Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Amelie's Thankful Cornucopia. 
I love Thanksgiving.  I enjoy time spent with family (and extended family that I don't see often) and eating great food.  One of my family's traditions after the large meal is to take turns around the table stating one thing for which they are thankful.  Since we could not take part in the festivities this year due to our distance, I started to incorporate stating one thing each family member was thankful for during our bedtime routine.  I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing Amelie and Liam's responses.  For the most part, I am not surprised by their answers, but there are definitely nights that they surprise me.  Liam will often copy what Amelie has stated, but that is fine because he is 2! :)  Amelie usually ends her thankful list of what we did or treats we ate with the fact that she is thankful for her family.  I love that she loves us each so!

There was a time in life that I felt stuck in a rut and battled being depressed.  A close friend encouraged me to write a thankfulness journal in which I wrote down everything for which I was thankful at the close of each day.  I have not kept up with it consistently, but it was so powerful in shaping my perspective.  I am hoping that our bedtime routine will translate into a life of thankfulness.

Liam showing off his turkey hand.
This Thanksgiving the Walker's did not get to enjoy a turkey feast or time with extended family, but we do continue to count our blessings.  I am just beginning to scrape the surface in understanding the impact this year of traveling has had on me.  I am incredibly thankful for life, and the chance to look at each new day as an awaiting adventure.  Children are a gift and I hope my children know how treasured they are each and every day.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to be with them day in and day out. I am thankful that being with my husband 24/7 for the last year+ has not changed the fact that I still want to continue to spend every day with him.  These are some of the things that have made my thankful list for this year.

On Thanksgiving day, we climbed to the top of the Cathedral of St. Duje (Katedrala Svetog Duje).  The Cathedral of St. Duje is composed of three different sections of different ages. The main part is Emperor Diocletian's mausoleum, which dates from the end of the 3rd century. The mausoleum was built like the rest of the palace with white local limestone and marble of high quality, most of which was from marble quarries on the island of Brač.  The Bell Tower was constructed in the year 1100 AD. Later, in the 17th century a chorus was added to the eastern side of the mausoleum.  The Cathedral of Saint Duje is the oldest cathedral in the world.  Also, the bell tower is the icon of the city.
The stone guards at the entrance of the cathedral.
Climbing the very many steps to the top.  The wide open windows at each level along with not having very many bars on the rails was extremely unnerving to be done with small children.

The view of the city and Marjan Hill from the top.
I held Liam the entire time at the top and then back down the stairs again...good workout! ;)

After climbing to the top of the tower, we went into the mausoleum and choir stalls.  It was difficult taking pictures while making sure Liam did not damage anything.  After doing a little research, I am amazed that these artifacts were not under more security.   I have learned that one of the unique aspects about Split is that this is a living archeological ruins area.  Meaning, the ruins have been lived in since way back when and continue to be lived in and used to this day.  We were also distracted as we met some tourist from the Atlanta area and chatted with them while we looked around.  So, instead of my boring pictures you can see the interior of the mausoleum by watching this video I found while doing research on the place:

Liam dancing under the hexagonal stone pulpit built in 1257!
I would not have let him near had I known it's age!
The wooden doors depicting 28 scenes of Jesus' life made ​​by local artist, Andrew Buvina, in 1214.
I casually took this picture as we were leaving.  Again, when I found out the history I was floored.
There is not much signage around town for us to be learning from...
Afterwards, we walked through the old town back to our apartment.  A couple of pictures of places I think I have yet to share are below.
Amelie is standing next to ancient tile floor remains.  Being able to still see the patterns is so cool!

Next to the peristyle is a room of the residential area of Diocletian.
Amelie and Bobby are posing as statues in the niches.  

The ancient peristyle.  It was built recessed so that Diocletian would appear taller.
There are feral cats everywhere....and they travel in packs...
Here Liam is taunting one and getting a kick out of it.
Amelie and Liam enjoyed hot chocolate while Bobby and I enjoyed warm Bubble Tea (yes it's a thing...from Taiwan).
Our Thanksgiving Feast (well food, not really a feast) of fried chicken sandwiches and french fries followed by gelato.
Life is precious.  No matter where we are I pray that my perspective is how valuable life is!  I hope that we continue to tackle each new day as an adventure waiting to be had...because it truly is! :)

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