I tried to fill our last few weeks in NC with as much as we possibly could to really enjoy our time, and for another chance to see everyone that we will miss now that we've moved. I took many pictures to capture as much of it as possible.
Having fun climbing on the play set across the street at Mom and Glenn's
We had a play date for Ella, Dominic and Morgan. When I met Christine and Laurie, Dominic was 3 months old, and Morgan wasn't born. Now Laurie has Morgan and Ben, and Christine has Dominic and Dante (first we had "Baby Morgan", then "Baby Ben", and now "Baby Dante"). I am going to miss these little cuties!
We met Kati and Nicole for a girls night - we painted pottery and went out for dinner and ice cream. Kati and Ella were in a Little Gym class together about two and a half years ago, and Nicole and I have been friends since. The girls get along so great and it's always such a fun time when we get together.
Dad came to visit us one night and we went out to dinner, and then to Ella's last gymnastics class.
With Gillian after class - Ella invited Gillian to a 'bring a friend' class one week and she liked it so much that she signed up. It's been so great having them in class together because Heather and I can talk the whole time, I always look forward to it each week. (Although the teachers wised up a few weeks in, and stopped letting Ella and Gillian be in the same group!)
Back at the house, Ella and Granddad
Ella proudly reading "I Can Read" to Granddad. (I have a video of her reading this book, it's so cute, need to post!)
My friend Sarah and I met for lunch the week before we moved. She has been a friend since we met in Bible study a few years ago. She's a few years younger than I am, but wise beyond her years, and such a positive, sweet friend. Even though we don't see each other often enough, we managed to squeeze in lunches now and then, and it is always such a treat whenever we do.
Mom came for the last week so that we could spend some extra time together before we left and to help us get everything ready, and so I was able to do a few things out by myself, while she stayed with Ella.
I got to go to my book club one more time - our book club started in January 2009 and I've really enjoyed it. I will definitely miss it and hope to find another group once I'm settled here. I was able to have my hair done by Melissa, who I've been going to since 2005 and has become a friend along the way.
Our last Saturday, I set up a play date for some of the girls from Ella's school. I was happy to get everyone together one more time and to catch up with the other moms. We went to the playground, walked around the lake, saw the turtles and fish, and had a little picnic.
Ella and Tess
Wild women having fun - Avni, Gillian, Ella, Tess (and her big brother), Maddie, and Sanjana
Sidenote - Avni is Shruti's daughter, who is my friend from the pregnancy exercise class where we met. Avni and Ella's birthdays are just two days apart and we've been getting together with the girls since they were babies. Shruti put Avni in Ella's preschool last January, and it's been so nice to have another reason to see them so often.
Christine, Laurie and I get out for a girls night every few months and Mom babysat so we could have a final night out before our move. We went out to dinner and to a wine bar after, it was such a fun night. These two have been such good friends to me the last three years - to say that I will miss our walks, talks, play dates, girls nights, etc - is a complete understatement.
That night, I asked a girl to take our picture and she took about 15 of them - she took her job VERY seriously and said she would take many pictures from different angles and we were just going to love them. We were laughing so hard by the end - and this one still makes me laugh to look at, so there's no way I can leave it out
And a slightly better one
We went to church on Sunday and then Mom, Ella and I went to see The Lorax at the movies
Last time at our house
The Monday before we moved, I had one more girls night out and met Susan and my other friend Laurie out for dinner. Laurie and Dean were our first friends in NC, and Susan and I have been friends since we started talking at a Halloween party when Ella and Elise were babies (but we had met a few times before, because Susan and Laurie had been roommates years ago...such a small world).
Wednesday the 14th was Ella's last day of school, and my last day of work. I was very sad to leave her school. We love the director, her teachers, her friends, their moms, basically everything about it. It's been such a great place for Ella the last two years, and she's been so happy there.
With Ms Barbi, the director
Ella and Ms. Martha. She is sweet and loving, like another grandmother to her, and has taught her so much, pushes her to focus on learning, and always encourages the kids to do the right thing.
In their favorite spot in the classroom - these 3 have racked up many, many, many hours together in 'housekeeping'
With her other teacher, Ms. Syreeta. She has only been there since January so we haven't known her very long, but she is so sweet, and great with the kids.
At the end of the day, saying goodbye to Ms. Martha (and me trying not to cry)
It was hard to say goodbye to my office as well. I went out to lunch with my department one more time; and, on my last Friday, the whole office surprised me with a little party with a cake and a card that everyone had signed, and a touch screen video camera for a gift. It was incredibly sweet and thoughtful of them, I really appreciated it.
My last day in the office we had a partner lunch and it was a really nice time. I chose Carolina Ale House because when we were in the office building before the one we're currently in, we always went there for work lunches and parties and happy hour after work (Pre-Ella :)). I was definitely feeling nostalgic. I tried to say goodbye to everyone that afternoon but it was still sad, and such a strange feeling, hard to believe I was really not going to be returning to the office the next day.
Here is my office all emptied out
Our last night, Mom and Glenn took Ella and I out for dinner. Ella chose Bass Lake, which is kind of funny because it's right by our house and we used to go there all the time, but don't really go any more. But, definitely a fitting pick because it's a Holly Springs staple.
Ella's outlines - Mom traced her every so often to see how much she's grown.
With Grammy back at the house
And - our last night in NC, sleeping like a sweet little angel