Lingering Just A Moment More

So Thanksgiving is already a distant memory having occurred a whole week ago and the shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are already left in a big plume of dust!  The Christmas countdown is in full swing and the holiday will be here in a blink of an eye!!  Usually I’m one to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to anticipating and celebrating Christmas…I LOVE Christmas and want to soak it all up…every moment….every cheesy store-inspired tradition…every sacred experience the holiday holds for me as I reflect on the birth of my Savior.  I’d pull out the tree and decorate the house in early November if I could and kind of combine the whole holiday season into one big “ThanksChristmas” extravaganza!!!

But it feels different this year for some reason…I haven’t put my finger on it but I haven’t wanted to take our few Thanksgiving decorations down yet…I’ve wanted to linger a bit more in this season of thanksgiving, linger a bit more in those moments when something catches me eye and I try to take a snapshot of it in my mind, linger a bit more in stillness and peace.  I pray you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration and the spirit of that day lingers throughout your whole holiday season as well!

We enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving with family this year…celebrating a holiday with family doesn’t happen very often for us with both of our families living so far away so we soaked up time with the Boston cousins over the long holiday weekend.  Rudy, of course, loved all the attention and cried pretty much non-stop when everyone left for an outing he couldn’t join in on!  🙂  He’s so aware and soooooo wants to be included in what the big kids do.  🙂

Rudy’s doing well, though, and has remained healthy so far since the cooler weather of a Santa Barbara winter rolled in.  After the slew of over a dozen doctor/ER/UCLA visits in October, he’s gotten a break from doctor appointments this month and we’ve appreciated the reprieve.  We have a handful coming up in December but they are all routine appointments so hopefully Rudy’s health will remain stable in the next few weeks of (more than usual) activities…we need to pace ourselves as we get closer to our Wish trip in January!!!

Here’s a little Thanksgiving photo recap…


At Macy’s to drop off our letters to Santa with cousins Mayali and Kyra!
The ceremonial drop!


What’s your wish Rudy?
Looks like Uncle Rolf is getting a blessing from Fra. Junipero Serra at the Old SB Mission! Wow!
Swimming with a dolphin at…McDonalds!?


Rudy with Aunt Andi and his new buddy John!


Just one of those moments Mama likes to linger on…thanks for capturing it Dale. 🙂

Okay, so my favorite Thanksgiving memory of 2012 will go down in the books as the serenade Rudy got at the SBRM feast…Rudy, Max and I spent the day hanging out in the courtyard talking with the homeless guests as they waited to be seated for lunch and there were two gentlemen in particular who were eager to sit down and spin a mile-long yarn!  🙂  At one point, one of them asked me what Rudy’s name was and as soon as I said “Rudy”, they broke out simultaneously into a loud and somewhat off key rendition of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”. Rudy’s enthusiastic response encouraged them to sing even louder!  The expression on his face was similar to the picture below…total joy and acceptance.  The scenario was annoying to more than a few people standing around us but for Rudy and the two men who serenaded him, it was a highlight of the day.  🙂

Rudy at the Rescue Mission Thanksgiving feast…

Thank you friends!  Thanks for being the special individuals you all are and for sharing yourselves with us!  Thank you for your prayers and for your concern when we go longer than usual in posting an update.  Thank you for sharing in our love for Rudy and for your friendship to our family.  We all have so much to be thankful for…and I want to linger on those thoughts…always!  Blessings to you today.









Finding Fun in Vegas

Rolf and I enjoyed a rare gift of getting away for 4 nights this past week in Vegas for our 20th anniversary.  We’ve NEVER been very good at carving out this kind of time together and even less so since Rudy was born but Rolf was inspired by a killer deal on Groupon a few months ago and went for it to celebrate this milestone!  We laughed throughout our Vegas adventure as it’s clear we’re not really “Vegas” people…we’re not big drinkers or big gamblers and it felt like we had huge neon “nerd” arrows hanging over our heads the whole time…BUT we did what we do best and found fun!  We ate our fill, took in a few GREAT shows and won a whopping $30 jackpot at the quarter slots!!!  Most of all we enjoyed days where we got up with no agenda and let the day take us where it wanted us to go…no thinking through if a venue was wheelchair accessible, no making sure we had the necessary enteral supplies, oxygen tanks or meds, etc.  Of course, we thought of the kids non-stop and lamented the fact they weren’t with us every time we saw something we knew they would flip out over (David Copperfield or Cirque du Soliel) but they had a fun visit with Oma at home and Rudy was well taken care of between Oma (a retired RN) and his nurses.

And now, here it is Thanksgiving week (how is this possible?)!!  We’ll take time to write a proper Thanksgiving post later this week but to get a jump start on the theme of gratitude, here’s a little peek at an article by Becky Still that was published in the Fuller Alumni News this week.  Becky interviewed Rolf a couple of weeks ago and we’re so grateful for her effort and the thoughtfully told article that resulted.  We are honored and blessed by her interest in our journey… Alumni in Action Article

We are honored and blessed by your interest in our journey too…thank you for being a BIG part of this journey and for the prayers that have carried us from day one!

All dolled up to see Donny & Marie!
That’s right ladies!!! I heard Donny sing “Puppy Love” AND grasped his hand when he walked by our seats!!!…When Livy asked me who Donny Osmond is and why I was so excited to see him, I replied “Donny Osmond was my Justin Bieber”…she got it!
Rolfi’s big win! Ha Ha
Between the two of us we walked away $40 richer but my only thought was “Where’s the hand sanitizer!!?”.

Joyful Thanksgiving preparations everyone…:)

Wow, Wow, Wow!

Okay, we’ve been boring people on Facebook ALL DAY with campy wedding status updates in celebration of our 20th anniversary so I won’t post much on Rudy’s Beat tonight but we can’t let the day pass without mentioning the special celebration today holds for me and Rolf.  It has been a fun day of reminiscing and reflection over all that has transpired in the last two decades.  We certainly couldn’t have imagined all the “points of interest” in this journey of ours that have led us to where we are today…settled in Santa Barbara with our precious family of four – but there is little I would change if we had it to do all over again.   Each bend, each twist, each adjustment we have faced in our life together has drawn us closer to each other and more dependent on God whose presence has been our hope and our strength.  Here’s hoping for 20 more!

Celebrating 20 years!! November 7, 2012
Our first date included a walk on the beach in Malibu…we’ve got a bit more company on our beach walks now! 🙂

The icing on top of the wedding cake came in the form of a confirmation letter from “Make-a-Wish” yesterday granting Rudy a special visit to “Give Kids The World”!!!!  It’s official…we’re headed to Florida in January!  Yay!!!!  How very humbled and grateful we are…

Very special!