August 20, 2019

the footbridge...

We slowly and carefully plotted our every step down the Cool Hollow Trail, into the valley. It was steep, and the path was rocky and a little slippery. At times I grasped onto a small branch or tree to set my feet before moving on. And then... we were there. The footbridge I had been holding in my heart and dreams for all the months since our last visit. It was so much more beautiful than I had even imagined, nestled in the green of spring. I probably walked over the bridge five or six times, not able to get enough of it. I made it! And I could have taken a thousand pictures, not sure if even one could capture all it meant to me... the journey, the arrival, the flight of fancy. 

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river
slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.

― A.A. Milne


August 19, 2019

the violets...

I was so excited to see Palisades-Kepler State Park in the spring, after our winter visit - and I had unfinished business. As we were leaving, I had spotted a foot bridge way down in a valley, and though we had already hiked a good measure, I really wanted to walk over that bridge. Eric looked at me and said I think we've pushed your lungs far enough, maybe next time. I probably pouted, but held it close to my heart, holding on to next time. {I had hoped that would be the next day but that next day, and the next, was a dreary, rain-filled, blustery day.}

But on this chill-in-the-air spring day, under a sky so blue, I was excited to find that trail with the foot bridge. Nothing was going to stop me! And then I saw the violets...
“My breathe would catch at the sight of violets-so common in the
woods at home, 
so surprising in the mountains. The violet's message was
"Keep up your courage, 
stay true to what you believe in." 
― Jessica Stern

Picking violets are one of my most vivid childhood memories. My cousin Jenny & I would sit in her front yard, which seemed a field of violets, creating bouquets of the sweet flowers. I'd then race home, through the sparse stretch of woods between her home and mine, to find a little cup of water to keep my precious bundles bright. I remember my Mom showing me how to arrange the heart-shaped leaves just so around the blooms, to create a ring of green, the perfect frame for the spring-time treasure.
On this day, the violets stopped me in my tracks.
They were so beautiful, and the memories flooded in to bring me right back to my childhood days. We don't have violets in Florida, and it was pure joy to find them. Pure joy! I couldn't resist plucking some of the sweet flowers into a bouquet... my soul was soaring! And when my parents pulled up to join us on our hike, I thrust my little bouquet through the car window, greeting my Mom with the sweet purple flowers of yesterday.

: :

Did we find the footbridge? Yes!

August 15, 2019

twenty-five {now 27} beautiful years

Today we will we celebrate twenty-seven years... quietly.
No gifts, no cards. Just a whole lot of living. I found two anniversary posts in my drafts...I suppose I didn't get around to ever posting either of them. But now? Updated and posted for posterity {and your reading pleasure!}

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Two years ago was our big to-do, a silver spectacular. Twenty-five.
We celebrated while we were up in Orlando for Eric's FASRO conference. A little get-away, casual nights out, and... a progressive dinner adventure around the most magical place on earth.

I'm not sure how I heard about this event, but ever since my first progressive dinner during my middle school youth group years, my ears perk up at the mention of one. And the thought of this dinner, around the loop of the monorail, just delighted me!

: :

There are moments in your marriage that seem almost surreal. Like when you realize you've been together longer than you haven't, and when you hit a milestone anniversary that seems as if it would belong to grown-ups.
Twenty-five years.
The years that seems like yesterday & forever, the years that have been a lifeline and a challenge. The years you wouldn't trade for anything on this earth. The years that speak: I am me, and he is he... but together we are more.

We celebrated extravagantly... a progressive dinner at Disney, around the monorail loop. It was so special... to do something just for us, and at the same time, share the celebration (tour!) with people we had just met. Four hours of dining adventure with all the special treatment you'd wish for.

Like a private monorail car just for the tour!
We met up with our tour at the Contemporary Hotel in a the very blue Wave Lounge! We were greeted with drinks and were encouraged to mingle with the other people on the tour. And then, I actually ate pea soup... and liked it! 

We hopped on the {private} monorail and were whisked off to the Polynesian Resort. I had a delicious margarita (because I was allergic to the pineapple in the Mai Tai!) and we had three appetizers - sushi (a first!), a golden beet, and some kind of pork belly. I loved being in this group of new people with my husband, and being an adventurous eater!
Next Stop? 

The Grand Floridian for a cheese course, with Happily Ever After Champagne, and our main course at Citricos. It was all really delicious, and paced perfectly! Even the beverages!

And our final stop was for fireworks at the end of the night with beautiful desserts... we loved every minute of our anniversary adventure!
Twenty-five years.
Of love and laughter, and faith that carries us through the tough times - when the love doesn't seem very lovely and the laughter turns to tears. He is my forever hero, the love of my life, the one who made all my dreams come true.

August 14, 2019

life lately...

Happy Wednesday!
I love Wednesdays... I'm off from work, it's my play-day at the zoo, and I can regroup for the last two days of the week. The weekend doesn't seem too far off!
1. We were so thrilled to help out at a back to school event for foster kids!
It was really a well run, wonderful event. Each child received a new backpack filled
with school supplies, a school uniform, a new pair of shoes, and even a fresh haircut to
start the year off right! There was also a bus for health screening and if they needed glasses,
they got them. A great collaboration of nonprofits in our corner of the world.
There were also toys... Eric & I got to work the toy table!

2. Look at the proud {exhausted} Mama lion!
One of {her three} cubs snuggled right in and posed for this photo!

3. Just some Sam's Club roses...

4. We've had a couple of relaxing weekends, and they have been blissful...

5. Cousins! We love when Texas family is in town.
We all had a great visit, and it was fun capturing these four.
Yes, four! Laura was skype-ing in!

6. Summer birthdays... and have you met Nothing bundt Cakes?
They are delicious. And that little one?
It's gluten-free... so yes, Eric is happy.

7. Eric is started at his new school yesterday and he's now keeping the Bullfrogs safe.
His office is decorate appropriately... courtesy of his personal crafter. 

8. Paper cranes from Denver. Be still my heart. 

9. BINGO! After months and months of playing Bingo at the brewery, I won!
It was very exciting... and I probably scared some people with how excited I was!