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Back home…

We are back home from our trip to Ohio. We had a great time (as I’m sure you noticed in my previous post) as usual. I always enjoy my roots as a small town girl when I’m there.

My mother, brother and the boys and I celebrated the feastday of Sts. Peter & Paul at the Nativity of the Theotokos monastery in Saxonburg, PA. If I ever moved closer to home, this is where I’d want to be…

Oh, and on the way there it dawned on me that my favorite NFL player might be there (since he attends so frequently). I have to admit I got kind of excited at the thought of meeting him and his family, especially their new little one. I immediately started thinking of all the questions I would ask him about his faith and our kids, etc. Unfortunately he wasn’t there and I didn’t get my chance…Maybe next time. :)

It is such a beautiful monastery! I am in love with the chapel to St. Seraphim of Sarov. It looks like a log cabin and has a little creek in the back that miraculously appeared shortly after the founding of the monastery. The rose bushes in front of the church are breathtaking! I have never seen so many different colors and types of roses before! This picture does them no justice at all.

Here are some more highlights:

Lucky and my mother going to venerate inside the church

Lucky and I in the back of the church

The view of the creek from the back of the church

My brother and I with the boys on the bridge

Ace drinking water from the creek

Ace and Lucky walking back to the trapeza

Liturgy was beautiful and afterwards we had the blessing of eating breakfast with Fr. Demetri Carellas who, in my opinion, is a very special priest. It is apparent how much Grace flows from him and he has such a warm personality. He gave all of the children a button of the Holy Prophet Elias, who will be commemorated on July 20. We also got to spend some time chatting with Gerondissa Theophano and some of the other sisters, a couple who grew up with my mother. She really enjoyed that, as did I.

We also met a wonderful family who had twin boys. It’s so amazing to meet someone for the first time and leave feeling like you’ve known them forever. This has been my experience at every monastery I’ve been to. The bond we all share as Orthodox Christians is truly a blessing!