Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'Real Life' Friends

Mother's Day was perfectly lovely this year. A family brunch, a beautiful handmade card and the most endearing piece of jewelry I've ever received (I promise pictures, folks!) were only half of what made last Sunday wonderful. I know I'm late here, but Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

To be honest, though, I was much more excited about the day after Mother's Day this year. For some time now I've known on this day I would finally meet one of my favorite blogging moms and inspiration behind two of my favorite internet stops - Studeo and For months now I've been eagerly anticipating Alicia's visit. Now it has come and passed, and I miss her already.

We met at Mission San Juan Capistrano. From the instant I saw her and her incredibly beautiful family I felt I'd known them forever. In some ways I had - Alicia and John both graduated from my alma mater and I'd heard many wonderful things about them over the years. And after having met them on Monday? I'll just repeat what I told my best friend over the phone yesterday - I was in awe.
This family's love of learning is one of those intensely beautiful and inspiring qualities all of us homeschooling mothers want for our families. The instant we arrived at the mission their eldest daughter, "Ria", ventured straight away to the ruins, pulled out her sketchbook and pencil to capture that moment on paper, completely captivated by the beauty and historical import of what she'd seen. It was difficult for her to leave that area - I think she could have spent the entire day in that one spot.

Needless to say, our children got along swimmingly. Gianna's instantaneous bond with "Kate" had the two of them strolling about hand-in-hand all afternoon, hugging, laughing and dancing together. Madeleine attached herself to Ria - following her around the couryard and imitating her reverent gestures in the chapel; and four-year-old "Frank", with whom she played many-a-game of chase. Too cute.

At evening we returned to our house for dinner and some relaxation time. Alicia's children serenaded us with a beautiful three-part recorder ensemble (I didn't even know recorders came in different voices!), followed by some amazing Irish dancing. Again, I was in awe of the beautiful family before me.

It was a terrific day for all of us. I love that Alicia and I have so much in common and seem like old friends, yet we have different gifts - her abundance of those I don't possess give me more beautiful goals to strive for. She is one inspiring woman with one very inspiring family.


Mimi said...

What a blessing to have met up, and beautiful photos! I've been there once, but it was a long time ago!

Meredith said...

How delightful!! I hope to be one these sometime soon!!

Melissa Wiley said...

Oh, Kristen, I know just what you mean! We had the pleasure of being Alicia's next stop. She spent yesterday afternoon with us at Erica Sanchez's house, along with the beautiful Grimm gang. We had the best time. Your pictures are gorgeous, and I loved seeing all of Alicia and John's pix on their computer yesterday, including some heart-melting shots of Ria and your youngest head to head in conversation. So, so sweet.

Now we have GOT to get our gangs together sometime soon!!

Matilda said...

Happily jealous for all of you!!! :)

Matilda said...

...make that "of" not "for".

Love2Learn Mom said...

Kristen - you are very kind! It was a pleasure to meet you and your family!

We just got home from our journey last night and will be sharing lots of photos and such - we made it to TEN Missions in all! :)

Alice Gunther said...

You are all stunningly BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

How I wish we were right there with you!

And I love your darling red head checking out the gang in that bottom picture. She is too cute.