Monday, March 30, 2009

Back, Alive

First things first. Kill us if we really name any daughter Taormina. And, no, we're leaving babies to Rudy and Ika right now.

Now that that's taken care of, we just got back from a perfect three day trip to Rome with Matt. Penn's drawing class and I got a personal Baroque tour of the city. We saw architecture and paintings, ceilings and piazze, sculpture and fountains (often the same thing). We got to have pizza at this perfectly authentic Roman pizzeria (I had gorgonzola and speck pizza..Mmmmmm) and a homemade meal by Matt Doll himself. I will try to replicate that entire meal for everyone when we get back, but I just don't think they make sausage there like they do here in the tiny butcher shops on Roman side streets. It was to die for!

We saw a slew of famous pieces:

Michaelangelo's Moses
Bernini's Four Rivers
Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel
Raphael's School of Athens and his Transfiguration of Christ
Caravaggio's Crucifixion of St. Peter and his Conversion of Saul

I fell in love with a painting I'd never heard of before that weekend. It's called Madonna di Loreto or Madonna of the Pilgrims and it's another Caravaggio. Google's really incredible the way baby Jesus is portrayed. Put it this way, he doesn't even have a smile on his face, nevermind a halo, and Mary looks like she's been trying to put him to bed for an hour. It's just incredibly real and relevant, especially seeing it in its intended setting.

Penn and I finished out the weekend away from the other 15 students at Matt's favorite restaurant in all of Rome, Maccheroni. We split a Roman artichoke to start and a 1/2 liter of vino rosso. Then Penn had Penne alla Gricia, which is like Carbonara without the eggs and in a white wine sauce, and I had Fettuccini al Pesto, which I haven't had since we've been here! We both slugged down a caffe to finish it off and ran to meet up with the group. We have to bring at least one set of family there when you come to visit! It was so great.

Please pray for us while we await news of grad school and our future. We're happy with whatever the result, but big news is stressful to await...mostly for me. We'll keep you posted on the news.


  1. Nose stud = cute as a button, although it appeared to go in rather sharply. Ahhhh... a Graceblog isn't a Graceblog without me getting hungry after reading it.

    LORD, we pray that You would grant Your peace to both Penn and Grace... that they would sense a relaxed confidence in KNOWING that the plans You have for them in the coming months are PERFECT. We can't necessarily know WHAT those plans are but we CAN step out boldy and ask that You grant them a YES from either one of the two school's graduate programs. As they sense any tightness in the belly of 'not-knowing,' I pray that You would help them use that as a triggering mechanism to release all that tension to You and put on the 'balm of calm' that is the mind of Christ... a gift that only You can give them. You have said to us, "You have not because you ask not..." so, to honor You we ask specifically for a 'yes.' That is the desire of our heart. In Jesus' name... Amen.

  2. beautiful painting! you're right- so different from other paintings of Mary and Jesus.