The adventure begins!

We expectantly are in the States for the beginning of April.   Warren's family was going to come to us, but they didn't have as much time off of school/work and warren had a lot of work to do, so in the end it was just easier for  the girls and I to come to them!   Unfortunately, Warren is not with us, but will be coming to Virginia soon for a work trip.  

Amazingly, it was cheaper and less layover time for us to fly into Atlanta, so we spend a short 36 hours in one of our favorite cities with some of our favorite people.  After our 30 hours of travel, the girls and I were delirious, but so excited to get into town and into a bed around 2 am.   We had a lazy morning with Nancy and then surprised Reid at school!  Unfortunately, Reid's classmate saw Andie about two minutes prior to the surprise, so the actual reveal was not as exciting as we may have hoped, but in the end, it was still such a great moment - pretty sure both girls will remember it forever.   We ate lunch at the school and Andie felt like a movie star visiting her old school.  Man, I do miss that place!  The lunch and playground were awesome! I wish I just knew we could get back into there one day.   I have a feeling Andie will be WAY homesick after the visit when we get home.  Reid then played hookie so we could spend the rest of the beautiful day at a playground.  Zoë's bestie Willa joined us and all the adults had a moment to catch up too.   As always, it felt like no time at all had passed.   Truly love those peeps.    After a yummy Mexican dinner, we had some wine on the porch.  Unfortunately the flu, work/school, short time in Atlanta, and this prevented us from seeing as many people as we may have hoped.   I am so looking forward to spending a lot more time in the ATL in December.  

Before we flew up to Virginia the next day (Friday) we got to visit Lola, eat breakfast with some friends, drive by our old house, go on a quick run, and eat some Morellis!  What a good 36 hours....

The travel begins!

Yes, blankie still exists.  Gross. 

Oh ya!!!!! Frozen yogurt in LA airport!   My kids chose all berries as toppings! We've been deprived people!

It's freezing in the LA airport!  As soon as we landed in LA and Andie got out of tarmac, she pronounced, "I LOVE AMERICA!"  lol. 

Right after the surprise.  Walking through old school on way to lunch.  

School lunch for me too!

Old friends

Check out this awesome playground!


sweet Lola B

Morelli's.  Yum. 

Pure joy!

We flew into RVA on Friday.  My parents were greeted with the warmest greeting ever as the children sprinted through the airport to greet them.   They were so excited!    Lots of snuggles while we waited for our bags.   We had more frozen yogurt and yummy lasagna for dinner.   Yum.   

Fun watching the washing machine at work.

I woke up early to run the Monument Avenue 10k with Kathleen.   What a beautiful way to spend Saturday morning!  It's a gorgeous run with one of my most favorite people! Every time I'm with Kathleen I'm reminded how blessed I am to have grown up with her - more like a sister than a friend. That evening, my girlfriends and I had an adult sleepover at Susan's house.   It was exactly what I wanted/needed.  It was sooooo good to be with Bonnie after losing her mom.   Again, I'm just so thankful we have each other.  Life-long friendships are truly a gift.   We stayed up way too late -talking, laughing, crying, snuggling.   

Hard to see but our tags say, "In memory of Mama Rut."

Did a video call so we could all be together!

Needed snuggles.  

Mom and Dad had Bonnie's family and Kathleen's family to our house on Sunday for a cook-out.  Perfect family/friend day.  Loved watching the kids all play together on our old jungle gym that Dad built.   Loved relaxing with my faves.  LOVED the now and then shots.  Especially loved planning the details of Kathleen's family's July trip to Fiji!!!!

Kathleen and I attempted our old routine on the parallel bars. Needless to say we are not 9 years old anymore!

We took the girls to Luray Caverns and swung by JMU on the way home.  The girls were very impressed with the caverns and pretty sure grandparents loved watching them in awe.   It was a great family day.  

Yay!  Unlce Adam came into town for the week!   The girls awoke to find the most fun uncle who wrestles, laughs, and lets them use his iPad and iPhone! After a lot of rough housing, we all went fishing.  Last time we went (three  years ago) to the same location, my Dad was not well enough to get out of his seat due to the grueling chemotherapy.   It was really awesome to see the difference this year.  He was up, moving around, teaching the kids (and myself) all we needed to know about their new fishing rods, casting, etc.    He was SO proud of Andie when she caught her first fish.   It was a great day!  
That evening we went to Susan's house for a huge play date of all my girlfriends and their kids.  My girls have been having random two-three times a year play dates with these kids since they were born.  It's kind of like cousins.  I love it!  The kids do too.  It's amazing how much fun they all have together.  

kite flying

Wednesday was a big day.  It was the day of Mama Rut's memorial service.  I didn't sleep well the  night before.   I started by running at 5:00 am with Kathleen - which was a good way to start the day. After getting some bagels (yum!) and doing some fancy grocery shopping, we went home to get ready for the service.   The girls stayed at home with Uncle Adam, while Mom, Dad, Anne, and myself went to the service.     While it was very sad, the service was amazing.    If you didn't know Pam Rutledge, you felt like you did after the service.   She was such an amazing woman.    It felt surreal sitting through I was in a dream.  I read what I wrote so I was able to sit and hold Bonnie's hand through the other reading.   I am so glad she didn't have to sit alone while she waited to read her eulogy.   When she finally got up to speak, it was as if her mama gave her wings.  She did SO well.    She described her mom with beauty and grace.  She gave real examples which gave you the best picture of who Pam was.   She made us laugh and cry.   It was truly amazing.  

A little while after the service, Mr. Rutledge had invited a few of us back to his house.  It turned out to be a beautiful celebration of life.  The kids were running around in Ms. Rutledge's garden, just exactly as she would have wanted it.   I was honored to hang until the very end...with the amazing Rutledge family.   We all laughed, told stories, and enjoyed each other's company.  There were lots of affirmations of love and lots of hugs.   Overall, it was the most beautiful, heart breaking, sentimental, loving day.  I will always be thankful that the stars aligned and I was there for it all.  


circle of hugs and best friend love.   

All of the children among the day-lilies

So thankful for this group

We had a very lazy morning because of the weather.  Adam and the girls played outside all  morning when it wasn't raining and then we went to Chuckie Cheese with Kathleen and her girls.   My girls have seriously been planning their attack on Chuckie Cheese for the last 8 months.  They got so many tickets!!   Then the kids went to dinner with the family while the Lullington ladies (all the girls I grew up) came to my parent's house for dinner.   It was such a nice get together!   

Sweet story by Zoë.  "My mom is 41.  She likes to cook food.  She has a husband and she likes to run races.  She has two daughters.  She loves us very much."   (My heart melts). 

For the final full day in Richmond, we tried to have a full on family day.   Mom, the girls, and I tried walking on the new pedestrian bridge over the James River, but we only made it about 1/4 of the way as it was SOOOO cold!  The girls were literally crying they were so cold!  So, instead, we went to jumpology, a trampoline park.    Wow, I wish they had something like that in Fiji.  The girls LOVED it.  They had so much fun and got awesome exercise.  Every time they ran over to me they were fully out of breath.   It was great.

We came home and ate a wonderful steak dinner.   After the kids went down, Me and Adam and my parents played Texas 42 dominoes.  (Adam and I won!).  It was very nice for the four of us to simply be together.   Really glad that happened.   

Zoë lost a tooth!  (selfie)


Started the morning with a brisk run with Kathleen.   Wow - it was COLD!   Then drove to DC to see Amma, Kate and Fred, and Anne and Colin!  More about the visit in my next blog entry!