2 Corinthians 3:17 "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty."
After coming off of a whirlwind birthday weekend, that turned into a whirlwind birthday week, we left during the wee hours of Thursday morning to partake in another whirlwind weekend to celebrate Homecoming at our alma mater. We flew into DC and our first stop was with Uncle Rich and Aunt Katrina and sweet little baby Ellie.
We went to the main street ice cream shoppe, had a yummy dinner, and enjoyed a wonderful evening walk around their new neighborhood. Because they insisted before we even got there, we stayed the night at their house and woke up the next morning to a delicious breakfast. They really outdid themselves, and it was just so wonderful to be in each other's company. I miss having my friend so close. I still cannot believe they live so far away now. They have become like family to us, and we now have a piece of our heart living in Virginia.
After leaving the Fisher's house, with tearful good-byes, we headed to that sweet little Hill City in South West Virginia. I think we are pretty open about our indoctrination of all things LU in Connor's life. We would both be so proud if that is where Connor chooses to go when the time comes. We made our way to the Hancock Welcome center to sign-in, and were warmly greeted by the entire alumni staff. We left with a bag full of alumni goodies, and I've been proudly sporting it all ever since.
Friday evening Connor was dropped off with a great babysitter, who also happened to be an LU theatre alumna. Meanwhile, Daddy and I were able to enjoy a fabulous date night to see Aunt Hilary in the Alluvion Stage production of Les Miserables. It is amazing to recall the raked stage I made my college debut on, and then view the grandeur of the new Tower Theater. The production was wonderful, and I am so proud of Aunt Hil's performance. We picked a very happy Connor boy up from the sitter, and she sent us home with all of the adorable crafts they made together that evening. Connor wanted to go back the next day!
Saturday afternoon we made sure to partake in a true FALL tradition. We went to a REAL pumpkin patch, where you pick them off of the vine and everything! I may have been more excited than Connor. Not only was it Connor's first time at an authentic pumpkin patch, but it was mine too. Aunt Hil came along to enjoy the fun, and she told us most children up north take a yearly field trip to the pumpkin patch. That sounds great to me! I don't mind taking a yearly field trip to Virginia to go to the pumpkin patch, I see nothing wrong with that! After Connor got over the shock of the cold air, he quickly found all of the fun things to do. They had baby calves to pet, tractor rides, big wheel tricycles, rubber ducky races, bouncy balls to sit on, and barrel rides. It was the perfect fall activity!
We dropped off Aunt Hil, and quickly made our way back to the campus to watch at least some of the Homecoming football game. The stadium was full, the atmosphere was fun, and we of course sat on the student side. When we got to the game the score was 42-23 Liberty, I won't say how it ended, but we had fun none the less.
After the game Alumni Relations had a fun carnival set up for alumni and their families and we spent a few hours riding the rides and enjoying the activities. Free custom metal street signs, free caricatures, free cotton candy, and free rides...can you say fun? They really went over and above! Connor even found out he had super powers by making smoke with his breath as we waited in line for the rides. He thought it was magic, what a true Florida boy.
Sunday morning we left Lynchburg and headed to Richmond. Our goal was to spend as much time with the Zylstra family as we could before we got on our plane to fly home. This wonderful family has played a very special part in our lives, and we were so excited to finally have our kids play together. Addison and Connor played all afternoon and had so much fun together. She very graciously shared all of her toys, and hearing their conversations was a joy. They both are very verbal and were perfect partners for each other. Luke even let Connor sit in his police car and talk on the speaker. We enjoyed a delicious lunch together, and Ashleigh even made a special brownie dessert, complete with homemade butter scotch. She also sent me home with frozen home made goodies. We were so glad to have time with this precious family.
I think my biggest take away from this trip was how dear close friendships are. That even if there is distance, and you don't get to see each other as often, if there was a great foundation of friendship built before the separation, than you can pick up where you left off. With each loved one we spent time with it was if we were transported back to where our time together had last ended. What a gift that is. I hope we can impart to Connor how to make these lasting, worthwhile friendships. I hope in his life he will have these fulfilling relationships with others. What a blessing friendship is. Maybe he will make those friendships at Liberty like we did.
Phillipians 1:3 "I thank my God every time I remember you."