Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Wall of Vail Photos

In Vail, I have a favorite cluster of pictures.  They are four pictures that span 30 years of our family skiing in Vail together.

The first picture was taken the year my parents were married, in 1981.

The second picture was taken in 1994, when I was 10 years old and had turned into a pretty good little skier.

The third picture was taken in 1999 after my sister's husband died, and we all met in Vail to scatter his ashes in the woods on his favorite ski run.  It is the only time that my parents, my siblings and I all skied together.

The fourth picture was taken in 2011 and represents a new season in our family vacations... both children married (Chris and I were engaged when the picture was taken), and beginning the next generation of family skiing in Vail.

I love this wall of photographs, but I also realize that this is my parents' wall of family pictures.  It excites me to think that someday Chris and I might have our own wall of family pictures spanning 30 or more years of our changing family in Vail.

Note to self, when family ski pictures are taken, wear my hair in two braids instead of one... one braid makes it look like I have no hair.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Treasuring the Present: Married Vail Vacation

 I forgot to write a Treasuring the Present last Tuesday, so I'm going to do a Treasuring the Present Friday.  You know its an awesome vacation when I forgot what day it was for my usual Tuesday post.  :-D

I have vacationed in Vail as long as I can remember.  It has been another home for many years.

Skiing with Daddy, Vail circa 1989

I have come to Vail with family and without family in countless seasons throughout my life.

Christmas in Vail with my siblings, 1987
After I graduated from college, I spent the summer in Vail before starting graduate school at Vanderbilt.  It is not a season in my life I write about much on this blog, but I was engaged my Sr. year of college and fully believing that God was leading me in this engagement and future marriage.  I was beyond crushed and heartbroken when my fiance broke our engagement and ended our relationship.

It was a heartbreak that cut so deep and changed me forever.  It rocked my faith and stunted my hope for years.  I sought solace that summer after graduation in Vail and the Lord and the mountains nursed me.

I came back to Vail approximately nine months later for my spring break that first year at Vandy.  I was healthier than I had been the summer before, but I was still very hurt and healing.  It was a very difficult season on my life, and I arrived in Vail in the same living room condo where I'm staying this week, and I lit a fire in the fireplace and rented High School Musical.  I bawled through High School Musical and tried to imagine ever being so happy and settled as those kids.  I know, completely pathetic!  But, I was overwhelmed, and exhausted, and every emotion came out my eyes.

I remembered both of those times in Vail many times throughout this week.  The summer I lived in Vail, I always rode my bike to work, and it is the same path where I walked and ran with Lloyd many times this week.  I watched movies in Vail this week... this time crying little streams of tears because I was happy and the movie plot warranted it (while my hubby laughed at me and handed me tissues) instead of heaving sobs because I was lonely.  The movies I shed a few tears for this time included The Blind Side, Dolphin Tale, and The Muppet Movie (I know... pathetic!).  :-D

I cannot believe how much has changed in several short (although sometimes they seemed really long) years.

I cannot believe I live just West of Vail with my husband and family (I consider our two pets, our family).  Back in the days when I was heartbroken and visiting Vail, I never dreamed I would live so close to Vail with my husband and family.  Maybe, MAYBE, I would dare to dream that I would move to Vail for a few years as a single woman... but then I would move to the real world after a few years or when I met a man who worked in the real world.  I never imagined that I would move here, find a job perfectly suited for my qualifications and passion, meet my husband, and both of us would be able to stay here and start our family here.

Have you ever been so blessed because the Lord gave you a dream you didn't even know you have?  Have you ever come to the same place you had been years before and been so overwhelmed by how much has changed and how far you've come?

My week has been a humbling euphoria of realizing my blessings, soaking up time with my little family, and enjoying a mountain getaway with my amazing hubby.

Five years ago... heck, three years ago, I never would have imagined the following joyful pictures could have been taken on my Vail spring vacation:

Do you see Lexie in the background?
This puppy seems to love me...
He has added so much laughter to our family
Lexie thinks the bowl needs cleaning (licking)
Family dynamics haven't changed despite the different location
Cat on the balcony...
Who wants to play?
She doesn't move very often...
View from our balcony
You've heard of letting the cat out of the bag...
Here, we play the game Cat in the Closet

Isn't this the epitome of a mountain getaway paradise?
The weather has been so warm, I haven't needed gloves on the slopes...
I love the sight of my wedding ring while I'm on the chairlift
Lloyd makes friends everywhere

Despite the warm temperatures, the skiing is still awesome -- your worst day of skiing in Vail is still better than pretty much any other day!

With the warm temps, I'm skiing in less layers than I have in over ten years.  My nose is even pink with a skiers' sunburn.  A picture's worth a thousand words, so check out these two pictures comparing my ski apparel:

My usual ski outfit
My ski outfit this week!
And remember, "Life's a Happy Song, with someone by your side to sing along..."

What are you thankful for this week?

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do You Remember the Sunscreen Song?

When I was in high school, a song came out dedicated to the class of '99 called "The Sunscreen Song", which to my understanding was an actual graduation speech given to the class of '97.

I have had this song on my computer and in my music since my freshman year of college when I first learned to download music (2002).  This song came on my ipod several times while I was skiing yesterday, and it gives me chills every time.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen to, and enjoy this advice:

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dream Wedding: Our Vows, Rings, Kiss

 Chris and I memorized our vows... a combination of traditional vows and our own unique vow to each other.

"I, Brooke Sanden, take you, Christopher James Miller, to be my lawful wedded husband,
to have and to hold, from this day forward,
to love, honor and obey, for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health,
as long as we both shall live.
Where you go, I will go, where you stay, I will stay,
Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.
Let the Lord deal with me be it ever so severely
if anything but death separates you from me."

I vowed to love, honor and obey, while Chris vowed to love, honor and cherish.

The unique part of our vows were the last four lines, "Where you go, I will go, where you stay, I will stay, Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.  Let the Lord deal with me be it ever so severely if anything but death separates you from me."

You might recognize these words from the book of Ruth.  Ruth 1:6-7 to be exact,
"But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

When I was in middle school, my church choir sang "The Song of Ruth".  I went home and read the book of Ruth for the first time because I was so captivated by the words of this song, "Where you go, I will go..."  I knew, around age 12 that these words were the most profound description of love I had ever heard and would ever hear.  Love was more real to me in reading these lines in Ruth than it ever had been before.

Chris and I talked about these verses in Ruth and if and how we wanted to incorporate these verses in our wedding.  We decided we wanted to vow most of Ruth 1:6-7 to each other with one exception.  We didn't feel like we could accurately vow, "Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried."  So, we omitted that part of Ruth's devotion.

We vowed, "Where you go, I will go, where you stay, I will stay, Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.  Let the Lord deal with me be it ever so severely if anything but death separates you from me."

I remind me of these vows when Chris and I see things differently.

What vows did you recite at your wedding?  Or, what was the first thing you read that made love real to you?

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Early Vacation Photos

We have had a wonderful first few days of vacation.  I've had fun taking some pictures of our time... and I've decided that I like taking pictures outside (and I take much better pictures outside) than I do inside.

Anyway, enjoy some of our early vacation pictures:

Lloyd enjoying a really big rawhide bone that Chris brought him from Denver


I couldn't get both to look at me at the same time

Restful work

Another picture of the big bone

So good!

Lloyd took a nap right by our recycling pile and I thought it looked really funny

"What a wild party!"

Some outdoor shots of Vail Village

I really like this sculpture

Can you see my hubby waving to me from the balcony?

Lloyd's getting trust-worthy enough that we don't have to have him on a leash when we walk him to the dog park

What a cutie!

Downtown Vail Village

The clock-tower shot

A beautiful emblem

Lloyd near the sign

Lloyd is both curious and nervous on our balcony

We had friend of ours come over for dinner last night (and I forgot to take pictures of most of their time with us... but Chris remembered to take one before they left)

Lexie jumps in the cupboards whenever she can manage

What a beauty!

Have you enjoyed your past few days?

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