Easter 2018

Every year I want to make a big deal out of Easter. Two reasons.

1. It is indeed the holiday that my faith rests on. No resurrection means Jesus was just a man, or a prophet at best. The resurrection is the one event that solidifies he deity…and that matters because if Jesus is indeed God, well it leads to so many more things.

2. It was my favorite holiday growing up. The spring flowers, the amazing See’s candy that my mom filled my basket with, the egg hunt, the delicious lamb my parents would splurge on, the bunny cake my Grammie brought over, the sugar eggs my mom would set up for us to gaze into…it was all magical and warm and perfect.

Easter is interesting because in my quest to make it “perfect” or “a big deal” it has morphed over the years. I just want to share my love of it…and each year it always goes down very differently from how I imagine it is going to go down…but each year it is perfect in it’s own way. This year we are part of a new church, our first day opening was Easter Sunday, so Easter celebrations at home were quiet.

 
So this year was simple: an egg hunt with the neighbors, candy, and the one fact that Jesus did indeed rise. If you doubt the last part, don’t be afraid to look into the historical. Many witnessed it. Historians verify the validity of those witnesses. So we don’t have to take a “leap of faith” as much as we can use our brains and our logic and come to a conclusion that indeed Jesus was truly God as he claimed to be. So we celebrate that, as well as celebrating that the rest of the things that Jesus said were probably true too. Celebrate because he made some pretty cool claims, that in my opinion are totally worth a read. 😉

Happy Easter. 🙂

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Monkey Bar Champ

August is now a master of the monkey bars. The real story is how he became a master that sunny day 3 weeks ago.

Determination is the word that came to my mind that day.  Pure, raw, real, determination.

It was a beautiful March day, sunny and cool, and we found ourselves at a park called Hilltop Park.  August has been trying to master monkey bars for quite some time, but this park had something the other parks didn’t have: monkey bars that he could reach from the platform without mom’s help!  He said, “Mom watch.  I am going to make it across.”  He grabbed the first bar, swung to the second with ease, but found himself dropping as he tried to reach the third.  “Keep watching mom, I am going to make it this time.”  Again he got the first and the second bars, dropped on the third.  “Keep watching mom,” he pleaded.  5 minutes. 10 minutes.  Same thing; first bar, second bar, dropped at third. Then suddenly he got to the 4th bar out of 6.  Now he plea had turned into a self-motivating mantra.  “Again,” he said.  And with each drop, “AGAIN.”  4 bars to the 5th bar.  15 minutes, 17 minutes, 20 minutes.  5th bar!  Then within one more minute…6 bars…and the landing on the other side!  He looked at me BEAMING.  I screamed in delight!  Determination.  Not one cry, whine, or moment of self-doubt squeaked out.  Just the word, “AGAIN.” and the look of determination.  With this boys lack of fear and powerful determination…I can’t wait to see the plans that God has for him!

Now he is our monkey bar master!  Across any set of monkey bars you put in front of him..  Gymnastic bars too?  Yes! Flips upside down…and lets go of his hands to hang.  He can even pull himself on adult size gymnastic rings into a  full flip!

Not even 4 years old yet…Go August go!

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Spring Garden 2018

Our garden has seemingly gotten weaker and sadder each year since the year we put in the beds. It is so disheartening to plant, water, hope, and wait, only to end up with sad veggies.

Yes, we made a point to amend the soil like last year. BUT the other thing Daniel did this year is what turned out to be even more important: sifting through the soil to take out all the roots from previous years. AND you will never believe the surprise we found! When Daniel was sifting through he found out that one of our neighbor’s trees had roots in our veggie bed! Roots that were sucking out all the good nutrients from the soil! Clip and out they go. Then we amended. Then we planted.

Check out our bounty so far…so much better! YAY!

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My Quilt

I can’t remember the exact year mom gave my quilt to me…I think it was right after I graduated college or so. I pulled the quilt of the attic last week to take a picture for my mom that she requested, and I am SO GLAD I did. The kids oooo’ed and ahhhhh’ed. I got to tell the story of each piece. You see, my mom took all those clothes that every kid has, the ones that they don’t ever want to give away, and saved them over the years. Then she made a unique quilt for each of us. Each quilt for each kid’s personality. My quilt pieces were made into a painting of sorts, because I always loved painting.

I don’t think I can let it live in the attic anymore. What an amazing gift!

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Happy 38th Birthday

I love sleeping in on my birthday. I love the snuggles from the kids when I finally wake up. I love the AMAZING Eggs Benedict that Daniel has perfected. I love the flour-less chocolate cake and the kids singing happy birthday perfectly off-tune. I love the cards/emails that I get even more than any gift I have ever recieved. Words are my love language. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE going out to eat at a fancy restaurant with my kind, handsome, incredible man. So these are my requests…yep…every year. It is good. I am blessed.

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This picture was from a place in San Diego called “Brother’s Provisions”. We stopped there for a pumpkin cider and a beer before our fancy dinner. 🙂

London-Day 3

On our third day in London we came face to face with a dilemma. A big one. We had on our list to see West Minster Abbey and the Churchill War Rooms. Everyone we talked to had told us how fabulous those were. We wanted to see them, so badly, but at the same time we felt saturated with history and beautiful architecture. We felt that we just weren’t sure we could appreciate it the way we wanted to or knew we should.

So we made a bold decision to skip them completely and take in a museum and see the famous “Harrods” department store. It was weird to know that others might think our decision was crazy, that others may judge us for going all the way to England to take in an exhibit on Plywood and go to eat at a department store, but we don’t regret our decision AT ALL.

We decided to be true to ourselves and what we love….museums, exhibits about furniture, beautiful displays that delight the eyes beyond what words can discribe, and food that is so good it is almost a spiritual experience. It was a perfect way to end our trip. It was so “us” and so so so good.

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London-Day 2

We hopped first thing onto one of the red bus tours around the city. It was everything I hoped it would be! The tour guide was engaging and interesting and we were able to learn so much about all the big historic spots as well as some of the small historic spots.

Daniel and I keep commenting on how stunning the architecture is. I realize how American I will sound when I say this, but I must record my shock and awe: I kept thinking that there is no way seeing the big historic site in person would impress me. I have already seen all these site in everyone else’s photos or on the big screen in movies. That being said, I am so very wrong; every sight we see takes my breath away.

 

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On the tour we got to see Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, The London Tower, The London Tower Bridge, Twinnings Tea Shop (that has been serving tea there for 300 years!), the first two faced clock (Politician’s clock), Pudding Street (and the story of where the London fires originated; the fires that killed all the rats that killed out the plague), the bank district, the business district (which included the “walkie talkie building” and the “cheese grater” building as our guide called them), the smallest pub, the oldest pub, St. Paul’s Cathedral (famous for being another astounding church by Christopher Wren as well as other things, but I best know it as the place that Mary Poppins sings about “feeding the birds”), Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Downing Street, and even some of the stores where the royalty shops, etc etc.

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About halfway on the tour we took a stop to walk along the Thames river and cross the London Tower Bridge. We stopped at a covered Farmers Market called Burrough’s Market. We stumbled across it and were drawn in by the smells and sights of amazing looking food. It ended up being one of our biggest highlights! Every single stall of food took our breath away; displayed as though just casually laid out…but with such perfection to draw the eye and lure you in. Our jaws just kept falling to the floor in awe. We got pork belly and a scotch egg….the most lovely stop of serendipity.
 

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We ended our walk all the way at the Tate Modern. Despite the incredible history everywhere in London, Daniel and I can’t help being drawn to modern art. Picasso, Monet, Magritte, Kandinsky, Pollock, Warhol….so many of my favorite artists not to mention the incredible modern art by new artists. After two hours we only scratched the surface of all this free museum had to offer, but our feet and backs told us it was time to call and end to our touring.

 
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After all the walking we couldn’t wait to sit so it just seemed like the perfect idea to take in a show in London’s famous West End Theater district. I have always wanted to see “Wicked”, and there it was, walking distance from our flat. We dressed up, took in a fabulous dinner, and got treated to the “Ambassador’s Lounge” before the show. The show itself was breath-taking. The sets, the singing, the acting; I have never seen a show so impressive! It was everything I imagined it would be and more!!

 
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What an incredible day! London is even more awe-inspiring then I ever imagined it could be.

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It is our first day in London. Everything is just how I imagined it would be. The way I felt at the train station was reminiscent of the Harry Potter scene where Harry feels a bit overwhelmed at the chaos of it all; everyone around him walking at the speed of light and knows just where to go. Both overwhelming and thrilling at the same time. We walked from the train station to our London flat, the lowest level of a Londoner’s home that we are renting for our three nights here. Reminds me of the “brownstones” in Boston; gorgeous and far more spacious than I would have ever imagined being able to afford here.

We are both exhausted from having so many “go go go” days, yet also excited for our London adventures that await us. Tomorrow we will take a double decker red bus tour to try and see as much as we can!

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