relearning home

what i feared would happen, happened: i came home from europe and gave up on blogging since my life was back to normal. i love my normal life, but honestly, it's just that=normal, and not worth blogging about. but i don't want to focus only on the extravagant that i forget the everyday.
coming back to america was an emotional thing for me. i had my hand over my heart when i landed on this sacred soil. we've been soaking up, or trying to, all that we love about home. 

since we've been back:
we pulled off, fantastically if i may say so, our best christmas surprise for our families. after getting delayed for two days because of a snowstorm in europe we made it back in time for christmas eve. both mothers were in tears. i've never missed my family, nor been so homesick, nor wished so badly to be back as i did while in belgium. christmas was at it's pinnacle this year.
we lived out of a suitcase for the first two weeks of being home because we couldn't leave family.
when we finally moved back home, we were certain our house was a mansion complete with carpet, closets, and a garage!
we went to the ballet.
we bought an $8 couch i'm attempting to reupholster.
we had the best donuts from here. trust me and just try the fritters.
we've driven to provo at least every week, usually more.
we have frequented redbox, wendy's, the mandarin, neighborhood walmart, cafe rio, guru's, and deseret book and took heart at all it's american glory:) yes, i'm proud.
we've been floored with the size of the mountains, the frequency of temples literally everywhere, and the joy we get from pronouncing produce.
we've seen friendly faces that truly make home, home.
we've finally, almost 18 months since moving in, unloaded every box in our townhome.
we've felt almost sick about the amount of stuff we have, but, admittedly we have taken a fancy for texting again, re-adored our sweet mac and lovable cars, gobbled up every appliance in my kitchen, and put to use my beloved nail polish and blow dryer.
we've had thumb wars frequently, rearranged our front living room, decided it's time for our bed to be refinished, spent lots of time with the youth in our ward, been in grateful awe that the sun comes out so often, and relish in the fact that everyone can understand us and we them.

here's to all the blessed, normal things about home.


recap with russo part 2

the lovely hotel we stayed in while at bruges. they had to extend their breakfast hours for us cause we slept in so late.

view from our window of the bed and breakfast.

frosted christmas wreaths for sale.

at the lovely christmas markets eating pasta.

beautiful brrrrrruges.

the reason why they call this place the venice of belgium.

russo's first belgian waffle.

we were the oldest people on the rink.

despite the looks of it, all our years of dancing paid off. we didn't fall once. devin on the other hand took a unashamedly graceful fall while trying to do a penche(ponche?) like michelle kwan.

grand place all festively decorated. it was freezing.

ice skating rink in the middle of the grand place. best thing we did.

russo is a kindred spirit to be sure. there is a special connection there that doesn't need describing, but i must say how grateful i am for her. her visit to the lovely belgie was timely and needed, she says for herself but i know it was more for me. thank heavens for angel friends.


recap with russo part 1

russo's first name is sarah, last is russo.  there were two sarah's at dance so we called her russo to differentiate. russo is three years my junior. we didn't go to high school together, but we may as well have been sisters. we spent more hours together than i did with my own brother. i was lucky enough to carpool with her my last year of dancing. it was awesome to play tour guide and show her around a country we came to adore. plus we had her there for the few days of holiday that we took while overseas, perfect. thank heavens for christmas break and sky miles. love you russo.

bruges belgium. heaven on earth. matching coats.

antwerp. kloosterstraat. cheesy picture in a million dollar store.

place de jeu du balle. 365 days outta the year flea market.

the king's palace. stunning russo.

brussel's best look-out point.

the one and only grand place. holiday styled. they even had a nativity.

 manniken piss. this was one of the few places russo was reccommended to go visit. he's the most famous statue in belgium and is about 18 inches tall, sort of a let down.

but we aren't kidding when we say the belgian waffles are to die for. no let downs there. don't worry we brought 30 home with us, they were gone in a few days.

russo spent the sabbath attending our perfect belgian ward. after church they put on a FEAST for noel-no casseroles or green jello there-just turkeys, soups, salads, homemade bread, and smorgasbord of desserts. best food we ate all week. after 12 hours at the church, we spent 2.5 hours getting home from church when it usually takes 30 minutes. despite that, the next day russo and i BRAVELY trekked the 2 hour drive to citadelle at dinant without devin. worth it? yes.

we also trekked up all those stairs in the background since the tram was closed. (nothing gets shoveled or snowplowed in belgium. they usually get a few inches, not two feet.) 

there were at least 1000 stairs. and at the top, there was just a metal guard rail.

but the view was irreplaceable.

gratefully we only had one fall. of course it came on the last five steps and included a face plant. we will never forget that experience.
... part two tomorrow.


i don't care too much for money, cause money can't buy you love

On this day, I need to say-

I believe that LOVE is at the center of our happiness. Nothing brings greater joy than loving others.

"A (person) filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race." -Joseph Smith

“Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others.” -Harold B Lee.

I'm grateful for the happiness brought to all of us by love-the love we share and the love others have shown for us. Love is what makes the world go round.

roughing it on our last camping trip of 2010