Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back in the South

Yesterday was a sad day. I packed up the car, loaded in the fur-babies and had to say good-bye to my Fi and Columbia for the week. Of course I'm excited to try on dresses, but D and I are always together so it's incredibly strange and empty being without him. The drive was long, of course, and I hated not being able to see Fi's second to last performance, but the dogs got cozy and no one got carsick, so at least that part of the drive was good. Byz even got super comfy and slept like a baby most of the ride.
Luckily, earlier this year, Fi downloaded a ton of NPR: This American Life audiobooks onto my iPod so I had a lot to listen to on the fifteen hour drive to Hilton Head. Fi said last night was one of their best performances (ouch!) and I missed it :( BUT, I did get to talk to the cast after the show when they were at their cast party. Fi called and the phone got passed around so I spoke to just about everyone. It was sweet. They said they missed me and my "energy," awww. We did have a great time getting to know them and seeing them once a week. I hope we keep up relationships with them.
(*** Edit *** Dustin here. What Neesh doesn't know is that when I showed up to the theater knowing she wouldn't be there, I was totally worthless. The whole cast took me into a huddle right before the show and said, "You know she'd want you to do well tonight. She's thinking about you. Now think about her. Get your energy up and get out there!" And that's why that particular show was good)

When I got to Hilton Head, it was nearly 4am. Papa was waiting up for me, but Mom was in bed. When I walked the dogs, I stepped in some other dog's poop cus I couldn't see it in the dark (gross!), so I had to take my sneakers off at the door, but once inside, it felt so good to be home. Byz and Bogey were thrilled to be out of the car. My parents' dogs met me at the door, as did my Pop. I checked in on my mom and let her know I was home, then I trekked up to my sister's bedroom where my niece was sound asleep. I peeked in on my nephew who was curled up in a tiny ball in his crib, uncovered. I'm only his aunt/godmother and I feel incredibly moved when I stand above him watching him sleep-soft breathing, peach skin head, round ball of a body, sweet and gentle. I covered him with his blanket, listened to him breathe, kissed his head and went to climb in bed with my niece. Genevieve stirred a little when the light from the hallway streamed through the doorway behind me and said, "Granny?" before turning over and falling back to sleep. She moves a lot in her sleep-moves around and kicks, shifts and even talks: "I want my candy!" (a direct quote from her soon after I climbed in bed).

When I woke in the morning, this was one of the first things I saw:
My adorable butterball of a nephew, sick, but still smiling and wide awake wrapped up in his blankie. Such a cutie.

Today, we went to church with Genevieve (my mom and I), then had I-Hop for lunch/breakfast (Harvest Nut Pancakes! Yummy!). Then we headed to Charlotte, NC to stay with my brother. We had dinner at his newly opened restaurant: The Wild Wing Cafe at University Park in Charlotte. I had seen Kiran's restaurant before it opened. When it was, literally, just a plot, then just a shell...etc. I've, essentially, seen it from start to finish-especially now that I got to have dinner there. It looks awesome! Kier was gone by the time Mom and I showed up, but Sara met us for dinner and the three Navare ladies had a tasty one. I had a scrumptious salad with grilled chicken and spicy grilled shrimp, then ate one of the amazing Wild West wings they make (my absolute favorite!) and my sister, who I don't have a pic of from tonight but will definitely get one of before we leave Charlotte, snapped this photog below, which I promptly sent to my Fi. :)

As we finished up dinner, Mom and I jumped back into the car to get to Kier's place. It was then my phone beeped letting me know I had a new message. I was THRILLED to see it was a picture message from my Fi! (His texting allowance is limited so I'm always overly excited when I get a message of any kind from him.) Anyhow...this is what the message was:
I couldn't believe it! This is our house. When I left, there were no lights on it, but Fi and I discussed decorating the house with lights when we got back from break, before Christmas break. We decided we liked white lights and would have time to decorate since we'd already done a lot of inside decorating. I was completely surprised to see this photo in my inbox. D had mentioned he wanted to do some work around the house when we spoke a few hours earlier, but I couldn't have guessed that running out, buying lights, climbing a ladder in bundled up clothes and putting the lights up all by himself was what he had in mind! I know I say this a lot, but my Fi is the most amazing, incredible Fi in the world. He's so wonderful and thoughtful. Mom said to me tonight, on our drive home, "I think you two are going to be very happy."

This is one of the few times in my life my mom and I completely agree on something. He's amazing and I really am the LUCKIEST girl in the entire world and I know we are going to be completely happy.

P.S.-Fi-Sar loves the one-year-anniversary gift! :) I do, too, but I really just Love love love LOVE you!

Lastly-I'm grateful I arrived home safely and that I have a loving, healthy family. I am so thankful for the new additions to our family (namely, Jacob) and the addition of a new extended family: The Michael/Crater family...and I'm so thankful to my Fi and for my Fi. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Dustin here again.
I love you, too, Neesh, and all the fulfillment and promise you bring to my life. I miss you terribly, but I'm glad you're having fun with your fam -- my new fam!
Looks like I've got some catching up to do on the thankfulness list, so I'll make one that's big enough to count for both today and yesterday, which I missed. I'm thankful that our families and our close friends are healthy this Thanksgiving. Goodness knows we've seen our share of holidays where people we love weren't in good health, and we'll see more, of course. But this year everyone is well, and that's a blessing. Here's to our health -- all of ours.

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