If home is where the heart is…

1,450. That is the number of miles Jim and I drove in the last three days. Call us crazy, but we road tripped to Greensboro, NC for one of Jim’s lifelong friend’s weddings. It was just one of those weddings we couldn’t miss, even if it meant over 24 hours in the car this weekend.

This past week was already chaos wrapped into the course of several days. For one, the premiere of HGTV Home Town took place on Tuesday, and it was an exhilarating, exhausting, and exciting experience (how’s that for alliteration!?)! The turn out for the downtown viewing was fantastic, and it was truly a sight to behold: everyone with their lawn chairs and blankets spread out across the Laurel Mercantile’s lawn, with the show projected on the side of the Mercantile. Can anyone say Stars Hollow of the South!? It’s one of those nights that’ll stay with me because it really showcased Laurel’s community. It’s one of the reasons this town is so special to me.

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On top of the premiere, it was already a hectic work week in general. There’s a plethora of wonderful events and programs happening at Choices Clinic, and it’s such a privilege to be a part of it! But, as we all know, with expansion and growth comes a tremendous amount of responsibility. Our team was spread out all over Laurel this past week fulfilling different roles in the community. Teamwork in action!

All this to say, the thought of driving twenty five hours this weekend felt a bit… well, CRAZY!

Nevertheless, we made the trip, and wouldn’t have it any other way. The wedding took place in Jamestown, NC, a suburb of Greensboro, NC. I spent the first ten years of my life in Greensboro, and it was a bit surreal to be back in a somewhat familiar yet completely different place. The area has really grown from what I remembered. In order to get to Greensboro, Jim and I drive through Chattanooga, TN – another one of my previous homes, and one that’s near and dear to my heart! We were able to break up the first leg of the trip by spending the night in Chattanooga at our friends the Mayberrys, and it was a life savor! Additionally, we made some lemonade out of lemons by stopping on our long trip back to Mississippi to have a pizza date with my favorite Covenant College students: my little brothers, Jesse and Connor, and Morgan (Jesse’s lady friend).

As we embarked on our trip home today, sweet Dawn texted me this morning with this picture:Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

She did NOT text me this picture to remind me that I look ridiculous wearing vans with that dress. I inferred that all on my own (but really, why Kenz!?). Rather, she texted me this picture because it was taken exactly one year ago today. Sorry y’all, but I’ve warned you before – March is an incredibly sentimental month for me when it comes to us living in Laurel. One year ago, Jim and I drove to Laurel on a whim, met Dawn at Southern Antiques, talked to her and Michael for hours about who we were and why we were moving to Mississippi, and they agreed to let us rent their loft – all in one day. I plan on writing a blog post about that day in detail, but I couldn’t do it justice with my exhausted brain right now.

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I find it incredibly fitting that Laurel welcomed us home with a beautiful, pink sky and warm, soothing weather this evening. It did the same for us exactly one year ago. Tears of joy streamed down my face when Dawn and Michael offered us the loft for rent a year ago – it was about more than living in their beautiful loft. I felt like Jim and I had just accepted an invitation to become a part of something truly special, and we’d only just begun scratching the surface. Let’s just say this – if home is where the heart is, I guess I have a lot of homes, because my heart is scattered throughout different states – North Carolina, California, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia – and now my heart has made it’s way to Mississippi, right here in little Laurel.

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