Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our visit to Holland...

This past weekend we drove to a lovely little town in Germany called Braunschweig. This is an area that Brock spent six months of his mission in. We got to stay with the Jobs family who are absolutely the most kind, loving, and practically perfect family! They had the most adorable kids and we just loved spending time with them. While we were there they took us to one of the coolest places we have ever been. It was a windmill park! There were giant windmills from all over the world in this one place. It was so beautiful! This was definitely one of our favorite places we have been this summer. We truly felt like we had stepped into Holland. The funny thing is that there were bus loads of people there from Holland because it is so rare to have this many windmills all in one place and they wanted to see it.

Us with the cute Jobs kids. The little one right in front of me held my hand all day and was reluctant to let go for pictures- it was really cute.

This is from the inside of the windmill looking up. It was so cool to be able to go inside all of them and walk up to the top.

This is the Spanish windmill.

This windmill is from Greece.

These are the water mills.

We were told it brings good luck to kiss across these tables so of course we wouldn't pass up a chance for some love and luck!

There is also a sentimental reason that the windmill park was so special to me. My mom absolutely loves windmills and tulips and anything about Holland. The reason is that when my cute sister Jayclyn was born with Downs Syndrome it was quite a shock for our family and especially my mom. This story called "Welcome to Holland" brought her great comfort throughout the many difficulties that come with raising a child with a disability.

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome To Holland".

"Holland?!?" you say, "What do you mean "Holland"??? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy"

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned".

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

We are so grateful to have Jayclyn in our family and windmills are one sentimental reminder of the great blessing she is in our lives! Love you Jay!


Ben and Camille said...

wow. what a sweet post. i love those pictures, they are so gorgeous and that story just made me tear up. thanks for the post!

Jessie said...

I knew your mom loved windmills and associated them with Jayclyn but never heard the story why before. Glad you are enjoying every moment before you head back to the states. Are you excited for those second graders?

Kylee said...

I loved the post. What a wonderful place to visit and to have Jared as your guide, I know that you got a first rate tour. The pictures are "fantastic". I loved the sweet story and the tribute that you paid to Jaclyn. I remember when Darren and Sarah posted that story on Jack's blog. It is such a great reminder that we need to find happiness wherever we are. I love you guys. Love, Mom

Michelle said...

What a sweet post and a cute story! Love it all!

The Froerer's said...

Cute post Air Dog! Mom is going to love all your pictures. She'll probably print each windmill and frame it somewhere. I can't believe we'll see you so soon. Poor Brock will be without his cute traveling companion. We miss you guys- love ya!

Ryan and Heidi said...

What an amazing once in a lifetime chance you guys have to see all these fun places! You and Brock are such a cute little couple!

Steph and Brady said...

Arrienne, you are such a sweetheart! I love this post! The windmills are so awesome in those pictures and I love that story. I don't think I have ever heard that before, but it is perfect! That picture of you and Jayclyn is so cute! She is such a sweet girl! I hope you two keep having so much fun before you have to come back!

Aunt Lulu said...

What a wonderful post! Your photography is fabulous. You frame your pictures so artistically and catch the sun just right. I'm so glad that you got to spend time with the Jobs family. They are such wonderful people. Jared looks good! Your tribute to Jaclyn and your mom was so sweet. I'm so proud of both of you.
Lots of Love, Aunt Lulu

Nick & Lindsey said...

I got a little teary eyed! That was lovely! So I got your message but my caller id said unknown number when you called so I couldn't call you back :( Anyways... We are coming up this Saturday. Will you be home?

Hansen Adventures said...

itlooks BEAUTIFUL!! :) miss you love you!

The Hansen's said...

Dear... I had goosebumps and tears at the same time! That is so special. I miss you. Come home.

hilary said...

what a sweet post, arrienne. i love that story, it made me get all choked up. looks like you guys had fun, i love all the windmill pictures!