Saturday, January 11, 2020

A very rare, very quiet Saturday

A Saturday to myself - well almost, there are several piles of laundry, Lilly and Nick are here. But it is quiet.

We have had a busy time from Thanksgiving through the first days of January. I am sure everyone felt that way with a late Thanksgiving.

Max's birthday usually falls right around Thanksgiving, but this year it fell on the Saturday before. He wasn't in yet, and the rest of us decided to honor it with a hike to Pedernales River and Hamilton Pools. We had an absolutely perfect fall day. Molly and Sebastian joined me, Euly & Ceci. The rest stayed behind.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of Lebanese favorites. Craig's grandfather came from Lebanon with his parents when he was a young man. His wife, Mary, was an Irish immigrant and loved to cook all the Lebanese recipes. She loved to cook and bake everything. She taught me quite a bit , my father in law and aunt Marilyn taught me more over the years. 

The we went outside for the annual family photo. I try to plan ahead, practice lighting, get remote set up, etc.,  to limit the duress from those who absolutely HATE this process. But, it is the only gift I want, so they always cooperate in the end. They love me.

We usually have a little fun with it.

December flew by, I can't even tell you how, but it was pleasant and swift.

We visited the Washington on the Brazos Historical Farm for an experience of  Christmas in the 1800's.

Once of my favorite moments - Craig and Euly learning a new to them old time dance.

Our parish celebrated a Rorate dawn candlelit mass in honor of Our Lady during Advent. Father asked if I could take photos - say candle light or procession and you know I'll be there!

My godson/nephew and his long time girlfriend were married the Friday before Christmas. It is a wonderful time of year for a wedding. We girls we the first ready, and wanted a picture.
My dress had a cape, I felt quite brave for delivering the second reading at Mass.

About December 25 I usually tend to put down my camera and just soak in the memories. Max was in for the wedding through New Years. He worked on my computer network, I cooked many meals, we all didn't do much, some how the days passed it was New Years. Molly came in and we had a small party to celebrate saying goodbye to a great 2019 and pray for a happy and healthy 2020.
Since the ducks are living on the pond, we moving the firework celebration to the front pasture. We had hay bales on the trailer, with all kinds of fun while we watched Nick do the honors and shot the fireworks. 
The newlyweds came.

The girls hoped for one last holiday activity, so we visited the Woodlands Ice Skating rink. They all did great. Lilly met a friend who had just learned to skate and encouraged Lilly to leave the wall and skate boldly in the middle. Kids are amazing.

Well, laundry is done, dinner is cooked and looks like everyone is home. This was a wonderfully productive day, I even worked a walk in and it now feels quite satisfying with a blog post to wrap it up.

Hoping you have a restful Sunday!

2020 Reboot

Oh I have missed this space.
I was reminded this week why I started blogging - two reasons those many years ago. 
We had returned from a family trip to Rome, a rare family trip, and I had all my photos in one place, on a lap top, that suddenly, somehow, reformatted itself and erased all our family photos.

Max saved me with small images from his iPod, but I thought I wanted to have a place to store and sort my images, include thoughts and commentaries since other back ups and my memory sometimes fail.

Secondly, I had started counting gifts as a form of prayerful meditation for gratefulness. Hence the name - Counting Gifts of Grace.

Well I feel need of a reboot for both reasons sine we have been undergoing a re haul of our home computer systems, set up a server and realized nowhere was the fourth quarter of 2015. I know I am a hoarder of photos. It is my precious possession, since it shows our lives in living color. I had some posts on the blog, Instagram was already in existence, and I posted some, not the the extend I have grown to.: mom-in-texas and MWH-photo if you are so inclined.

So long story to say, I am hoping to REBOOT - with a new look, and possibly a new name. I hope to renew friendships, find new ones as well. Some friends came over to IG, some did not.

I do enjoy this outlet, but due to internet and life issues, it has been ignored.  I have gone through so many old posts, it has warmed my heart!

One such photo I would be without had not been for this blog:


Say hey if you'd like, I'm out visiting old favorites today.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Saturday afternoon sans Ceci

After we absorbed and enjoyed as much Vatican Museum we could, we had gelato on short walk back to our apartment.

We tried to rest, but couldn't sit still with so much more to see.

We took a taxi to Capuchin Crypt. We had a repeat driver who was thrilled to talk cameras.

We toured the crypt, amazed at the amount of and art with human bones. I can't even describe the experience. The girls list it as a must see in Rome. It is not at the top of my list, but I can verbalize why.

We walked to Saint Marie Vittoria to see Saint Teresa in Ecstasy. Amazed. Especially wowed by all the other art. We pass this on the bus tour. It is next to the Moses Aquaduct.

We walked a while through random city streets featuring every day city life of Rome back to the Treve Fountain.

We happed on a long line to see the Pantheon was open. We may have cut in line, I know the people behind us were angry, but it was unintentional, I promise. The altar was being prepared for Mass. The number of reliquaries was intense.

We had a nice long dinner with Euly and Lilly outdoors on the way back to our apartment, just across the river from San Angelo.

We strolled across the bridge and looked in awe, after countless times of San Angelo.

After another rest, the girls went out to enjoy the evening.

On the way...

Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

on the side of the statues, looking down...

The Altar

A very rare, very quiet Saturday

A Saturday to myself - well almost, there are several piles of laundry, Lilly and Nick are here. But it is quiet. We have had a busy tim...