Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer 2015 {and a dash of Spring}

I have so much to catch up on. I've avoided this post because there is so much I'd like to remember and the mere thought of writing it all down made me resort to Netflix instead. It deserves thought and I didn't want to rush through it... This summer catch-up will need a few posts (and lots of pictures!), but simple summaries to start will make me feel like less of a blogging failure.

Most importantly, Adam's Grandpa Ken went to be with Jesus almost two months ago now. Grandpa Ken was (and will continue to be), such a special person to Adam. In the short four and a half year since I've been in Adam's life, I've gotten to know Grandpa Ken as well. I got to know his tender spirit, caring heart and humorous side. I had the privilege of witnessing him adore his children, grandchildren and wife, Grandma Jayne. Parkinson's was a part of his life, but everybody knew that didn't define him. His body became weak, but his spirit did not. Hearing stories at his memorial service was incredible. Friends and family came from all over to honor Grandpa Ken's life. We cried, laughed and recalled stories of strength, leadership, love and humor. One of my favorite stories was from when Adam was little. He had a lose tooth and wouldn't let Grandpa Ken pull it out. After Adam's protest, he and Grandpa started rough housing on the ground. He ended up on Grandpa's back and in a moment of play, got his tooth knocked out accidentally by Grandpa Ken's head. Adam had the biggest grin on his face when he told that. His love for his Grandpa was so obvious and unyielding. Fortunately, we get to celebrate as well; not simply mourn. Our tears fall a little softer, knowing this isn't goodbye, it's a see you later. How lucky are we?! I can't imagine navigating through moments like this without Jesus and our promise of eternal life with him and those we love.

Grandpa Ken's hats. We took a family photo with us all wearing them :)

Grandpa Ken and the beautiful urn he made. 

At the end of April, I went to Barcelona for work! It was an amazing trip. I went with my boss to assist with training our European team on our new customer management system. It was launched in North America first, so he wanted an extra set of eyes and ears familiar with it to help during training sessions. We were there for about four days and it was amazing. We flew in via Amsterdam and even arriving at that airport made me feel like such a worldly explorer. Yeah, I'm not...but it was pretty cool. There were wood clogs, tulips and chocolates all over the airport shops. Barcelona was so beautiful. The age of the city is hard to grasp, never having been to Europe before. These buildings were thousands of years old, but hundreds (old in my American eyes). After work, we headed to downtown Barcelona on all but one night. The first night we went to the marina and ate at an amazing seafood restaurant. Another odd thing in Spain (and Europe in general I've heard) is that they eat really late. Like really late. We arrived at this restaurant around 6/6:30 and were met with numerous perplexed faces. Not just because I was annoyingly taking pictures of everything, but because we were attempting to eat dinner before 9pm. I'll let a picture of our food speak for itself (when I upload pictures), but it was unique to say the least. Another night we went out to dinner with the entire retention team at a very nice and unusual restaurant. This restaurant was, again, in downtown Barcelona and nestled between multiple buildings. You walked through a narrow entry way and the restaurant winded and turned up steps, down steps and every which way. I felt like it was straight out of Harry Potter. Tables were tucked into little nooks and crannies. It was so cool! Our group's table ended up being in it's own room with (not joking) ham hanging from the ceiling above it. I guess cured ham is a delicacy in Spain and we got to dine right underneath it! After we got done with dinner, around 10:30pm, everyone started talking about what to do next. Might I add this was a Wednesday night. When in Spain! So, we went to a large courtyard in the middle of town for drinks. It was so funny seeing the town still alive at midnight on a weeknight. Not just adults either, there were entire families, elderly people and children running around playing. It was so fun getting to know all of the people on the European team. I'd communicated via email with most of them, but getting to know their personalities was awesome. I work with a pretty great group of people and am so blessed my job provided me this travel opportunity. I wonder if we have a team in Bora Bora that needs training? ;)

Amazing seafood dinner! 

The plaza outside our office

Beautiful building in downtown Barcelona


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Farmer's market candy stand

Soccer field in the middle of our office building :)

We spent Easter with my family this year and had such a fun time finding Easter eggs with the littles! I have so many fun pictures to add from this day :) It was great being together as a family! It's also so cute that Willa can participate now. Her and Emeri loved finding their treats hiding in eggs and knew pretty quick which ones were candy and which ones were goldfish crackers. He is risen!

Adam's finished  his first outreach session! Additionally, he is officially a fourth year student! We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's dim, but it's there and I'm so so proud of him for all of his hard work. He's a rock star and never complains about the stress or workload. He was up in Hibbing, MN, which is about 3.5 hours straight north, for four weeks (coming home today!!). He and three other dental students spent their days working on patients at the Hibbing Community College Dental Clinic. They have a supervising dentist to check work, but they see and tend to all of the patients. Adam loved it. At school, professors are much less readily available and getting worked checked off before moving to the next step takes a very long time. He's seeing about twice the number of patients (if not more) in Hibbing daily and loves it. They stayed at an apartment on campus and spent their evenings exploring fun restaurants, golfing and fishing. I was able to visit a few weekends ago and we had such a wonderful time! Hibbing is smack dab in the middle of the Iron Range, so of course we visited the mining pits. We also spent time exploring a few local state parks! Again, so many fun pictures from this weekend that I'll add. So excited to have him home!

McCarthy Beach State Park

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Hull Rust Mine

Lots more to update on- work, volleyball and cabin trips! That will be next though, along with adding pictures to this post of course ;)