29 July 2011

weekend

This is my kind of to-do list.

28 July 2011

Cercedilla, Spain

This is not my picture... but Nikki and I went here last weekend.
"I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny - a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls." – J.K. Rowling

25 July 2011

Desert Song

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

And I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

All of my life, in every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

23 July 2011

We haven’t lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a hand-written letter is greater than ever. It’s personal and deliberate means more than an email or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it’s flawed There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, “This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more importantly, all that I am not.”
- Ashton Kutcher
Incredible.
Horsetail Falls in Yosemite National Park

http://www.todayandtomorrow.net/2010/03/11/horsetail-firefall/

the great plains

The other night we were talking about Michael Forsberg and Joel Sartore and trying to figure out something or another about them, so as we talk, Nikki pulls up their websites on my computer and before I know it, there are about a million photos saved on my desktop. :) And since they're amazing, and since I love the plains & prairie, I thought I would share. Sorry Michael and Joel, I have no idea who's photos belong to whom.

18 July 2011

Saturday- Nice, France

Kind of short on pictures from this day. We left the hotel bright and early and caught an early train from Monterosso to somewhere, got on another train, then a third train (where, at one point in time, Jill was literally shoved by MULTIPLE Asian girls while trying to get on the train. Really the whole train experience was somewhat comical in hindsight.) We arrived in Nice, checked in our hotel and went to lunch. We wanted something very French to eat since it would probably be our only meal there. The guy at the hotel told us where to go and it was not very good advice. We ended up eating a pretty... normal lunch and we were like zombies. SO we decided to have a nap before we actually went out to see the town.
Nice was lovely, but, as Katie said, "Nice is basically like Italy... but French"
After we wandered along the sea, we found a café tucked in a cute street with amazing dessert. We ended up sitting there for a really long time laughing and talking and enjoying our last night under the twinkle lights. It was very French and a great ending to a great trip!

Friday- The Lover's Walk

Our last day in Cinque Terre. We decided to hit up the last two little towns and take "The Lover's Walk" between them.
Nothing says 'love' like graffiti and locks....
We made an attempt at enjoying the beach in Vernazza, which is one of the only really sandy beaches in Cinque Terre, but that also meant that it was FULL of small children. Pretty sure we had sand kicked in our faces and "the buttercream gang" loitering around us within 15 minutes. But, beach is beach and we enjoyed it!
Our last night on the town... and more gelado. :)
We really wanted some chocolate cake... and Katie found something very near chocolate cake... with random fruit chunks in it. But we ate it anyway while waiting for the shuttle.

Thursday- Relax

Since we had a rather taxing day on Wednesday, we decided to take full advantage of the beach on Thursday.
We rented chairs and parked it for the whooooole day.
After a shower, we modeled Jill's bum knee, and went to dinner.
One of my favorite things was hearing funny stories about college and roommate life from Jill and Katie TOGETHER. We laughed so much!
Monterosso at sunset, and our beach with no one on it.
More gelado! Dairy-free chocolate gelado!!
And Jill being... Jill.
Our non-hiking shoes.
How everyday began and ended, waiting for the shuttle.
The view from our balcony.

Wednesday-"Treacherous"

Since we didn't find the secret beach on Tuesday, we gave it another go on Wednesday! We ate a delicious breakfast...
...and Jill and Katie did some researching online to see if they could find out a little more information on finding this beach. Basically we learned that the "tunnel way" was sketchy at best and we decided to try finding it via the alternate route... hiking.
They found this picture saying that after 10-15 minutes of hiking on the trail between Corniglia and Vernazza, you turn left where the rocks on the ground say "free beach". Right. Well, we memorized this picture from 1972, donned our hiking clothes and set off.
Here we are at the train station (again), the girls looking quite sporty.
We climbed those stupid stairs... AGAIN.
After about 10 minutes, we did indeed find the trail!
And so we began the part of the hike that actually WAS a bit treacherous.
Jill went first because, as she says "I'm also naturally clumsy and rather ignorantly fearless (don't watch me downhill ski), so I decided I was the most likely to get hurt anyway, may as well test it out."
The view on the hike was rather spectacular.
Here we are, mocking the treachery. Minus the fact that Jill had a minor treacherous moment by getting her hair caught in a tree.
Holding hands so that we don't fall down the mountain.
We did end up having to walk through a small semi-creepy tunnel, to get to some steps, which thankfully some guy showed us or we probably would have broken our necks trying to get down the last hill.
This was about the time I put the camera away because, as it turns out, the beach was, in fact, clothing optional, and it's just seemed kind of creepy to be snapping pictures. We also were there for less than an hour when it started to rain. So, as lovely as the beach was (or would have been with some sun), we decided it was time to make the long climb back up. When we were near the top, Jill about fell down the mountain and ended up with a pretty bad scraped knee. Once we reached the top, we had to take the ACTUAL 90 minute hike to Vernazza. Here is the "treacherous" path. Ha ha. However, there were about a thousand more stairs, so that was nice.
On the left is Corniglia and on the right is the view of our beach from the top. Yep. Teeny tiny all the way down there.
On the left is Vernazza, "Miss Congeniality" of Cinque Terre.
On the right is Katie, not impressed with Corniglia.
We FINALLY made it to Vernazza!
We had some Diet Cokes and pizza and then headed back to the hotel. We decided to stay in this night and go to bed early because we were EXHAUSTED (not to mention Katie and I were both sick and Jill had a bum knee).