Sunday, May 22, 2011

Town and Country ...

There's a reason that Casey and I have never left Raleigh. It captured our hearts when we were students at NC State and has never let go. We both came from small towns in Western NC and, to us, Raleigh is a big city; complete with the hustle and bustle one might expect from a proper metropolitan area.

This weekend, Raleigh reminded us of a few of the reasons why we still live here; why we still love it here. It was one of those weekends with simply too much to fit into two days, especially when one of those days was spent starting our very own vegetable garden. Hearkening back to our farming roots (OK, so maybe not my farming roots), we finally put in a few of our favorites: tomatoes, carrots, peppers, broccoli and more:

Garden comes complete with included Rabbit Guard.
After getting our hands dirty on Saturday, it was time for a bit of refinement. This much-needed culture lesson took the shape of a street festival as on Sunday we ventured to Artsplosure 2011- a multi-block art show in the heart of downtown Raleigh.
Art for no reason- the best kind of art.
Amongst all the talented handicrafts of local artists, we found a new lunch spot to visit again:
Eclectic but delicious.
After lunch, Beatrice Kate got into the spirit of the day and picked up a crayon or two to scrawl out her very first piece of artwork. My heart was smiling the entire time as I watched her carefully select several colors and meticulously sketch each line:
It may look like just lines to you, but it's going into a frame tomorrow.
With all the excitement of the day, it wasn't long after her art lesson that Beatrice Kate required a few moments for a nap. Luckily, she was riding in style and took a short nap on the walk to our next stop- Amococo.

And what a stop it turned out to be ...

During the festival, we had run into several of my Playgroup and Mommy Friends and nearly every one of them asked, "Have you been to the Luminarium yet?" No, we hadn't and truthfully, we hadn't planned to go. What could possibly be the big deal about a giant, inflatable maze?

From the outside, it didn't look like much:
But the old saying "You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover" kept ringing in my ears and after talking to no less than 5 other Mommies about how great it was- it was decided. The Raleigh Collins would pay the $5 and venture into it. If nothing else, Beatrice Kate would probably like to crawl around a little and it had air conditioning.

Holy Crap, we couldn't have been more wrong to judge this exhibit by it's outward appearance. From the moment we stepped inside, we were overwhelmed by a rainbow array of colors produced by the sunlight shining through thin plastic:

It was like walking into a dream- or even a little like being inside of a red blood cell. It was incredible but the best part was seeing the exhibit through my child's eyes:
Beatrice Kate had only just woken up from her nap seconds before we walked into the Amococo exhibit. To her, we must have been in a dreamland.

Taking her through this "walkable art" was such a wonderful glimpse of what's to come as she gets older and older. It gave us a window into our future as parents, and as a family. Today was the longest we've ever spent out away from our home and it couldn't have been more perfect. We knew that becoming parents would change our lives- we had no idea how much we would cherish every millisecond we have with this child:
"I have prayed for this child and the Lord has granted us what we asked of him"  1 Samuel 1:27

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