Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birthday Paintings in Slovakia

I've celebrated my birthday in a lot of different places through the years, but today was my first birthday in Slovakia!

There to celebrate our friend Maruška's wedding yesterday, we were kindly invited to the second day of celebration with family and friends.

After spending the night in Bardejov at the home of JV teammates, we made our way back to Kuková.

I honestly felt like I was driving through one beautiful oil painting after another.

If anyone was ever so inclined (Tyler?? Oil painting for your mama??), I'd love to have any one of these "paintings" in our home! It was simply spectacular as we drove 45 minutes between the two places.

Eventually we found our way to this serene setting for Daniel and Maruška's second wedding day celebration.

Gathering at Maruška's family cabin for more amazing food, conversation and fun, people soaked in the day's beauty.

Taking a hike up the hill to the look-out tower in the background, I captured these four "in-flight"!

Maruška told us we didn't want to miss the view from the tower. And she was SO right!!

This would make a lovely oil painting as well!

The Shepperson girls, also JV kids like Claire, were at the celebration too with their parents. They've grown up in Slovakia since they were just one and three years old. They're now 14 and 16! So sweet to capture these three JVK together.

The girls stayed up at the tower as I made my way back down to the cabin, but I just happened to turn around and see this from a distance. Glad I had my camera ready!

The atmosphere of the morning and afternoon just couldn't have been sweeter. So relaxed, happy and loving, people gladly joined in this joyous second day of Daniel and Maruška's wedding celebration.

With old and new friends alike, it was as if time stood still for the morning and afternoon while we relaxed and enjoyed time together.

New friend, Mary, who came from South Carolina for the wedding!

Just as I headed to say good-bye to Maruška, she was lovingly gathering up one of her wedding bouquets to bless me on my birthday! We grabbed a photo with some of her dear girls who were bridesmaids and helped with all the wedding preparations.

The drive back across Slovakia was another series of "paintings", merely taken from the window of the car, but spectacular nonetheless!

I felt as if it was God's birthday gift to me to have such a feast for my eyes. Gorgeous!

August 17, 2014 will forever be a sweet birthday memory, spent with people I love, in a very beautiful place!

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