It’s Different

Living one hour from your family and living 23 hours from your family are two completely different things. Weekly visits and trips to Walmart or lunches out for the fun of it is different than week-long visits and site-seeing.
There’s no doubt our decision to move came as a blow to our friends and family.  Jarrod and I didn’t ask for advice or thoughts, we already knew what they would say.  It was not an easy decision. There were/are pro’s and con’s on each side. When the choice boiled down to safe and familiar or complete unfamiliarity and potential disaster, we chose unfamiliar and potential disaster.  The potential mistakes we would have made at 18 or 19-year-olds were flip-flopped with pacifiers and formula. There was something in both of us that still craved that adventure that we never got.

 My parents coming here last month was such a blessing. My sister and nephew being here at the same time…her being able to come at all was a double blessing. It’s different having family that you were used to seeing every week staying for a week. Your time together is different. But yet again, it’s not. You pick up where you left off but add a whole new element to your time together.

Like exploring a new area together.  There’s no shortage of things to do and see in Asheville. My dad is definitely a sight-seer, he goes on long motorcycle trips by himself and sees the whole US, so we knew we had to show him around Asheville…there was not a lot of sitting around. 

From nothing simpler than a nature hike to the glam and glitz of the Biltmore house, we did it.  We collapsed into our beds every night and did it all again the next day.

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There’s something I’m learning about different; it is just what it says it is. Different. You can’t add to it, you can’t take away. South Dakota is definitely different than North Carolina. Different not meaning one or the other is better or worse, just different.
Shopping carts have morphed into buggies. “Hey guys” into “Hey y’all.”  Mashed potatoes for grits (even though there’s still plenty of the first), tea for sweet tea, “I appreciate it” for “I appreciate you.” And my heart is so “blessed” it may have burst just now.

Asheville is teaching me that
1.) Different is ok. 
2.) Unfamiliar can be scary, but it can also stretch you. 
3.) There’s an even better restaurant around the corner and you never thought that was possible.
4.) Beauty is almost always in the eye of the beholder.
5.) People are weird, but God loves them all.
6.) I should too. And I’m learning to do just that.
7.) Drugs are bad. 
8.) I can homeschool my kids, protect them from harmful things, but still show them the ugly things and teach them all along the way.
9.) Banjos and accordions are a perfect duo.

Asheville is a crazy weird town, that is no secret. Native Ashevillians would not be offended reading this, since they coined their own city’s motto: Keep Asheville Weird…and they’re doing it, y’all. Eclectic is the prim and proper word, you can also call it weird. But it’s amazingly catchy and beautiful at the same time.
Asheville is weird in an artful way.

Take every Friday night’s Drum Circle, for example.  For sure an eclectic affair, but at the same time you’re tapping your foot and spinning in circles with your kids and/or that guy in the fur coat and Converses. Just bring your camera, that’s all I’ve got to say.

Now all four of our parents have been here.  I think we all feel better knowing we all know where we’re at. We’re starting a new kind of normal. One that may or may not take years to get used to, but it’s happening all the same. It’s not the same at is was before, but like I said, different is just different…not making the prior or the latter better or worse, just different.  No doubt we’ve created some waves with this endeavor of ours, but the way I see it, that means vacations for all and a broadening spectrum. 
Waves can create destruction unless you grab your boogie board, because they can also be a hell of a ride…how’s that for a metaphor?

 Happy Tuesday, my friends and fam.

PS: This might be the weirdest thing I’ve ever said, but does this white guy look like Roger Sterling in the face?


  1. We LOVE Asheville….it's a couple of hours from where we are in North GA.

    Way to be brave and move from SD to NC……that took courage! Do you feel like you guys are adjusting? Big difference with all the southernisms. 🙂

  2. These pictures are so lovely!! Working on believing you – different is different, and different is often good. And working on anticipating quality over quantity time with family. Yeah, so I'm working on a lot. But this is good encouragement. Great post, lady 🙂

  3. Scott and I moved to portland in our 3rd year of marriage. It was so fun and exhilarating and adventurous. Lonely at times. And then 5 months later we were back. But that's another story for another day. 😉

    Also. I've said buggy my whole life……..

  4. Alicia, you captured Asheville very, very well, both is words and pictures! Looking forward to sharing Asheville with you someday soon 🙂

  5. I'm glad you're enjoying Asheville. It looks like it has so many great things to offer. Sure a lot more than Aberdeen! HA! Missing you up here, though! Love Noah's blurry face in that one picture!

  6. First of all I love that Ashville has taught you that drugs are bad. I've been waiting for you to figure that one out 😉 Also, that white man- and so many other crazies were always on the strip in Waikiki when I lived in Hawaii. So fun to watch!

  7. I have often lived away from my extended family … and we came to love those long visits.

    But I always still longed for them on an everyday schedule.

  8. Wow! You were brave to move so far. We have visited Asheville, and absolutely love Biltmore. The mountains are just gorgeous. I live in Fayetteville NC, though I grew up in Northern Virginia. Though it is only a couple of hours of a drive, the atmosphere is quite a big difference .So glad that you got a great visit with your family. Blessings!

  9. Beautiful city, beautiful post and most importantly – beautiful family. When I was in my early 20's I moved with my 1st husband (who was in the Air Force) to Germany. It was an awesome adventure but scary beyond belief. and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! My son was born there and my family did come to visit. It was wonderful to see new things, go new places and taste new foods. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Enjoy your beautiful family and don't miss a thing or have any regrets. We only live once and GOD will protect us wherever we are!

  10. Great post! I could relate to almost everything you said;) Ha i just also realized that are husbands have the same name..just spelled differently. One other thing that was hard to get used to…"pop" is now soda:) and how everyone calls you hun or sweetie..Weve been up to Ashville many times and have loved everytime we have been there..

  11. Ok, where should I start? Love the post about family. I know all about the far moves from family and the ups and downs. Chicago to NYC to Arkansas. I think my passport has expired and I doubt I'll ever use it again. Off the subject but somehow relevant? Maybe.
    That pic with your little gal and your mom- was that where they shot the Hunger Games? Because I was getting a total Hunger Games vibe when I read that….for real.
    And then the pic of you and the WHOLE fam, that outfit was killer. You were definitely a twin to Katniss. Loved that.
    Ok, I'll stop gushing now…..:)
    Happy TUesday friend!

  12. Alright. It's settled. I'm bringing my tambourine when I visit. Bring it drum circle!
    I TOTALLY know what you're saying about it being different. When Josh and I moved across the country to Boston it totally changed our relationships. But really in a sweet way- our visits with family were a bit more special because we did all the fun stuff with them.
    Oh and your dad- SO COOL! And your mom is a beauty- no wonder you're the way you are!
    31 sleeps! Not that I'm counting or anything! EEEEEK!

  13. That looked like it was so much fun love when the kids dance they have such fun doing their own thing.

    Have a great day!

  14. The guy in your last picture totally looks like Roger Sterling–maybe that's how John Slattery secretly perfects his craft. {lol} You have such great little nuggets of wisdom that always pop up at just the right time– thank you for sharing your experiences with us, no matter what they be. Glad family time was such a success. What kind of bike does your dad ride? My love motorcycles in our family:)

  15. you've got a way of capturing the "weird" and making it look like i'm missing out!! he he…

    downtown seattle is similar to what i just saw….you would have liked it here 😉

    and, i have no idea who roger sterling is. is that bad?

  16. love your bravery and spirit to just go for it, alicia. and i really need to visit, i love weird…from a close-up distance–i mean, i'm not painting my body or anything but i love to see others do it!
    sounds like a wonderful visit with your family. hooray for that!

  17. My brother and his family live in Asheville (Weaverville actually!) and love it! SO much exploring to do! Isn't the indoor swimming pool in the Biltmore wild! And that crazy basement type room with all the Halloween paintings on the wall. Loved it-and then sweated a bit when thinking of how all the servants shared a bathroom:)
    Enjoy that amazing town!

  18. i love all of the pictures that you captured, alicia!
    you have such talent in so many areas and photography is definitely one of them!

    moving is hard. the end. 🙂
    we did it when eleanor was 6 months old and it was quite the transition for me in so many of the same ways that you described.

    i love how you have embraced change, and the fears that come along with it.
    the picture of you with your whole family is my fave! LOVE it so much.
    what a cutie you are.

    i can't stop thinking of the phrase, "home is wherever i'm with you." 🙂

  19. I love Asheville! Visited a few months ago and didn't want to leave. My goal is to move into the area in the next 2 years 🙂
    I also have moved away from my family in the last year. We lived within 1 hour of my sister and parents and are now a 10-12 hour drive away (moved from Kalamazoo MI to Memphis TN) It's hard to be away from family but we have probably spent more time with them in the last year than we did cumulatively for several years before we moved. Instead of quick holiday and birthday get togethers we spend days at a time together. It's pretty cool actually.
    One thing about Asheville is that while we were visiting and waiting to get into the Tupelo Honey Cafe a young man high on who knows what stopped and had a few minutes of conversation with my 4 year old. She thought it was awesome because the guy was dancing and telling her how awesome she was, we were slightly alarmed about the situation getting out of hand but he just told us we were great parents and then moved along. So "weird" but kind of funny too. Drugs are bad for sure!

  20. I love Asheville! My sister's family and now my mom live there, and we visit several times a year. Definitely weird, in the best sort of way.
    Have you eaten at Chocolate Lounge?

  21. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story and pictures. So, Austin, TX (our neighbor city where I live) has the same motto: Keep Austin Weird. Wonder who came up with it first?! Ashville sounds wonderful… probably a lot like Austin!

  22. great "weird" pics. love how brave you are whipping out the camera and capturing people. that's hard to do. your dad is so cool with his pony. who knew? and your sweet sis with her braces…again who knew? love seeing your family. getting to see that side of you. it is different but it's all good.

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