In my mind’s eye…

Y’all, I get grief from all sorts of people about having my phone with me almost everywhere I go. (Let’s be honest, I do have my limits so not EVERYWHERE, but we will leave it at that!) I love my iPhone. I’ll admit it. I have a sacred attachment to it. And it’s not for the reasons that you may think.  Yes, I like a regular social media fix and it is both a blessing and a curse to be able to check my email any time from anywhere, but that’s not why my iPhone is my trusted companion. I love my iPhone because it has the ability to be my mind’s eye.

Notice something online that I want to remember? Grab a screen shot. See something in a magazine I want to make note of? Snap a photo. That delicious meal that was plated so perfectly? Capture it before I devour it. I’ve read somewhere that iPhones are ruining our ability to remember on our own. That makes me giggle. I don’t need to blame a phone for that, I can take care of that just fine on my own thank you very much.

img_1946It’s more than all of that – and more than the 12,000 pictures I currently have on my phone (yep, you read that right) – though it has everything to do with memories.

Last summer while working to plant trees on a mountainside in Guatemala with AIR Guatemala, the wind began to blow and I was overwhelmed by the sound.  It was as if the trees erupted in magnificent applause. At the last second, I pulled out my phone and immediately hit “video record” without even knowing or caring what video was being captured – I simply yearned to remember the sound.

A child blowing out the candles on her birthday cake just yesterday has become a moment none of us will forget and, not only will we not forget, we can share that moment with others.img_0984

Or when I was out for a run and passed a honeysuckle bush and immediately thought of sitting on the back porch of my grandma’s house.  I knew that I needed to take a picture to keep that treasured memory alive.  I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

img_3954I know, I know. Feel free to roll your eyes. Feel free to remind me that sometimes the memory of something is enough. And I know all too well that a photo or video can’t truly capture the beauty of every moment. But there are times, times when my mind’s eye draws a blank and I remember that I have a back up.

So, if you see me pulling out my phone at times that seem odd or if you wonder what I’m attempting to photograph, just know that there is a moment that I desire to remember and that you just might be a part of it.




Go ahead, call me a gypsy.

Cinque Terre, Italy. I wouldn't believe if I didn't see it myself.

Cinque Terre, Italy.
I wouldn’t believe if I didn’t see it myself.

Let me just tell you, I have had what just may have been the Best. Summer. Ever. Seriously, the best summer of my life – and I’ve had some good ones. What, you may ask, made it so? I attribute it to three things. ONE: I vowed to not use a hair dryer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Yes, I do live wide open. TWO: It was spent with lots of amazing people who inspire me – my family, friends and church members (yes, I get paid to take amazing trips). And THREE: you know me, I would rather have a passport and a plane ticket in my pocket than have, well, almost anything you can buy. I’m a wanderer. I have travel-lust. Go ahead, call me a gypsy. I don’t mind.

The summer started off in one of my favorite cities in the world: San Antonio, Texas.

San Antonio, Texas. The home of Whataburger. It's not just about margaritas.

San Antonio, Texas.
The home of Whataburger.
It’s not just about margaritas.

The food, the atmosphere, the margaritas, the Spurs, the food. It is the place where my husband proposed to me and a place where I’m completely comfortable.

From there I headed to Guatemala, another place that I love. Everything in Guatemala is in Technicolor. The trees are greener, the flowers are more vibrant, the sky is bluer, the eyes of the people are richer.

Guatemala. Planting roots with AIRES.

Planting roots with AIRES.

Gorgeous. The fact that I came home and tossed my cookies for 2 1/2 days following that trip does not damper my enthusiasm for Guatemala in the least.

After that, I was off to Honduras. Which, in addition to Walt Disney World, is my favorite destination and one of which I never tire. And the bonus of this trip was spending it with my younger daughter who has known Honduras her whole life without ever being there. Priceless. Plus, I have friends there who knew me before any of us were parents. A lot of water has passed under our bridges.

Los Patios, Olancho, Honduras. I can't even.

Los Patios, Olancho, Honduras.
I can’t even.

And then, it was off to a place I have never been – unchartered territory – Italy. It was in a word: SPECTACULAR. My college-age daughter and I met in Milan and took Italy by storm.

The Vatican by moonlight. Stunning.

The Vatican by moonlight. Stunning.

Five cities in nine days. I wrote a travel journal of the sights, sounds and smells. I’ll post it soon now that I’m over my travel withdrawal and can think about it without getting weepy. No, really.

Made it home from Italian paradise in time to run a 10k, walk in a parade, and pack my bags for Valladolid, Mexico, all in the span of 48 hours.

Valladolid, Mexico. Another continent, another catherdral.

Valladolid, Mexico.
Another continent, another cathedral.

A week in the Yucatan Penninsula was muy bueno. While I had been to Valladolid before, it was never my home for a week. New friends, new favorite places to go. And it is a fun name to say.  I love it.

And then, it was home for a few days before heading to Clinton, South Carolina. It is a hot spot. No, it isn’t. But it is homey and quaint and there are good people there. Oh, and a fabulous cow with a goat side-kick.

The Best. Summer. Ever. wrapped up with a trip to Disneyland to celebrate and to run and to raise money for the Tourette Syndrome Association.

Right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A., Disneyland

Right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A., Disneyland.

Everything about it was magical. 19.3 miles is so much fun when you are doing it in a pixie dusted place for a good cause with friends who make you laugh.

Though my hair dryer is still idle, the signs of Fall are upon me. The air is  crisp in the mornings. The sun is setting brilliantly in the sky. The moon will soon be big and bold at night as I drive home. And I’ll pop back here once in a while and remember with gladness the Best. Summer. Ever.