Monday, April 22, 2013

The Happiest Family on Earth

Those who know our family well know that one of our favorite pastimes is going to Disneyland. We enjoy spending quality family time, people watching, conversation over a delicious mocha, and the overall magical ambiance that exists there. This has been the home of many wonderful memories. And many more to come.

The Watery City

Only two more weeks before we are off. I am almost wishing that time would slow down for fear the trip will come and go too fast. It is true, expectation is a huge part of the excitment and fun.

Today, in preparation for our adventure (at least that is what I told myself... but I am not really sure how it was productive for preparation) I read some of the corespondence between my family and I while I was away on my last trip to Europe. Seven years ago already!

Anyway, the e-mails sucked me into the wonderful experience that traveling is. I read my own descriptions of the cities I visited and felt all of the same awe and wonder that I experienced so many years ago. One reason why journaling is so important.

I thought I would share a little excerpt from an e-mail to my sister. I did not need to read this to be reminded of the feelings I had when I first stepped off the train in the watery city. Indeed, those first few moments have been inspriation for me in various creative writing classes. From the moment I first arrived, Venice impacted me forever.

And one wonders why I am so insanly excited to go back and experience all of this with my husband. Oh wonderful life....

Dear Emsi,                                                                                   June 2006 

I love Venice. Although, I knew I would. We arrived late on a cold, dark and rainy night, with only a slight idea of where we could stay, and without a clue as to how we would get there. Fortunately, God always pulls through; there were several nice people who seemed to know everything that we needed to. We even met a nice man who was staying at the same hostel, so we didn't have to wander the dark streets alone trying to figure things out. What an adventure every day is!
Anyway, today was a lovely day, spent on and off the Grand Canal trying to take in everything. The moment I arrived at the station last night and saw the moon over the water, I just felt... I am not quite sure what, but I am sure that it is the feeling that most people comprehend when encountered with the lovely city. I knew that Venice would not disappoint; we would be friends from here on out (sometimes I talk like Anne because I am reading her books). The city is unlike any other and it makes you feel something. All the emotions that can't be explained rolled into one. I would like to just sit, and watch and listen, read, write and pray. That is what I would do if I had my way here; for romance, and not just love, the romance in everything, lingers here. And I want to sit and drink it in. Ahh Venice. Tonight we sat on the very edge of the Grand Canal and watched as the sun sank...a beautiful sunset.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

38 Years and Still Holding Hands

Cory and I always joke (and to our shame) that my parents hold hands more than we do. It is wonderful to see two people who have been together for so long still maintaining that cute, romantic touch that is holding hands.

These two favorite people of mine just celebrated their 38th anniversary. Amazing!

Friday, April 19, 2013

First Beach Day of the Year

It is a glorious day when, after the snow has passed and spring is in the air, we begin to feel summer in our bones. It was a wonderful day indeed that we packed up our boogie boards, towels, children, and snacks to head to the beach.

A Little Supermodel

I love taking pictures of my beautiful niece more than anybody. Daphne is a little supermodel. All of these little poses were by her own volition and creativity. I just can't believe how grown up she looks!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

God Bless Sundays

While I was working a few weeks ago I was talking with a lady about family, tradition, habits, etc. I mentioned that we had dinner over at my parents every Sunday. She smiled and said that she is one of eight children and up until a few years ago her family did the same thing. With tears in her eyes she told me, "enjoy your Sunday dinners."

This got me thinking about all of those things in life that we may take for granted. For instance, our beautiful Sundays. There are seventeen or eighteen or nineteen that gather over at my parents every Sunday afternoon. Ping pong, socializing, sun time, coffee, laughs, and tacos. It is a great combination.

Here is just a little glimpse of the fun we have all together on our Sunday afternoons. God bless family.

It Truly is a Wonderful Life

Two Little Princesses

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These are the two little princesses of our family. They are certainly easier to take pictures of than the little boys. Once they are in their beautiful dresses they are ready to perform; two of the most beautiful and precious subjects I could ask for.

Best Buddies

Only three more weeks before my exciting adventure begins! I can't wait. I literally feel excitement bursting within me whenever I think about it.... but that is not what I wanted to write about today.

One of the things I am most looking forward to on this trip is the pictures that I am going to be taking. My wonderful husband bought be a very nice camera last year. I was so happy and excited. How difficult could photography be? Point and press the button. Piece of cake. Boy was I wrong. When I first started reading the manual I felt like someone attempting to read a foreign language for the first time. After a few months of trying and feeling like a failure I put the old manual away for awhile and forgot about my beautiful camera waiting to be utilized to its full potential.

Not anymore, after purchasing our plane tickets I felt renewed energy and excitement to be able to capture the memories of our trip in beautiful pictures. I got a stack of photography books from the library and have been eating them up with a new fascination and, believe it or not, understanding. I have been having a blast in the last few months as I try to put into practice what I am learning. I say TRYING, reading about it is way easier than doing it.

I said all of that to say that I have the cutest little models that I get to practice on. On Easter Sunday all of my little nephews (and nieces, more on them later) were dressed up (and clean too!!!). I attempted to take a few pictures of the little guys all in a row. It doesn't take a good photographer to show how absolutely adorable these little buddies are.

There will be many more pictures of these little guys and their sisters posted here in the future!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Trip of a Lifetime

In my previous post I hinted at, but never expounded upon, the reason that prompted me to start a blog. It is a small reason really; the purpose which I finally found to inspire me to join the rest of the twenty-first century and spill my thoughts and daily activities on the web.

This reason is simply that my husband and I are planning the trip of a lifetime... Ahem, correction, one of the trips of our lifetime. Cory always corrects me by saying that this is not the only time we are going to take a trip like this in our whole life; therefore I have adapted my excited statement.

We are planning a trip to Europe. Hooray! It makes me excited to even write about it. Five weeks, four countries, spring, just the two of is going to be amazing!

 (I can't wait till I can put all of my own pics up... but I have to be there in order to do so!)

I wanted the capabilities of sharing pictures and updates of our trip with my family while we were away. (Since Facebook wasn't happening per my previous post... viola, we have a blog).

So I am in the process of booking train tickets, plane tickets, boat tickets, hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, tours, restaurants.... you name it. My parents are even insisting on sponsoring a gondola ride for us. I cannot think of anything more romantic. I only wish that they could be there in the boat with us instead!

I am trying to enjoy every moment of the planning and expectation... because it really is part of the fun. Once the trip begins I am afraid it will suddenly be over. Therefore I relish everything I book and every plan I make.

I will post out current itinerary just in case anybody wants to see what our plans are, or (which would be great) anyone has ideas or thoughts about certain areas and activities that we can do. Five weeks seems like a long time, but as I am planning, the time is just getting shorter and shorter. Now I am wondering how we are going to fit it all in!!!
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