On Friday, we headed up to the mountain cabin of our dear friends Tom and Judy. Their wonderful cabin is in the Allegheny Mountains, just outside of Franklin, WV. It has been nearly four years since we visited - we hadn't been since the very beginning of my pregnancy with Thea.
The landscape is so dramatically different from ours here in the city - and I had forgotten just how breathtaking it is. From the leggy trees in the valley to the gorgeous ferns and dappled sunlight covering the forest floor.
The mountain laurel was in bloom, and was quite a sight.
And in between all of the woodland beauty are incredible bucolic scenes.
There are endless opportunities for exploring. As she grows older, I look forward to broadening and lengthening our adventures with Thea in this magical place.
We went for several adventures on Tom and Judy's gator, which made it easier to travel a bit further from their cabin. Thea even got to drive with her dad.
I'd say someone was having a good time.
We saw an entire family of deer, including a "teeny-tiny baby" (Thea's words). We filled up our water bottles with cold water from the mountain spring. And Thea collected endless treasures in her basket.
She continues to help me find joy in even the simplest of things. Children are so magical!
We were so fortunate to spend the weekend with not only Tom and Judy, but our friend Jing Tao, who is visiting from China, as well as David and Anita, who came all the way from Houston, TX. Jing Tao is such a kind, gentle, and curious soul. It is such a gift to be in his presence. I had long talks with David, whose son John died in September from cystic fibrosis. Anita spent hours on the porch knitting and sewing, and Thea worked on her very first sewing project.
Thea was totally smitten with "Miss Anita" who spent so much time showing her all of her knitting projects and letting Thea feel all of her different yarns. She even made her a special bracelet and gave Thea a piece of wool she had felted.
We experienced terriffic thunder storms, and beautiful sunsets. I was completely taken with the incredible light.
While we returned home more than a little exhausted, I still feel completley full from the quiet, the adventure, and the family time this mountain retreat offered us.
I am so grateful for this time, and for our generous friends who opened their home to us.