CUFF and ART SHOP!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Strahle & Smith Familes take on Italy 2017


Hi friends.  Long time no blog:))  My girls started school today and I always ALWAYS feel blue, so instead of moping I'm going to put up pics of my favorite part of our summer!  Still can't believe we did this...but two days after school let out we hopped a plane (with dear friends) and flew to 
ITALY!!!    

*********************************************************************************

VENICE

Our first stop was Venice and it was everything you imagine and so much more!  I never really thought about there not being ANY roads!  So imagine a maze between buildings and zigzagging forever to get anywhere.  Yep!  That's Venice.  It's rubble and color and ancient.  Every single turn is a postcard.  I've never been anywhere like it.  Still can't believe it actually happened!  

I made an internal momma promise to myself that if we could swing it before the girls graduated we would take them to Europe and since my Big Chick is officially entering her Senior year it was go time.  It was also our 25th wedding anniversary, so the timing was perfect.  It's been a few months since we went, so I don't have a lot of details of exact restaurants etc... So this is not really a travel reference, but if you want pretty pictures and my opinion here ya go! Oh, but Grom I remember...get the grapefruit sorbet. I still think about it.  Our goals was gelato twice a day and we succeeded:)






We stayed at the Hotel American-Dinesen.  Very nice.  Very pricey! 





FLORENCE

We spent two days in Venice then hopped a train and went to Florence!  On our train ride we pulled out our watercolors and became traveling artists.  Pinch me!  Italian countryside whizzing by our heads...paint brushes in hand and then when we arrived we're in a CITY with hustle and bustle.  Motorcycles racing right by our elbows, no lie.  You better not accidentally step off the tiny little side walk right by the narrow little streets or you will be mush!  I'm not exactly a city girl, but Florence grows on you.  Our apartment was bigger than our house!  We could sit on the veranda and hear the Italians converse and plates clink because of the little cafe right beneath us.  It was lovely and I truly could have just stayed in the apartment and gazed out the windows all day and been content as could be, but we had placed TO GO!  Duomo's to see! :)  **Oh and the best meal of our trip was on our last night at a place called 4Leoni.  We go the fiochetti.  It was a pear and cheese filled noodle in an asparagus sauce.  Sounds questionable, but let me tell you I DREAM about that dish.  It's worth flying alllllll that way!  If you go you MUST try it!















TRAIN/FERRIES/NAPLES


We stayed in Florence for a couple of days and then decided we just couldn't pass up the Amalfi COAST!  This is basically when I died and went to heaven.  We took a train to Naples. Not really a fan...think crowded, sirens NON-STOP.... and compared to the other places we had visited it was a little grimy.  But we ate at the FABULOUS pizza place in Eat, Pray, Love...which is supposed to have the BEST pizza in Italy, thus the whole world right?!!  And it did!  I can say it was delicious in every way and worth the taxi ride from hell.  After our quick bite it was onto the ferry and the most amazing ride of our lives...  Pulling up to CAPRI!




This was right before my girl Terrica (@terricajoy on IG) fell off the gluten free wagon.  The look on her face. Where's the laughing emoji??;)))  The pure excitement about what was to come... Still makes me giggle.  She suffered majorly after we got home and swore up and down it wasn't worth it, but I'm looking at these pies thinking man... If I could have one of these $5 beauties again I'd do it in a heartbeat, but then again I don't have the gluten thing.



 CAPRI


Where do I even begin talking about Capri.  It was our friends Josh and Terrica's special place and they shared it with us.  It was magic.  Everything in bloom.  So lush and vibrant.  It was quaint and blue.  Even my pics all have a blue tint to them.  It was just blueeeee.  There were wealthy people in yachts and waiters that looked us up and down like we weren't dressed up enough to eat there.  There were gorgeous FIT tan Italian woman dressed in bikini tops and long flowy pants.  Cue frumpy, middle age, I don't belong here thoughts.  But aside from those things CAPRI WAS A PIECE OF HEAVEN ON EARTH.  No cars, except for trash and food little utility carts.  It was quiet.  And smelled good.  There were lemonade stands EVERYWHERE because lemons grow the size of your head there!  It was a joy. BLISS! We ate at the Lemon Trees restaurant and it was glorious.  An entire lemon grove as a restaurant. I know!  They had a DESSERT ROOM!  I can't even.  To tell you these memories are fried into my brain is truly an understatement.  It was lovely.






POSITANO


Positano has been on my bucket list for years and lucky for us was only a 45 minute ferry ride away from Capri!  I can't even tell you how giddy we were pulling up to that coast line.  It's like nothing you've ever seen in your entire life!  All those cliffside homes.  So full of color and charm.  We didn't have long.  Just a few hours, so we made the most of our time and took pictures of everything we possibly could.  If I could to it over again I'd love to spend a few days here really exploring.  The beauty is so overwhelming you need to sit with it and let it soak in.  The water looked like a swimming pool.  Everywhere you looked was a photo-op.  Repeat after me...when I go to Italy I won't miss Positano:)))








TUSCANY


We ended our trip back in Florence and had the brilliant idea that we needed to see the Tuscan countryside before we left.  So in brilliant fashion we hired Marco.  Cue best idea EVER!  Marco was a private driver and he drove us to all the sweet little Medieval towns.  We went to Sienna and another town that escapes me.  We visited a vineyard and had a wine tasting in TUSCANY!  Yep, stuff of dreams.  I kept thinking about one of my very favorite movies Under the Tuscan Sun and it truly looked just like the movie.  Those towns are OLD!  The churches are beautiful. Nothing has changed in centuries except the throes of people taking it all in.  I'm so glad we made time to do this.  It was so fun!


The best part...

To sum up this experience is a little hard.  The entire time we were there we felt like we needed to pinch ourselves.  It was the trip of a lifetime and we were with friends who ushered the way.  They planned the whole thing, and we followed along just grateful for the memories.  So arrivederci summer 2017 you were really really good to us. Thank you Lord for new experiences.  I will always look back on this trip and think well done.  You did it!  A promise well kept:)



Be a blessing.








Counting my joy list:
25 years with my honey
Italy
Another school year and the girls are living large...Senior and 8th grade
We have lots of new fur babies...three dogs now and four cats
Hesed Hill has started to feel like home
Zinnias as tall as me
Hummingbirds and butterflies galore
Night after night of sunsets that blow my mind


Pin It!

Monday, January 16, 2017

And then someday came...

I had two family members tell me recently that they missed my blog. I miss it too. I miss sharing my thoughts.  Documenting life as it happens. Instagram is great, but it's filtered and only a snippet.  So I'm making it a point to blog more this year.  I wish I could go back with an extra hour in each day over 2016 and write out my heart. It was such a powerful year of transformation for our family with HUGE steps of faith, attacks from the enemy that led to a deeper relationship with the Lord, new friendships, enlarged territory and promises fulfilled.  But with two moves, driving the girls all over the place with school and a major house renovation there just wasn't time.  It's not too late to document it I suppose... So I'll start here with two videos that show our Hesed Hill property.




Let me first start by saying this whole journey started in December of 2015 and honestly years and years before that when God started laying the ground work for us to move to Tennessee.  In 2015 we thought Texas was going to be home.  My honey had a job lined up, realtors were in place on both ends and during a house hunting visit it all fell apart.  There was disappoint, but also immense peace that it was right...there was somewhere else we were supposed to be.

Tennessee kept popping up in my Instagram feed.  The landscape tugged on my heart.  I always envisioned farms around me.  Being closer to family in Illinois was something I really wanted.  My parents are getting older and the thought of being that far away felt wrong. So Tennessee beckoned and then I saw pictures of a cabin in Leiper's Fork and I had a strong pull that we needed to come.  So I booked it as a surprise for our family on New Year's. We made the trip, fell in love and decided to add it to our "maybe someday we'll move there" list.  And then someday came.  We bought the house after a friend and realtor went through it for us.  It has SO much POTENTIAL they said.  There's some negatives...  A road that's almost impassable.  A nasty trailer eyesore that you'll have to deal with and a smell that knocks you over.  But all that can be fixed...  OH MAN!  So here's the beginning and almost the end of our reno journey.  Maybe I'll share some of the in-between sometime because that's where the real story lies.  The waiting.  The hard.  The shake your faith to the ground, what have we done moments.  The oh my gosh we're in hell.  Why did we do this...  But here's the first steps.



BEFORE



AFTER (a decorated version will come;0)

Click below...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/43976fxrk5ns3do/2016-12-16%2021.27.27.mp4?dl=0






Be a blessing.




a view that knocks my socks off
an office space that turned out better than i could have imagined
decisions that could only have come from Him
easy transitions
a new year full of great promise
Pin It!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Six months later

Someone just wrote and asked me if I'd abandoned my blog🙊 I knew it had been awhile, but looking back it's been SIX MONTHS since my last post. I'm so sorry if you are one of the few who still read blogs. I've transitioned to primarily posting to Instagram @farmgirlpaints because it's just easier and life is so very busy.

And by busy I mean...

Wait for it.....

We've up and sold half of our belongings, our Virginia house and bought a fixer upper on 16 acres online (sight unseen) in rural Tennessee about 30 miles South of Nashville🙌🙌🙌 Say WHAT!!!

Seriously it's the craziest thing we've ever done. I could have blogged a novel about what God has shown us through all of this, but the underlying lesson is GET YO HANDS OFF THE WHEEL AND TRUST. Yelling seemed necessary right then cause we're a little dense sometimes😂 So in a nutshell we made a big move and it's been all sorts of scary and stressful.

The house we bought ended up being a complete money pit. We're on our second contractor. There have been opportunity after opportunity to get discouraged, but our initial freak outs have made way to a strange sort of prone position of peace. We've warred over this property. There have been struggles all along the way, yet with each hurdle He's boosted us up. We feel carried and loved on and RIGHT where we are supposed to be.

So for now we are living in an apartment. The girls started school yesterday, and they are doing SO well. Leaving Virginia was hard...it was like trying to crawl out of quick sand. But the transition after we left has been the easiest in the history of EVER. We truly love it here, and are so excited about what God has in store.

I'm writing this on my phone. It's the first blog post I've ever written from my mobile, but that seems easier than sitting at the computer and uploading pics. So the few pics I'm sharing are from Instagram. I hope they turn out. I'll try to do better with updates. As you can imagine a big move, a complete reno and trying to reestablish my shop has been a full time undertaking. Speaking of the shop we are planning a mini open in a week or so, and then our full Holiday open in October as a pre-order sale. Thank you for sticking with me and for being patient through all these transitions. I love you people!!

Becky

Pin It!

Monday, February 15, 2016

sixteen



I'm sitting alone with my thoughts in the dark basement.  The shop sign is casting a glow. Snow is gently falling outside. Even though I'm not a fan of snow its soft fall is making my heart feel so peaceful this morning.

My life has changed so much in the last couple of years.  It's went from stay at home mom with gym dates and dinner on the table nightly, to full time business owner with helpers here almost every day. Writing a blog has become a memory.  I've forgotten how to express myself here.  Time is precious.  The cursor blinks...what comes next?  



I'll just start with the happenings around here lately.  My Big Chick turned 16 recently!!  For those of you that have been following along forever here's a pic of the family when I first started writing out my thoughts.  Can you believe it!  We were living in Minnesota.  My days were so much different.  I marvel at how life can change. How fast it all goes! 


My oldest is learning to drive.  She's got around 12 hours behind the wheel so far and it's starting to get a little less terrifying.  At first I really thought I might need medicated!  Seriously all of us in one giant hunk of metal, flying down the road with someone who doesn't know the difference between the gas and brake pedals!  She's doing much better now.  I've stopped clenching my teeth and I can actually breathe when she's driving.  Progress.  Sidenote... I've become so accustom to using my smart phone's emoji's I'm finding it almost impossible to type this out.  How do I express myself fully without the little monkey covering his eyes?  Without the little face laughing to the point of tears.  Seriously this is challenging;)  Can you feel my emotion without the little faces?  Urgggghhh!


Back to my girl and her birthday.  Sixteen is major.  It's the age we've set for dating, driving, working...spreading her wings and flying.  Insert heart palpitations here.  And what amazes me time and again; the things we never felt ready to let her do, once the time comes for her to do them, miraculously God shows up and we have the grace for it.  It's truly miraculous.  He helps us let go. His timing is perfect.  Trust Him!

So we have been walking through so much stuff with her.  Parenting a teenager is no joke.  It brings up all the same crap we had to deal with in high school. Insecurities.  Feeling alone.  Not knowing what you want to do with your life.  Feeling scared you're gonna miss your calling.  I'm reminded daily of how important our roles as parents is. How much they need us. For instance on my sixteenth birthday my boyfriend at the time called me and told me he had just taken an entire bottle of pills and then hung up the phone.  Lovely hunh?!!!:/  Being able to share horror stories with your kids about your past struggles and hard times makes them feel less freaked out about their own.  It gets better...life.  All those crazy past experiences shape us and make us stronger.   


For you young mommas out there that worry about your babies not needing you once they get a little more independent...think again!  It's a whole new ballgame and your unique story; your relationship with the Lord; your partnership with your spouse will become more important than ever. We have such a big part in calming their fears, in helping them feel normal and guiding their footsteps in hopefully the right direction. It has a way of bonding you SO close, and keeping you on your knees with your heavenly Daddy as well. Oh the beautiful circle of life:)  Thank you Lord for the privilege of parenthood and for being blessed with the sweetest girls ever.  My cup truly runneth over.






Be a blessing.

Pin It!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails