My family

My family

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Countdown to adventure!!

The countdown to our big adventure has begun!!!

Holy cow…..this is really happening.

Jim & I have been in a frenzy the past few weeks trying to meet with the travel agent and finalize the hotels, flights, etc. 

One thing you need to know about Jim……he never does anything half way!

In fact, I always joke that I never dreamed big enough until Jim came along. 

The perfect is example is this trip.  I would have searched and searched for the least expensive flights to Rome. 

Jim…..not so much!

He booked first-class tickets!  We will be in pods for the entire flight and they are completely decked out…..complete with seats that lay flat for sleeping.

One thing I would never skimp on is activities once we’re in Italy.  That’s the best part!

So… are the tours on our agenda…..EEKS!! :)

A full day on the Island of Capri including snorkeling, exploring grottos and a Limoncello taste-testing.

A night tour of Rome on the first evening we arrive. 

A three-hour pizza and gelato tour in the heart of Rome.

A three-hour tour of the museums and chapels in the Vatican.

That leaves plenty of time for exploring, laying out on the beach, eating pasta, drinking wine and whatever else we feel like doing!

This is the longest vacation I’ve ever taken.  It’s also our first trip overseas so we are learning all about plug adapters, international calling data, etc. 

OK, let’s be honest, Jim is learning all about those things.  I’m learning about the dress code for the Vatican.  J

I was chatting with one of my customers last week about the trip and she suggested that I read Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons.

This is the sequel to Da Vinci Code (which I loved) but I was always hesitant to read it because of the title.  I get super freaked out hearing stories about demons.   Weird but true. 

I started it this weekend and I cannot put it down!

The most interesting thing about the book is that it’s set in modern-day Rome and all of the places – Vatican City, Pantheon, St Peter’s Basilica – are factual.

It’s really getting me excited to see the sights for myself. 

Since this trip is so long – and it’s supposed to be really hot – I’m trying to plan out my clothes as much as possible.

This is what the floor of our office looks like.  (Sorry Jim!)

I thought it would be fun to put together a “look book” of completed outfits that I could wear in Italy.
The idea is to have each day’s outfit completely figured out before traveling.

Who wants to think about what pieces fit with others in the hotel?  Not this girl!

The look book will be a fun thing to include in our scrapbook. 

This is what our dining room table looks like lately. 

Can you tell we’re excited?!

I have highlighted the crap out of this poor map.  I don’t want to miss a thing once we’re over there!

The Italian phrase books are coming in handy.  Jim’s definitely not as interested as I am in learning the language. 

Now that we’re so close to the trip, I have a list of things I need to do every day until we leave. 

I love lists!!

Last night I took advantage of Jim being out of town and got a manicure and pedicure. 

It went wrong in a helluva hurry!

If you ask Jim what color toe nail polish a girl should use, he will have one answer:  RED

Other colors need not apply.

I don’t know what I was thinking last night.  The idea to branch out sounded so much better in my head. 

Seriously…..this color is HIDEOUS!!! 

Looks like I’ll be scheduling one more appointment at the nail salon before we leave.

Add it to the list! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Marching band - 2016

Waconia Parade - June 18, 2016

Marching Band season is in full swing!  

Delanie is playing the snare drum this year and is absolutely killing it.  :)

Jim and I are usually spectators but, on this day, I signed up for Mom Duty and spent the day in one of my favorite small towns in Minnesota......Waconia.  

Delanie is section leader this year!  She really excels at this leadership role.  She is such a confident little sucker......truly an old soul.  

I followed the school bus to Waconia (it isn't cool to have Mom ride the bus with the kids and that was just fine by me!).  

This is Delanie's drum line instructor - Mike Brown (AKA "Brownie").  They have really hit it off and she's learned so dang much from him this year.  In fact, she starts private lessons with him next week!

We arrived in Waconia about 4:30pm and their "step off" time was 6:30pm.  The amount of practice that goes on before the actual parade is intense.  They have this down to a science.....not a second was wasted.  

During practice, the sections break off to work on their portions of the show.  Never once did I hear any of these kids complain about the heat (it was hot & humid as heck) or the number of times they had to rehearse.  

Being a part of the Maple Grove Crimson Marching Band is not for the faint of heart!

About ten minutes before "step off", the kids are directed to get into their uniforms.  Again, not a second was wasted.  Each kid was completely self-sufficient.

After a few times through the entire show, they get one last water break and take their place in line to start the parade.  

During this particular parade, the marching bands are judged.  They perform the show three times.....walking a few miles from start to finish.  

I joined the other moms in walking along the parade route with the band to make sure they have water (or anything else) when needed.

I loved this show!  During the performance, it's straight-faced-all-business.  After each performance, this kids really get the crowd involved with their high-fives and silliness.  

All in all it was a terrific day!  Our band placed third (which is AWESOME!) and Delanie was all smiles.  A terrific day indeed.  :)

Make sure your volume is up and enjoy the show!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Joey + Rory

Have you ever read a book or followed a story in the news and found yourself thinking about the people involved as you went about your day?

For me, the story I just couldn’t shake was about Rory and Joey Feek

I first fell in love with the husband and wife duo when they appeared on the show Can You Duet in 2008.   The winner of the show was awarded a record deal. 

Maybe it was because I was experiencing an all-consuming love at the time (Jim and I were married just a few months after the show aired) but I could not take my eyes off this couple.

Rory – a true country boy who dressed in overalls – sang backup to his wife while playing acoustic guitar.  His beautiful wife, Joey, seemed to shine from the inside out. 

When they looked at each other, you could feel the love they shared.  It sounds corny and I’m probably not explaining it very well.  All I know is that I was hooked!

Not long after the show, they became pretty successful in the country music world. 

Fast forward to January 2014….. 

Rory & Joey decided to put their music career on hold to focus on the baby that was due that year. 

That’s when Rory started recording the everyday moments of their lives and writing about them on his blog.

Little did they know that not long after their baby was born, Joey would diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Rory’s blog chronicles their struggles during Joey’s battle with cancer and ultimately their grief upon her passing. 

The blog is so much more though. 

The way Rory paints the picture for you is incredibly moving. 

He shares video snippets of their life, photos of their special moments and encouragement from his faith in God. 

The latest blog post was written on Joey & Rory’s anniversary.  Check it out…….I dare you not to cry your eyes out. 

What I love the most about this blog is that Rory is so open about his faith.  He started filming their life a few years ago because he felt led to do it.  He didn’t know what would ever come of the footage but he did what God told him to do. 

Who hasn’t felt that same exact thing at one point or another? 

Now, several months after Joey’s death, all that footage is being turned into a movie that will play in theaters one night only (on Joey’s birthday) in September. 

Although this is such a tragic love story, I hope you can find inspiration in it like I have. 

God has a plan for you.  You might not know what it is now, or tomorrow, or next week.  But there is a plan. 

I hope Rory’s story inspires you to keep the faith.