Blinging for Shirley Ann!

Shirley Ann used to say that her mama always told her that when you are acessorizing you should put all your jewelry on and then take one thing off. But SA had her own rule: put your jewelry on and then ADD one more thing! What a fun, beautiful lady!

In honor of YOU, Miss Shirley Ann Frey, I wear more jewelry today than I have EVER worn at once :) I love you dearly!

Tomballers, I wish we could join you today as you celebrate the life of this precious daughter of God. 2 of us in Belgium are celebrating along with you!


A great weekend.

Seriously, this weekend tops the charts. It was beautiful. I met my friend Megan, who's a teacher in Brussels, in that city to do some serious antique-ing. For years now I have been anticipating such a day. When you read about Brussels, you read about antique markets and digging through junk for sale on the side of the street... be still my heart.

Saturday began well. A Texas size bowl of coffee and good conversation with a sweet friend.

Then we strolled the streets, seeking treasure, and often encountering the hilarious.

Check out this block!! Its entirety was plastered with blankets heaped high with as much junk as you could dig through. Megan and I quickly agreed that this was not a chat-and-shop kind of thing, and we split up accordingly. Serious business, people.

As Saturday continued on, Megan guided me through a sampling of the incredible flea-market side of Brussels. I truly love that city.

This morning was beautiful. Crisp and clear. In the 50s for goodness sake. We left for church early just to walk a little, and stumbled across the beginnings of a mini parade.

It wasn't long before townspeople were falling in line and marching behind the band (and huge, creepy, giant effigies), so we though "what the heck," and joined them for a block or two. Sunday morning whimsy. I like it.

This afternoon was beautiful, too, so it was off to the woods with us. There were quite a few people out enjoying day, and I laughed inside a lot as we would get trapped within family groups walking along the trails. Here's Clay trying to blend in.

Gorgeous day in Huy.

This is the shed I would like to live in.

As we were coming home, we stumbled across yet another flea market (I know, could this weekend get better??).

Would you like to see my treasures from the weekend?

One of my favorites is a fabulous family photo album from the late '50s, early '60s. This family looks like they were so much fun! This is my favorite picture. It's the one that made me buy the album, actually. Don't you just want to know the scoop on who this guy and his family are?

My other favorite is an old post card I bought at the flea market today. A monkey teaching kittens? I have never seen "random" so perfectly defined. One dirt-cheap frame later, and it's already on my wall making me smile every time I pass it.

A fun, bargain-filled weekend, and a cheerier home to show for it :)

Monday, do your worst!


So I think we are back to normal life now. Life here doesn't really seem quite "normal" yet, as every season has been completely different so far, but there is getting to be a rhythm to things around here, and I like it. We have officially started up again with language school, and though we still don't know our official class schedule, it is awesome to know that we are back in the saddle of learning French again.

There are a few Americans in our class, one of which is from the Houston area. He actually asked us "So have you guys been to Redfish Grill?" I could literally TASTE a Happy Roll as the words were coming out of his mouth. The search for sushi continues.

On Saturday we had a fun new experience. Our friends Sirin and Xavier took us to a thermal spa in the town of Spa. It was so cool! There were a few pools, saunas, and a steam room. A day of relaxing with our friends was so nice. I wish I could produce some cool pictures of the experience, but who really wants to be the creepy foreigner flashing pictures in a room of bathing-suit clad loungers? Pas moi :)


Pictures like this make me smile.

I have this morbid prediction that one of my cats will die while I am gone and no one will tell me for fear of breaking my heart. This fear probably stems from the fact that wild dogs, hawks, horse kicks and the like have dramatically robbed me of many beloved kitties over the years. My wonderful mom takes her documentation role quite seriously and randomly sends me photos proving that Zebo, Ziggy, and Frick-or-Frack are alive and well, indeed.

This makes me laugh and I love it! Who gets photos emailed to them of their CATS?! My mom is awesome.


I did it.

I got a Belgian haircut. Here is the post-salon look. Kind of Bowie-esque :)

Here it is after I fixed it myself:

I am so happy and relieved. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be to explain what I wanted without much French. Whew.


Good to be home.

We finished our week in Spain and are home! It truly was an awesome trip! We got great video for an upcoming project and were able to travel with some neat new friends, visit a ton of Spanish churches and meet their pastors. What an incredible experience. We loved every minute of it.

Even the ones where Clay was being unusually cruel.

I am not going to lie, traveling Spain by planes, trains, and automobiles in a week is intense. I caught zzz's when I could.

This was our view most of the time. Tailing Vicki and Ellis all over.

One pastor treated us to a really neat and authentic lunch. I think the tapas we had the other night were for tourists. This time we were served whatever the owner deemed appropriate, and his whims led him to goat, tripe, and pigs ears to name a few. It was one of those things that is gross and awesome at the same time. And I would like to comment that I was indeed a big girl and tried everything... atleast once.

Here is Clay being a big boy himself with the pig's ears.

The best part was when the owner brought out the platter of ears, pointed to his own ears and oinked to tell us what we were about to eat. Awesome.

At our last meeting in Barcelona, Clay made me nervous by practically hanging out this 5th story window. Gotta get the best shot, you know. I tried to look like the cool cucumber wife, but I admit I had my hand ready to steady him the minute he wobbled.

And now, HOME. It is good to be back. The laundry is done and put away, and we are enjoying weather in the 50s here in Huy. What a nice surprise to come home to after those hot days in Spain.

Going to Spain was so timely, and I thank God so much for getting me out of Huy for that week. With the Boatwrights leaving and Clint and Mel heading home, I was in need of some serious distraction. I am still feeling some pangs of sadness, and am a little bit lonesome tonight, but tomorrow is a new day, and I welcome it. God hasn't left me yet, afterall. He truly is wonderful.



Continuing on our video spree, we have made our way to Barcelona. Ok, so Barcelona wins for being one of the most unexpected places I have ever been to. We didn't do any research before this trip as far as tourism goes, so we have been blown away by this Mediterranean city.

One random note that intrigued us is the fact that there are outdoor escalators. Interesting, no?

The highlight of our time here for me as far as the city itself has been the Park Guell. We stumbled across it and I haven't been so surprised or moved by something in I can't remember how long. It's basically this land overlooking the city that was developed in the early 1900s to be this utopian community where like minded people (pretty artsy, "thinker" types, I imagine... and rich too) could live in a neighborhood separate from the hustle and bustle of modern life, and chill inside their own little walled city.

Here's the view from the big common space of the community. Can you see the whimsical building to the right of center? And the mosaic in the foreground? I have never seen anything like this. It takes my breath away.

The thing that affected me the most, and I wish I had clearer pictures, were the mosaics on the ceiling of the area that was to be the market place of this community. They are just ridiculous. And huge. So crazy and out of control. The guy followed no rules when he designed this place. It is pure fantasy. And it is so beautiful. It kind of made my heart sing, to put it mushily.

In the end, this paradisaical society was doomed before it was even completed (only 3 of 60 lots sold), and thus was turned over to Barcelona to restore and open to the public. I feel sad for them that their dream had to die. What incredible creative minds these people had.

Seeing this kind of thing shows me another facet of God. He is mighty and strong, wrathful and powerful, forgiving and gracious, merciful and loving, the list goes on and on. The Park Guell slammed me with the fact that God is creative and wild. He colors outside the lines sometimes. He loves color and whimsy and fantasy (remember THIS for goodness sake??).

So breathe easy, Megan. Ah, freedom.


Still in Spain.

On Sunday we joined the local church and had lunch with them after services. We were drawn to the incredible smell wafting from the kitchen and couldn't help peeking in.

We were not disappointed :) Check out those huge electric skillets!

On to central Madrid to check out the city.

We had a lot of fun walking around the city and shooting video.

We took a little break in a park to regain our strength. Seriously, walking Madrid is intense- it is HUGE!

Me and my love... and some Starbucks.

There were a lot of people out walking and we stumbled onto a drum concert. I think it may have just been a cover for buying and selling illegal substances, but the music was great and we enjoyed just kicking it with the Spaniards.

Daniel's daughter, Michal, lives in Spain and has been acting as our official translator. She is awesome and I have loved getting to know her.

So, if any were wondering, Madrid is beautiful. Very urban but with some classic Spanish flair.

We are the camera wielding bandits.

The day was concluded with tapas. Perfect.

We are now in Barcelona continuing our trip. Guys, this is pretty fun :)