jana and i jetted west a few weeks ago to celebrate my 10 year high school reunion, as well as jump into all things pacific northwest. what we found was adventure! i look back and almost cannot believe that it has been 10 years since i graduated high school. i know, i know...not that long some of you might say. but in retrospect, those ten years have created a vast chasm between who i was and who i have now become.
i cherish that 18yr old kid, with his overflowing cup of life's blessings and a childhood honed and fashioned amid the mighty mountains of the cascade wilderness. lifelong friends who are still dear to me. memories and defining moments that have stayed with me, despite my trek east across the plains to the great mitten state. a lot of emotion, for an emotional guy.
and i am thankful, so very thankful. for who i was and what i was given. but also, for changes that have brought me to today, and the humbling gifts that surround me...in the eyes of my beautiful wife and children, and a community and fellowship of michiganders. its a strange place to be, on the street corner of reminiscing and reliving. i think there was a time in my life when it would have been much harder to see the beauty in this moment..stepping into the past to see friends who started new journeys of their own 10 years ago, and knowing we can't go back. but we know that we have been given the gift of incredible memories in an incredible place, and for that, i will be forever grateful. and forever cherish my roots in leavenworth.
washington...you, and your people are beautiful. thank you for the first 18 years of my life. i can't go back, but i can go forward with a greater appreciation for living right now, because right now...won't come again.
- it was great fun to start off our trip with the reunion, which actually turned out pretty great! thanks to many friends helping out who still live in the valley* - i surprised jana with a little restful getaway at a local bed and breakfast in leavenworth. the super cool catch? the innkeepers vern and linny are dear friends back from my elementary school days with linny being my 1st grade teacher! their incredibly welcoming home with all of its charm and beautiful detail was just what we needed for a few days, not to mention some delectable breakfasts cooked up by the king of the kitchen vern* if you ever happen to be in leavenworth and want to be treated like royalty, scandinavian escape is a must stop! i must say, i never tire of this bavarian village...nestled right up against the majestic beauty of the cascade mountain range. it can be said a thousand times, but it still rings true...you feel as though you have been transported right into the alps, without the change of currency* being one of the last babies to be born in the town clinic, i feel a true sense of pride surrounding this beautiful valley and the sanctuary that it offers.. on the drive over the mountains to seattle i had high hopes of taking jana on a little excursion to a lake i thought i remembered well. first off, two things must be said...1. my memory doesn't always serve me well, and 2. you will never find another person with a better attitude than my wife, amid dire miscalculations of effort required to finish a 'short' hike. needless to say, this was much harder than i remember...but we came, we conquered, and we couldn't feel our legs. at least we had a camera to prove we didn't die* while in washington, i had the privilege to take some photos for a childhood friend of mine who just so happens to do amazing things with paper. mariya and her husband mike live near greenlake in seattle and among other things, mariya has a business of building beauty out of the ordinary... dream like trees is pretty perfect for the bride who wants something incredibly unique for wedding floral finishings...or any floral finishings for that matter. just take a look at her work, amazing right? our last stop on the whirlwind adventure was the emerald city itself. home of the sounders and starbucks, seattle never fails to deliver...and once again we found ourselves amid renown fresh markets and windy sailing races...and it was great!