Concluding our trip...
this post is rather long(ish), but filled with fitting photography (condensed) to keep our blogging scrapbooks filled with memories to cherish.
Our recent trip to Vancouver would not be complete without mentioning other very special times we were privy and able to partake of with extended family and friends.
We were invited and present to celebrate not one, but two birthdays;
Both birthdays were fabulous; good times, great people, good food and lots of loving. And cake!
My first cousins gathered for an Easter Vigil dinner and combined birthday celebration for my beautiful cousin (family, children, plus parents)
We were also honored (to crash the party, wink) to attend a family friend's birthday (a wonderful friend's daughter, our daughter's BFF ;).
How exquisitely lovely it was to witness the angelic and harmonious choral singing from her parents, grandparents and aunt offering a birthday blessing to her in song, so riveting and beautiful, it gave me goosebumps hearing them all in sync the way they were. How blessed you are my dear.
The girls have been collecting and writing their own icons, beautiful personal saint icons were shown to me, and these were on display in their prayer corner of their bedroom.
So lovely... One rotten part was missing any sort of snapshots of the adults present that day. Ugh, Next time K. & B. And I have to admit I missed other photo opportunities. Hugging rather than snapping was all too tempting.
How lucky we were to be able to spend time with precious loved ones when able, either for a large gathering complete with birthday cake and loving catch ups for an evening, a quick coffee time at 6:30 am (yes, this is true, I did this twice!), partaking of a beautiful brunch or luncheon, or just simply relishing in the splendor and whole idea of rekindling the flames of beautiful friendships we've been so sweetly blessed with over the years.
Truly we are blessed to be honored by wonderful family members; ours and extended family.
We are humbled to have the blessing of uniquely kindred and long time friends, some whom we don't always get to visit with when we return west, but are always on our minds.
The sad reality is, our visits just never seem to be long enough.
There is always a hope of a hug, a quick coffee time, or a long lingering local telephone call to say, "Hello, we love you".
Two friends I especially wished to spend a long coffee catch up chat or luncheon with, just didn't/couldn't happen when I had to cancel on them, but such is the way for us when health issues managed to appear suddenly.
Next time friends...
At the end of the day, when I even begin to try to "absorb" and "reflect" on our time visiting in the west, I feel a deep sense of gratitude, to have been granted beautiful possibilities (and airmiles) for bonding with family, meeting our new grandbabe, celebrating not only Holy week, and then Easter, but also being able to attend milestone birthdays, and appreciate forever our most beautiful friendships with special people.
I'm also pleased to have made so many new family memories, our gang linked again most every day, however brief it had to be.
I'm only sad we encountered a surprising time when my husband's mother was very ill. It was touch and go if my husband would see her due to her illness, but he was able the day before we left. Next time mom B....
Our grandbabies were so dear to hang out with, and there will never be enough time to make up for, and accumulate all the missed hugs and kisses in between our times together.
First cousins together in the photo above, second cousins together in the photo below.
Thanks again everyone --- for everything!
- Thank you for allowing your children/teens time to rekindle their friendships with our gang, our children who will never forget your kindnesses.
- Thank you to our big kids for taking time for your brothers and sisters, one at a time, two at a time, hosting overnights, tagging some along to see what your work days are like, rubbing elbows and showing them how real life unfolds after leaving mom and dad's nest.
- Thank you for allowing us to bug you for extra time with the grandbabes, steal babies, show up at your doors, doze off for power naps when necessary, do laundry at your home, steal your kitchens, invade your space, eat your food, steal your usual pew at church, and love you silly.
- Thank you to all those who lent us your camping gear for our stay in the empty condo; blow up mattresses and pumps, pillows, sleeping bags, sheets, comforters, towels, dishes, and a kettle.
Ha! What fun we had!
How simple life was with no furniture. Actually, correction, we had two bar stools! Oh, and our daughter lent us two chairs for a few days.
Sitting on the floor or laying around on those mattresses had its merits and wasn't all bad, forcing restful horizontal times when necessary. :)
The only lousy thing, too bad the weather would not co-operate with us while we were there visiting. I've lived on the west coast for most of my life and wow, I've never been so WET, seen so much hail, thunder and lightning in one time span as what we were to endure while there.
Good thing for fabulous people who all made everything bright and cheery. So thankful to all!
Leaving Vancouver for home again, once our flight landed and our luggage was fetched, it was deeply touching to drive down our road and spot this colorful sign duck-taped to our front doorway, complete with lively balloons waving a warm welcome home to us as we drove up the drive. (only showing part of it here because our name was all over it)
Soon after we exited the doors of the vehicle to take a closer look, we found one guilty young man hidden around the corner, grinning from ear to ear, proud as punch at his loving gesture towards all of us. How bored he was having to wait three hours after hanging it up, dodging a bit of rain in the process. How sweet.
Until we meet again ..... Love to all