Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Good Times

My brother and his girlfriend just had a handsome baby boy. They asked if they could plant a tree at our SLO ranch (where we will be moving in June) and have a naming ceremony for their little Able. Of course we said yes. It was beautiful; one of those experiences that allows you to look at each person and realize how happy you are that they are part of your family.




It was Adam and Kelli's birthday while we were there. Adam likes chocolate and Kelli likes confetti cake. Perfect combination.





A Toledo, Spain sword is the only way to cut a cake that big down the middle.







Stay tuned for more living . . .

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Rest of the Trip

The trip continues. . .

After Sevilla we made our way to Granada, but stopped in some really amazing places like Cadiz, where you can find dancing horses; and Gibraltar, home of the famous rock on the southwestern tip of Europe that has been taken over by Barbary Macaque monkeys. There's something about exploring new places, cultures and people that never gets old. Every time I'm traveling, at the airport or even just in a crowded place, I look around and am in awe at what God has created. I love nature but there's something about people that just draws me in. Just to look at people. . . 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 nose, 1 mouth and yet everyone looks completely different.

It really is amazing.


Cadiz


pic from Royal Riding School



Rock of Gibralter



Granada was hillsides full of quaint little white homes with terra cotta rooftops and cobblestone streets. We explored the Alhambra castle and it's inspiring architecture and grounds.



Abby took this cute pic. I love the stache ; )


Kelli actually gagged when I took this picture of her parents kissing :) Nothing warms my heart more than true love. I love that it has the number 1 above the door.




OK, I loved Toledo! I love anything that has a bit of history in it. I am definitely NOT a history buff. I have to try my hardest to remember what war was when; I know pathetic, right? I don't look at a city and remember history lessons from the 6th grade, but it's almost like I can feel or sense the history when I'm there. Toledo is a place where you can feel the history seeping out of the cracks in the streets and the walls of almost every building. It's been populated since the Bronze Age (3300–1200 BC ), and you can see it from the way the City is laid out, to the materials used in the old town buildings.


"View of Toledo" by resident El Greco 1608


Toledo is known for its metal craftsmanship. They've been doing it since Roman times. Jared pointed us in the right direction to the most authentic sword shop in town. It was tucked away, almost hidden, but we found it! The owner had been taught by his father, and his father was taught by his father, etc. He was a genuine guy and really proud to show us around his humble shop.

Check out his missing fingers! That's the real deal.


We couldn't leave Toledo without a couple swords for the boys made from our new friend.
America never tasted so good




Happy Birthday Jared! Thanks for planning such a great trip.




We brought in the New Year in the beautiful city of Granada and enjoyed some festivities in Madrid.






Stay tuned for more living . . .

Monday, March 21, 2011

What Now?

I haven't felt like posting for a couple reasons. One, I have been really busy and through recent moves, have only just gotten back online. Two, and probably the main reason is that it hurts to look back. Even on amazing vacations and great times, even though it's been eight months, I still can't stop but think how Max is missing. . . how I am missing Max. Everyday I think of him, numerous times a day and every thought hurts. If I think of our last goodbyes it hurts, if I think about his sweet smile, it fills me with joy but it also hurts. How do I not hurt? Not think about him? How can I be a mother and not think of her child? I couldn't. Do I fill my life with constant entertainment or stuff to occupy my mind? I've been told to keep busy. I have kept busy, I have been out of my mind busy. And now, I am just really really tired. . . so tired that the glass that is always half full to me started to look half empty. I really don't like half empty glasses, they bother me. So, I have been thinking about it, searching for some peace and guess what I thought about? . . . You. Like I said I would, I opened my heart and pulled out all the messages, cards and letters that I had tucked away for when I would need them most. I took them out and read the words that you all took the time to write and send to me and my family. The cards, emails and post comments that I didn't want to open and read but touched me so deeply after I did. Words, that no doubt were inspired. Your words inspire me and give me strength to face one of my greatest fears with love and compassion. There is tragedy everywhere in the world. We can't change that, but we have God and each other to get through it.


I am so grateful for all of you.



Stay tuned for more living. . .