I woke up this morning with such a mix of emotions. Today my daughters started their junior year of high school and all of those carefree lazy summer days officially came to an end. As much I enjoyed stressing less, relaxing more and taking a break from my girl’s busy schedules, the summer is long and our family is feeling ready to return to the daily routine that each new school year brings.
So, today it’s back to waking up early, packing lunches, rushing out the door each morning and the return of our calendar overflowing with busy. And I am going to cherish every single minute of it! Junior year once seemed so far away and now here we are. Childhood feels like an eternity when you’re a kid, but as a parent it truly feels like it happens in the blink of an eye. I wish I could go back in time to enjoy just a few more precious moments when my girls were babies and in elementary school. Now with years of parenting perspective in the rear view mirror I would have worried less, played more, held them in my arms longer and stayed up later reading bedtime stories.
I want so desperately to slow the clock, but I know that I can’t. So, instead I am going to focus on enjoying the now and embracing every moment with my girls and trying not to stress about the small things so much. This is why our week in the mountains this summer was so very special.
We had no big plans or expectations, it was just nice to get away and do things together as a family. The simply joys of spending time with one another, time that we know is quickly fleeting before they will soon be heading off to college.
One of the things we all really enjoyed were the amazing views from the deck of my husband’s parent’s beautiful mountain house. We watched the sunrise, sunset and the night sky filled with stars.
It had been almost two years since we had been to the mountains and as soon as we returned we all realized how much we missed it. We vacationed in this part of North Carolina many times when our girls were little so coming here always brings back special memories for us. We started the week off with a hike through Linville Falls. If you plan to visit the area you can read about Linville Falls here. It was an easy hike , less than two miles with many places to stop and check out the waterfall and gorgeous scenery.
Later in the week we visited Grandfather Mountain another popular area attraction with spectacular views. When we took our girls there years ago I was too afraid to cross the mile high bridge, but not this time. My daughter held my hand and walked with me as I conquered my fear and she also taught me how to take a selfie!
Our favorite outdoor activity was canoeing at the lake at Julian Price Memorial Park which is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here you will find campgrounds, walking trails, fishing, a very pretty creek side picnic area and boat rentals.
There are so many simple pleasures to be enjoyed in the mountains. The general stores with the wonderful sounds of creaking wood floors as you walk through, weathered signs on old buildings that have stood for decades, fresh produce stands along the roadside and of course nature! We really enjoyed watching all of the deer that would come out in the evening while we sat on the deck.
One thing that I really enjoy, but my family, not so much are seeing the colorful painted barn quilts that can be found along the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina. I was only able to see a few while we were in the mountains, but I would love to one day spend a day or two exploring the trails and photographing them.
I know the year ahead is going to include two stressed out teenagers preparing for SAT’s and parents trying to keep their sanity as they teach their twins daughters how to drive, but I am going to do my best to take it all in stride and enjoy every moment!
Now that my girls are back in school I’m excited to get back to blogging and working on all of the half finished projects I have going on around the house and to share them all with you! Thanks so much for hanging in there with me this summer while I took a break from my blog to enjoy time with my girls. Hope you had a great summer too!