2008 Tour Route Updated

We have finally updated our tour route for the South! Check it out here. This route is still in the beginning stages and I can guarantee that it will change a bit…but at least those of you in these cities can get an idea of when we will be heading your way. We are so excited to get to some warmer weather…we are experiencing a -41 degree wind chill tonight. All the surrounding schools are closed…and we’re dreaming of the beach!

We have at least one contact family/person in all of the cities listed on the route. If you have already contacted us, you should be receiving an email in the next week or so confirming our arrival. If you live in one of the cities listed, but have not contacted us…we’d love to hear from you! We are still in the process of setting up college/churches/events to speak at. Please let us know if you have contacts! We will update events on the site as we confirm them.

See you soon!

Extended Stay

After we flew back to the Midwest, we found out that Matt’s dad would be having some unexpected back surgery and would not be able to run his business for 6 weeks (he is self-employed and is the only employee! :) ). The timing worked out perfectly for Matt to take over his business for that time. He had the surgery just before Christmas…so instead of coming back to resume the tour now, we will be coming back mid-to-late February.

The tour route will remain the same…we will just be moving a bit faster when we come back. I will let you know when we have the new schedule in place…I am hoping to get it set within a week or so. Stay tuned!

Flying Back to The Cold

We left the RV in Florence, and drove the car north to Raleigh, NC, where we spent the night at Bart’s house. The next morning, he drove us to the airport and we were on our way towards cold weather! After a nice little layover in Atlanta, we arrived at the Minneapolis airport right around supper time. We called Dan, Matt’s uncle, for a ride and he confirmed he was on his way. After gathering our bags and digging all of our cold weather gear out of the suitcases…we headed outside. Brrrrr! It was about 70 degrees colder in Minnesota than in South Carolina. As we were loading everything into Dan’s truck, I heard a familiar whistle in the distance. I spun around and there stood my parents! They had decided to drive the 3.5 hours to Minneapolis from Des Moines and surprise us. What fun! My parents are a little crazy like that, and that’s why I love them so.

They spent the night and we headed out the next morning for a fun time on the town. We hit Dunn Bros. Coffee on Grand, Bibelot (my favorite store!), and the best Goodwill I’ve seen for awhile. We also took a trip to see my sister’s new office, and made a few more stops before they headed back to Iowa. Here are some photos of our time with them.

That weekend, we had a family Christmas with Matt’s extended family and then we went back to Brainerd, and then to Des Moines. Lots of driving!

We had a wonderful holiday season…thank you to all of you who answered the call for REAL mail. We received cards and letters from all over…New York to the Netherlands. We just received them a few days ago and it made us smile!

You can pics of our family Christmas with my family here. Happy 2008 Everyone!

Florence, SC: Rocky and Becky

Eight days of relaxation and fellowship…ahhhhhh. Just what we needed to recharge before the holidays! We pulled into Florence on Monday afternoon and drove to the home where we would be parking our RV for several months. We were greeted with lots of love…and reunited with one of my sweetest friends, Becky…and her husband Rocky. Becky and I met on MySpace over 2 years ago…and a friendship formed. We started talking more and more…exchanging things in the mail, talking on the phone…etc. So when I decided to dread my hair, I immediately thought of Miss Becky (she has amazing dreads herself!) and asked if she would be interested in coming to Boulder when we were there visiting family and friends over Christmas. She had a friend in Boulder at that time too…and I was so excited when she said YES! Weeeeee! I was on my way to meeting one of my most favorite people! We had a wonderful time in Boulder getting to know each other IN PERSON. It was a blessed time of fellowship.

Fast forward one year…and here we are! Florence, SC Baby! We spent 8 days there before we drove the car back up to Raleigh to fly back to Minneapolis. And what a wonderful 8 days they were…here are some highlights:

We spent an amazing afternoon in Hartsville at The Midnight Rooster. Becky’s dear friend Jessie is the owner of this adorable establishment and we had a great time eating veggie delights and sipping lattes while the girls danced on the stage and entertained us all. This is the kind of coffee shop that you just want to stay and stay and stay some more. It’s eclectic, warm, funky, and fresh (I just like saying funky and fresh in the same sentence). Check out some of the other pics I took there and you’ll see what I mean. Lots of great ideas for decorating there :). I want to go back!

We went to Marianne and Kirk’s house. I wish I could truly explain with words what it means to be at their house…it’s an experience that you need to have in person. They have 6 kids. They have a huge open hearth fire. They have a ping pong table in their family room. They have a wood fired oven in their totally crazy amazing commercial kitchen. And the moment you walk in, you feel like you’ve been there 100 times. They were missionaries in Italy for 9 years. Marianne is like a mother to everyone near her…she’s Italian. She’s beautiful. She can cook like no one’s business. That night we had wood fired pizzas…on the most tasty crusts I’ve ever had. The olive oil they used for the meal that night had been pressed just 3 weeks prior in Italy (they order it direct!). They have the kind of house that you want to stay and stay and stay.

We met Tami. Beautiful, world-traveler, aspiring midwife, yogini Tami :) She holds a yoga night at her adorable home and we went over to say hello. Of course, once I was there, I had to capture it in photos. I loved looking around her home…you can tell so much about a person by what they choose to surround themselves with. It was so fun to see all of her treasured items…a necklace from Africa was my favorite. I also loved how she didn’t have a couch…but a soft futon on the floor, covered with pillows. I may have to steal that idea someday :) So inviting.

A few days before we left, we packed all the kiddos in the van and headed to Myrtle Beach. It was a beautiful 75 degree day, and we had so much soaking it all in. Lilli and Bella were CRAZY in the water (even though it was COLD!). They played in the sand all day. We saw a horseshoe crab and found lots of seashells. Rocky and Matt stayed at the water’s edge with the girls while Becky and I walked and chatted. There is just something so soothing about the sound of the waves. I could have stayed and stayed and stayed! Noticing a pattern here? :)

Becky and Rocky play in a band called Rosewater Faire…and I fell in love with their music the first time Becky sent me a CD 2 years ago. We had the other band members over on Sunday afternoon for lunch and we were treated to an impromptu concert in the living room. Yay! Becky sings lead…she has the most beautiful, smooth, haunting voice. Be sure to check out their music on their MySpace page. They haven’t been playing actively for awhile…but they still sound great!

We had a couple different families who have been following our tour stop by the RV to see it and say hello. Debbie brought her son and his friend and Hope brought her daughter Claudia to play with Bella.

The best part about spending time with this family is that it’s just “easy”. Everything feels so comfortable. Bella and Lilli had so much fun playing together every day in their cute little fenced in yard. Their house is so warm and wonderful…with music always playing, tea always brewing, original artwork adorning the colorful walls. Becky spoiled Matt with one too many pans of rice crispy bars…and he loved it :) They fixed us “grits”…which I promptly put butter and brown sugar on. Oh boy…you would think I was going to be kicked out of the South for that one :) Apparently they like to put cheese and salt on them. Ish! :) Rocky and Matt had “boy time”…and we had “mama time”. It was definitely hard to leave Florence…but we knew that we would be back! We are planning on spending more time there when we get back from the Midwest. It will be a welcome change to go from ZERO degree weather…back to warmth!

Florence photo album here.
Yoga photo album here.
Myrtle Beach photo album here.