Monday, December 21, 2015

Making a big deal

Some things need to be a big deal: births, weddings, graduations, promotions, funerals.  And some things don't: like 95% of what is posted on Facebook.  

For me: it's a big deal how awesome, amazing and supportive all my friends, family and co-workers have been as I take off for a year!  I can't believe how blessed I am by having you all in my life!  

For example, one friend helped me rent my house out, another gave me a place to stay the few months before I leave (free of charge).  My mom took one of my dogs, my sister the other.  My other sister took all of my house plants and a friend is taking care of my car.  Friends and family helped me move out of my house and into storage.  People from church came and took away all my give aways.  My bro-in-law took on the job of being the property manager of my house while I'm gone.  Co-workers collected a sizable donation to the mission where I'll be working, gave me a monetary gift, and a beautiful cake (pictured above).  My bosses at this point have offered me a job when I return and kept me on the books per diem.  I've been treated out to breakfast, lunch or dinner almost every day this month, seeing people "for the last time" this year.  I'm overwhelmed!  And very grateful!!

God is so good!  He has brought so many beautiful, wonderful people into my life.  Who would have thought when we moved to Connecticut (almost twenty years ago now!) that this would be home?  After living in five other glad I am that I settled here!  And how glad I am to have a home to come back to.  This coming year is going to fly by... I know we'll all change while I'm away but I also know that these God-given friendships will be here when I return.  

Thank you everyone for the support and love!  One more week before I leave for Mexico and then...Guatemala!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

So Much To Do

So little time to do it...Christmas is a crazy time of the year without moving to Guatemala!

Oh well, one day at a time.  And so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who want to support me in this endeavor!  Christmas parties, breakfast/lunch/dinner get-togethers, doctor's appointments, shopping, packing, and of course traveling (doesn't everyone plan a trip to Mexico for a small vacation right before taking off for a year without an income?).

I'm a bit crazy.

Okay, maybe not just a bit...thought I'd get started with actual packing today.  Instead I picked up my Typhoid vaccine, met friends for Mass and lunch and then stopped by the salon and got a haircut before returning home to watch part of White Christmas with the kids.  Now I'm blogging.  I'm sure everything will fall together.  And if that happens the night before I fly be it.

Ran my last race this past weekend with my bff and BIL...our last race until I return!  It was a fairly flat half marathon with lots of water stops, warm weather and a slow pace (yah, my slowest half EVER...sorry about that bff...) but we ran it!  And it was fun!  Afterwards was the Christmas Tea we've had every year since I was in high school...another great time!  And then Mass.  And a chance to rest, and think, and breathe.  

I have a feeling that after this mad rush to get EVERYTHING in order, celebrated, done, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...I'm going to arrive in Guatemala and be quite underwhelmed by what I'm required to do.  And at this exact moment: that sounds pretty good to me. :o)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

European Christmas Markets

So in an effort to save money this year and prepare for a year without income...I booked a trip to five european countries to see their Christmas Markets the month before I leave for Guatemala...wisely?  No...but oh so beautiful!!  This was a once in a lifetime trip and definitely worth every penny (gracias, groupon, for making it possible and affordable)!

Neuschwanstein, Germany

Munich, Germany

Nuremberg, Germany

Salzburg, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Bratislava, Slovakia

Prague, Czech Republic

Budapest, Hungary

I have no excuse...but this was one of the most beautiful trips I have taken.  The architecture, the history, the beauty of these cities...I feel as if I've only just begun to taste them and POOF my trip has ended.  Already I have a list of places to return to...yes, I believe, once again, I am in love.  Why am I so blessed?? (Don't answer that, please...)

The days are winding down!  Only a few more weeks before I go to, ahem, Mexico, before moving to Guatemala...AACKK!!  and YAYAYAY! we go!!  

“Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." Ruth 1:16