COA_full_RGBWe made it to Maine! We have been here for two weeks and are getting settled. Things are falling into place. After I posted about Atalie getting accepted to the University of New England, we received another letter in the mail saying that she was accepted to College of the Atlantic, also on scholarship. So we had a decision to make. One morning back in April Steve and I decided over coffee that we needed to go to Maine to see both schools so Atalie could make a decision. And our time was short with the deadlines for both colleges approaching quickly. We told the kids to pack a backpack and made a call to each school to schedule tours and we were on our way to Maine in a couple hours. We were all impressed with University of New England, but we fell in love with College of the Atlantic. It fits Atalie perfectly. So she is enrolled there and moves in August 30th. The college is located on Mount Desert Island right on the ocean and across the street from Acadia National Park. This is the little island that we had such a hard time leaving last October when we were here visiting. And now it is home. Steve has a job on the island working for a company that builds multi-million dollar homes. And we have found a house to rent. We will be moving into it in September. The house is called Joy Corners on Joy Road…we knew by the name it was meant for us…Cede’s middle name. It is so great to be back here. We are hiking as often as possible and each new trail has been beautiful. You hike up the mountains in woods that smell like Christmas…at the top you can see breathtaking views of the ocean…then you hike down the mountain and you’re standing on a rocky beach with blue-green water surrounded by mountains. On the days we aren’t hiking, we’re planning the next one, researching the trails. We are used to doing the advanced ones in the NC mountains, but here the advanced trails are different…some have warnings posted that people have died attempting them. So we do a lot of research first. And we are busy getting Atalie ready for college. Her orientation is a week long trip canoeing the Allagash river which borders Maine and Canada. So her list of things to get for college includes weird things like dry bags and river shoes and a canoe paddle. She’s almost ready though. And she’s excited for this new phase of her life. We do miss our friends and family though. And of course this would all be just about perfect if a certain dark haired little girl was here instead of in heaven. There is no place on this planet that we could go to get away from the pain of missing her.

Cede, you would love this place! I wish you could be on this adventure with us. We do our best to carry you along in our hearts, but it’s not the same at all…not even close. Love you, baby.