My Good-Looking Boy

I have a couple of pictures of Cole I want to share. Nothing exciting to write about, but regardless of whether or not that saying is true about pictures being worth a thousand words, many of you would rather get a peek of Cole over reading my ramblings any day.

This was his Easter get-up. Look at that slicked-up hair. And I convinced him to wear the tie by telling him he'd look like daddy...

Watching Dave Matthews online with Daddy after a bath. Couldn't you just squeeze that little bottom?

And look at that sweet face.


We're Back

Well, we're back home and although we would have been content with having a few more days, Cole is definitely a sight for sore eyes. I think he was ready to see us. Even though Mom and Emily kept him very busy while they were here (trips to the mall, the art museum, and the zoo, to name a few), they said that he definitely noticed our not being there. We were able to video conference with him three or four times while we were gone, but there were days that we were too busy to catch him. On top of that, the time change complicated things too. I think our being gone temporarily traumatized him, because he was not himself this morning. Every time I left his sight he cried for me. We even had breakfast out with the girls before they left this morning and he refused to sit in the high chair. He wanted me to hold him. It is definitely nice to be loved and missed, but I thought we were looking at a very long and exhausting day. After a nap, though, he was back to his normal self, for the most part.

So it's back to the real world, which is usually very hard for me when I return from being away from home. We'll see how this coming week goes. Thanks for thinking of us as we traveled. Here are a few more pictures of the last day of our trip. We spent Thursday in Florence.

The view from our hotel room was gorgeous.

This living statue was very believable.

Awesome architecture


Time Flies!

Tomorrow is our last real day in Italy! I can't believe it. We thought it would go by fast, and we were right. Gilbert's already asking for another trip. I have thought often this week that I'm thankful for having little expectation and knowledge of what specifically to see and do, because if we had made a list of "must sees" and "must do's," we might have been disappointed this week. Let me clarify: We have had a great time and have seen some really beautiful places. But we didn't come knowing specific buildings we wanted to see. We knew that we wanted to see Venice. I wanted to be able to see some of the beautiful landscapes of Italy. We were excited to have the chance to experience Florence. But as far as knowing that we wanted to see famous buildings or artwork, we didn't. I think that this fact has kept us from feeling too pressured to cram in sight-seeing. For this reason, we've been able to enjoy the sights, to relax, and to enjoy being with each other (Gilbert's parents, his grandmother, and of course his brother are with the two of us).

We have had so much fun. Yesterday we took a train to Venice and spent the day there. We walked what felt like every inch of that place. We even covered the tiny streets that are only the width of two people. We did some shopping and had a great time. It was colder than we expected, but it didn't rain like we thought it would, so we were willing to take the cool winds. Here are a few pictures from Venice.

This baby was sitting in the area of Venice where the pigeons are not in short supply (Piazza San Marco Square, I believe it's called). His mom got some bread crumbs and dumped them all around him. The pigeons swarmed him and he had the best time. It was fun watching him.

We took this picture while waiting on the train back to Prato. After a really long day, we were all quite delirious at this point. According to Randy, this is a "Kate sandwich with Kerrigan bread." I said I wanted it to be close up. Not exactly what I had in mind.

We spent most of today in a gorgeous little town called Lucca.

We finished the day by going to the church here in Prato. We had a small service that was in Italian and some English. We spent the time singing songs in Italian that we Americans knew well. Both times that I've had the opportunity to worship with fellow believers in other countries, singing with them really tugs at my heart strings. I love to know that while we struggle so much to communicate, we can find unity in singing praises to our God. I find this to be such an incredible feeling.

Tomorrow we'll be heading to Florence for one last venture. We'll spend the night there and catch our flight back home early on Friday morning. I'm sure I'll have more pictures to share when we return home. Please remember us when you pray as we continue to travel.


A Taste of Italy

Good grief. I didn't realize it had been close to a month since I've posted anything, and I didn't even remind you that our trip to Italy was getting closer. I had a few phone calls on the day of our trip and everyone said, "Oh! You're leaving today?"

So here we are. It's been interesting already. We were dropped off at the airport in Indianapolis and as soon as I got to the ticket desk I got the third degree about my legal name. Many of you probably remember my anticipating this issue back in November. So I had to have completely new tickets issued from the airport. Luckily the lady at the desk was willing to work nicely with us. She even tried to call Italy to let them know of the change, but they were closed, so she warned us that we might have a little trouble along the way. I just had visions of missing planes while trying to make them understand my situation. But I made it. Not without telling my story, but I'm here all the same.

The travel was also interesting in that our flight to London was in the middle of the night. We left our house on Saturday afternoon and didn't have a good opportunity to take my shoes and socks off again until about seven on Sunday night, which was almost midnight here. It was really nice to get showered and change clothes.

So far we've eaten at a cool Italian restaurant, toured the local "centro" (what reminds me of a downtown square), had breakfast at a local bakery (macchiato is NOT the same here as at Starbucks), shopped at the weekly market, and we just finished a delicious meal of Eggplant Parmesan that was lovingly prepared by my brother-in-law. We're having a good time. I'll try to update again sometime soon. We're taking a train to Venice in the morning, so I should have more photos to share, but I'll show you the few I've got so far.

Dinner on Sunday night, still in the same clothes as I got dressed in on Saturday and not having lain down since Friday night. We're looking a little rough.

Some cool scenery

Monday Market

A hunky Italian I noticed on the street--check out the pants and cool hat