The summer that flew by

That’s how this summer was. Has been. Whatever it is now that it’s September. At any rate, it absolutely flew by! In the blink of an eye. I miss writing and blogging and sharing so here’s a little catching up. Since my last post I have:

1. Finished another year of being an assistant teacher.

2. Switched jobs to work in the office as administrative assistant.

3. Spent two phenomenal weeks traveling in España with my wonderful mom. We flew into Barcelona and met up in baggage claim after a year apart. Suddenly, as I was walking toward baggage claim, I heard someone running toward me and looked over and there was my mom! I took off toward her and we crashed into a huge hug in the middle of baggage claim. It was epic.

Barcelona Metro

We spent a week in Barcelona, seeing as much as we possibly could.

La Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Família

Human Towers!

Serendipity Number 1: Summer festival with people building human towers in the square where we were having breakfast.

Ice Barcelona

Ice Barcelona

Mediterranean Sea

Mar Mediterraneo!

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Montserrat

Montserrat

Park Güell

Park Güell

Barcelona Cemetery

Incredible headstone statue in one of the cemeteries in Barcelona.

Mom in Barcelona

My beautiful mom in Barcelona!

Adrianne in Barcelona

I’m still so glad we got these hats.

And then flew to Madrid for another incredible week.

Flying into Madrid

First dinner in Madrid

First dinner in Madrid

Coronation Day

Serendipity Number 2: We happened to arrive in Madrid on the Coronation Day of their new king!

Madrid!

Tour bus!

Valle de los Caidos

Valle de los Caidos // Serendipity Number 3: We visited Valle de los Caidos on Corpus Christi Sunday during their service and saw part of it when they brought the procession outside.

Prado

Museo Nacional del Prado

Templo de Debod

Opera at Templo de Debod

El Escorial Monastery

El Escorial Monastery Selfie

Stork Nesting on a Gothic Cathedral

Stork Nesting on a Gothic Cathedral

Avila

Avila

Arco San Vincente

Arco San Vincente

Roman Aqueducts in Segovia

Roman Aqueducts in Segovia

Palacio Real

Serendipity Number 4: Spanish Armed Forces practicing for a parade at the Palacio Real.

Palacio Real Selfie

Palacio Real Selfie

Plaza del Sol Selfie

Plaza del Sol Selfie

4. Traveled to Massachusetts to visit family and work on planning our wedding.

Friendly Crossways

5. Taught three weeks of summer camp.

6. Trained for my new position as administrative assistant.

7. Spent a week with my mom before she went back to Kuwait for her second year of teaching there.

Mom in AVL!

8. Had a wedding shower and a bridal shower.

Wedding Shower!

9. Started my new position as administrative assistant.

10. Celebrated my best friend and Maid of Honor’s birthday!

Emily's Birthday!

11. Lots of wedding planning with Scott!

Countdown!

So there you have it – a brief recap of my summer. And now we’re less than a month away from The Big Day!!! I can hardly wait!

Weekend Review: Charleston and Kiawah Island, SC

So it turns out that the beach is a totally doable weekend adventure. And it also turns out that it was the perfect weekend getaway.

Beach things

Packing for the beach!

Starbucks for the road

Starbucks stop for the road.

Tattooed Moose

Tattooed Moose in Charleston for lunch!

Said No One Ever

“That clean shaven man is so sexy.” – No One Ever

King Street

Walking around Charleston, SC.

Half Moon Outfitters

Wit at Half Moon Outfitters.

Butterfly Bushes

Critters

My handsome man

Haint Blue Ceiling

Haint Blue Ceilings: Tradition in Gullah Culture says that evil spirits, or “haints,” can’t cross water. The pale blue paint symbolizes water, so by painting porch ceilings and door frames they prevented evil spirits from entering.

Hominy Grill

Notso Hostel

Driving to Kiawah Island

Blurry photo of the beautiful road to Kiawah Island.

Kiawah Island Beachwalker Park

Ocean bliss.

Scott at the beach

Beach happy

Beachwalker Park

Feet in ocean pic

Scott bliss

To say it was an amazing trip would not be doing it justice.

“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” ~ Kate Chopin

Seven Years

7 Years

Celebrating 7 incredible years with the love of my life! It has been quite the last 7 years and I am so excited to see what happens next in our life together! I could blab on and on and on about how much I love him and what an extraordinary adventure this has been, but instead here are 7 things.

1. He is so handsome in plaid – and it’s a good thing because he wears a lot of it. He is handsome all the time.

2. He makes me laugh every day.

3. He helps me see things in a new light and challenges me to be my best.

4. He supports me always.

5. He loves me unconditionally.

6. I love him more than I thought it possible to love someone.

7. And I get to marry him and live happily ever after!

I love you so much, Scott!

Warmth

A month in review:

1. I am going on a trip to Paris over my Spring Break with my Grandma! I have been taking a French class for the last couple of months and it has been amazing. I am so excited!!!

Paris!

2. Our sweet Lily passed away after 14 years of unconditional love and is now resting in peace. She was such a beautiful princess and is so missed, but she is in a better place. I imagine that she has found the biggest stick in heaven and is playing keep away in the greenest sunniest grassy meadow. Rest in peace, sweet Lily. I love you!

Sweet Lily

3. These tulips helped bring hints of spring into our home. It feels like sunshine in a jar!

Tulips!

4. And we have some coming up outside the door, along with some hyacinths!

Planties!

5. Planning a wedding with this handsome man has been the best adventure of my life! I can hardly wait to be married to him.

My handsome fiancé

6. Also, these two cuties drove down from Michigan to visit us and the ever so talented Leigh took our engagement photos! Hooray! It was so wonderful having you two visit. Can’t wait to see you again soon!

These cuties

7. Things are starting to bloom ’round these parts! It makes me giddy every time I see them. Ahh spring! How I’ve missed you.

Crocuses!

8. Also, ice cream is the bees’ knees. Especially on warm, sunny days.

Chocolate on chocolate

9. Most especially ice cream eaten with this handsome fella.

Handsome fiancé

10. And spring warmth means Wedge weather! ‘Nuff said.

Wedge weather

My life juggling has gone to a new level – full-time job, planning a wedding, yoga, French class, Spanish class, trip to Paris, trip to Spain, and all of those other sundry life delights. Somehow it all feels just perfect. This year is full of so many blessings. And I am so happy!

Gratitude

Every afternoon at the end of the day, once the children are all packed up and ready to go home, we have a Thank You Circle. We go around the circle and write down two things that each person is thankful for on a tile and the children are free to go and look at it throughout the day. We have one child who has a lot of trouble choosing just two things so we helped him come up with a way to encompass them all:

“I am thankful for all the people (or ‘things’, if it really can’t be narrowed down) I love in my life.”

It is a humbling reminder that we have so much for which to be thankful and to stop and really think about it from time to time.

Today was one of those days where I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I love in my life. We set off on an adventure this afternoon to “peep some fall leaves” (thanks to the leaf peepers) and found ourselves way out of cell phone service and almost in Tennessee. As locals we tend to avoid the Blue Ridge Parkway during this leaf-peeper season because it just ends up being a parking lot and it’s not as enjoyable as one might hope. What we stumbled upon today was far better than we could have imagined. I found myself glued to the window, leaning forward to see more of the views, in absolute awe of the unbelievable beauty of the mountains in which we live.

WE LIVE HERE.

Fall Colors

Twisty Turny Roads

Out for a drive

Fall Colors 2013

The leaves this time of year are absolutely spectacular. Admittedly, it is past peak in some places, but in others it is right in the midst of all the fall color glory. I found myself swooning over the scenery in Southern Appalachia – the changing leaves, the crisp air, the old barns and houses, the creeks trickling over rocks, and the twisty roads that we had almost entirely to ourselves were right out of one of those novels you just don’t want to put down. At one point we realized we had absolutely no clue what the time was, nor did we care. We just followed the curves of the road from one majestic creek to the next. It was like magic out there.

My heart is overflowing with gratitude. For all the people I love in my life, for this breathtaking place where we get to live, for the home I share with the most incredible partner, for my job and all my tiny munchkins. I am one lucky gal, that’s for sure.