Friday, August 3, 2012

History, Horses, Heritage.....

I hear there comes a time in the the evolution of a family when the parents realize that their time with the children is soon to be curtailed. I had that awakening recently. In only four short years I will be losing Mari to the commitments of college...and in 4 years when Mari goes off to college, Julia will be in high school...probably busy with her friends and sports...began to make me feel that for all the vacationing we did together over the still wasn't ENOUGH!!!

I really do wish we had gone and done much, much more....especially when they were in pre-school and elementary grades when taking them out of school was not as challenging as it is now!!! Money sure can be a limiting factor but how does one value the memories and bonding?!?!?!

So to that end, we have been doing a LOT of short trips away this summer!!!!!!!!!!

 We've gone up to the lake house ...with cousins....made more memories on the zip line.

 We had more campfires together.

 Discovered that this generation had a disdain for smelling like smoke
 and preferred a more digital experience.

We spent time in the lake trying to cool off from our SEARINGLY HOT summer!

Just being silly....but making memories that bind all the same!

 Enjoying the speed and excitement...

 ....and epic spills that have become part of the 'remember when' sessions already!

Having good quality time with a cousin is simply PRICELESS!!!

Another thing we have come to realize this past year....thanks to a DNA test to confirm ethnicity...that not only are my girls of Mayan descent...Mari almost completely....but they have LOADS of cousins among fellow adoptees among our acquaintance!!!!!!!!!!! We were aware of siblings being here somewhere... six between the two girls that we know of....actually had HOPED to find a few through the DNA test but to no avail. The complete surprise was the number of 'cousins' they had right here in our own backyard!! Even though we will never be able to learn of the exact family tree that made it possible, by the % of shared DNA they are anywhere from 2nd to Distant cousins....and in our book....cousins are family!!!!! Another thing we are adoptees can feel a deep craving to be with and feel connected to anyone or thing from their birth country. I mean we 'knew' this...we had met adult adoptees and talked and read up on this....a LOT....but it has recently become tangible here in this house!! So we've taken a couple of trips to Guatemalan adoption reunions lately!! One was to Kentucky where we met up with some 'cousins' who also happen to share an insane love of horses.

My city girls got a real taste of country living...right down to what the cat dragged in!!

 We spent the day at the Kentucky Horse Park!

 Where my little horse lover was in her own little piece of heaven (-: Not only did we get up close and personal with retired Kentucky Derby winners, we went through education barns and saw shows of reining skills and displays of horses from around the globe.

 We saw horses and ferriers...and silliness.

 Then we went back to the host's barn and that is when a total and pure happiness descended!!

 Julia's dream would be to have her own barn with two Morgans....and a real riding helmut (-:

 Oh to have pastures and horses!

 Well Mari was not about to turn down the chance either!!

Though she was happier being the horse!!

Then we took a brief detour through Midwest history on our way to another Guatemalan reunion just a week later...

 In the blazing heat of a record hot summer we are taking a lot of our pictures huddled in any bit of shade we can find....makes you wonder how Mary Todd Lincoln survived in hoop skirts?!?!?

 The History Alive program was in full swing and the girls learned how to play with vintage toys from Mr. Lincoln himself!

 The obligatory "we were here" pose!

 Even though I have been to his tomb before I simply did not remember how impressive it was...and more amazing in this post 9/11 era how OPEN it is to the public....and how knowledgeable and dedicated the National Park Rangers are as we questioned them endlessly.

 So can you guess where we went next??

 Massive, impressive...what more can you say?!?! We rode up and looked out 
and came down to earth again!

Three immigrants on the shores of the mighty Mississippi!

 After melting our way west we arrived at Moguate!!! So far the meet and greet was a blast...we wish more older adoptees would find the joy of reconnecting so Mari and Julia aren't always the oldest though!!

The dancing the night away is is now time to soak, swim, and socialize by the Lake of the Ozarks!!! We'll be right back ya'll to show all the fun by the pools (-: