April 27, 2012


Over the past month, we've had a lot of visitors, and it's been so much fun! Matt and I have loved seeing our family and friends and getting to show them where we live. It's really helped this last part of the year go by fast. Here is a summary of the last month.

First, the whole Robertson family came to visit!
In Madrid in front of the Royal Palace

We went to Madrid for two days, got to see a Real Madrid futbol game, Salamanca for one day, ate at Cuatro Postes (the Hotel here in Avila where Matt eats all his meals with the team and where Matt and I lived for the first 3 weeks we were here), walked on top of the wall in Avila, went to Matt's basketball game, and just enjoyed hanging out together. 
Here are a few pictures from their trip:
at the Real Madrid game

The Cathedral across from the Royal Palace in Madrid

A Cathedral and statue in Salamanca

Brothers at the train station

On top of the wall in Avila with the Cathedral in the background

The next week, my mom came for a visit. On the day she flew into Madrid, there was an organized general strike in all of Spain - crazy! The trains weren't running because of the strike, so we had to wait until 4 pm to catch a bus back to Avila. We saw some of Madrid with her suitcase in tote, got some tapas, and crashed that night. We went back to Madrid for 2 days later in her visit, got to do the tour of the inside of the Royal Palace (my favorite thing!), went to Salamanca for a day, ate at Cuatro Postes, walked on top of the wall and went in the Cathedrals in Avila. 

Tapas in Madrid near Plaza Mayor 

Plaza Mayor

Hot chocolate and pastries in Avila

On top of the Wall in Avila looking down at a Cathedral

On top of the wall in Avila, different Cathedral in background

A city building that used to be a palace in Madrid

In front of the Royal Palace in Madrid

The Royal Gardens

Eating lunch with some of my English teacher friends, Carol, Diana, and Sylvia

My mom was here doing Santa Semana, or Holy Week, leading up to Easter. In Avila there are processions every day with a band and people carrying floats with statues representing different things about the Holy Week. We got to see several of these, and they were pretty cool to watch. It was strange though because the costumes everyone in the parade wears are basically the same hats that were worn by the Ku Klux Klan, which is freaky, but they have no relation to each other. Here, these hats and robes are worn in all different colors and are associated with the Holy Week celebrations. 

A week after my mom left, our friends Heidi and Ian came to visit for a couple days. They came to Madrid for a few days, then Avila to see us, then went to Barcelona for the rest of the week. We were so excited to see them! I can't believe you guys made it to Spain to see us. Unfortunately the weather was awful, rainy and windy and cold, I hope it was better in Barcelona! This is the only picture I have from their visit, I guess we took all the pictures with their camera.

Heidi and me at a coffee shop

Thanks so much to everyone who made a trip to come visit! Matt and I have missed family and friends a lot this year, so it was great to see all of you! Who wants to come visit next year? Who knows what country or city we will be in - start saving now! :)

April 19, 2012

Home is where the Heart is

{I found this on Pinterest}

I remember the first time I accidentally said "I'm going home!" and I was referring to my freshman dorm at Alabama, not to my family's house. I felt so weird saying that. Since then, it doesn't seem as big of a deal...home is Tutwiler, the Alpha Chi house, Matt's house in Birmingham, my family's house in Birmingham, our apartment in Orlando... and now Spain, kind of. But not really. In college, "home" was where ever my stuff was, but now it has become the opposite - where ever my stuff isn't - and where ever Matt is.

Matt loves Florida, and the whole time we lived in Orlando, I liked it, but I really loved Birmingham, and the idea of living in the south (as in, southern culture, which Florida is not really part of). I kept telling him that once we left I would probably love it and miss it. Well....since living in Spain, I always think of my true home as our apartment in Orlando. I guess mostly because it's the only place Matt and I have ever lived together, so it feels like our home. It's hard for me to realize that apartment doesn't exist anymore, someone else is probably living there now, with different furniture and everything. But I still picture it as home.

Matt and I both whole heartedly want to pursue this basketball thing, however long that lasts and wherever it takes us. I realize this will probably leave us "homeless" for awhile. All of our possessions are in storage, except for our clothes that are with us (I am struggling to learn to "pack light"). We will have an apartment in a foreign country from August - May, then come back to Birmingham (at least for this summer) and live with our families or rent somewhere to live. I think there are some amazing positives, but also some negatives, to being "homeless". I think one of the main positives for me personally is trying to realize that stuff doesn't really matter, who you are with matters. I could not do this by myself. I took a one week mission trip to Romania my senior year of high school and got homesick. I hated my freshman year of college and came home all the time. But with Matt, I'm home. In Orlando I never got homesick, and here I miss home, but really I'm great because my best friend is with me.

This summer I went with Matt to one of his shooting (basketball shooting, not gun shooting...obviously, but just in case :)) lessons. I was sitting there watching him work and Ephesians 3:20 came into my mind:

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations...".

I was just thinking that God has given me so much more than I even know to ask for. I always thought I would meet some guy in college who was pretty great, and we would get married a little while after that, he would have an 8-5 office job, I would work until we have kids, then I would be a soccer mom, and we would live in Birmingham, or maybe move away for awhile and then move back. That sounds like a great life.... But instead, I got to marry someone that my family already knew, I already knew his family, we have a few pictures together from when we were younger, and we got to fall in love while we were both still in college. We got to be different and get married while he was still in college. Then he took me to Orlando, Florida. Now he is taking me who knows where all over the world while he plays professional basketball, which is way more fun than an office job. He is so amazing and such a wonderful husband, best friend, everything. I don't know how I ever had fun in life without him. And he loves the Lord so much. God has given me way more than I could ever ask for.

This year, starting with this past summer, when crazy things happen, or when nothing happens and we have to wait, Matt and I both are learning to trust God. When I struggle to trust that His plan is perfect, I only need to look back and see that he has been faithful, and that he has given me more already than I ever would have dreamed on my own. So maybe if my prayers don't get answered the way I planned, maybe I should trust that he has something different, and better, in store.


About two months ago some of my English teacher friends had a day off and were so kind to take me to some villages around Avila searching for Castles! It was really fun, and here are some pictures from the day:

My friend Diana

Me in front of the Castle

Unfortunately there wasn't anything inside, just overgrown grass and some rocks

The back of the castle was literally built into the mountain rocks

View of Avila from the Castle, you can barely see it

Some Chick-fil-a cows in a village we drove through; according to my friends these are milking cows

Another castle and restaurant, but it was closed

Some small houses in the tiny villages we were driving through

More cows, just wondering around 
A hotel in the mountains near Avila - near meaning about a 1 hour drive through the mountians! It was beautiful though, and the hotel is very old, with a gorgeous view out the back.