Friday, October 31, 2014

Every Sacred Second

As of today, I have 53 days left on this continent. Many of you might have noticed that I started a Picture of the Day Countdown. I wanted to be clear on something - I did not start this to countdown my excitement of leaving; rather, I started this to cherish every single day I have left with my kids and this part of the world that has been my home off and on for 12 years.

As the musical draws closer, I know that time will not stop and the goodbyes are inevitable. This is why I want to capture as many special moments in pictures that I'm able to do.

I'm so sorry if this was portrayed as me wanting to "get out of town" faster. That is not the case. I'm simply counting the days so that I'm aware of what I have left here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scotland


"Were you really in the British Isles two weekends in a row?"

Kristi asked me this the other night at small group when we were discussing what we'd done for our birthdays.

The answer is yes, yes I was!

Amy, Christine, & I had been planning this trip since April. I like to take advantage of how easy and close it is to travel to other countries while living abroad. And since I'm only here for about two more months, I knew I had to hit up a few countries that I'd never been to before. Scotland was the first (We hit Spain and Ireland in December).

Despite a few mishaps with our booking reservation, we ended up staying at a lovely hotel right in the heart of the city center. It was within walking distance to basically everything and we didn't have to go far to get to the Royal Mile.

Friday evening consisted of finding Mexican food for dinner (that's a rarity over here and when it's found and when it's good, it's always a good day), buying our Starbucks City Mugs (basically a tradition), and going to see a movie. It kind of felt like going out for a real Friday night because we were in a big city.

On Saturday, we took two walking tours. One was a three hour tour of Edinburgh and the other was an hour tour of Harry Potter. There was a lot to learn about Scotland's history and it was interesting hearing about the religious struggles the Presbyterians faced on and off during wars with England. The Harry Potter tour was OK. I say "OK" because it was really meant for children but everyone on the tour was college aged or up. We ended up leaving a little early because there was this magician who kept popping up and it was a little redundant and boring. But still very cool to see where J.K. Rowling found her inspiration!

Saturday evening we went out for my birthday (this really cool guy paid for us to eat at a delicious Italian restaurant ;) ) and on Sunday morning we ate breakfast at The Elephant House, which is the cafe that Rowling wrote Harry Potter. 

Probably my biggest highlight was experiencing church services at St. Giles, the oldest Presbyterian Church in the world. It was a beautiful service and the whole time I couldn't believe I was sitting in this place on my birthday! 

We left Sunday evening and flew back to Germany. All in all, it was a fun weekend with two very special friends. I really, really enjoyed Edinburgh. 

Spain, I will see you on December 12 ;)


Sunday, October 5, 2014

England

England holds a special place in my heart. It was the first European country I visited when I did a theatre tour back in college. I remember embracing every moment of being in London and thus when I finished my last year of college, it was the country I assumed I'd be working in as an Au Pair.

Except that it's super hard to be an au pair in England unless you a) don't want a large sum of money and/or b) you aren't Eastern European.

So as most of you know, I ended up in Basel and the love affair with Europe really began.

During that year in Basel, I started attending the Anglican Church in Basel and got to know the chaplain, Geoff, and his wife, Marie-Louise. Last year, the Read family moved to England and so this past weekend I was able to go and visit them in their lovely home in Colchester.

It was a beautiful weekend and it was so nice to experience England's non-touristy side as I'd only ever been to London and Stratford. It was also a weekend of relaxation and visiting with dear friends that I have been blessed to know for thirteen years now.

Our goodbye was sweet and I know I will see them again, which was such a reminder from the Lord that even though the goodbyes draw closer here in Kandern, they won't be forever.