Thursday, February 24, 2011

God grant me peace in this chaos of life that I may find rest in you no matter what is moving rapidly around me. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Missing Some Dear Friends...

This Reminds Me Of Ashley Wells...

This Makes Me Miss Joy Noel...

Rachel Manoguerra Would Completely Understand This Picture...

Mailboxes Make Me Think Of My Twin...I Wish He Could See Me Here...

Pictures Of Puppies Always Make Me Think Of Heather Simone...

Sarah Havrilla Would Love This...

I Miss Wandering Around Italy With All My Kindred Spirits I Found There...

I Miss You Cristina... Ever So Much...

Stephen Would Love These!

My Grandparents Are The Most Amazing People I Know - They Honestly Love Selflessly.

My Parents Have Taught Me Everything I Know And Will Be Celebrating Their Love For Each Other With A Trip To Paris So This Pictures Makes Me Think Of Them And Smile...

Every Day I See Images That Remind Me Of Those That Some Would Say I "Left Behind" In Maryland, But As Cheesy As It Is I Am Realizing They Are Not That Far Away If I Keep Them In My Heart.  I Miss You All, And Many More Not Mentioned.  Today Is Just A Day That I Miss My Family And Those I Feel Priviledged To Call Family, But Have No Blood Relation.  I Wish Our Lives Intertwined More.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

There is Always an Opportunity to Grow...

Sometimes things do not go according to plan.  Sometimes we do not get what we want.  Sometimes things happen that we do not deserve.  Sometimes things do not meet our expectations.  

Is it possible that our plans are too much, what we want is not what we need, we don't deserve anything in life, and our expectations are too high?  I know that sounds like "life sucks, accept it", but that's not what I am trying to say at all.  I find myself pondering this a lot lately.  Is my bar set too high?  Do I expect too much from others?  If I relaxed and expected nothing would that be better than expecting too much?  

What I have come down to is this, God will provide - believing that is just as important as seeing it happen before your eyes.  It sounds simple, but it really boils "making life easier" down to one simple truth.  Why do we doubt it so often?  If something does not go according to plan, I need to roll with it.  Sometimes the unplanned is a better story and more exciting.  If I do not get what I wanted, I need to be thankful for getting what I need - I have never been without food, shelter, or clothing.  If something happens that I do not deserve, I need to remember all the blessings I have been given over the years and the community I am surrounded by.  And if something does not meet my expectations, I need to go with it.  

Hind sight is 20/20, and in the moment there is validity in being hurt, but we need to learn to go through life without a chip on our shoulder.  We have the capability to move forward in every situation, but we give that up when our pride gets in the way of our reasoning.  Do not waste your life mad at the world, frustrated with others, and trying to prove your point.  Time will fly and you will regret.  While guarding your heart is a good thing, live with an open heart and open hands.  

It is so easy to lose sight of who we are and what we hold most dear and to get caught up in our own frustrations.  We walk into something we want to look a certain way and it looks different than we expected and instead of engaging with the new people and new situation we pull back and hesitate and sell the situation short.  Even if we do not like something or someone we can learn about humanity or life through any situation.  We can grow through simply observation and do not need to engage our mouths to engage our heads and our hearts.  I'm taking this to heart in my own life and realizing that in every situation we have opportunity to be new and present.  

Sorry for my ramblings... I am processing this as I type... God works in mysterious ways often and this is one of the things he is capturing in me to work on in the not so distant future.  I pray often for strength to stretch in this way.  If you know me personally, hold me accountable.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

There's Something About the Rain...

It Calm's Me Down...

It Make's Me Feel Rested...

It Makes Me Want to Play...

It's Rhythm is Like Music to My Soul...

I Can't Help But Smile...

There's Something About the Rain...
One day I will have a tiny home in the countryside... or at least stay in one for a week or two :)

I will be barefoot the entire time, always have a glass of wine or lemonade in my hand, and finish a book while rocking on my porch swing.  Sigh...

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Camera Collectors

These pictures remind me of Joy Noel, Ashley Diana, Bethany Grace, and Stewart William.  Wherever these friends are, there are always a bunch of random cameras and pictures of fantastic things.  I love it.  I soak it up.  I'm inspired by it.  It makes me giddy.  They are more talented than they know.

I love unassuming people who are the way they are because they would not want to be another way.  They are not doing it to impress, to get attention, to find some kind of fame, or to project an image.  Creative desire is really buried within their soul - the friends I listed above embody this.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Matthew 6: 28-29

 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them."

The Message Bible 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Human Capacity to Create is Astounding

Today nothing feels impossible to build.  Skyscrapers to Dubai... We have seen it all.  The competition for bigger and better feels like a never ending journey where different people come out on top at different times. In many ways, it takes the beauty out of architeture and transitions it to the competitive nature of the world in this day and age.  This is why I loved Italy, everything is built so beautifully and they do not feel like it needs improvement - they are happy with the old world they have created.  The modern world does not need to come in and change it all around to make way for the new age of technology.     

I think that is why each of these articetural wonders amazes me.  They each stand strong in a constantly revolving world and keep the beauty of articeture pure and in tact as things change around them.  As of 2007, the 7 architectural wonders of the world are as follows: The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Petra, Christ the Redeemer, Chichen Itza, The Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal.  These structures are spread throughout the world, and each offer a overwhelmingly huge idea of where modern architecture came from.  They are breathtaking and bewildering and I hope to see them all some day. 


Candy Cane Green Tea

Simplicity is under rated. 

We all have guilty pleasures, but what about simple pleasures.  Simple pleasures are what keep me moving forward.  Watching the rain fall from a window, then walking in it.  A French pressed cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Knowing that my family will hug me tightly every time they see me.  The smell of fresh baked goods.   Walking through a new city and discovering an independent bookstore.  A kiss on the forehead from the wonderful man in my life.  Snuggling up by a fire place in the dead of winter.  Giving a gift you know the person receiving will love.  A good book and an entire day with nothing to do.  A long bike ride somewhere new.   A picnic in the park with a cool breeze.  Simple pleasures. 

People always have a list of things they want that do not and will not sustain their soul.  Sure, we all want things.  “Gadgets and gizmos a plenty,” as Ariel sings, are what people collect.  Obviously the answer to global poverty cannot be boiled down to a simple equation of the rich feeding the poor, not to mention the countless issues it brings up involving degrading those who are “poor” according to the worlds standards. 

I have found myself wishing I could be both rich and poor.  I hate the responsibility money brings and having to give it to the right people and support every cause just because people know you have a job.  I am SO quick to judge what other people spend their money on, but I do not know the intricacies of their lives and why something is important to them.  Who am I to judge in these circumstances?  Is it ever black and white what we should do and who or what we should give to?  Is it wrong to do selfish things with our money?  I find myself feeling guilty for buying something for myself.  Where is the line?  Would being poor solve these Problems?  I have discovered first hand that it only presents a whole new string of problems.  Where is rent going to come from?  How much is too much to ask for?  What is ok to accept?  Can you and should you move forward on the basis of faith alone on something that will cost you money that you do not currently have?  I’ve asked all these questions and more.

I always said the reason I wanted a full time position was to pay my own bills, buy my friends a drink, and be able to save for the future.  What I found when I got this job is something very different.  I want stuff.  I want all those other things too, but I’ve wanted to be able to buy new pajamas for so long.  Do I need them? Not really.  I have a pile of t-shirts and shorts that are perfectly fine for sleeping in.  Does everyone experience guilt when they purchase something selfishly?  I know for a fact that they do not.  Most people I know are selfish through and through.    I never thought this was true.  I guess removing denial is the first step to beating it.  The only purchasing I have control over my own.  I need to figure out where I stand on all this.

I want to live a simple life.  I want to walk in the rain, have a dog walking next to me, drink coffee, eat soup, drive reasonable cars, have a beautiful family, and love God with my entire heart.  Why isn’t the prospect of that enough?  Why do I feel like I need to impress people with things?

And to think… all this came from a cup of Candy Cane Green Tea and how I started thinking about what a simple pleasure it was.

Intentionality Reworked

Bungee Jumping was never on my Bucket List.  I had no intention of diving head first from a height that, in any and all other circumstances, would cause me to plummet to my death.  I never identified it as fear within myself, but rather practicality and chocked it off to a good head on my shoulders.  What would cause a person to do that?  I watched shows on TV that relish the element of fear associated with stunts and (what I would consider) reckless behavior, and I enjoyed every moment of their torturous demise.  I never even considered the possibility of being one of them. 

Why did I join the ranks of the irresponsible and dangerous?  I went to Africa.  Uganda alone takes you outside your comfort zone in incomparable ways.  I firmly believe the people you are with can make or break your trip, but the way you handle them can also make or break your trip.  Many people tend to put all the blame on others when things do not go according to plan, instead of taking some of the fault.  Initially, I was most people.  I did not want to own the fact that the only person who could make my trip what I wanted it to be was me.  I felt frustration with myself and other people, anger at the way I handled things and the way others were handling conflict, tension when we would come to each other and try to ignore the elephants in the room, and desire to be someone who could let it all roll off my back.  Sometimes you have to face things, but sometimes you have to let it go.

After three weeks of what felt like a roller coaster of high school emotions that I should have overcome eight years prior, our group piled into an off-roading vehicle and we took off from the capital city of Kampala.  We arrived at the Nile first thing in the morning, with most in our group ready to go white water rafting.  Much to their dismay, all the boats were full upon our arrival.  All in the same moment we noticed there was another optional activity involving the Nile River – bungee jumping over it. 

Regardless of the fact that I felt completely uncomfortable with the situation, I instantly agreed to do it.  I could not breathe when walking to the tower.  I just kept looking up and down and seeing the gap betwixt the two.  I wanted to turn around, but at the same time run ahead.  I had never done anything like this before and in that truth was where the excitement hid.  Knowing I was doing something brand new gave me the motivation to move forward.  Everything unique to yourself is exciting; the first time you do anything it is crazy and wild and amazing.  However, we grow used to everything and need to try new things and let other new experiences change our very core.  When you first start driving it feels amazing, ten years down the road not so much.  When you first go away to college you feel a tremendous sense of freedom, after a couple of months that sense has rested on the reality of a college life.  First kisses are incredible and you feel like your heart my beat right out of your chest, but when you reach the millionth kiss things feel a little more normal and settled.  Things I have not yet experienced will inevitably follow the same path: Marriage, Children, a first home, etc…  I honestly went on this digression on my walk to what felt like the top of the world.

When I reached the point of no return, I thought I would want to hold on to the bar, I thought I would close my eyes, and I thought I would feel like crying.  I surprised even myself when the countdown ended and I jumped.  No hesitation and no trepidation.  Just a deep breath.  When I released that breath and looked down and out at the Nile and Uganda in all its beauty, I could not help but give it all up.   It did not matter what emotions were running high or who had eaten the last of the hot sauce, what did matter was the place I was in I may never be again and I was giving up the glory of the moment for the ability to hold onto the petty.  Diving in was both physically what I did and a mental metaphor for what happened to me that day.  When I dropped down into a boat underneath me I came out of that experience a new person, but I often wonder what if I had just chosen that attitude from day 1?  Does it affect you more if you go through the process?  Should we go through the process time and time again, or is this a lesson we should learn once and daily apply to all situations? 

The release I felt was not from the act of bungee jumping itself, but it was from the mental decision to let go.  Get over it.  Move on.  Stop worrying. Why do I not decide to do that every day?  Where does our mentality to control things to our own course come from?  Bungee jumping is something I will never forget.   Not only because of the pure exhilaration that I felt, but also because I changed the way I lived after that day.  I have always cringed at the word intentionality because it felt like a hidden agenda, but now I welcome it with open arms.  You can be intentional about the way you let others affect you and at the same time keep in mind how you are affecting others.  It does not come naturally, and that is where the intentional part comes in.

The Only Thing for Certain is Uncertainty

I used to live in a world where I could be drinking tea in the middle of a field with no cups and no tea.  I could be running for my life from a dinosaur, in my backyard.  I could be anywhere I wanted doing anything I wanted, and then I grew up.  I hate that those worlds no longer exist.  I hate that I cannot play and pretend anymore.  Imagination is crushed by the realty of dreams not being possible.  You cannot see the world unless you are independently wealthy.  You will have to pick and choose which dreams you actually want to achieve because seeing it all is not something that is in the cards for you.

Discouraged.  Angry.  Sad.  I hate hearing people tell me to dream smaller, wish less, and pursue money.  I want to breathe in Tuscany with the wind blowing in my face on a  Vespa, I want to have a picnic in front of the Eifel Tower with cheese and wine and crackers, I want go to the floating market in Thailand and wear a silly hat, I want to see the Northern lights while drinking a hot cup of cocoa, I want to see a Red Sox game in Fenway and eat a hot dog, and the list goes on and on.  I don’t want to choose. 

I am at a crossroads that will never be decided for me.  Moving to the other side of the country was a romantic idea that worked out for me in a lot of ways, but my family is now 3000 miles away as I put down roots.  What do I sacrifice?  I have worked hard to establish myself in the way that I have always dreamed of.  I am the person I want to be.  I work towards Godly selflessness in a way that most would see as exhausting.  Where does that leave me.  My heart is divided and so is my head.  I cannot imagine this one away.  I am not writing to report on some incredible discovery that I made that magically solves the problem, but I am making it clear that some decisions are not black and white.  This is the perfect example.  Career will never be what I base my decisions on, but unfortunately money does make life much easier.   Sometimes there is not a right choice, just a bunch of choices.  Do I stay where I am?  Do I move home?  Do I move to a third place? 

I know it seems like I always ask a million questions and never come to any conclusions, but I have always believed the day we accept things as easy is the day that we stop growing.   Opportunity costs were one of the concepts I grasped most easily in school.  In order to do one thing, you have to give up the opportunity to do something else.  I guess that is what I am weighing out.  The good news is in all scenarios I am surrounded with love, affirmation, and peace that God has my best interests at heart.

I would also urge anyone to live in the present.  We are where we are for a reason.  As a great man once said to me, “It is what it is.”  As I stress about my next moves and worry about whether I will be going down the right path, I also know that many wish they were young again and I should revel in life as an uncertainty while I still have the heart and imagination to do so.  With time comes responsibility, and I will tackle that when I need to.  As for today, I will love with my whole heart and learn how to be selfless for others so in the future I am not worried about my own opportunity costs, but rather how I can help others achieve their dreams.   

Listen, Respond, Repeat

Where does the need to impress people come from? Why aren’t people comfortable in their own skin, in their own financial situation, and with their own life? When are these indisputable desires placed in our heads about marriage and finances and tangible things? We are all in different places, and if things happened to everyone at the same point in each life they would not be something to celebrate. For me, it is wonderful to witness someone in a completely different place than I am. Their wisdom extends beyond my realm, and mine beyond theirs. Rather than them being jealous of my life or me being jealous of their life, we should see the beauty in each other’s situations and soak in what we may never experience.

The holiday season highlights this nicely, but it exists the other 11 months of the year as well. When do we stop apologizing for not having enough money, not giving enough gifts, and accept that it is our time that is our most valuable commodity? We should be able to see people at Christmas time empty handed and have not even a twinge of guilt. Laughter and genuine conversation and interest in my life are so much more valuable to me than any gift anyone could give me, in fact they are such a treat in and of themselves. Being present of mind is more important than being present in body and checking off a list that you did what you said you would; not to mention, that it would make the season feel more personal and intentional.

Why not live our entire lives like this? If we see something that reminds us of someone, why not purchase it right then? Why do we wait until December to give little gifts to let people know we care? I think Christmas is an amazing look into the life of the ultimate gift in the life of Jesus Christ and it pains me to know that most who celebrate even a portion of this holiday have no realization of the deeper meaning that lies within the season. Sure, they see nativities scattered about the world, but do they comprehend what that babies life did for them? I strive to live everyday as though it is Christmas. Christ lived selflessly every day of His life, and that is what we should be working towards. Not the best job, not the biggest house, and certainly not the best gifts. I watch people worry about the Christmas season and lose their joy in the societal commerciality of it all. It should be a warm time of family and friends coming together in love, not a reason to feel inadequate.

All of our lives are up and down with no apology for the downs and no reason for the ups. Sure we can work hard to achieve what we have achieved, but it can all be taken away in a second. Hold onto the time you have and don’t throw it away on meaningless nothings. Friendship is not something that should be taken for granted. Family is valuable and some people will never know theirs, don’t waste time hating yours. I find myself one on one with someone distracted by my phone and my to-do list and my life, but just being there is often times not enough.

Listen. Respond. Repeat.

Give gifts for no reason. Remind people how much you care. Send cards throughout the year. If you love to receive notes and gifts randomly, why would others not feel the same?

Do unto other as you would have them do unto you seems to be ringing in my ears today.

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Breathe In...

I love the fact that I do not have to think about breathing.  It just happens every day, even in my sleep.  I do not have to think about digestion either.  Whether or not everything is going to be ok when I am eating, is not a thought that crosses my mind.  I just eat, and then go about my daily life.  I have the use of all my limbs, I have a family who loves me, I have an intellect to comprehend life, meaning, and reason within myself, I have a boy who loves me and dreams in my mind.  These are all things I take for granted.  Is it possible to live in a way that always shows love and affection to those around you? Or is that a pipe dream?  Jesus did it.  Should we be able to?  I guess working towards it is the uphill battle we are supposed to embark on…

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” has never rung more true for me.  Those that surround me today and in my daily life are beautiful.  I do not mean to sound like a hippy with her head in the clouds, but just a blessed girl who is coming to terms with what is really important in life.  While others may look into my life and not have even an ounce of jealousy, I see it as something to covet.  I guess you could say I’m “counting my blessings”.  I tend to focus on what I want to change, where my career path is going, who is bothering me on a day to basis, what I could be doing to be a better friend or sister or girlfriend, and how I could be more efficient with my time, money, and talents.  Everyone has things to be thankful for, but most complain about what they do not have. 

As I watch friends and family stress over money, popularity, possessions, Christmas, and the like; I can’t help but realize what I am stressing over is the same book just on a different page.  I understand first hand that those things make it easier to enjoy life, but I would hate to see someone I know and love let life pass them by worrying about things to come.  Wait for nothing is a mentality I am trying to adopt.  “Live today as if it is your last day” is something that has always sounded cheesy to me, but the more I think about it the more I agree with it as a bold statement in a good way.  Life is too short to hold grudges, let things hurt your feelings for a long time, or treat people in a way that you would not like to be treated.  Letting go and forgiveness should be at the forefront of our hearts, not something we have to drag up out of the depths every once in awhile.

I guess I am working through all this as I write it and that is making this entry come out as a string of thoughts with no cohesion.  I don’t care.  Sometimes I feel like life is not cohesive and that forcing it to be something it is not is part of what causes tension in our own circles.  Things may not line up and make sense and be perfect, and living within the reality of that will make it a lot easier to cope when everything does not go according to plan. 
I love watching people live this.  I love working at living this better. 

Allow Restlessness

When does anger turn to bitterness which turns to the lack of care for your fellow man?  Is there a trigger? Could this be prevented by someone else intervening, or is it solely a personal decision to let that resentment creep in.  I have observed much bitterness in others lives lately, and I have found that people have accepted it and are not in denial.  How is this permissible in their own mind?  We are all entitled to our own take on life, but why would you choose that route?  Did someone excuse their behavior every step of the way until they reached this point of no return?

I think the worst thing we can do for someone is excuse their behavior.  While everyone deserves the grace of God and forgiveness from their fellow man, that does not grant permission to treat others as you would not want to be treated.  Grace does not mean an excuse to do whatever we please… we should not desire to do things not of God if we are truly in relationship with him and love him into our core.   If we are taking the Bible at its word, we have to take it all, not just the parts that excuse our behavior or antics. 

I am just as guilty as the next person for justifying how I treat others based on what is going on with my day to day existence, but there should be no excuse.  I am not calling all to call each other out, but rather call yourself out.  Do not let yourself make excuses or justify your actions when you know not-so-deep-down that they are wrong.  No one has to give into that internal desire to lash out on someone else based on their problems. 

Honesty solves it all.  Why does telling someone the truth have to be so hard?  I know the answer!  People are rarely receptive to what they need to hear to improve themselves nor are they receptive to hear what is really going on with someone.  They aren’t even listening when we are talking about our day to day, so why would they listen to what we really want to talk about?  We ALL jump to the defensive and begin a countless stream of explanations.   I always feel like people are out of line telling me what I need to work on when they obviously have things they should be working on instead of worrying about me.  Instead of adopting the “pot calling the kettle black mentality” why not consider removing the plank in your own eyes?  Do not worry so much about other people and what they could be working on.  Do not get complacent and think you are doing fine and have nothing to work on.  We can ALWAYS be growing towards selfless love.    We have never reached the end.  Let your spirit get restless, don’t silence its anxiety.  

As I always tell my boyfriend, it is all in the attitude it is presented in.  Approaching people in love is what will change your world, which will change others worlds by extension, and will change the world in its entirety in the end.  We need to examine our own hearts before examining others hearts.  The same words will be received when they are given by a gentle spirit.  Most people shy away from that and think strength and humility cannot come from the same person, but in reality in humility comes the ability to be strong because your pride is not in the way.

This ends in what feels so obvious to me, but what is blatantly unclear to this world.  When people see a happy person they wonder how they have the ability to be that way.  The answer is simple, give it all up.  If you want for nothing you are happy with nothing.  Stop chasing after possessions and start chasing after joy.   In joy you will find peace and in peace you will find a life you may have never had otherwise.

Start Where you Are

No matter how hard I fight it, a new year always motivates me to get certain parts of my life together.  I truly believe that we should be constantly re-evaluating and growing, but that does not seem to make this desire within me go away when January 1st hits to start working out, eating better, reading more, cooking more, and complaining less.  I will make it a goal (not a resolution ;) to do this on the first of every month, instead of just the first of the year. 

It seems to always come back to intentionality with me, but not in the way that I was groomed to see it.  Have you ever met someone that is exactly as socially awkward as they were ten years previously and you think how sad it is for them?  What room do people have to judge who have not moved forward spiritually, mentally, physically, or in all other areas to feel bad for someone socially.  Often times, our social conduct is how we are brought up, and it the most difficult to fight.  Being spiritually stagnant is just as bad as being socially stagnant.  I have taken a step back from this issue recently and realized I have been pitying those who are less comfortable than I, when I have room for improvement in all areas.  My relationship with God could be closer, I could be challenging myself academically even though I am finished with my degree, I could be working out more and eating better, and I could give more people a chance despite appearances.

The positive thing is that once denial is removed and we realize how much room there is to improve, motivation creeps in.  Regardless of extenuating circumstances, we can always personally decide to change ourselves and need no one else’s approval.    It is a big thing to tackle, and I know I hold the people I hold most dear to a very high standard, but I never want someone to sell themselves short.  I hold myself to just as high a standard and aim to become a better person as I transition into my adult life. 

Everyone has the ability to start right where they are and stop comparing themselves to everyone else.  Our journeys and stories are designed to be different.  Draw inspiration from those differences, and stop feeling inferior.  God created us each to walk in ways that will weave in and out of others lives and he designed others lives to weave in and out of ours.  We are not designed to fit some Hollywood mold or be a cookie cutter person.  I am learning to walk in the understanding that I am not going to be a lot of things, but I cannot let envy move into my heart.  Other people are envious of something you have.  Try to remember that and treat your talents and skills with the respect that they deserve, because God designed us this way for a purpose beyond our comprehension.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Thought These Only Existed in Children's Dreams

I always dreamed of the perfect tree house as a child - Literally dreamed...  If I had known these existed it would have ruined my imagination forever.  The reality of their physical presence in this world is unbelievable and worth gawking over.

There's No Place Like Home

We all dream of our perfect home. 
I believe atmosphere can be created through music and lighting and comfortableness, however I also believe that if my home had these elements I could not help but love coming home. 

1. A Spiral Staircase

2. A Sectional Sofa

3. A Window Seat

4. A Hammock

5. A Yellow Vase

6. A Stained Glass Window

7. A Colored Front Door

8. The Perfect Place to Sit Outside

9. An Espresso Machine

10. The Perfect Pup

Monday, February 7, 2011

Holding Hands and Making Plans...

Bill and I went to Old Town San Diego on Saturday to celebrate our anniversary early, and the result was pure bliss.  We walked in the sunshine, ate fresh made cinnamon sugar tortillas, shopped a little, laughed alot, shared a black cherry cream soda, and held hands. 

More pictures to come, but here is a sampling of things that made me happy :)