late august

Yowza it’s been a while since the last time I posted! And a lot has happened since then. These past few weeks have been a bit of a blur.

I started back to work a couple of weeks ago after some glorious time off. We had two days of teacher workdays and then The Weekend Before Mom Left.

My Mom is living in Kuwait now. Scott and I spent a busy and wonderful weekend with her just before she left. We sorted through some of the last things, took a couple of car loads to her storage unit, helped her pack her 6 suitcases, and soaked up as much time with her as possible. I went through the house and took pictures of all of the rooms so I can remember them. It was so empty when we left, and even more so when my mom finally left. I have so many memories in this house – this is where I grew up! But the most important thing to remember is that home is with family. Always. But it’s still a little bittersweet to say goodbye to my childhood home.

Home

Family

Mom and me

I dove in head first after getting home with a couple more days of teacher workdays right before school started back with the munchkins! I am grateful that I was so busy right after getting home from The Weekend. I suppose it meant I stayed in a denial a bit … er … a lot longer. But then suddenly she is living in Kuwait! Being busy as she was leaving did create a welcome distraction from moping. It still seems totally surreal but it is getting easier as I am learning more about what she is doing and where she is living. Can’t wait to talk to you soon Mom! Such an epic adventure.

After all of the emotions of my Mom moving and starting back to school I opened a Dove chocolate at work and it said this:

Truth in a chocolate wrapper.

And I realized that it was truth in a chocolate wrapped like none ever before.

***

Last weekend Scott’s brother, David arrived! He was here briefly for Scott’s graduation back in May, but it was such a whirlwind weekend that he didn’t really get to see much of Asheville. This time was much different. On Friday night we went to Farm Burger for dinner – a first for us all! And let me tell you – it was delicious! Local beef, fresh toppings, tasty sides, and wicked good sweet tea. (Describing sweet tea as “wicked good” feels like I’m forcing two very different things together against their will – southern sweet tea and New England wicked … but I’m doing it anyway because that pretty much sums me up.) Saturday we started our day out right with some Sunny Point brunch. That place never gets old.

Get to the point.

Then we walked around downtown Asheville a bit and headed out to Black Mountain. Found ourselves drinking sweet icy beverages at the Dripolator and headed back home. Went to the Biltmore after 5 (Passholders can bring friends to the Estate after 5 for free!) and wandered around Antler Hill Village, peeked up the hill at the House from the Lagoon, and enjoyed some samples in the Winery. Retired to the apartment for some noms and Cards Against Humanity – good times.

Sunday after Gump’s Very Superior Pancakes we headed south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Pisgah. It was a gorgeous albeit slightly warm day for a hike! It felt great but it did bring to my attention how sorely out of shape I am. Boo hiss. (One of the kids we passed said, “I hope there’s a gift shop at the top!” Hilarious.)

At the top of Mt. Pisgah

But seriously – check out this view! WE LIVE HERE!!! It was a really magnificent day.

View from the top.

We are so glad David finally got to see a bit more of Asheville! Thanks for coming!!!

***

We officially have the first full week of school under our belts and it feels great! I’m excited to be getting to know our munchkins better and better each day. Teaching is not an easy job but I get more joy and fulfillment out of being with those kiddos every day than I ever have in my life. I am so lucky! I’m even saying this on Friday afternoon!

Now I’m off to enjoy every last drop of this three-day weekend!

Camp Pamdrianne

Last week was Camp Pamdrianne. Pam + Adrianne = Pamdrianne.

It was absolutely grand.

Living room.

My mother, as many of you know, is moving to Kuwait. She is going to be teaching elementary school drama at the American School of Kuwait. It is a two-year contract, so we’re not talking about an indefinite move. However, she has been wanting to downsize for a long time now, so this is pretty much the perfect excuse. Or something. At any rate, she is selling her house and her car, purging like a maniac, putting everything she wants to keep in a small storage unit, and the rest is going with her to Kuwait. Over the course of the past several months she has had a good friend helping her with this gargantuan task and I have helped as I was able. This past week, during camp, we took two car loads of boxes and a few other things to her storage unit. It felt good to get some things out of the way.

Storage Trip

Loading up.

We also sorted through some of Mom’s things for packing and traveled Memory Lane … er … Highway a few times. Mom sorted through her clothes, mostly emptied her closet, and I packed a vacuum bag for her suitcase! Found an old floppy disk and I fondly recalled sliding the metal thing back and forth on the top even though that was probably really bad. Oh, and it holds an entire megabyte. One whole megabyte. Hilarity ensued when I realized my external hard drive holds a terabyte. The hilarity was probably exacerbated by exhaustion and wine. Then I found Mom’s old rose-colored sunglasses and the Wizard of Oz finger puppets. It was a fun evening!

One Whole Megabyte.

One Whole Megabyte.

Mom's old glasses.

Wizard of Oz Finger Puppets

There were a number of house showings this past week, which feels promising. This is the part where we all say a prayer that Mom’s house sells soon! We found ourselves at Looking Glass Cafe to escape the house during a showing one afternoon. The iced mochas were delicious and the butterflies were abundant (though elusive every time I pulled out my camera).

Looking Glass Cafe

Lantanas

On Wednesday we decided to empty the attic. Sounded simple. Turns out there were several heavy boxes – mostly full of papers and magazines and such – among the multitude of empty boxes. We ended up with a pile of flattened boxes about four feet tall and four large cardboard boxes chockablock full of crumpled up paper from previous moves. There were also two trunks and zero keys. Oh, and it all had to come down the attic ladder! What a work-out! Three car-loads later and it is mostly gone from the family room!

Emptying the attic.

After some errands on Thursday we went to Carolina Brewery for some delicious lunch and tasty brews.

Carolina Brewery

We also sorted through the linen closet! Mom got rid of some old towels, set aside things to bring with her to Kuwait, and I folded and packed a vacuum bag for storage. One more closet down!

Sorting linens.

Overall it was a wonderful and productive week. I am so blessed to have the most amazing, inspiring, beautiful, thoughtful, funny, caring, adventurous, marvelous mother in the world. (Grab a tissue, Mom.) Camp Pamdrianne was brief in the grand scheme of things, but it meant the world to me to spend that time with you, Mom. And it flew by in the blink of an eye. I would be remiss if I did not mention that I have gotten quite used to just being able to pop down the mountain to see you. And I am forever grateful that we have seen so much of each other this summer. The flood gates are beginning to leak tears and I just want you to know that it is not because I don’t want you to go. We made it a long time in denial and away from tears. I am unbelievably proud of you and I want you to know what an inspiration you are to me. I am beyond excited for this new adventure in your life. But that does not mean I will miss you any less. We could have spent the entire week hugging and it would not have even come close to supplying me for the next year. But I am the luckiest person in the world (except for Parker) because I carry you in my heart. Always and forever, here and everywhere. Distance is no challenge for this kind of love.

Mom and me!

Get Ready, Kuwait!

Here she comes!

Have you met my mom? Well, just in case you haven’t, or you didn’t already know – she is AMAZING! She went to Boston this weekend (just in time for the storm) for a job fair and is coming home with a job teaching elementary drama at the American School of Kuwait! She has been planning and interviewing and researching and writing resumes and filling out applications and orchestrating the adventure of a lifetime! This weekend was the moment of truth and everything is falling into place! She had back-to-back interviews for many hours straight, truly exhausted herself in telling everyone how awesome she is, got three job offers (in Turkey, Kuwait, and UAE), and is coming home with a position teaching elementary drama at the American School of Kuwait!

Shut the front door – I’m choking back tears!

Dear Mom,

You are truly an inspiration to me. I have watched you suffer for the past several years, wishing things were better, and my heart has ached for you. Through the unfairness of it all you picked yourself up, put yourself out there, and got the best response you could have possibly gotten! I know how challenging this has all been for you and I know how on top of the world you must feel right now! You received some incredible feedback, boosting your self esteem right back up to where it should be, and then even higher! I am elated for you and I can hardly wait to see how this adventure of a lifetime unfolds for you! 

I truly believe that I speak not only for myself when I say that you deserve every bit of this gift! You are an incredible woman and I look up to you and aspire to be my best because of you! 

I love you so much, I am so proud, and I can hardly wait to see what the next few years hold for you!

Love always, Adrianne

My amazing mom!

What a woman!

Flood gate of tears now open. I’m going to go get a tissue.

P.S. I believe the next several months will include some whirlwind go-help-Mom-get-her-things-ready-to-move-to-Kuwait weekends!!! I can hardly wait!

P.P.S. Christmas 2013 in Kuwait!? I think so.