You don’t expect snow days in late May – but that is just what we got!

You see, we didn’t use all of our snow days because of a mild winter so the school gave us some extra days off.

We took advantage and hopped on a plane to see people we love.

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It turned out to be a very stressful time at work for hubby and he almost was unable to come – that is him on his phone in the background.

In the foreground are my girls having their first Starbucks experience – decaf of course!

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We arrived late to open arms and snacks and settled in for some sleep.

This is what we awoke to – the view from their backyard.

We were in the valley of Carson City, Nevada with views all around including the Sierra Nevada mountains – unbelievable!

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Hubby did have to fly back out the first day to take care of some West Coast business, and the hubby we were visiting had some work to do as well – so the first morning was just for the girls.

We packed our water bottles and dressed to hike.

all feet in

By the time we made it to the top the wind was unbelievable – we just kept laughing because no one could hear what the other was saying over the wind.

made it to the top

I was so struck by how amazingly different the terrain is. We lived in AZ for a few years so I am familiar with the West, but here, everywhere you turned there is a view and you can see so far.

In my yard, once the leaves come in, we don’t even see our neighbors.

made it to the top3

Deb was trying to show the girls where their house was from where we were. It was ironic to me because they way we know them is that they used to live across the street from us.

finding our way

Did you ever meet someone and just know they would be your friends instantly? That is how it was with Mick and Deb.

Our realtor drove us around showing us different neighborhoods and we stopped at Mick and Deb’s. They were in their yard raking rocks to plant grass (their house had just been built). They were hot and sweaty and a mess – but something just clicked.

peanut at the top

We spent months looking and in the end decided to build – across the street from them.

What a blessing.

NY was never a good fit for them, so they moved back to CA. Last year, they made the move to Nevada. They left NY when Peanut was 2 days old and Sunshine was 21 months old.

That was a hard day.

the valley view

When Sunshine and I were still in the hospital after she was born, my mother was in a horrific car accident. She was in the hospital and rehab for weeks.

I was emotional mess and didn’t have my Mom to come and help me with this new baby and my sister was taking care of my Mom.

Debby stepped in and took care of us, taught me the basics of motherhood and forever sealed our hearts.

orange rose

When we returned from our hike, Mick joined us and we headed out to the river.

Oh how my Peanut loves to find (and bring home!) rocks.

by the river

Like I said, Sunshine was 21 months old when they left – but she always talked about them like they were still part of our everyday life – like she was still going in their snack cabinet everyday.

That is how her heart works - once you're in, you're in.

I love that about her.

And Peanut, never knew them here, but through Sunshine’s love for them – she loves them too like they were here her whole life as well.

the four under the trees

It is just so special to have people in our lives where not only are we most at ease and totally ourselves – but our children are as well.

my girls under the trees

They were so truly themselves and unguarded.

peanut in the trees

This trip was a needed time to regroup as a family, to slow down, get outside and be together.

sunshine in the trees

I took this picture the second night in their yard, there are no filters or Photoshop treatments – this is the real deal. It captures her so truly.

sunshine in the sunshine

It is a little hard to see – but there is a cross up on that hill.

Can you imagine seeing that everyday.

cross on the hill sun

I did get a little bit of time with their girls who are grown (unfortunately I did not get any pictures of their other daughter).

And yes, my eyes are filled with tears.

I love this girl so much and I just could not believe she is now a 22 year old woman. She was 12 when they moved.

Me and MG

And this was our view when we woke the next morning – when the clouds come in it is a whole different kind of beautiful.

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The remaining days of the trip held even more, including one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

I kept just kept saying “This is the best day ever!”

Stay tuned…

Thanks so much for reading!

May 29, 2012 — Laura Putnam