Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dear Nora

Dear Nora,

I've been traveling (walking across Spain - I'll let your mother tell you about that) and haven't been able to properly greet you upon your entry into this world. I want to tell you some things that you'll need to know as you grow up.

Welcome to the world! You are truly a ray of sunshine for many people. You are so very dearly loved by many already. Not every child entering this world can say that. But you are very special.

As you grow up you'll have times where you think you aren't loved enough, smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, wanted enough, etc. Please come back to this letter and know, while you're feeling that way at that moment, that the reality of it is you are loved beyond what you'll probably ever comprehend. You were born to two of the most wonderful people I've ever known. You are in good hands. Your frustration and doubt will pass.

I've known your mommy (how wonderful it is to say that) for a very, very long time. She's a light in my life and one of my dearest friends. She's kicked my backside, convinced me to drive hundreds of miles (in a day and back sometimes), been an example to follow, she's hugged me when no one else knew that I needed one. She's a smart woman and a hard worker. Her heart is as big as the Grand Canyon (wait until you study geography to understand this). She's also stubborn as a mule (call me or Grandma Karleen when you need to commiserate on this one).

Your dad is a great man too. Your mom loves your dad very much and he loves her back. They are an example for the rest of us on what love and marriage are. Listen to them - even when you don't want to. They will teach you how to be loving and smart and soon they will listen to you because you'll be as smart as both of them combined. And your Grandma Karleen is a wonderful woman who made your mommy the great person that she is.

Nora - we love you and are so glad you're here. Welcome to our world - we know we're in good hands with you in it!

I will let (again) your mother explain this, but my nickname for you is Merlot. And I am the one who bought you the pink poodle costume for your first Halloween. It will probably be the last chance you have at having access to pink.

I can't wait to hold you and say WELCOME in person!

With much love, Auntie Teri

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Adios Amigos/Amigas

(Post Dated) September 1, 2007

Today is a busy day - by the time you all read this, I will have already been in Amsterdam, Lyon, Bairritz, Bayonne, and finally in St. Jean Pied de Port, France.

Tomorrow I will be starting my Camino to Santiago de Compostela. After three years there's only 800 km (500 miles) to go!

I will raise my hiking poles in gratitude to God for making yet another dream of mine be realized and for my wonderful friends and family who have helped me get here.

If you care to follow my walk, please visit

I will not update this blog until I return.

But most very importantly - I want to be the first to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY DWIGHT! I'm so happy you're a part of this adventure! You can open your package now :0)