Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In June we went to Asheville, NC for Bill and Karen's (Steve's parents) vow renewal. They have been married 35 years. I was really excited that we were going to Asheville because we had gone to "Asheville" on our honeymoon. (Or the Nantahala State park which is over 70 miles away on a mountainous road. Our cabin's website claimed it was a short drive to Asheville. I don't know in what world that is short...).
Bill and Karen renewed their vows at a bed and breakfast (next to to the one where we were staying) in the cutest gazebo. It was not a typical ceremony in that there were seven kids being instructed and running around. This kept it interesting because you never knew what was going to happen. Will had to walk down with Grandma and Cian decided about halfway through that he wanted to explore what Grandma and Paga were doing. It was a typical ceremony in that there was a ton of love surrounding them with both family and friends there to witness their commitment. This time they weren't embarking on a journey but reaffirming one. This journey has taken them a lot farther than I am sure they realized it would when they began. My father-in-law, Bill, had an incredible speech during the ceremony. This surprised most of us since Bill is usually a man of few (smart) words. We got the speech on tape but the audio wasn't great so we may never be able to recount or convince anyone of the touching words that brought tears to our eyes. Karen had teared up a little before this but that brought on the waterworks! This is one of the things I love about her, she is never short on emotion and you can always tell when you have done something to make her happy by the tears of joy. Everyone color coordinated (much to Steve's chagrin) with pink and green and it ended up looking great! We took the whole wild, noisy bunch out to dinner after the ceremony. Oh the poor folks at Flat Rock Grille. I know at one point a server brought Cian back to us because he had wandered into the kitchen (something his cousin Will had done at a Farachi's in St. Louis just a few weeks earlier). Oops, there is no containing those boys! We had a great time and it is so wonderful to have two sets of parents who we can look to for inspiration when it comes to marriage. I feel so blessed to have them in my life!
We didn't spend the entire week doing sappy stuff, unless you count the tree sap. We also went to a sweet natural sliding rock that dumped you into a freezing 7ft natural spring. Caleb (our nephew) was the first brave soul to go down the rock and he was followed by Rob (Steve's brother)and Brooke (Steve's cousin). Steve's cousin Rachel took her daughter Autumn down next and she went kicking and screaming! There was a break in the screaming as they hit the water but it resumed as soon as they surfaced. Our niece, Taryn and I went down next and let me tell ya, that water was arctic. The slide itself wasn't actually very fast but when you hit the water it knocked the breath out of you. Poor little Taryn who is only four came up gasping for breath. (I did too, don't tell anyone). Rachel and I were able to go down the slide again by ourselves and gained a little more speed the next time. Cian didn't really love the freezing water so Steve hung out with him.

Cian worked up and appetite

The next day we went on a one mile hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I know what your thinking, one measly mile. Well this mile took an eternity with a bunch of little kids who either couldn't or wouldn't walk the trail. They were probably good the first 500 feet and then we got a lot of hold mes and ups. I do have to give Will credit, that two year old pretty much ran the entire mile. He actually pretty much runs everywhere he goes. He might be a track star like his mama. (Steve's sister Amanda).

We also managed to squeeze in a trip to the Biltmore and some time in downtown Asheville (which is so cute). They had a splash park downtown that Cian loved! The water would come out of different spouts randomly and spray on the kids. (The boys loved this because they could make it look like they were peeing). Cian would run up the water when it started spraying and then run away squealing. I wish we had one of these around here. A free one that is. After a nice swim we went in search of ice cream. Everyone else went to Cold Stone but we were determined to find ice cream that we didn't have in Murfreesboro. With the help of our trust iphones we were lost (or exploring as we like to think of it) for a good hour until we came upon a "local" ice cream shop. So it turns out it was a chain too but not a chain we have in TN! Did I mention that we also had an amazing breakfast every morning at which I stuffed myself?? I don't have as many pictures of everything as I would like because we were using Steve's new video camera a lot more than the regular camera.

We really had a great trip, I can't wait for the next one!
This is our family in true form

The whole familyThe Laws (minus Mark). Autumn's dress was very similar to mine. (Liberty of London for Target, oh yeah).Bill and Karen and Suzan and Mike

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