Ok, this is my last post of vacation photos… promise. One of my requirements for vacation is “art.” Pretty broad – a museum, workshop, gallery – just something to inspire a little creativity. I was thrilled to learn a town 15 minutes from where we were staying was the famous artist colony of Todos Santos. The people here are proud of their little town, laid back, sleepy seaside location, and the number of international artist “residents.” I loved Jill Logan’s painted waves and landscapes, the silver, hammered copper sinks, and a collaborative mosaic located in the center of the town. Definitely inspiring.
A friend of mine had recommend the novel The Red Tent, earlier this summer, which I took on vacation and actually finished! It was a very interesting read, loosely based on Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob. It imagines life and traditions ancient womanhood, childhood, marriage, and the roles of each. I have been reading a book on Ruth as well, which is more biblically accurate, and have enjoyed the contrast and overlap of the two. It has been interesting to let the mind wander to what it would be like to live during ancient bible times and the stark contrast of what life is like as an American woman. So all of this was floating around in my mind while in Mexico, a foreign land, with my husband… still pondering all that. For some reason we had a very difficult time with meals on our trip, choosing restaurants, ordering, timing; but the last night we went to Taquila’s sunrise in Todos Santos, and had such an awesome meal. We even watched a local parade signaling the beginning of their festival go by. I was so thankful for the hospitality, good dessert, and on top of my meal were white pomegranate seeds.
Can I take you girls on a “family date” tonight? My husbands idea of a surprise was to introduce us all to the driving range. I think I got a little farther with the camera than I did with the clubs… but the girls got into it. Nothing sweeter than seeing the love of your life teaching your little loves (in skirts none-the-less). Learning to take the moments as they come and embrace what’s around us. I keep saying “this is the best stage,” and praying that is my proclamation at every milestone!
We are pretty busy in summer around here, so I really wanted to start something with our family that we could grow in, in a season wide open for us. So this year I took a gamble and gifted the girls some skis and passes at a local hill as their Christmas present. They LOVED it! It was confirmed when my husband stated “this was a really good idea.”
I was also able to knock off several of my new years resolutions with this little trip we just took. We snuck away for a little winter retreat at just the right time – we arrived at Crystal after the snow fell and after the power came back on. The trees were absolutely gorgeous weighted down with snow, and the sunshine peeking out to greet us from time to time. Here’s what our family gleaned from skiing together;
- Quality Time: As I thought about this it became more apparent, when do we as a family spend 5 hours of uninterrupted or undistracted time together in the outdoors? I find we do this best with little day trips, when it’s marked out on the calendar and we are away from our normal daily activities.
- Accomplishment: I wouldn’t hide the few tears from our first outing in January, because they bring more joy to the smiles we get now. They started like anyone else on the bunny hill, my husband and I tag-teamed teaching them ourselves. Now, we spend way more time on the chair lifts and racing down the green and blue runs, but they still like going back to the bunny hill to practice new “tricks”. They learn so much now without even realizing it, it is such a joy to see them maneuver on their own and become independent.
- Fun: Sure we are all learning new skills, gaining coordination, control and strength, but more than that we are having fun! Sometimes it is good to let loose of the goals, rules, and bury the cell phone in a deep pocket, and just enjoy one anothers company. That’s something I am completely behind investing in!
Even though this winter has been bizarre according to the weather reports, we have had the BEST winter! Wistfully I acknowledge this is a turning point for our family, as the snow melts the girls are shedding their toddler-hood and have fully grown into the big kid realm. The confidence they gained on the slopes has transferred beyond and to the pool, as they “FINALLY” go underwater and are starting to swim on their own. I find my self enjoying their company as I laugh with them now as their little humor matures. There is no greater joy as a parent than seeing your child claim the things you love the most for themselves… Little nut said to me “mom, let’s do this in a pattern, swim, ski, swim ski…” Oh, melt my heart, three of my favorite things.
“oh no, Flynn Rider is covered in snow!”
We had a beautiful Thanksgiving. We have a long tradition of logging hours in the cold mid-west kitchen followed by “stuffing.” I was so thankful for a chance to rest and re-charge this year with our family somewhere warm. We added a few days at Disney (my first time ever!) for the girls birthdays and followed it up with a few days by the sea. We still got our ice cream (some of us daily…) just with little chocolate mickey ears. It was a bit magical all around for our family. Now that I’ve had some sun let the merry season begin.
Thankfully, we got away for that little hike last weekend that I was hoping for. Who has ever heard of perfect 80 degree weather in October, in Michigan??? We headed out for an afternoon at one of my Dad’s favorite places – the Pine river. 4 miles we hiked with our girls! They did such a great job hiking up hills, through the woods and along the river - we saw very few people out.
I think I am in love with this photo above, the golden-colored leaves and the shadows dancing about on the trunk – gorgeous! Our hike was a bit magical, I wish I was better at capturing the leaves falling, they kind of float from the trees and rest on the forest floor. I took a lot of photos but none really captured the beauty of being in nature with the people I love most.
As I post these pictures, I am realizing how much we get around the state of Michigan! Midland is beautiful little gem hidden in the middle of the state, the girls and I got away for a little culture field trip and ended up at Dow gardens. They have a great interactive children’s garden where the kids can help water and play through out the carefully planned space. The best part is it is full of all different types of vegetables that are out of their norm, so they can see what the plants look like and even taste. I was impressed with the basil hedge, varieties of beans, corn, squash, peppers, tomatillos, cabbage… it was so education even for me. I wish my vegetable garden looked this beautiful!
This weekend I celebrated my cousin’s wedding in Richmond. The Segway tours were booked (bummer!) but we headed out to see the historic sites on foot. It was a sweet getaway to visit with my siblings and first cousins … there were even more of us there! I love family and the fact you get to know us best on the dance floor!
This is my 100th post (I know already!) and I ran my first 10K ever this morning at the Grand Rapids river bank run. Who would have ever thought I would be doing either of these in 2011. I was overwhelmed by the mass number of people moving in the same direction. The image of so many individuals moving towards the same goal, like a highway of people. Very aware of all that were around me, I found that I consistently miscalculated people. It’s that unseen training and inner drive that keeps one going, not matching outfits, skin color, or body size. Soon after I was cheering for that runner who slowed down on the side of the road and those defying my judgement. How important encouragement is, (I loved my two personal cheerleaders) even more so as the end draws near. Each runner with their own beautiful story and motivation, racing together to finish. I saw this as the simplest observation and found it easily transferable to spiritual applications. This is what we train for friends; eternity. You Can Do It!
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Isaiah 62:10-12 Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’ They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.
We were so thankful for our little getaway, it was just what we needed. An overnight, little family time and a pool. I loved seeing all these little love notes on the table this morning. ”I hope that we stay here every night” heart heart heart!
Nut fell asleep in the car holding her balloon from the race. Static electricity took over, clinging to her cheek and making her hair dance as she bobbed in her sleep. Poor innocent little thing she was just as wiped out as I was… yet she even amuses us in her sleep.
My nephew sent me an assignment for his kindergarten class based on the international literacy and community project Flat Stanley. We hung out with Braden at one of our favorite places SpringHill, see our adventures through our photo journal.
This past week we took a little holiday break. We are fortunate to have family who shared their cottage, so we were able to stay close but be utterly refreshed. Our trip was composed of lazy days, a day trip to the water park, great dinners with old friends and family, a ginormous christmas store and lots of family time. Quite wonderful it was!
Yesterday it was back to normal… my swimming partner presented to me with this book yesterday morning in the locker room. It was written before I was born… but absolutely sweet that she saw it and picked it up for me. The cover says a lot but it’s even more fun inside.
I love looking at old cookbooks filled with personal hand-written notes, stains, and a few extra recipe clippings mixed in as page savers. I think every recipe in this book makes no less than 5 gallons, I’ll have to do the math to size them down. Just look at this heritage!
The entire book is written very witty including several published articles from The New Yorker and a complete history of the creamy stuff. It is interesting to see how lingo changes over time and influences the meaning or tone of the text.
Very Fun… looks like I have some reading to do!