Friday, November 20, 2009

Back to the Roots - images of my 2009 fall

My welcome back to the USA - - Beautiful Idaho August

Some QT with my girls in Denver

A perfect week with my grandparents on the ranch in Arizona

These pictures of my grandma making a pie are now some of my most prized possessions - simply priceless.

A Father-Daughter trip to Yellowstone National Park

And the Grand Tetons

Harvest in Idaho

A weekend with Victor

Meeting my brother's future in-laws

A freak snow storm the first week of October

Trailing the Sheep with Mama in Ketchum

Family Reunion in Las Vegas

And coming out 10 dollars ahead!

A beautiful reunion in San Diego

Doing yard work for possibly the first time ever..

I am SO Thankful for this
wonderful, unexpected season
of rest and reconnections with my roots.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What 26 Looks Like.

On my birthday, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. The clerk stared at my I.D. for an inappropriate amount of time, looking at me, then the I.D., then back at me...

Thinking she was wondering why I had a Texas driver's license, I started to explain that I hadn't lived in Idaho for a while.

She interrupted me, saying, "No... no.. its just that you hide it SO WELL!"

"Hide my I.D.?" I said, confused.

"No, your age! You look so much younger! GREAT JOB!"

And I thought - wow.... so this is what we've come to.

All aside, I had a wonderful birthday.
Turning 26 never felt so good.

The pizza tradition continued. My parents started celebrating my birthday with pizza waaaaay back. My birthday seemed to ALWAYS fall on a basketball game day, from about 5th grade through my senior year, and my parents would always deliver pizza for the whole team. When I left for college, they continued the tradition. Over the years, they've had pizza delivered to a hotel room in California, a classroom in Sevilla, Spain, my dorm room at Rice in Houston, two classrooms in two schools that I taught in in the gheeeeeettto in Houston, my house in Denver during the middle of grad school finals, and a pizza party for my friends in Grahamstown, South Africa. This year I got to eat it with them at the Pizza Hut in Burley.

My aunt Donna and uncle Richard came over for a fabulous dinner with lots of my favorites. It was so warm and fabulous.

The menu was rather extravagant, and complete with a VERY strong drink my dad invented for the occasion...
And for dessert - Creme Brulee!
Dad torched it to carmelize the sugar, and I was convinced the house was going to blow up..

It was delicious, and a beautiful beginning to what I am sure will be an incredible year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A reflection on 25.

  • My 25th year began in Grahamstown South Africa surrounded by so many loved ones...
  • Shortly thereafter, I finished my master's thesis,
  • Went on an incredible trip to islands off the coast of Kenya and Tanzania,
  • Flew to Idaho for Christmas and got promptly thrown into sub-zero weather up in Sun Valley for a family bonding session,
  • Visited Houston for a quick luncheon with all of my loved ones and a presentation to the Rotary District who funded my year in South Africa,
  • Went to Jerusalem for 3 months to participate in a Special Program on Human Rights, where I got detained, got angry, and had my whole heart swallowed up by the situation,
  • Visited Jordan and Egypt,
  • Returned to Denver to finish my last quarter of graduate school,
  • Went to Nairobi, Kenya for 3 months to conduct research in the largest slum in Africa where I walked through human feces almost every single day and had my flight home canceled due to terrorist threats,
  • Returned to Idaho in one piece,
  • White water rafted Hells Canyon,
  • Visited my grandparent's ranch in Arizona where I learned how to bake a pie and got to listen to more Fox News than any one human should ever have to,
  • Snuggled with my loved ones and presented our findings about the slum to our funders in Denver,
  • Took a Father/Daughter special trip to Yellowstone,
  • Reconnected with beloved family at a reunion in Las Vegas,
  • Accompanied of one of my dearest friends to his sister's wedding in San Diego,
  • Picked pecans right from the trees in El Paso and heard Victor present about his hot shot new job,
  • Became an excellent phone answerer and sub-par label maker at Fletcher Law Office,
  • And got to hang out with my parents, lay low and breathe for the first time in a really long time in Burley Idaho.
So overall - it was amazing, exhausting, overwhelming, love-filled, drama-filled, gratitude-filled, ball buster of a year. I am certainly still processing everything that happened..

26 has a lot to live up to.