In which much has happened…

I know, I know.  I start blogging again and it’s all roses and sunshine and then I fall off the face of the planet.  I’ll try to catch you all up to speed without wasting your evening.

I did, in fact, finish the marathon.

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It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  I did not meet my time goal (lol…not even close), but I did do it.  And with the fact that I was so sick throughout so much of my training (pneumonia, pleurisy, cracked ribs) I am still so proud of myself for finishing within the time allotted and never stopping.  So yeah.  I’m a rock star.

Our friends did leave.  It has been the hardest summer we’ve ever spent abroad, saying goodbye to so many of our closest friends.  It has taken the wind out of our sails, so to speak, and I wish I could say that we have fully recovered…but we haven’t.  We are blessed to have so many friends here in England, so even with the departure of a few, this place still feels like home.  But it doesn’t make the loss of friends any easier to bear.  “How lucky I am to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  Indeed.

Marcus and I went to Rome!  It was absolutely incredible–more incredible than I ever could have imagined.  We did so much walking and sightseeing over three days we were exhausted when we came back!  We weren’t able to be there for the Papal audience on Wednesday, but we did see him in the window of the Papal apartments on Sunday morning where he appeared and prayed the Angelus.  It was so inspirational.

We couldn’t have done it without some amazing friends that pitched in and watched the girls for us while we were gone–it was our first trip to the continent without them, and it was hard to be away.  But we are thankful that we have such amazing friends and they were well looked after while we were gone.  (Be thankful I am only posting 5 pictures…I could have posted hundreds…literally hundreds).

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We spent almost three weeks traveling in Europe on the mother of all road trips.  We drove down through England, took the ferry from Dover to Calais, drove to Ostend, Belgium, visited Bruges, took the kids to Disneyland Paris, and then spent a week in the Dordogne Valley before making the long trek home, which included stops in Orleans and near Cambridge.  It was absolutely incredible.  We loved it so much we have already started planning two weeks in France again for next summer!

(pics to follow…they’re still on my phone…from August…eeek!)

Speaking of next summer, we also learned that this will be our last year in England.  We are gutted to move on, but for a lot of reasons, have accepted that this is God’s will and that He has bigger and better things in store for us.  We won’t know exactly where we’re heading and what Marcus will be doing until later this year or early next year, but keep us in your prayers, will you?  In the meantime, we fully intend to live our last year in Europe to the absolute fullest (much to Marcus’ dismay…he is all about saving, that one).

So, that mostly brings us up to date.  I’ve got a few other things to blog about that are in the more recent past, so they’ll warrant their own blog posts (obvs).

But I’m still here.  Still kicking.  And we’re still adventuring…and I love every minute of it.

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