Friday, October 25, 2013

7 Weeks: Cravings

Thankfully, it seems that so far my 'morning sickness' is limited to feeling generally carsick in the morning and evenings, although I do get pretty nauseated and lightheaded if I get too hungry.  (And I get hungry much more quickly and more frequently than I used to, even notably at 4am a few times this week). Eating cold grapes or pineapple when I'm nauseated helps a lot. Strangely, I don't mind the nausea. It's gives me reassurance that things are still chugging along in there. The wait for the first ultrasound has felt forever long. Just a few more days now!

I will admit that I'm still undecided how I feel about the concept of pregnancy "cravings." I will be the first to tell you, I had plenty of cravings even when I wasn't pregnant. I don't know if pregnancy makes you more inclined to listen to your body? To follow through if your craving is reasonable? Permission to 'let go' if your craving isn't reasonable?

Even though I've listed these things, I can't decide if I'm really CRAVING something, or if it just sounds appetizing when not much else does. But I do know that when food does taste good right now, it tastes about a THOUSAND times better than normal, which I love! The down side, of course, is that when food is only so-so, I have to force it down. But for the love of all things crisp and cold, and all things spicy and savory, I shall press forward!




green veggies, sadly

lots of little things that just don't sound good in the moment


cold, fresh pineapple chunks

bagels and cream cheese (Even GF bagels would be okay with real cream cheese. Debating how badly I actually want this. Worth the dairy trouble for a taste of the real thing again? I've heard some people can tolerate dairy better when they're pregnant. Is this an urban legend? We'll see what I decide.)

baked potatoes with lots of butter, bacon, and green onions

Lulu's spicy beef and basil fried rice

pepperoni pizza (again, GF crust is totally fine, but fake cheese is bearable at best, totally disgusting at worst. I almost always order my pizza without cheese, but I was practically drooling over a friend's cheesy pepperoni pizza last week.)

pickles (so cliche)

the Porto Pure burger (on a GF bun) from Unforked

(vegetable) sushi with (GF) soy sauce and wasabi (although I wouldn't say no to my favorite shrimp and mango roll from Piranha in Ft. Worth-- mmmm. aaaand now that's all I can think about.)

cucumber, onion, and vinegar salad

street tacos from Cancun Fiesta Fresh

all spicy and salty food, really

(from this website)

I'm not sure what this post accomplished, except for making my mouth water at the thought of lots of delicious food that I can't make quite the same at home!

[Edited to add: I had been fairly nervous about my lack of vomiting since I'd heard so many horror stories about morning sickness in the first trimester. However, once we saw that heart beating away on ultrasound the week after I wrote this post, I felt a lot better. Now I'm simply THANKFUL that my nausea hasn't gotten out of hand and that it's fairly easy to manage!]

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Winds of Change

Sometimes I just have to laugh at the absurdity of the past year in regards to my job. I mean, really. It's been one long, stressful journey in the painful lesson on, the grass isn't always greener. Don't get me wrong, I am really happy with where my job situation is right now, but I'm still learning that really, the grass is greener where you water it.

Was it really just a year ago that I was teaching clinicals, helping in nursing skills lab, taking graduate classes, and working full time in the NICU? And I was so hard on myself! No wonder I was burnt out and ready for a change! From this distance, I heap grace upon grace upon that poor ragged girl.

This time last year I took a job at a clinic thinking it'd be a nice change of pace. That was a good lesson in learning that expectations are simply premeditated disappointments, as Ross' mentor Frank likes to say. It's a long story and one that includes as many external disappointments as internal ones, but I resigned in June. Has it really only been 4 months since my last week there? It. feels. like. a. lifetime. I learned so much there from an academic standpoint, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity, but I'm also thankful I've moved on.

I'm currently cobbling together a living with two different jobs: I'm a NICU nurse part-time and a home visit/postpartum/newborn nurse part-time. I'm loving the variety and honestly, I also like that I'm not fully vested in any one place right now. It helps me stay emotionally disconnected from my work, which God knows I need. In the past year I let the line between work and life become far too blurry and my life affected my work and my work affected my life and it was all a mess. I like being able to be a nurse. I love that! And I love going home and being Therese.

The downside, of course, is that I'm not accruing seniority or PTO or retirement benefits anywhere, which is unnerving. I'm constantly having to surrender control in that regard. God has me where he wants me right now and I'm so grateful that I listened and took the risk.

Which I guess brings me to the actual point of what I came here to talk about today. At my last clinic job, I became a person I really really disliked. I let my circumstances bring out the absolute worst in me. Cranky, self-righteous, selfish, demanding, entitled... the list goes on and on. The worst part about it is that I lost my filter and said more things out loud than I probably ever should have!

To my co-workers, I probably just looked like every other burnt-out nurse. But to me, I was appalled. My heart really is that dark. I would think, "This isn't me! I don't recognize this person!" But really, it was me at my truest and weakest and most human, I think. I'd been tired and worn and exasperated, but never that. Never bitchy. Never rude. Never so thoughtless. That's what I regret most about that job: the way I handled it. I blew it.

I'm so grateful for the cleansing wind that blew into my tired heart this summer. I've been able to watch with fascination, almost from the sidelines, as God begins to heal my heart. I'm learning to accept grace from God and from myself. The whirlwind of the last 3 years had finally ceased blowing and I got to stand there and watch the dust settle. As the air cleared, I started to catch glimpses of what God was revealing on the horizon. And it was good. All of his gifts are. This summer has been so beautiful, and filled with more second chances than I deserve.

Lest you think that this is where the story ends, yesterday I was reminded that the learning process is just that... a process. The more I grow, the more I see that in a sense, we never 'arrive' in this life. There's no point at which life is suddenly easy and every single thing makes sense. That's not to say there aren't seasons of rest and growth and happiness and sorrow and peace and angst, because there are! But they're always evolving. And I'm okay with that. In fact, I think I like that. I don't actually want to stay the same as I am today.

Yesterday at work I was flustered and busy and a little overwhelmed with new tasks fresh out of orientation, and what I had previously thought of as old-job-Therese popped up out of nowhere in an unnecessary snarky comment. Granted, not many people heard, and the people who did, didn't think much of it. It was a crazy busy day for everyone. But the heaps of shame that flooded my heart shocked me. I thought that kind of response was directly related to my old job. I thought I left that behind. But I did not.

Last night before bed, I read exactly what I needed to hear in Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon:

If you need to hear that, look up John 16:7-15, too. The Holy Spirit takes Jesus' inheritance and declares it ours as well! And like Spurgeon says, "your Father does not give you promises and then leave you to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well. The promises He has written in the Word He will write afresh on your heart." I love that. Good news, indeed!

Friday, October 18, 2013

6 Weeks: Greatly Loved

This week started off on a much better note than last week since my sinus stuff FINALLY cleared up! I'm also noticing that staying busy helps the time go by faster. Realistically, it also gives my mind less time to wander toward the what-ifs.

This week, the baby's heart started beating and by the end of the week, the baby had completed a period of growth that involves the greatest size and physical changes of its lifetime! He or she has grown 10,000 times in size from where they started, even though the baby is only the size of a grain of rice now.

Physical symptoms-wise, this week has been pretty uneventful for me. Some of the same old early symptoms are still staying around to reassure me, but overall it's easy to forget that something is going on in there. (Then when I slow down from whatever I'm doing and remember our secret again, it makes my day 1,000 times better!) Here's a nice perk I'm already noticing, though: my nails are growing like crazy! When I went gluten-free, I noticed a huge improvement in my nails. They were no longer brittle and peeling. However, this week they've been above and beyond anything I've ever seen. I'm not used to having to trim my nails so often!

Monday and Tuesday, I noticed myself wanting to brush my teeth after eating anything because I didn't like the taste in my mouth afterwards. Tuesday night I went to bed nauseated and woke up nauseated Wednesday morning. More carsick than I'm-going-to-throw-up-right-now, though. The rest of the week I noticed it creeping up when my stomach was to empty or too full.

I also had my first overly emotional outbreak. Granted, I cry easier now than I used to in years past, but this was a bit irrational: the pizza Ross brought home one night... the pizza I'd been looking forward to all day at work... was the wrong pizza from the wrong restaurant AND it was a gooey, gummy, underbaked, gluten-free mess. So I cried.

Thankfully, my trusty pregnancy handbook assures me that between 5 and 6 weeks, "you may have noticed that you're experiencing moodiness, irritability, and tearfulness. While some of these feelings may have a psychological basis, most of the time they are just natural reactions to your body's changing levels of hormones and can be amplified by your immediate experience." Thank goodness!

((But if you want to bring me a gluten-free pizza from Minsky's with vegan Follow Your Heart mozzarella at some point? I would be okay with that.))


Really this week I'm mostly still been grappling with some of the early emotional/spiritual aspects of pregnancy, since the physical stuff isn't taking precedence at the moment. As the days march on, it continues to sink in that this is really happening. (It seems to have clicked for Ross this week, too, and he's ecstatic! It's cute). Surprisingly, there's some guilt in all that. I feel like I've been through the ringer in the last few years, and a healthy pregnancy seems so undeserved. Something going right (according to plan, dare I say) feels so foreign. But the very nature of pregnancy reminds me that it's really not in my hands, which is an interesting dichotomy, and good.

I also feel guilty that I'm happy because life is good! I'm in a much healthier job situation, our marriage is a complete 180 from what it was those first few years, and jeez it seems like by the time you add a healthy bun in the oven, we're living the dream! And it does feel like we're living in a dream.

I know as Christians we're taught to find joy in all circumstances. I REALLY struggled with that this past winter, in particular. And I feel guilty that yeah, I'm joyful NOW because things are GOOD! So I'm still working through what all of those thoughts and feelings mean. Honestly, the last few months have just been a breath of fresh air and this news is the icing on the cake to a great summer!

This week started with a great sermon about God's love that I recommend listening to. It was a sweet bookend to the summer for me. Back in June, I went to a conference about God's love and now this sermon in October? Things are so different inside and out. It's easy to feel like God loves me right now. It's much harder for me, in my limited, self-centered imagination, to see how God loves me when things are falling apart. Regardless, I'm unendingly thankful for this respite, no matter how long it lasts. It's allowed me to catch my breath and digest and recover from the last 2 years of chaos and hurt.

I hesitate to use the word "blessings" to describe any point of this journey, but I thought I'd address my feelings on it now and get that out of the way. It's not because I don't think this baby is a blessing. It is! It's life! It's huge! We are grateful for every single day we have with this little one.

However, the word "blessing" was painful to me last year, and I'm still sorting through that. In a time when I felt like I was seeking God's will, I was being obedient, and NOTHING WAS GOING WELL, I felt outside of his love. Like there were no blessings stored away for me. Like my life was going to be all trials and no triumphs. It would take many more words than I care to share in this already over-long post to really address where my heart was so messed up in that thinking, but it's how I felt. I felt like blessings were for other people and not for me.

So now I sit here with knowledge of a huge blessing, wanting to be careful about using that word around others. I don't want to sling more arrows at other aching hearts. I read something in Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional (can't recommend it enough) the other day, and it breathed some life and clarity into this are for me, and really changed my perspective on the past year:
Child of God, do you hesitate to appropriate this title? Has your unbelief made you forget you are also greatly loved [like Daniel 10:11]? Surely you must have been greatly loved, to have been bought with the precious blood of Christ...? When God crushed his only son for you, what was this but being greatly loved? You lived in sin and rioted in it; surely you were greatly loved for God to have been so patient with you. You were called by grace and led to a savior and made a child of God and an heir of heaven. Doesn't all this prove a very great and superabounding love? Since that time, whether your path has been rough with troubles or smooth with mercies, it has been full of proofs that you are greatly loved. If the Lord has chastened you, it was not in anger; if he has made you poor, still in grace you have been rich. The more unworthy you feel yourself to be, the more evidence you have that nothing but unspeakable love could have led the Lord Jesus to save a soul like yours. The more disapproval you feel, the clearer is the display of God's abounding love in choosing you and calling you and making you an heir of heaven... Come boldly, believer, for despite the whispers of Satan and the doubts of your own heart, you are greatly loved.
I just can't add to that. My heart needed those words this week.


Just to make this post super-long, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day was this week, too. Without elaborating and making everyone (including myself) uncomfortable, now is as good a time as any to say that I'm G2P0, so this journey is bittersweet. I'm currently more pregnant than I've ever been, but that doesn't mean I think of that first one any less. I'm grateful that he or she is in God's arms and by the grace of a redeeming God, someday we'll get to meet that precious soul!


And to my 'now' baby who is just starting to look like a baby and not a blob of cells? You're already greatly loved not just by your parents, but by your Ultimate Creator who already has great plans for you! We can't wait to meet you.

Southern Slovenia

The second half of our trip was really confusing to me. Lots of small towns with names that sounded different depending on who said what. I asked my dad to write a guest post, and he sent his portion to me before I'd even started mine! I thought about editing, but thought it was best to leave mostly as-is. Enjoy!


On Thursday we rented a van and drove south from Ljubljana.  Our first stop was in Ribnica.  Because your grandma’s grandpa was a peddler when he came to the US in 1866, we thought there might be some sort of tie with Ribnica.  The community was given the privilege to peddle in the Austrian empire since 1492.  

Ribnica is one of the oldest Slovenian towns with rich history. From the distance the visitors are greeted by two bell towers of the Ribnica Parish Church, which are built in cathedral style according to the design of the architect Jože Plecnik. Ribnica used to be an ancient parish for the west part of the Lower Carniola (Dolenjska) in the times of Christianisation. 

(buckwheat mash with bacon drippings for lunch in Ribnica)
The year 1492 was important for the economy of Ribnica as the Caesar Friderick III awarded its inhabitants the right to free trading with handmade ware. Besides for the suha roba woodenware and pottery the town is famous for its natural beauties and rich cultural heritage, which boasts the Ribnica Castle from 10th century. 

It houses four permanent displays, which depict the events in the Ribnica Valley through the centuries. Ribnica also boasts a cultural memorial park dedicated to eminent personalities, summer theatre, the birth house of the linguist Stanislav Škrabec, the Ortnek Castle, the castle ruins on Breg, numerous viewing points in the untouched landscape.

The rich heritage of Ribnica can be seen in numerous legends and cultural, ethnographic and tourist events. Here are some of the most famous ones: the Ribnica Fair (Ribniški sejem) of woodenware and pottery, the Carnival, St. Nicholas' Eve Party (Miklavževanje), live nativity scene. 

We then drove through the Kocevski Rog.  It is one of Europe’s last virgin forests.  The pine and beech woods are home to brown bears, wolves, and lynx.  It is also the location of Baza 20, the nerve center for the anti-Fascist struggle, and was never discovered by the Nazis.  It is preserved as the only serving headquarters of European wartime resistance.

We wanted to stop by the Mithrian temple site, but couldn’t find it. Mitrej above Rožanc is one of the most attractive archaeological monuments in Slovenia, and can be found along the regional road Semič – Črnomelj, in the village Rožanec. The relief most likely originates from the second century, and the image of god Mitra carved into a rock has been preserved in its natural environment in the valley of chestnut forest Judovje, near the branch church of St Jurij. The cast of the relief from the 20th century can be seen in the Bela Krajina Museum in Metlika.

We then drove to Crnomelj, the parish town that your grandma’s great grandfather, Peter Tomec, was baptized.  The parish over 750 years old and had been attacked by the Turks numerous times over the centuries.  Unfortunately, the museums, and shops were closed by the time we got there.  

We then drove into the village of Jerneja Vas, the village the Tomecs lived in.
[from Therese: we drove through this one-street town all slow and creepy-like until finally the neighbors started wondering what was going on. One couple was outside with their grandkids and asked if we needed help. When it was evident that we did not speak Slovenian, they ran inside to get their daughter who graciously interpreted. My dad and uncle started asking about the house numbers, which had obviously been changed since the town was originally built. Then they said the Tomecs were our ancestors. Then the grandpa got all excited and popped in a few houses down to grab an old, distant relative who came over with is ancestry papers. (A "living legend" as he called himself).  This totally random family in the middle of the countryside invited these strangers in and proceeded to serve a ton of food and drinks and happily discussed ancestry with my dad. They were so hospitable and friendly, and the older neighbor had the same color blue eyes as my dad which was kind of neat!]

not the house we were invited into, but maybe one that used to house our ancestors?

What I thought was interesting was we went from asking an old man if he spoke English to sitting in their house eating meats, cheeses, etc, and leaving with a bottle of Jaegermeister, that he made himself (from Canadian whiskey that he added 54 herbs and spices, and left in a barrel for a year), and the largest bunches of grapes I’ve ever seen.  The red grapes were the same varietal (they call them Modra Frankinja) that I grow (we call them Lemberger).

That night we stayed in the bed and breakfast in Dragatus.  This is the town that your grandma’s grandma, Barbara Tomec, because the village of Zapudje was assigned the Dragatus parish right before she was born.  All of her older siblings and parents, grandparents, etc, were baptized in the parish of Vinica.

our bed and breakfast

The next morning we visited Tanta Gora, the village of our distant relative. [from Therese: via and DNA swab matching, my dad met a distant relative named Ales who graciously and excitedly offered to be a tour guide for us. He was a lot of fun, he loved Slovenia, and he was great interpreter to have in the smaller towns! We got to visit his home and family in Tanta Gora, and later visit his kids in school back in Dragatus. At his house, we got to try some coffee, fresh juice, and lots of local snacks.] We left with 2 large bottles of wine.  I think this is where we got the plum brandy (slivovica) in a plastic bottle.

oldest homestead in Tanta Gora
We also visited Zapudje, the village that your grandma’s grandparents were born in.  We found out that the Gorse family was one of the 2 families that founded the village.  2 Gorse brothers from Ribnica (this might be the peddler connection) were given half the land in the village in the 1700’s when Maria Theresa was undertaking land reform in the Austrian empire.  The other half was given to the Stefanic family (we have some Stefanic’s in our family tree also), likely from Croatia.  They were still defending the borders of the Austrian empire from the Turks.  We also found the House of Gorse, which appeared to be the oldest house in the village.

250 years old and still inhabited!

so many animals and gardens

 Saturday morning we stopped in Vinica, the parish town that your grandma’s grandparents were baptized.  The church, Holy Cross, has been there since the 16th century, but has had significant remodeling.  We got some holy water to bring back to your grandma.

Vinica is a clustered settlement situated high above the river Kolpa, next to the Slovene-Croatian border and 18 km from Crnomelj. Vinica, already inhabited in prehistory, is nowadays marked by an international border crossing. The remains of the Vinica Castle are an important document of the past. The birth house of the poet Oton Župancic is located in the centre of Vinica and has been renovated, as the original house burned down in the great fire of 1888. The poet’s memorabilia is displayed on the ground floor, while the first floor is dedicated to his Vinica compatriot Oton Berkopec. The bust of Župancic can be seen in the garden and it is the work of Jakob Savinšek.

crossing into Croatia
Goodbye, Slovenia! I miss you already!
 Zupancic belonged to a talented group of Slovenian poets born between 1870 and 1878.  He remained rooted in his native soil, particularly in the Bela krajina region of Slovenia (where we were the last 3 days of our trip)

 Some verses from Zupancic:

Forge me on thy anvil, Life!
Am I flint-then I shall flash.
Am I steel, then I shall sing.
Am I glass, then let me crash.


Stars high above the midnight air,
golden, mute.
Alas, so destitute---
where to, my spirit, where in thy despair?
(more to this poem)


Could I but reach my own true image,
could I at last behold it!

For dark it is within my darkness;
it pierces, permeates me through
in its ascent.
I grope for it
with all my being, like a blindman fumbling;
I grow with its own growth
and stumble in its company
not knowing whither….

(later in the poem)
Who stubbornly pursues his aim,
with faith retained,
and yet expands through inner growth:
he may at last spread out his arms,
like one who sees the light of day,
and spans the web of dreams eternal----
he shows his image true:  the cross.

Could I but reach my image
my own and yours, my people!


It's me again! Didn't my dad do a great job? There's so much history I have yet to learn about such a tiny country I'd never really heard of prior to last year.

We spent our last day in Zagreb, Croatia. It was drizzly and cold, which overshadowed our experience a bit. But also, Slovenia was so green and pristine it was an abrupt change to go from those villages to old Yugoslavian streets. We did go on a walking tour, though, with a really good guide, and that helped me warm up to Zagreb a bit. My brothers also sent my mom some birthday flowers, so those added some color to our dreary day!

In the end, our entire trip to Slovenia was so much fun. A great first taste of Europe! (Although I'm afraid the rest of Europe might pale in comparison to this gem of a country.) It was the perfect mix of city and country, big and small, nature and culture. I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just Charming

Jeez I'm only, what, two weeks late posting these recaps from my trip to Slovenia? It's just... there are so many pictures. Some of them are still on my dad's phone and not on my computer. It was all so much fun I'm not sure where to start.

So I suppose I'll start from the beginning. Last year around this time, my dad got really into and found out that a lot of his mom's family came from Slovenia, a tiny little country East of Italy and South of Austria. The more he learned about the history of the region and our family, the more he talked about Slovenia. Every time I came home, he'd tell me about another new book he got, or another new ancestor he found. Basically, his enthusiasm for this tiny country became a running joke! But fascinating to learn about at the same time.

Somewhere during this time, he found out that there's an American chapter of the Slovenian Genealogy Society, AND that they were making a trip to Slovenia this fall! Obviously, he signed up. Somewhere along the line, my mom, and my dad's brother and his wife were roped into it as well. At one point they asked if Ross and I wanted to join, but too many things were up in the air with work and finances, so we declined.

Then when I resigned from my job and hadn't found anything after a month, my dad offered again. I took him up on it! Sadly Ross couldn't join because he didn't have enough time off, but I'd really love to go back with him as well, because Slovenia is pretty perfect. All the guidebooks say it's a hidden jewel in Europe and I'm now inclined to believe that's true. I've seen all of two European countries (Slovenia and then Croatia for a day) but from what everyone else was saying, Slovenia was cleaner, less crowded, and more charming than most other European capital cities.

Please know that when I use words like "cute" and "charming" I'm not being trite or patronizing. These are high compliments coming from me, and they're perfectly descriptive of Ljubljana and Slovenia as a whole.

My trip was essentially split into two parts. The big group spent a few days in Lake Bled, but I met up with everyone in Ljubljana and just made a day trip to the lake another day. The second part of the trip entailed my parents and aunt and uncle splitting from the group and driving through numerous small towns that were genalogically significant per my dad's research at home and in the archives of Ljubljana.

Without further ado, here's a VERY brief overview of the first half of our trip:

When I first arrived on Sunday morning, I was on my own for a few hours. I was delighted to find myself in a small, tidy capital city. Downtown was easy to navigate on foot, with very little car traffic. The sun was shining and the old buildings were perfectly accentuated with flowerboxes and ivy and riverside charm. Love at first sight. I met up with everyone before dinner and promptly went to bed afterward.

The second day we were there, we had lunch and Polka lessons at a famous old guest house, went on a boat tour, and trekked up to the Ljubljana Castle, which was amazing.

The third day, my mom, Aunt Karen, and I went to Lake Bled and spent a few hours walking around and hiking up 200 steps to glimpse another castle. I can't even imagine what it would've been like to live in a big, cold castle on a sheer cliff. That view would probably make up for it in Bled, though.

The following day, we joined the tour group for a day trip to Piran and had a blast. I could've easily spend a few days there!

It was hard to pick just a few pictures from these adventures...

//across the river//

//the view from my hotel room//

//even the streetlights are cute//

//the Ljubljanica River runs right through Old Town//

//Butcher's Bridge-- one of three main pedestrian bridges//

//Our hotel (the Grand Union Executive) was amazing//

//reflections on the river//

//Ruins of a Roman wall in one of the squares. Mind blowing.//

//I was thrilled with the number of cafes offering gluten-free and vegan treats//


(((insert castle pictures here)))

//My hotel breakfast every morning: roasted veggies, eggwhite frittata, Carniolan sausage...//

//...gluten-free toast with strawberry jam...//


//day trip to Lake Bled//

// look how clear the water is! //

//so many charming gardens//

//Beautiful church in a beautiful setting. What a place to worship!//

//castle + St. Marten's from across the lake//

//infamous chapel on an island in Lake Bled//

//Vintgar Gorge. Worth the windy road trip. Pictures don't do it justice.//

//more crystal clear water and a meticulous path along the edge of the gorge//


//Dad, Mom, Aunt Karen, me, Uncle Pete at dinner//

//one of the most phenomenal meals we ate in Slovenia//

//The staff was so sweet and brought me a stack of soft gluten-free bread//

//many of the foods were simple and naturally gluten-free and our tour guides were always kind enough to double-check for me//

//award-winning Carniolan sausage, mustard, and sauerkraut//

//another foggy morning view of the castle from my room-- this made me smile every morning//

// SO excited to see the ocean! //

//salt flats in Piran//

//at the salt museum//

//more of our daytrip to the sweet coastal town of Piran//

//church steeple//

//view from the belltower//

// Adriatic Sea. 3 oceans in one summer? So blessed. //

//be still, my heart//

//vegan chocolate gelato + sunshine//

//+ the pier//

//the water was so soft and smooth//

//I like to eat my souvenirs, apparently//

 //panoramic from my room//

 //bedtime tea//

Ljubljana, I am sufficiently charmed.  I'll be back!