This past week we spent driving down to Virginia for the Wild + Free conference and then back up again. We planned to stay with Danielle, who before our trip, I had only known through social media. We were both diarists in the third volume of the Sling Diaries, and had become fast friends since. She was one of my top favorites in our volume and I was so giddy to meet her and her little family after almost an entire year (year and a half?) of knowing them. I’m a huge fan of Dani and her husband Jimmy’s photography work and have always been attracted to their love for finding magic in the mundane. Our boys are all around the same age so naturally they had quite a bit in common and got along beautifully. Zak and I are totally smitten with Jimmy and Dani and we cannot wait to visit with them again. Our visit with them on the way down was short but very sweet. On the way back up we were able to stay with them for a bit longer and spent an entire day hiking the most beautiful trail, visiting a farm grocery and restaurant, and playing Settlers of Catan. Little Elliot seemed to really adore Zak and Zak felt the same about Elliot, it was pretty darling. Asher was very quick to hug us all when we asked him for it! Both boys were so ridiculously sweet and so adventurous, a little different than what I am used to with Odin! Asher was eager to explore at his own pace, usually much further ahead than any of us. He would stop and reflect every so often and it was the sweetest thing to watch. (Dani and Jimmy, we love all of you!!)
After our first visit with Dani and Jimmy, we went to visit my soul mate Angelica in Virginia. We had planned to visit with her for so much longer than we actually did, but unfortunately our time was cut short. We were only able to play for a day before we had to keep driving. I made little (2 years old today) Rosalita a flower crown, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She kept asking for it to be placed on her head after it fell off, and would smile every time it found it’s way back to her crown. I love that little darling and her mumma too.
Our third family friend visit was with dear Kirsten Rickert. I was so pleased to have spent so much time with her while at Wild + Free. Her attention to the environment is what originally attracted me and since then I’ve fallen head over heels for her and her lovely family! I’ve dreamed of meeting her girls and knew my gentle little Odin would fancy them as well. He did immediately as the girls took his hands and brought him outside to show him around. Little Elle even dressed him in a cardigan of her own accord, because it was a bit chilly out. Maya is so brilliant and was beaming with pride while showing us her tree house and singing songs to Zak. Kirsten was very generous to offer us a picnic lunch before we had to dash off (we very nearly missed our boat because we stayed longer than we should have). I sent the girls two of my dolls earlier last month and it was so nice to see them so loved. They reminded me very much of myself when I was around 8 years old. I loved many of the same things and my imagination worked in very much the same way, so seeing them brought out my inner child in a way that hadn’t been done in a very long time.
Once again, I am here writing about how grateful I am for social media and how it has brought me friends I would have never made otherwise. Isn’t it a little funny? I suppose if you choose not to be lost in social media, choose not to live your life only through words and images on a screen, it can become a tool to make the search for kindred souls in the world that much easier. I think this year for Thanksgiving, the thing I may say I’m grateful for is Instagram (ha!).