Archive | March, 2011

Broken Heart

31 Mar

I received some terrible news on Tuesday afternoon and have spent the last few days struggling with the death of a friend.

Joe and I in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, December 2006

And me, enjoying some love from Joe and David.

Here in Madrid I am praying for Joe’s family and striving to confront the tragedy by living my mother’s motto and taking things slowly, “one day at a time.”


Grind It Into Gear

28 Mar

It turns out that Monday mornings are just as tough in Madrid as they were in Northfield.  But my day did improve after it’s bumpy start.

Today I enjoyed…

A delicious salad, skyping with my mama, and coloring with the kids this afternoon.

I am not usually one to snap pictures of the food I eat (usually I am too busy shoveling bites into my mouth to engage in photography) but I made an exception for the salad I made myself today for lunch! I am just beginning to realize how much I love tuna...

Almu, coloring.

And showing off her mermaid.

Santi, coloring (look at that concentration on his face)!

And Inés, also coloring.

My alligator (or dinosaur--Almu suggested that I call him a dinosaur since alligators are not blue).

So, how was your Monday?



Breathe, Stretch, Shake

27 Mar

Last week dragged on and on and on but this precious weekend slipped by in the blink of an eye and somehow it is suddenly Sunday night.

I spent the last two and a half days nursing my sore legs after Thursday’s long training run, noshing on hamburgers with fried eggs, nibbling on colorful macaroons from Mallorca, catching up with old friends, and then going out at night in the city.

On Saturday afternoon I walked down to the corner to pick up a few macaroons for a afternoon snack. I love how the bakery raps up its treats in red paper and string.

I tend to place my order by doing quite a bit of pointing and nodding which means later we play the game of guessing the flavors of the cookies I have selected. My favorite? Vanilla!

Well, here I am, back home washing the little ones’ school uniforms and wishing I had saved just one or two of those delicate, little cookies…

Rain or Shine

23 Mar

It has been dreary and gray in the city the last few days.

But I collected a handful of things that have helped to combat the bad weather blues…

1.  A lazy afternoon with the two oldest children making colorful collages and listening to the radio.

Almu, getting ready for some crafting in the kitchen.

And coloring a card.

A peek at our work.

And Santi, who joined us in the kitchen but did not participate in our cutting and pasting project (instead he played games on Almu's "computer").

2.  Chai Tea Lattes at Starbucks (these are a real treat since I worked out the math today and the drink costs nearly $5.00).

Earlier today I ducked out of the downpour and ordered an extra hot tea.

3.  This present that Almu drew for me:

The picture is me, holding the Spanish flag.

4.  And finally, “Solamente Tú,” by Pablo Alboran…a pretty, pretty song that appeared in my inbox a few days ago.

So, how do you shine when it’s raining outside?

Sun and Surf

21 Mar

Last week was a little tough around this house.  Inés was home from school with a nasty virus which meant long days and long nights looking after a sick little girl.

Inés, coloring a house.

And peeling off a new Hello Kitty sticker.

But despite the illness we stayed busy  last week constructing Father’s Day presents (which was on Saturday here in Spain) and supporting Almu at her gymnastics performance.

Santi, working on a Father's Day gift.

And Almu and Santi, showing off the Father's' Day banner.

Almu, posing before her gymnastics show.

And preparing to perform a somersault on the mat!

So after a particularly trying week my escape to Nerja came at the perfect time.  We spent the mornings at the beach and the afternoons sleeping lazy siestas (or watching a few episodes from the second season of Mad Men).  And at nighttime we sat on open patios noshing on pizza or chicken korma and sipping red wine and listening to the waves crash against the rocks…

The view from the kitchen terrace (the Balcón de Europa--the Balcony of Europe--juts out over the ocean).

The rocky shoreline and dark mountains.

Standing in front of the blue, blue Mediterranean Sea.

Smiling on the Balcón de Europa.

Admiring a canon that "served to keep the Moors out of our country."

Laughing at some quip made by my photographer.

And being so extremely photogenic.

I am grateful I had the opportunity to spend a few lovely days in the small seaside town (which, by the way, is packed, literally packed with English and German tourists–it was an odd change to blend in effortlessly rather than stand out awkwardly).  Now I am dreaming about taking another road trip back to Nerja during Semana Santa although rumors have been circulating about vacations in England and Portugal…

And Santi, my very sweet and patient tour guide, water bottle holder, and picture taker.

Beach Bandit

20 Mar

On Thursday night I madly tucked bikinis and sandals into an enormous bag, said a rushed goodbye to the family, and then dashed out the door–thrilled for a chance to spend the weekend en la playa.

I stepped out onto the terrace late Friday morning with a glass of water and half a piece of toast to take in this view of Nerja.

Tomorrow I will share more pictures that will make you drool (and force me to scheme up another trip to Andalucía during Holy Week)!

Change of Plans

15 Mar

Last night I carefully packed my workout gear and set my alarm a few minutes earlier than usual, thinking I would head directly to the gym as soon as I saw the three children off to school this morning.

Well, my scheme was complicated by one little bean who was feeling a bit under the weather.

Inés is sick and at home from school today.

Inés, coloring this morning.

And checking out her drawing.

Now she is fast asleep, bless her heart–I know she must be feeling sick because she crawled into her bed all on her own with no cajoling on my part, a very rare event around here.

This morning before the two oldest children went off to school Almu showed off her brand new tennis shoes and a new folder!

Almu, rocking new footwear and clutching her new green folder.

And Santi, looking especially handsome!