Sunday was a wonderful day full of lots of adventure, although not all of it was captured on "film" so you will have to use your imagination. We started our morning with a trip to the Gaia Cafe for a breakfast treat that we had been missing over the last few weeks as we have been in hibernation. It was so nice to get back out into the world and see how Miles reacts as we slowly integrate our old life into our new. He was fairly patient, although he does love to start to cry the moment mom puts a fork full of food into her mouth. When will he understand that I must eat in order for him to eat? I had a bit of nostalgia as I looked about this favorite restaurant that we have been coming to for countless years. Micheal and I went there on our first date when I asked him to go to the Valentine's Dance with me. The mismatched tables and chairs, the wooden floors that shine in the sunlight, the Gaia coffee blends, and the delicious food are imprinted deep in many of my memories. Now I am so happy to share them with my son as we make more memories eating good food together!
When we arrived home we anticipated the visit of our friend Di who I have landscaped with for years (off and on since college). We call her our stateside South African as she has lived here for many years and raised her family in Michigan, but she still loves to talk about her life in "JoBerg." Among her many gardening skills is the fact she makes the most amazing flower arrangements! She arrived with this beautiful bouquet for Miles! Thank you Di for sharing you passion for flowers with us. We can't wait to tour your garden this summer. The protea blooms were an extra special touch and they reminded me of our hike on Table Mountain. There were tons of different varieties of protea in bloom when we were there and I dawdled along the trail trying to photograph an image of each one. After about an hour of this our very patient guide Vanessa proclaimed "You know Sal, you can buy the book," referring to a protea field guide. So I stayed focused on the trail after that and eventually we made it to the summit. :-)
Later that day (after a quick nap) we had another group of visitors arrive from Ovid! The Shelp family finally got to meet Miles. Really there is not much I love more than when little kids hold babies... so here we have the pictures of Ava and Leo meeting their newest playmate. They were so sweet and caring as they caressed his little hands and feet. Leo kept saying "Mom, his hands are so tiny!" I can hardly believe how fast time flies because I remember meeting Leo as a baby and thinking the same thing. The Shelps brought us tons of wonderful gifts, hand me down clothes, food for lunch, and an absolutely divine beet and chocolate cake for dessert. Thanks for all the TLC sweet friends! Then, to top the day off everyone piled into their respective vehicles and we drove over to the Blandford Nature Center so Miles could finally get out on the trails! I wore Miles in a sling and we were cozy warm as we walked the Sugar Bush loop from the school where I student taught last year. It was such a joy to share this special place with our friends and to show Miles his first glimpse of winter's subtle beauty. The sun was beginning to set and the woods glowed with a sort of pale yellow soft light. There were tons of snowballs being thrown and the laughter of family and friends filled the crisp air. A very full day indeed and one to be thankful for!