20 minutes before falling asleep, and then wake up at least once in the night, sometime between 12-3, crying and screaming again.  At first I would go up there and check to see if he was okay, see if he had pooped was sick, but I think now that it is just making it harder for him to fall asleep.  Jason says we should just let him "cry it out" at that time as well, but it's a struggle, because I worry he might actually need me and I am ignoring him.  However, even more than I need my own sleep (which I value immensely), Connor needs to be well-rested, and most importantly, he needs to know that he is safe in his room, and that Mommy and Daddy are in charge and will care for him.  Please continue to pray for us about this situation, especially that we will make the right decisions.

Random photos for the week:

"Connor's" pumpkin, as he calls it

He was done taking pictures and wanted the hat off

Connor says the little pumpkin is his, then points to the one on the left and says, "Momma's" and points to the one on the right and says, "Daddy's."

After living in our house for almost two years, Jason and I finally saved up and decided on a backsplash for the kitchen that we both like.  The section over the stove is not finished yet, so I'll post more when it is all done.

Jason and Connor were playing in the yard on the last warm day earlier in the week, and I got some really cute shots.  I am planning a separate post for the rest.
Have a blessed weekend, friends!