Category: Travel


The Palestine Experience

Brown. White. Green. Yellow-gold. Black.

Those are the colors that come to mind.

Desert. Rolling hills. White buildings – so many white buildings. Dirt roads. High walls. Olive trees. Fences. Shacks.

Those are the images of the landscape that are still fresh in my memory.

Flies. Crowded cars on crowded streets. Yelling. Rocks. Guns – very big, very loaded guns. Green military clothing. White and black scarves.

Those are the sounds and sights that brought fear and uneasiness to my soul.

I have only kissed the ground – literally – in one place on this earth. That would be the Laguardia airport in New York. I had arrived back to my homeland of the United States after spending 6 weeks in Israel and Palestine.

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Spring Break Goodness

I am blessed. I continue to shake my head in awe and curiosity at the goodness of God in my life. I am reminded of His abundant blessings when I spend time with my family. Hubbs and I have a good and loving relationship with our parents and our siblings. The older I get, the more I realize how rare that is for a lot of people. I think that’s part of why becoming a foster parent is a desire of mine – it’s not just Hubbs and I taking on the challenge of that role. There is a loving and supportive and encouraging family unit that will be a part of that challenge – even if it’s just in their prayers and words of counsel.

This past week my little family traveled down to Santa Maria to stay with my in-laws. This was the first trip with 2 kids that both of them slept through the night all 5 nights of our visit. There were definitely moments of discipline and emotion, but the boys were a little more behaved overall this time than previous trips. The food was awesome – as usual. The weather rocked – of course. There was laughter, sports, a roaring fire in the fireplace, a dinner date with long-time friends from our Vegas years, and rest. Lots of rest.

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Avila Beach for two

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“How many in your party?”

“Just two.”

It’s the little things like saying “Just two, please.” that make a difference for me. Countless times, when out and about with my children, it becomes a different saying, along with a different look on my face, along with a different tone in my voice…

Upon arrival, my headache started, but I wasn’t anxious in the least. The next 72 hours were just for me and my honey, with nothing to do, no one else to care for, no meals to prepare or diapers to change. We had heard good things about our accommodations, Sycamore Mineral Springs, so I just settled in for a relaxing adventure.

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The gift of time

DSC_0085Advice is always something that comes along with planning a wedding. Among the best advice I received regarded our honeymoon plans. While Hubbs and I knew our desired location, Maui was our top choice, we weren’t sure of anything else. Our initial plan was to jump on a plane and get going on our marriage the morning after the Big Day. I mean, isn’t that what most everyone does? Why wait?

One of my matrons (yep, I had 3 matrons in my wedding!) gave me one of the best gifts to begin my marriage. Time. Did she actually give me time? No, but she suggested it, strongly, and 6 years later, I am still glad I listened to that advice and heeded it.

Rather than whisking off into the sunset with my groom of a few hours, only to be stuck in an airport, or a train station, or – even worse – a car, my matron Kandi suggested we stay put for 2 nights. Continue reading

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