Winter walk…

Winter walk…

This week, Husband and I went back to our beloved Smithfield. This time it wasn’t for a lovely anniversary getaway, or to show friends our find. It was just to be.

We didn’t do any shopping, or eating, or anything really. We just brought the puppy and took a walk because we could. Because it’s beautiful…

Smithfield, Va.

Old tree stump amid farmland

Husband and puppy walking in Smithfield.

Smithfield waterways.

Puppy on a dock in Smithfield.

Walking in Smithfield.

Old barns lit by evening light.

Sun begins to set behind the trees.

Beautiful.

Adventure: Historic Smithfield Va.

Adventure: Historic Smithfield Va.

Smithfield home

As part of our anniversary celebration, Husband and I spent an overnight in historic Smithfield, Va. To be completely honest, I have to tell you that we utterly fell in love with this town.

The town dates from the 1700s, and includes architecture of all kinds–colonial, civil war, Victorian… It’s a beautiful mix, with surprising details around every corner. In short, this town is chock full of what we like to call character. The buildings are beautiful, many have been completely restored.

I’m sorry to say that I somehow neglected to take pictures of most of the buildings–I think I was too much in awe to think of photography. But you can see them all in chronological order here.

Historic home with character in Smithfield

Many of the homes are far more grandiose than we could ever afford, but we thought perhaps the building below would be more in our price range =). We took to calling it our “River Home for weekend getaways”.

Our River Home

(We did look up local real estate, surprised to find that there were adorable historic homes that are in fact quite affordable!)

We stayed a short walk away from the historic district, at Smithfield Station. The accommodations and the restaurant were both delightful, and we especially liked sitting on our balcony overlooking the Pagan River.

View of the Pagan River

Smithfield Virginia

Also within walking distance was Windsor Castle Park. There are several miles of trails, a historic farm, a kayak launch and much more. We enjoyed several walks along the trails and bridges, each with lovely views of the river and many canopied by large trees.

Windsor Castle Park

The Pagan River and tributaries run through Smithfield.

Cotton

We also went kayaking through the Pagan River, and enjoyed every minute–especially our up-close-and-personal inspections of nearby boathouses. We dream that perhaps one day we will be so lucky as to have a dock of our very own.

A dock and boathouse in Smithfield.

Sumi-e paintingWe also took a quick peak in the visitor’s center which doubles as an art gallery that houses local artists’ studios. There we came across an artist working on sumi-e painting, a style that comes from Japan. The artist, Roy Williams, took a few minutes to talk to us about his medium and we learned he is a local wine connoisseur and retired chemistry professor as well.

We have grand plans to return here often, a mere hour from home it is a reachable piece of heaven. And in our dreams, we believe we can someday live here too. Someday…

Two wonderful years

Two wonderful years

Dinner together

Three years ago this very week I went kayaking with a new friend. Two years ago today, I married him. You can read a little more about how that all evolved here.

Husband and I have had a beautiful two years of marriage–I find it impossible to sum it up in a single post. Over the past two years we have been stretched, we have grown individually and in unity, we have learned ever more what it means to put Christ at the center of our marriage, and we have learned to put our trust ever more in God to see us through struggles.

I can only pray for many, many more years of growing and changing and learning together.

In honor of what we consider a sacred commitment to each other and our Lord, we have taken every opportunity over the past week to celebrate, remember and simply be together…

Rose petals

Second anniversary

Flowers from husband

More flowers from Husband

Breakfast together

Last year we headed to the mountains to go camping, this year we stuck closer to home, spending a little time in historic Smithfield, Va.

Smithfield Station

Long walks with Husband

Kayaking together

A country sunset bike ride.

Delicious baked apple and ice cream.

A souvenir plaque from Smithfield adorns our bedroom.