Monday, November 11

a grandmother's love

I apologize once again for my hiatus from writing. A few weeks ago, my grandma lost the battle with cancer. During the weeks surrounding that time, I was busy traveling to and from Ohio to be with family. I have a couple of drafts that I could've posted to fill the gap but it didn't feel right to resume normal programming without paying homage to this incredible woman. I've been racking my brain for what to can I be so vulnerable and put these types of emotions on the internet for anyone to see? I also know my mom is going to read this and because of that, my deepest desire is to bring her joy through this post. Mom, I love you. Thank you for your picture of humility and servanthood throughout the last few months. Know that grandma cherished you caring for her more than you or I will ever know. Be reminded of God's sovereignty over all things and that He will be your greatest source of comfort as your mourn your loss.

Growing up, I lived within 15 minutes of my cousins and grandparents. We would often congregate at Boo Boo and Papaw's and play red light-green light, Simon says, and hide and go seek in their front yard. As we got older, our parents would tell us mischievous tales of their own favorite story? The time my mom and Aunt Sandy threw raw hamburger meat on the kitchen walls to see if it would stick. Needless to say, my grandparents had their hands full with 4 girls and 1 boy.
"To my husband, with all the deepest
love and devotion for eternity and then forever, I give as,
Your adoring wife."

My papaw was the linchpin of our family. Authoritative yet loving, strong yet gentle. He kept everyone in line with constant care. He passed away 4 1/2 years ago. This man, while wonderful in all his own ways, would've been lost without my grandma. I wish I had more time with them to see and experience the love they had for one another.

My grandma was a remarkable woman. If I had more time, I would ask her so many more questions. Where all did you live growing up? How did you manage raising 5 kids and taking care of your husband? What was your favorite thing about being a nurse? Tell me something I never knew about you, or a secret you've never told anyone. I want to have a vivid picture of what your life was like and record it through your stories and feelings.

I would also thank her for infusing our family with a love of music. Music is in many ways the heartbeat of our family. Every gathering is filled with time spent around the piano singing and laughing. As a child, I would listen in awe of my grandma and her children harmonizing together hoping to one day be able to make such a beautiful sound. She graciously taught all the grandkids to play Heart and Soul and in turn, we will now teach our children and grandchildren, and so on. That will forever be part of our family thanks to my grandma.

I am incredibly blessed. I have an amazing family. We love intensely, care deeply, and laugh loudly. No matter what, I know they will be there for me. It's more than I could ask for. Sadly, there is now a void in this beautiful mess of a family. But I know that due to their love and devotion to all of us, we will continue to sing, laugh, and live life together so that generations to come will know the love that we experienced growing up. 

Tuesday, October 1

the bookshelf

I love to read.

Losing myself in a good book is one of my absolute favorite ways to relax and unwind. Sadly, I haven't been able to read as much as I would like recently with my schedule. Clearly Confucius doesn't think that's an excuse. I did just begin a new trilogy that has inspired me to start a new blog series called, 'The Bookshelf'. In this series, I will, well, review books that I've read. Obviously.

It's time to start dreaming :)

Sunday, September 29

a pup & the parthenon

So, in August I went to Athens. Another flight attendant and I decided to go out and see the city together since neither of us had been before. The flight was exhausting so we took a nap when we got to the hotel and then headed out. Unfortunately, the flight attendant I went with forgot her wallet at the hotel, so we ended up having to go all the way was just a mess. We didn't get to see everything we wanted to see 1) because of the amount of time we had and 2) because it was a holiday. In Greece, they celebrate the day of the Panagia (Virgin Mary) which just happened to be the day we went. Which meant a lot of stuff was closed. Not cool. But we ventured out anyways and took in as much of Athens as we could!

The Parthenon was top on our list so we went there first.

Temple of Athena

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Temple of Zeus

After walking around the Parthenon for a while, we came down in search of some shopping!

View of the Parthenon from the city

We finally found a cute market that was bustling with people despite the holiday! We walked around and shopped for a while before deciding to head back to the hotel.

Before we called it quits though, I had to have authentic Greek baklava. Nothing about it was gluten free. Everything about it was mind-blowingly incredible! Nom nom nom. It was sooo worth it.

Athens is stunning and there is a lot to do there that unfortunately we didn't have the chance to do. Was it my favorite transoceanic, but would I love to go back...of course. There are still a handful of things I want to see next time I'm there. Hopefully I'll have a long enough layover to go and see the Greek islands sometime, but if not, I'm considering flying there and taking a cruise around the islands for a vacation! Who's with me?!

Friday, September 27

gluten free finds: honey garlic pork chops

I was home recently and didn't have time to run to the grocery but was desperately wanting to cook a 'real meal'. So I scrounged through my cabinets and found the 4 necessary ingredients to make this delicious dish. Honey, garlic, soy sauce, and pork chops. Easy peasy.

Honey Garlic Pork Chops


·1/4 + 1/8 cup honey

·3 tbsp gluten free soy sauce

·6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tbsp)

·4-6 boneless, skinless pork chops

Whisk together honey, garlic, and soy sauce.

Soak pork chops in mixture. (If you're preparing this recipe ahead of time, you can marinade the pork chops overnight)

Place the pork chops in a glass baking dish.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

I ate mine with thai peanut noodles and it was amazing! Easy and quick 'real meal' recipe. Enjoy :)

Thursday, September 26

pick a country & go

A month or so ago, I found that I had some extra time in my schedule. With summer flying in full force, I knew I wanted to pick up a transoceanic trip before we lost some of our routes come autumn. As I stared at the computer screen, I called out to my roommate asking what country I should go to. She patiently listened to me list off all my available options and finally replied, "Really?! Any of those places would be amazing. Which do you want to visit most?" The impossible question. Um, all of them?! I don't know how, but I finally settled on Barcelona. And I'm glad I did. 

View from my hotel room.
I started off the day running to the grocery with some of my crew to get some snacks for the beach. We then walked through a beautiful part of the city to get to the beach. This was my first time seeing the Mediterranean Sea...and it was stunning.

I knew that I wanted to see as much of Barcelona as possible on my layover and my best bet to do that was via the Hop On-Hop Off tour bus. I'm thrilled that I ended up doing that, I was able to see so much of Barcelona that I wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. First stop on the bus—Barri Gòtic. 

Barcelona Cathedral

The Barcelona Cathedral is absolutely HUGE. I was not expecting to see this when I walked around the corner. I stood in awe for a few moments before I headed back to the bus. I opted not to go inside because I knew of other places that I intended to spend more

Casa Batlló. This stunning piece of architecture designed by none other than Gaudí himself is a must-see. I really wanted to go inside but the entrance fee was pricey at €20,35 and had already planned to see La Sagrada Família. Next time though...

Speaking of which...La Sagrada Família was next on the itinerary. I truly don't know how to explain in words the beauty of this place.

Walking in, you're bombarded with sensory overload. It's overwhelming...the complex details and beauty this place holds is incredible. I have never seen anything like it.

La Sagrada Família is called 'Gaudí's dream', and rightly so. It's breathtaking.

While I was in line, waiting to purchase tickets foLa Sagrada Família, I met Marcela. We talked for quite a while and ended up deciding to walk through together. I'm so grateful to have met this sweet girl! It made the experience even more fantastic than it already was! 

When we were deciding which tickets to purchase, Marcela convinced me to get the tickets that allow you entrance to the towers. Smart girl that Marcela.

View from one of the towers.

Stairs to exit the towers.

La Sagrada Família was my favorite part of Barcelona. The beauty of it literally brought me to tears and photos do it no justice. It is magnificent.

The last stop I made was to Park Güell, another extraordinary work of Gaudí.

The sun was setting over the park and I knew I had to catch the last bus back to my hotel. I slept most of the way back as I was exhausted after working all night and exploring all day. Barcelona blew my mind. I immediately fell in love and cannot wait to go back again!

Until next time,