I’m here

Just wanted to let you know that all is well and I am writing from Florence, Italy! I’m keeping a journal and will post in installments when I get back.

I took about 200 pictures yesterday alone. Beautiful. Colder than I expected, but beautiful!

Ciao!

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I’m ready to go . . .

but there are no flights to Chicago from Little Rock or Memphis today, due to weather. Here’s what I wrote in my travel journal:

4-10-08

7:15 AM

OY VEY.

For the last 2 days, American has been canceling flights for maintenance reasons. At midnight, my flight to O’Hare was still scheduled.

At 5:30 this morning it was not.

So . . . after 2 non-productive hours on the phone, we are headed to Little Rock so I can be the person in front of the desk who receives attention instead of the person on the phone who does not.

I did talk to a wonderful woman named Valerie at American Air in Memphis.

I’m wearing my black slinky clothes that H bought me.

It is raining.

8:55

It is still raining.

I am still wearing my black slinky clothes that H bought me.

I am not — however — planning to leave for Italy today. All flights from Little Rock and Memphis to Chicago and Dallas have been canceled or were already full from the overflow of previous canceled flights. There is a flight scheduled to leave tomorrow morning at 10:40 that will go to O’Hare and then straight to Paris. It will arrive at 8:40 on Saturday.

OY VEY.

All my bags are packed

Things I am taking to Italy:

1. My new iPod
2. A camera
3. Two memory cards
4. One pair of underwear per day abroad
5. 3 ounce bottles of liquids
6. Clothes, primarily neutral colors
7. A Harding umbrella and windbreaker
8. Books to read on the plane. Fiction. Fun stuff.
9. Passport, boarding passes, a modest amount of money

Things I am NOT taking:

1. My laptop
2. Anything school related (no, I did not finish my paper. It can wait.)
3. My pillow. Wouldn’t fit.
4. Any self-improvement literature
5. Anyone to be responsible for.
6. Traveler’s checks. Debit cards are preferred these days.
7. Anything work related.
8. Any idea of what to expect
9. A “Learn Italian in a Day” program.

If I have the opportunity, I will post about my adventures while I’m there. If not, please know that I am prepared to take roughly 1000 pictures and have a brand new journal just for this trip.

Can you tell it still doesn’t seem real to me?

I love you all! If I don’t find my way here while I’m gone, then I’ll be back on the 19th, full of wonderful things to share! Please pray for me and my family while I’m gone!

Spring catch up

I was in a wedding in February.

I turned 40 in March.

It snowed twice during my birthday week, but not on my birthday.

Had a good trip to Nashville for Lads to Leaders. Next year we plan to go to Memphis instead.

Saw lots of water. LOTS OF WATER. Arkansas is pretty much flooded around its rivers. It’s not a good thing. More rain is coming this week.

Lived through more nights of thunderstorms and tornadoes in one month than most people do in a year. Ah, the joys of Arkansas weather.

Thursday I am leaving for Europe. For the first time in my adult life, I feel — is this scared? — of something. Having a baby didn’t even elicit anything I would call fear. And maybe this isn’t fear — maybe this is just i-don’t-know-how-to-picture-this.

However, I do promise to take lots of pictures. LOTS. So when you get to take your first ever trip to Europe, you will know what to picture. See, I’m really taking this trip for you. ha ha ha.

I may or may not have time to check in before I leave, so if I don’t then please pray for me during my trip (April 10-19) and please continue to pray for my sister, Sheila. She left on March 24 and will not return until early May. Oh, and pray for my mom too. She’s very nervous about having both of her daughters in Europe at the same time. I’m not sure why. I don’t think we could destroy the historical sites anymore. I mean — geez — they’re not called ruins for nothing.

Next big event: graduation from UT with a master’s degree. After that, I plan to — I don’t know — have a life again.

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