Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Family Getaway

Although we have traveled quite a bit since Ellie joined our family, last week was our first opportunity to take a vacation together as a family of four (yes, I included the dog in that count). Up until that point, all vacation time has been used for Ellie's birth, traveling to the States and holidays. We were long overdue for some time away, and it was well worth all of the planning and organizing that went in to making it happen!

We found a cute 2-bedroom house in Croatia on Airbnb and it was a great find. Although smaller than our apartment, it had high ceilings, which made it feel spacious. It had a swimming pool outside, a big patio and a large yard. It was about a 5 minute drive from the cute town of Porec, located on the Adriatic Sea. We loved exploring the town, which had a Basilica from the 600s with some amazing mosaics and a great bell tower to climb. We swam, visited the sea and town, grilled food and relaxed.

We both agreed the vacation was probably most exciting for Mozzy. He got to spend most of his time outside, peed wherever and whenever he wanted (not typical for a city dog!) and he had a "vacation fling" - the next door neighbors had a girl dog of the same breed! The two dogs spent lots of time together and each dog visited the others' house often. It was very cute :)

Here are a few photo highlights from our trip!

Riding with this guy in the backseat meant being covered in dog hair...but it was worth it!

Papa and Ellie in the pool

Downtown Porec

The cottage we rented

At the top of the belltower

Bird's eye view of the city

Mozzy with his girlfriend, Skye

Family photo in Motovun, which failed because Ellie just wasn't having it

Beach time

More pool time!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Church Retreat

This year marked our third annual retreat with our church in Meidling (the 12th District). We enjoyed the time spent eating, worshiping, studying and playing together. The speaker who joined us especially challenged the group to be praying about what is next for our church as we move into our new building. Who will God reach there? What do we want people to experience and see when they encounter us there? What are we leaving behind and what are we taking with us? These are valuable and challenging questions to be asking ourselves and praying about.

It's fun to look back on the last two retreats and how each year has been different. At our first church retreat, we were exhausted by speaking German all weekend, I was early in my pregnancy and we were just getting to know people. Last year, Ellie was 5 months old and pretty high maintenance, so we were not as engaged. I remember spending lots of time listening to the baby monitor! Nate played guitar last year and was introduced to the church as the new intern. This year, we were able to be more involved in the retreat and Nate is getting close to wrapping up his year in his internship already!

Here are a few photos from the weekend:

Playing at the back of the seminar room during a session

Nate leading the Sunday morning service

Hanging with Papa while he preps for Sunday morning

Hiking. We found cows! (One of Ellie's favorite animals)

Very friendly Llamas


Group sessions & discussion time

Hearing from our speaker, Axel