Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hi Peps

Sorry I have been MIA.
The fact is, I have in fact NOT been MIA,
I have been very present for a lot of life happening.

Several fun things on the calendar with a trip to Honduras with Steve and Aubry is right around the corner. We are taking a team of 6 down to be a blessing and support to a missionary family we have come to enjoy and love.

I have also been working on a travel blog/website.
I want to share all my travel guru info and I want to inspire everyone to get out and take a trip somewhere.

Well, I will leave you with a few pictures of the last few months.
Miss blogging ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Vacation Update

So if you had taken me up on my invitation and followed me on my blogging vacation you know that 3 days in I had to give it up.
Blogging while on vacation
not a good mix for me.

One of the things I like about being away from home is the no technology, or no computer aspect of it.

The first few nights of our recent vacation were busy, busy; I blogged about them but eventually the thought of doing anything at the end of the day became too much. So technical difficulties stepped in and I had to say no.

I do plan to blog about the trip and post our itinerary so maybe you can hit the road and trample on some of the same paths and highways we had the honor of trekking.

I'll blog about the trip in more detail on my travel blog but here I'll show some of the high points.

We started our trip in LA, at the beach. Our suits were handy and with hours of being on the west coast we were at the beach.

The reason for the trip was to pack up our niece Dani, attend her graduation and move her to Colorado. 

She graduated with honors, paying her own way with little debt-- I am so proud of her and honored to be part of this journey in whatever little way I could be.

We visited with old friends in SoCal at a park for the afternoon, drove through the San Angeles National Forest, then once all SoCal festivities came to an end we packed up and headed out. Vegas, short bit of Arizona and on to Zion National Parks Kolob Canyons area. Dani continued on to Colorado while Steve, Aubry and I hiked in Zion!! 

After a two hour field trip to Zion we made our way through Utah (surprise state here- Utah is amazing landscape) before putting up for the night in Grand Junction.
Next came coffee at Coffee Trader in Montrose, CO, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Monarch Pass where we played in snow, Colorado Springs and a visit to Focus on the Family Visitor Center; we saw Garden of the Gods and did some mountain town driving in  Manitou Springs.

After a rough start to the day on Tuesday, day 6 of our vacation we left Colorado and Dani behind and headed north to Estes Park, Colorado, a gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park.

This is when our official vacation and slow down time came. We needed it. The push to get out of town was heavy this year; a growing business that really just exploded this last year the stress was more than we both even realized. Until Tuesday.
But you know when we settle down, look at the facts, reflect on our own wrongs, forgive and move on in grace and love, rough Tuesdays can lead to fabulous Wednesdays, Thursdays and more!

Rocky Mountain National Park did not disappoint.
The grandeur of the Rockies is amazing, no photo or words can really grasp how beautiful this earth that God made is. 

The Colorado portion of our trip consisted of mostly rain, snow and mixed sun and clouds.
This shortened some of our views but it lead to another experience. We had lots of snow to play in, great use of  our rain gear and plenty of indoor pool time! 
But the Rockies. 
The mountains, how my heart longs to stay a long while soaking up their peaceful warmth beauty and altitude.

So that's a brief summary of our "moving" vacation.

Now that we're home, it's nice. 
Our own bed, the dog,
college students home.

Yes, I arrived home on Sunday and woke up Monday morning to the "Summer Boys", bringing the house headcount to 7. 

Welcome to our next adventure!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

You're Invited follow along on our upcoming family vacation to California and Colorado.

It starts this Thursday over at Spanos Family Travels

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rainbows, Black Clouds, Unicorns and Ogres

Hi All!
It's been awhile I know.

I miss writing here but life happens and well here I sit.

I wish I could say it has all been rainbows and unicorns around here
and maybe it has
and I've just missed it.

I tend to get in a funk and what seems to be surrounding me are black clouds and ogres.

Something happened this last year,
and it took me awhile to put my finger on what it was, 
what it is.
I'm not sure if I've nailed it, but I think I have.

I've struggled with the season of life I'm in.
Not because it's bad or tough,
but because it is.

Changing seasons can be hard.
Especially when that change is because of circumstances outside my choosing/control/desire.

I kept finding myself saying, "it just wasn't suppose to be this way".

For the last 20 years I had this picture, 
this dream in my mind of what life would be like when I was 40.

I'd have no kids at home.
I'd be working at or toward my new "dream job".
I'd be working outside the home.
Steve and I would have evenings to walk the beach,
weekends to sleep in,
romantic dinners,
I figured about now we would be considering a move back north...
...and the list goes on.

But that's not my reality.
I have a 3-year-old,
a 21-year-old living in back bedroom (a room that has become a ministry bedroom)
and my youngest son is moving back home after a year away at college (he realized commuting to college is cheaper than living there).
My job is the same as it's been for 22 years and looks like it has another 15 to go.
I work inside the home still,
Steve and I rarely walk the beach, if ever,
my weekends certainly do not involve sleeping or
romantic dinners and well let's just say my home is here, south of the Mason-Dixon line in the sunny south.

I've had to let go of some dreams
and really let them die.
They just won't happen in my time frame or happen at all.
I've let them go.

It's only when things die that new life can come;
new dreams can grown.

Perhaps God is in the business of raising some of those dreams back to life,
perhaps He has something new and fresh to grow from the ashes?

Whatever the case, it's been a tough.

A tough changing of seasons- not much looks or feels or is the same around here.

New is happening.
New is good.
I have chosen to embrace the newness,
of course this embracing followed a tough season of depression and negative self-talk. Hashing out my inner most thoughts with God, crying out, soaking my pillow. 

Oh how thankful I am that He is there, ready to listen, take on my pain, catch my tears;
ever so gently and full of mercy He helps me up and on with my life here on planet earth. 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, from Psalm 103

In some ways I've come full circle.
In the same place I was 22 years ago.
Embarking on a new parenting journey, stepping into a new land, a new place. 
I find myself in a place I didn't dream in my own head
instead a place God has dreamed for me.

I have new opportunities and a growing event planning business
my love of travel is hopefully, Lord willing, taking on some form of a more public platform, visit that blog over here.

Life with a 3-year-old is a blessing, I learn so much from her every day, she reminds me of how fun life is, even when it doesn't go as planned.

How to laugh more,
love more,
play and get dirty more,
embrace the moment, the wind, the birds, the sun, the rain,
oh the rain- we dance in it a lot;

and to stand up and say no, because sometimes a firm hands on the hips, single foot stomp "no" is in order. 

I've learned the joy and the pain of moving children out of the house ----
and the joy and pain of moving others in.

I have learned that it is through living under the same roof with strangers that we learn 
and practice grace 
and mercy 
and love.

So that's where I've been,
cleaning off sticky messes,
peeling my head off soggy pillows,
moving furniture
and trusting and believing God that this new season is worth all the pain, disappointment, letting go and dying.

I am looking at where He's brought me.
The waters that have been parted
and the dry ground I have had the opportunity to walk on.

We've come full circle God and I and this time I can look at my rocks of remembrance and bravely enter this new season.

So while it hasn't been rainbows and unicorns
the black clouds have reminded me of how brilliantly the light of Christ shines with a dark backdrop
and the ogres, well they aren't unicorns but they sure do make me laugh!

enjoy your day and smile
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