Monday, August 19


Life has been hard lately. Besides my Dad's cancer, which thankfully we found out was stable for now, I have a close friend who's brother also has melanoma. He is a young husband in his thirties, and father of four.  I have been following his blog, and have been inspired at how he continues to find grace despite the way this unwelcome disease is stealing so much from him. I feel deeply for my friend, her brother, and his family.

Brent's Grandpa is on the verge of dying, but has been hanging on for days.  He just turned 97, and has also inspired many people. There have been some beautiful moments during these final days where he has seen angels. The day before, he was singing some hymns from a CD my mother in law recorded. He will leave a beautiful legacy, as I see many of his traits in my father in law, and in Brent.

As I get older, the more I realize I will live to see more of these losses.  Sometimes it's difficult to look forward to each new day with that realization.

Mixed with the hard emotions coming from these situations, I also experience daily joy with Justin learning new words, discovering and celebrating his little belly button, and loving his companionship throughout the day.  As he approaches two, his favorite word is "no," even though I was convinced at one time that no child of mine would ever tell me "no" all day long, it is happening, and I actually welcome it, as I know it is a stage he has go through as he becomes more independent.

He is learning lots of words right now, and it has been amazing to see him develop. He loves to chase the cats, and sometimes I think he believes he is one of them.  He does spend lots of time around them.  The other day, we had a play date with his friend Mattia.  I looked over at them, and Justin was trying to put his forehead against Mattia's, and was petting the top of his head like he would our cat, Luna.  It was very cute...

So much to process, and so much to embrace right now.

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Italy trip

I have been going through my pictures, and have enjoyed looking at this album of Italy. I was able to go over last year to attend a conference. This was the first time I have been back in twenty years. The pictures are made up mostly of places we lived as a family. My brother and I were able to go together, and we were graciously hosted by some friends of ours from language school in Perugia. I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I look at these pictures. I miss Italy so much. It was strange to go back as a tourist knowing I would be returning to the US after such a short time. Tonight I made cookies with Nutella in them, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the simple pleasures. Fortunately, you can find it here! Saturday, we are going up to my brother's house to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, only we will be making homemade tortellini instead of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!