Tuesday, October 9, 2012

When in Rome...

Wow.  Where to begin?!

If you read my mystery trip post, you know my husband planned a surprise vacation for my birthday.  Even as he was checking in at the Delta counter for our flight, I still had no idea where we were headed.  It wasn't until we ran into some good friends at the airport that my husband finally disclosed our destination...we were going to ITALY!  (Oh, and the good friends that I "ran into"?  They were coming with us!)

I could detail our itinerary and fill paragraphs listing the museums, castles, churches, monuments and Tuscan hill towns we visited as well as the sculptures, paintings and incredible views we saw.  But the best way to summarize our trip is this:

We ate too much food.
We drank too much wine.
We slept too much.
And we ran too little.

All in all, it was a perfect vacation!  The Italians really know how to live.  Where else can you be served cake at breakfast, wine at lunch, handmade gnocchi at dinner, the best espresso imaginable at any time of the day and tirimasu for dessert?  Our theme of the trip was "When in Rome..." so we made sure to live like Italians as much as possible.

Pound cake, apple struedel and homemade donuts were just part of breakfast

Just one of the MANY bottles of wine we drank last week

Double espresso
Honestly, I am still shocked that my husband was able to pull off such a huge surprise and plan such an amazing vacation.  I am humbled that he would do so much for me.  And I am thankful for the help of our families in watching the three kids.

Eventually, our time in Italy was up and we returned home on Sunday.  We immediately rushed to the hospital to meet my newest niece who was just two days old. Then we spent some time with my visiting in-laws who flew to Portland from New York to help watch the kids while we were away.  They flew home this morning and now it is back to life as usual.  Except it feels a little different.

I find myself waking up each day more grateful than the day before.  Grateful for the health of my family.  Grateful for the sunshine that has been omnipresent in Portland for the last three months.
Berry picking one day in July
Grateful for the ability to run miles upon miles with a smile on my face.  Grateful for my husband, who never ceases to amaze me.
J in front of the Coliseum in Rome
Grateful for the precious little girl born just days ago to my brother and his fiance.
Almost makes me want to have another...
Grateful for the unconditional love my parents have always given to me.
Mom & Dad
Grateful for my kids who fill my heart with joy.  Grateful for friends who have been in my life for as long as I can remember.  Grateful for new friends that I have recently met.  Grateful for the beauty that surrounds us all.

I could go on forever...but the bottom line is that I am grateful for the life I have been given.

"Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have."  - Unknown

I am definitely happy.

- Kristen


  1. So so glad to hear you so happy Kristen. Ah, what a beautiful post. And pictures! And A trip that pretty much sums up my dream vacation!!! Sounds so wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Amanda! YOU are the new friend that I am grateful for, by the way. :) Can you believe Italy was the destination? Remember we were trying to guess what it was -- Italy was nowhere even close to my thoughts. Ha!

  2. Absolutely amazing. Your husband is a brilliant man for pulling that. If I ever get to visit Italy, I'll have to ask you where to go. My bosses husband recently tried to surprise her with a trip to Hawaii but booked the hotel with her card so they would get the points. lol! Needless to say she figured it out.

    1. Funny story about your boss -- my husband was worried about that same thing. He ended up getting a new credit card about six months ago in his name only and was able to put all the charges on that card. Sneaky, huh?!

  3. Thanks for sharing Kristen. So happy that you are so happy!! :)

    1. Thanks, Megan! And the same goes for me being happy for you. I'm still in awe of all the work you did to become a chiropractor...and you always look so happy with Brad in your FB pics. :)