Archive | November, 2011

headed back to Italy

Unbelievably, our time in the States has come to a close.  Tomorrow morning we fly back to Sicily!  I am both thrilled and miserable, realizing that all these happy days (especially those filled with family) are over.  Now we’re moving back to a new community, a new home, a new culture, a new life. 

This past week has been wonderful and filled with family.  So many gatherings around dinner tables, so many games, so much conversation, so many snuggles of a beloved granddaughter/niece/daughter.  The big news around here is that the Garber family gained a sister this week… Jonathan proposed to Erika!  And tonight our little Lena was baptized at our church on Capitol Hill, a big celebration which many of our dear friends and all of our family attended.  There are so many photos to share!  But I’ll leave you with one of the best photos from the weekend: an aunt and her niece, both in cozy onesies.  Quite indicative of the coziness of our Thanksgiving week.

Internet will be spotty the next few days as we travel and then set up house.  I’ll share as I can.  Hopefully (… fingers crossed!) I’ll be getting a new iPhone with video capabilities, so we’ll see if that leads to even more fun updates from across the pond.  Sicily, we’re coming home!

16 :: in family, friends, holidays, home sweet home, Italy, Sicily, travel, Virginia

headed back to Italy

Unbelievably, our time in the States has come to a close.  Tomorrow morning we fly back to Sicily!  I am both thrilled and miserable, realizing that all these happy days (especially those filled with family) are over.  Now we’re moving back to a new community, a new home, a new culture, a new life. 

This past week has been wonderful and filled with family.  So many gatherings around dinner tables, so many games, so much conversation, so many snuggles of a beloved granddaughter/niece/daughter.  The big news around here is that the Garber family gained a sister this week… Jonathan proposed to Erika!  And tonight our little Lena was baptized at our church on Capitol Hill, a big celebration which many of our dear friends and all of our family attended.  There are so many photos to share!  But I’ll leave you with one of the best photos from the weekend: an aunt and her niece, both in cozy onesies.  Quite indicative of the coziness of our Thanksgiving week.

Internet will be spotty the next few days as we travel and then set up house.  I’ll share as I can.  Hopefully (… fingers crossed!) I’ll be getting a new iPhone with video capabilities, so we’ll see if that leads to even more fun updates from across the pond.  Sicily, we’re coming home!

5 :: in family, friends, holidays, home sweet home, Italy, Sicily, travel, Virginia

a day to be thankful

a visit to Israel with our 2-month-old daughter

This morning I woke up remembering last year.  That Thanksgiving was a difficult day in this house.  Elliott was on a one-year deployment in Egypt, I was 5 months pregnant with our little Lena, my grandmother died around 2am in Cincinnati, my entire family was with her except me, and I got up at 6:30am to get my dad’s phone call about my grandmother and then went in to work a 12-hour shift in the ICU.

It was a rough Thanksgiving.  Although even then Elliott and I sought every reason to be thankful, we were very ready to pass that day by and look to the future. 

Now we’re living the future, and we are together.  Waking up next to Elliott instead of thousands of miles away from him… can’t ever take that for granted again!  And now there’s Lena, too, our snuggle muffin and little joy.  Although the difficulties of last year will always be with us (I miss my grandmother so much, I’ll never have a “newlywed year” with Elliott, etc.), God has indeed replaced a lot of our struggles with rich blessings and much joy these days.  Take none of it for granted!

Is this Thanksgiving a special one of joy, or one in the middle of a year that you’re ready to see end?  Life isn’t always “peachy keen,” I know.  I’d love to hear about your joys and your struggles this year, knowing they often come hand in hand.  

0 :: in family, holidays, thoughts

a day to be thankful

a visit to Israel with our 2-month-old daughter

This morning I woke up remembering last year.  That Thanksgiving was a difficult day in this house.  Elliott was on a one-year deployment in Egypt, I was 5 months pregnant with our little Lena, my grandmother died around 2am in Cincinnati, my entire family was with her except me, and I got up at 6:30am to get my dad’s phone call about my grandmother and then went in to work a 12-hour shift in the ICU.

It was a rough Thanksgiving.  Although even then Elliott and I sought every reason to be thankful, we were very ready to pass that day by and look to the future. 

Now we’re living the future, and we are together.  Waking up next to Elliott instead of thousands of miles away from him… can’t ever take that for granted again!  And now there’s Lena, too, our snuggle muffin and little joy.  Although the difficulties of last year will always be with us (I miss my grandmother so much, I’ll never have a “newlywed year” with Elliott, etc.), God has indeed replaced a lot of our struggles with rich blessings and much joy these days.  Take none of it for granted!

Is this Thanksgiving a special one of joy, or one in the middle of a year that you’re ready to see end?  Life isn’t always “peachy keen,” I know.  I’d love to hear about your joys and your struggles this year, knowing they often come hand in hand.  

0 :: in family, holidays, thoughts

last day in San Antonio

On our last full day in SA, Elliott had to be out the door early for a graduation ceremony at Ft Sam Houston.  (I love saying Fort Sam Houston really fast.  Sounds so American and Texan.  Sad I can’t say that every day anymore.)  We thought Lena and I weren’t invited (although we were… whoops) so I stayed home and made him celebratory cinnamon rolls for brunch.

They were delish!  Paula Deen’s fab recipe here.

As we began packing and cleaning, Elliott harvested his last crop of oyster mushrooms.  He ordered the Back to the Roots Mushroom Kit from Amazon and has been tending to them (and harvesting crops!) for the past month or so.  With these mushrooms Elliott combined a lot of fridge leftovers and made us elaborate omelets for lunch.  Yum!

I cleared out all our food from the kitchen to give away to Lewis and Bekah.  Lena had fun discovering that pile! Hippie child hair.

Suitcases filled our once-tidy little apartment… sigh…

I was alerted by my friends Sarah and Johanna that Starbucks was having a 2-for-1 holiday drinks sale, so we headed down the River Walk one last time for this treat.  Grande peppermint mochas… yessss.  On the way back we took a final saunter through Hemisfair Park and a tourist offered to snap this photo of us at the bottom of the Tower of the Americas (where we went for a date recently).

That night Lewis and Bekah took us out on a group date.  We got all gussied up, and I wore one of Elliott’s birthday presents to me: lovely earrings designed by my nursing school classmate and dear friend Tara  Montgomery.

They chose Carmen’s de la Calle, an incredible tapas bar with live music.  Flamenco dancers performed that night to live music, and they left our blood racing!  Innovative dishes, fabulous decor, sangria that went down oh-so-easily, and some of the sweetest friends… it was quite the farewell to this lovely town.

Thanks, dear Lewis and Bekah, for welcoming us and loving us so well while in your hometown.  We miss you.  Keep dreaming and planning that visit to Sicily!

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