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Tarland, Chasing Daylight, Scotland Walks, Aberdeenshire

Chasing Daylight in Tarland, Scotland

I will forever remember it as one of the loveliest walks of our entire time in Scotland. It was Taido’s birthday weekend and we talked Ben and Simon into getting out for a longer day so we drove a little further than usual (over an hour) and hiked a little further than usual (over 10 …

Whitney Loibner Chinos in Switzerland 2014

20 years

On New Year’s Eve, Taido and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. This amazes me on so many levels. 20 years? Didn’t we both just turn 20? But then we watched the video recording of our wedding with my entire family and indeed, there we were, 20 years younger. All kinds of bad hair and …

Beauty from Ashes

Beauty from Ashes Twelve years ago today, we received one of those phone calls you never want to get. A family friend called from Switzerland to let Taido know that his father had tragically drowned trying to recover his daughter, Maya, who had also drowned. Maya, Taido’s half-sister, was five years old at the time, …

A Short Love Story, Valentine's Day

A Short Love Story (for Valentine’s Day) photo by Whitney Loibner, who shared our love letters on her blog recently. A Short Love Story (for Valentine’s Day) Recently I opened up a document I had put away for a while because I wanted to be able to look at it with fresh eyes. And here is what my fresh eyes saw: …

A Story about A Thesis

A Story about A Long Time Goal

A Story about A Long Time Goal When my husband sat me down and told me that he wanted to finish his masters’ thesis, quit his job and move our family abroad to get a PhD, I told him to go for it. “I’m all in for this adventure,” I said. But in all honesty, …

Grateful for Camp

I am so grateful for a wonderful weekend at Castle Bluff with our middle school students from church.  It’s been a couple of years since I made it to one of Taido’s camps so I had enough distance that I was able to wonder afresh at the experience. Lots of treasures on my Grateful List …

Venice, Italy

venice in the morning, travel in italy, gorgeous venice picture

Venice was our last stop on our anniversary trip to Italy in 2004.  It’s one of those places you see pictures of all your life, but you cannot even believe it is real when you get there.

It is decadent and glorious and everything you could imagine.  Even in December.

lovely venice travel picture collage

December 9, 2004

Venice Italy

Where do I even begin?

Venice is absolutely breathtaking.  The whole city is just oozing elegance.  From the very first moments on Vaporetto #1, I have been in awe.

Like a great maze, there is a treasure around every corner, a beautiful church, shops full of every possible color of glass and marbled paper, bright and elaborate masks, bridges, market stalls and gondolas.  I have waked around in a dazed dream-like state.

Yesterday we just walked and walked and walked.  We had the most wonderful sandwiches and cicchetti (Italian tapas) which we ate on a bridge.  We went to San Marco and just stood there in the square.

We went back today to tour the cathedral and we took our time because I was enamored with every detail.  The whole inside of the building was covered in mosaics and the pieces are tiny!  When I got up close to them I could not believe all the tiny little quarter inch tiles.

My favorite mosaic was the one of Jesus sitting on the throne ruling His kingdom.  Our guidebook said that Jesus was commonly pictured like this (instead of on a cross) in Byzantine cultures.  I bought a postcard of this mosaic to remember Jesus this way–Sovereign over all, his hands stretched out in front of him, welcoming.  Not to worry.  He’s handling all things.

lovely venice travel picture collage, italy, beautiful

At the moment, Mary Polly and I are traveling Europe by Mediterranean Cruise.  You can keep up with us while we are gone on twitter, instagram and facebook!  

San Gimignano, Italy

A Day in San Gimignano, Italy Taido and I went to Italy for our 10th anniversary in 2004.  We were married in December, so we chose to go during that month even though we were taking a chance on the weather.  We did have some rainy, cold days, but the lack of crowds at all …

Italy 2004

Falling in Love with Italy Eight years ago, Taido and I walked hand in hand in the streets of Italy. It was December.  We were celebrating being married for 10 years. We fell in love with the Renaissance in Florence, we picnicked in the ruins of a Tuscan hill town, and we succumbed to the …

Banff Hiking Trails: Larch Valley

Banff Hiking Trails: Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass On Taido’s birthday we did what was maybe the most beautiful hike I’ve ever seen. We hiked through Larch Valley up to Sentinel Pass which leaves from Moraine Lake. Moraine Lake is very near Lake Louise and is similar in that a trail runs along one side …


Happy Big FOUR! O! to the man I love most in the world! I’m so grateful for all the years I’ve gotten to spend with him and for the journeys we still have ahead together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I cannot imagine doing life with anyone else. It is more …

Mt Windom, Colorado

Remember all those different blog posts about our trip to Colorado last summer? I guess I got a little burned out on mountain pictures, because I neglected to put these up from Ben’s inaugural backpacking trip. My dad, Taido and Bobby take the graduating seniors backpacking every summer before they head off to college. They …

Fall Castle Bluff Camps

One of the events that marks our autumn season every year are our middle and high school Fall Castle Bluff camps at church. So much of what happens in our youth programs at church pours out of these events and they take an enormous amount of support to pull off. Taido and Bobby and their …