Today is Meg's 23rd birthday! It's been a weird day not getting to hug her in person. I did skype with her first thing in the morning and was able to see her all dressed up on her birthday. She looked beautiful! It was 2:30 pm in Spain.
Here is a picture of her somewhere in Spain over the holiday. She was in a pomegranate grove...I love this photo of her.
We finally received our Christmas package from her that she sent out the 2nd week of December!! It took forever to get to us!!!
We were super excited to finally get it. How perfect that we opened it on her birthday...she was on skype so she got to see us open it.
She wrote a detailed translation and description of all the goodies!
She said all the individually wrapped items are called "Polvorones & Sortidos dulces" they are all part of the Christmas tradition. Most of them are made just north of her in a giant cookie factory in a town called Estepa. She said the whole town smells like cookies! The only thing that kinda grossed me out was they don't use butter in the cookies....they use pig lard....um, yes, you read that right....pig lard. Once I got past the thought of it, I tasted some of the goodies and you can't tell...just the texture is a little different. They are very delicious!!!
We are huge olive oil users in this home...Meg sent us the best olive oil that Spain has. I love the bottle.
The olive oil comes from a protected natural park in the region of Jaen. She translated the label for us...this is what she wrote:
"Olive oil of superior quality is obtained directly from olives that are only cold-pressed. The cultivation of these olives proceeds the Phoenicians and since the Roman Empire has been converted into one of the most important olive oils in the world for its quality tradition and the volume of its harvest. The olives used in the production of this oil from Our Land, are 100% Picual variety. It is a fruity oil with great balance between sweet flavors, bitter and spicy, and great persistence that culminates into a smooth and elegant bitterness that contributes to its character. Recommended raw, with dressings, with toast or in salsas.
Meg said that they don't use butter over there....they pour olive oil on everything the way we use butter. I can't wait to try this olive oil...it sounds wonderful!
I'm going to share with you all what she wrote in our Christmas card....of course it made me cry.
Daddyo, Momma & Sisterface,
It hurts my heart to be here thousands of miles away from the ones I love on such a special day. But the experience itself is bittersweet. Bitter-because I see all of these families preparing for the holidays together, and it makes me miss y'all so so much. But something about the absence is sweet too. Sweet-because I'm fulfilling a dream here, because I had amazing parents to push me and encourage those dreams and because I had a little sister to share those dreams with and imagine in our childhood. I will miss all of you very much on Christmas day...but I hope my absence makes you appreciate your time together even more. 2011 is an exciting year! I can't wait to show all of you this beautiful place...and most importantly, I can't wait to share this experience with those who made it happen! Love you so much!
Forever, always & no matter what, Meg
Somehow getting this package today made it easier that we aren't sharing her birthday with her. I'm extremely proud of the woman she has become. She is an amazing teacher (her students love her) she is strong & independent, loving, kind, and Beautiful! I made brownies with fudge topping for dessert and we are going to sing happy birthday to her. I can't wait to hug her neck in March.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEG!!!