We are back home from Italy and I apologize for neglecting my blog!  A month in Italy will do that to you...  The time spent there was so incredible and my thoughts are all over the place at this point.  So I'm going to take some time to gather my thoughts and then post TONS of photos from our time there very soon.

But today I did want to come on here and ask you to pray for a family that we just adore that is from Italy.  We have known this family since 2013 and they have invited us into their home many times, we've had one of their sons stay with us here in California a couple summers ago and we just love this family.  

Last night we got the news that the father passed away.  We are so saddened by this news and our hearts are breaking for this family.  Renato was the Doctor of Bellagio.  Everyone knew Renato.  He was a joyful person who loved what he did.  He was so kind and even came on a weekend afternoon to the hotel to help one of my students who was ill during one of my retreats.  He found out in late 2014 that he had a brain tumor.  This news was devastating to the family and to us.  My own father had a brain tumor and passed away last year.  So we know how this family is feeling right now and wish we could be there for them.  We were able to see the two sons this past week but Renato went into the hospital right after we arrived and passed two days after we left.  He will be missed by so many people and I know the family would love your prayers during this time.  Here are a few photos of our time with them over the years.

This was the first time we met Michi's parents.  The story of how we met this family is so great and I will save it for another day.  But they were so welcoming and we instantly felt a deep connection to this family.  This was the winter before their son Michi came to stay with us in California.

This was so funny and maybe Antonella's first "selfie"  which we called an "usie" but this again was at their house.  We spent a FULL day (a lunch that ended up in a pool day, soccer day and then tea and then dinner... hahaha)  

This was the following summer at their house with both boys families (Riccardo and Michi who stayed with us) and my friend Jeanne Oliver.  Another fun day playing soccer and eating wayyyyy too much food.  :) 

A fun "usie" again on the ferry back from our dinner at Al Veluu!  

This was an incredible evening at Al Veluu with both Michi and Riccardo's families.  It was a beautiful night with them and I will never forget when they told us thank you for showing them THEIR LAKE!  They explained to us that even though they live on this beautiful lake in Italy they don't really take the time to go and explore other parts of the lake that much.  This was the first time they had been to this restaurant across the lake from Bellagio and it was so special to them that they could see their lake from a different perspective.  I will cherish this memory forever.

Thank you Dr. Renato Vabanesi for opening your home and lives to this family from California that loves your lake.  We will miss you.

Any prayers for this family I know will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,