Monday, July 15, 2013

A Different Year

This year's annual family reunion at Lake Junaluska was very different to say the least. Honestly, it was really strange to be there without my sister as I tried to process that she will never be there with us again. In addition to the absence of Lindsay, things were odd because it rained nearly the entire time (literally) and a number of our typical traditions didn't happen for various reasons. However...even in the midst of such strange and surreal times, I am still so grateful for every minute I have with my family, even if they are tearful ones as we adjust to a new normal. We were determined to make the best of it and so... we did. :)

My grandparent's home here is a comforting sight to Zach and I. We love this cottage and the fact we live only 2.5 hours away from it.

 Reminders of Lindsay were everywhere for me this year and it started off with a heartfelt bouquet from a neighbor left at the door.
This chair was given to my grandma decades ago when she retired. The fabric use to be this blue-ish gray color and now it is nearly white from years spent marinading in sunlight.
 This year, Allie has felt compelled to move into all the places we've stayed on vacation. She fully unpacks her suitcase and sets up shop wherever we are. I love this about her because it reminds me of my old roommate Brenae. :) Allie however, takes an additional step and brings her own decor. lol Notice the display in the window sill by her bed includes ceramic birds (brought from her bedroom at home), cards, pencil, eraser, sharpener, and every Anthropologie catalog I had in the house. Love her!
 My cousin's sweet daughter Lauren gifted me with this "flower"
 A rainy day spent inside playing dominos with Grandma Jean and Lauren.
 These pictures of Lindsay and I have been side by side at this house for as long as I can remember. I've always loved them, but I love them even more now.
Love this copper kettle on the stove. So cozy.
This year we spent a lot of time at one of Lindsay's favorite restaurants - Panacea. It's a rustic and raw cafe and coffee shop down on Frog Level in Waynesville. Our family of three came here everyday for lunch because we enjoy it so much!

Coffee roaster? I think?

Zach loves the lattes
 and Allie loves eating his chocolate covered coffee bean!
Tasty sesame wrap I ordered two days in a row. Love me some asian food.
One morning Allie and I were planning to walk around the lake, but just when it was time to leave it started raining. That didn't stop us though so we grabbed umbrellas and went on our walk anyway. It was actually strangely peaceful and serene to walk around the lake in the grey gloom. There is beauty in all things. You just have to look for it. :)

Mountain garage
 Waiting for the rain to pass
 Creative Allie propped up her umbrella in the tree.

Love this photo of her on the almost submerged dock. 
Dam bridge
Eventually we just ditched the umbrellas, embraced the rain, and just danced and jumped in puddles. It was so fun. Love making memories with this girl. 
 Chief Junaluska impersonator
Lakeside chapel in the smoky drizzle

 Love this stained glass.
Rainy train
 Dinner with Holly and the whole family at Nick & Nate's

I also spent time this week going through old photos of Lindsay and reading her journals from this last year, loaned to me by my brother in law. 
It was such a gift to me to be encouraged by her writings, her questions, and her faith in God.
I have spent my summers with these people for as long as I can remember. Love this pic! (ps. Is it just me or so I kinda look like Lilo from Lilo and Stitch?!)
In honor of Lindsay, I also wore one of her handmade necklaces on the 4th of July. She wore this one 2 years ago when we took Allie to Cherokee, NC.
 Rainy days led to shopping so we spent time poking around downtown Waynesville.

Street performers
Trying on lots of hats

 Funny/ weird/ creepy shoes.
Playing go fish while it pours.
 Sweet, happy girl.
 We love our Stevie!

Love these two at this house. So many memories here and so many to come!

The day we left the rain stopped. Of course. :) But I love this blue sky on the drive home. To me it is hopeful, it is a promise of the days and future to come spent with my family when things will feel sunny and bright again. I look forward to our next time here in a few weeks and hopefully getting to enjoy the outdoors a bit more than this last time. :)

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