The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Georgia Sunshine

Time to Fly, Part Three -- May 6-7.

Next stop was a quick (relatively speaking!) three-hour drive over to Atlanta and the T family.  I really do miss my friends, but it is fun being able to make stops along our journey!

Just after we arrived at their house, I started getting texts from a friend:  Where are you?  Who's traveling with you?  Is this a family trip?  Our "semi-secret" trip (per Thomas' wishes) turned into another fun adventure--how much could we post on social media without revealing who was with us or what we were doing?  So far we had just posted photos of Fernando and me, and left Thomas out of it.  At that point we just decided to have some fun with it.

Brian had the grill going for dinner with a veritable feast of food!

We rested, relaxed, sat together, talked, laughed, played games, attended church on Sunday...  Just normal things and sharing our lives together for a day and a half.

Aren't we a good looking group?  This was after church, just before we left.

You knew this would be the next photo...

Donetta and I, hamming it up together!

Then, we were off, ever onward to our final destination.

Back to life,

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sweet Respite

Time to Fly, Part Two -- May 5-6.

After our rainy day-long drive and midnight arrival in South Carolina, we spent the next few days relaxing with the S family.  Sometimes you don't realize how much you miss friends until you see them again!

The littler girls took to Fernando quickly.  He's such a big teddy bear!

The kids took us on a little tour of their five-acre property, and the most important stop for the girls was the shed, and their baby chicks.

It was cool that day, which was fine with me since it was even cooler back home.  And our little walk--heavenly!  Spring had definitely arrived here!

Most of our time was spent just relaxing, talking, and laughing.  On our last morning, I did a quick photo shoot with all the kids, then we took some group photos. 

The guys wanted to show how they had all grown...

Not!  Thomas is quite a bit shorter than their two boys!

Finally, one group photo before we left.

And of course, the requisite goofy-face photo!

It was hard to leave, but time was marching on and we needed to get on with the journey.  So away we drove, eastward and southward to our next destination.

Back to life,

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Time to Fly

Time to Fly, Day One -- May 4

There's obviously a back story to this photo of a crazy-eyed Thomas, a pair of kitchen shears in his hand and camping gear strewn around the floor.  These things, plus a few more essentials, were all that he'd need for the upcoming weeks.

This has to do with a few posts ago, and an announcement from Thomas.  As you can guess by the title of this post, it was indeed time for him to fly--fly our nest, and it began with a road trip.

Fernando drove the Suburban, and Thomas drove his car with me riding shotgun for navigation if needed.  Fernando took the lead, we followed, and a new journey commenced.  In the below photo, we had just gotten on to I-80 East, and just as we did, Thomas flipped a radio station and Come Sail Away began playing.  It was the perfect song, and the two of us started singing it at the top of our lungs.  It was one of those forever moments.

I'm sailing away set an open course for the virgin sea
I've got to be free free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board I'm the captain so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try oh Lord I'll try to carry on...

Secular song, for sure.  But it captured the moment, the very beginning of a whole new journey for Thomas.  I posted the above photo on Instagram with a post reflecting the words of this song, not thinking much of it.  Thomas didn't want it advertised until he was ready, so since Instagram isn't Facebook, we left it there and drove on.

It started raining, a light sprinkle about an hour into our road trip when I begged to stop (that mug of tea...!).  Then it rained...

And it rained, all through Indiana and into Kentucky...

And it rained some more, into the hills and around the curves of the highway...

And on into the evening, it kept raining.

Into the mountains of South Carolina and into the fog--the dense, misty kind--it rained and rained, and never stopped.

Our first stop on this trip was in South Carolina, a nice resting stop with a family we hadn't seen in far too long.  That'll be the next post...

Back to life,

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Thoughts

This spring will be spent waiting.  The bursts of color from the flowers, the popping buds on the trees, and the birdsong floating on the air all shout their message of newness and joy to my heart.  This day was spent with Fernando at The Morton Arboretum, since where else would I find so much color and spring?

The daffodils covered the field, as they do each spring.  I never knew there were so many varieties; I tried to capture them all.

Walking down one of the paths on the west side, we encountered the early mayapples!  Their umbrellas were just opening.

I love the redbuds with their beautiful little blossoms.

This was my first time capturing the waterfall from below.

I love trying to capture texture, as in this photo of standing water, twigs, and pieces of tree.

And oh, the glorious meadow with all its bright beauty!

Yellow magnolias.

Sometimes, and especially in spring when there's so much beauty and color surrounding me, I have to dig to see the special.  I have to get down on the ground, just lie there with my camera, turn to the side, to see something beyond the ground cover.  Pretty little white flowers, sweetspire (some call it lily of the valley), blossoming where no one looks, where no one even bothers to search.  Most don't even know it's there.  But I do, and so I lay down and search, then snap.

Hidden treasure.

Back to life,

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Monday

Last Monday after work, we had bad news.  This Monday...

Thomas gave us some news.  I won't share just now what it is; that'll have to wait for Thomas' timetable.  For now, all I can say is that I came home from work, walked into the kitchen, and saw Fernando and Thomas standing there.

Fernando hollered for everyone to come to the kitchen, and announced that Thomas had something to say.

Thomas said it, and I'm sorry, but my reaction was less than Christine-like.  I started bawling, I mean really crying.  I don't do this.  I don't.  But after everything, every letdown, every setback, every bit of having to step back and change course--this was a huge thing.

I'll share more in a few weeks when I'm allowed to, according to my youngest son.

Back to life,

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He is Risen

Our pre-Easter week was a wreck, much like this airplane we found in our front yard on Easter Sunday morning.

Plane--wings sheared off--crashes on front lawn of suburban home!!

But Easter came, bright with the news that He is risen!!

We went to Danny's and Jacob's church for Easter service, and we were blessed to hear them sing an introductory hymn with their friends.

At home, we had our family over for a celebration.  Easter Sunday was also Danny's birthday, and Dad's birthday was a few days prior.  So, a triple celebration was in order!

The table is ready for the feast.

My brother Jeff and Dad hanging out in the family room.

Fernando manned the grill, as usual.

I posed with Char, my sister-in-law.

Char's "beer-butt" chicken, as we call it!

While waiting for the feast...

We had to get their ages on the cake somehow!
The 5 was a wax candle; the other numbers were plastic.  Hey, it worked!

My older brother Matt with Char.

I couldn't get Joseph to smile.

Mom and I with a few photobombers thrown in.

Jeff and I.

The birthday boys and I.

Back to life,

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