I thought I'd do a catch up post today... Hopefully, post some more recipes tonight, and get a few more thoughts in before I leave on vacation Wednesday. So here goes:
Since my last post, in April, I have:
**Attended a Bible Training at Luther Seminary April 29-30. Amazing! All new ways to study and explore and teach the Bible... I'm kind of a dork, but I loved it!
**The hubby's sister and fiance came to pick up her son (who, as you might remember, was with us for his spring break - by choice?!). We had a very fun evening out at San Pedro Cafe in Hudson and were surprised to find out that we would be welcoming a new niece or nephew in December! So fun!
**Enjoyed an evening at Aster Cafe in Minneapolis, listening to Chris Pureka. Good times!
**Surprised the hubby with a "Stay-cation" weekend. A Thursday night Cory Chisel concert at the Cedar Cultural Center. Friday night dinner at Brasa, Mike Mangione concert at Aster Cafe, and a surprise overnight at Nicollet Island Inn... Breakfast at French Meadow Bakery (can I just say triple YUM?!), fun playing in the city, and drinks with friends that evening. A WONDERFUL weekend!
**A Mother's Day weekend surprise from our little god-daughter, Elly. She had some presents to be hand-delivered, so we met at Minnehaha Falls - played at the park, enjoyed some ice cream, and raced each other around the trees. A perfect visit.
**Our church started doing "Conspiracies of Kindness." Our first one was the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend... We spent part of an afternoon handing out flowers and notes of appreciation to women walking through our Village area - and when they asked why? We just told them we were doing a "practical act of kindness to show God's love." It was a fun activity and the women seemed to really appreciate their flowers!
**Dinner at my parents' house on Mother's Day! Dad and I both helped prepare dinner - and it was delish! (Steaks on the grill - a la my dad, and morel mushroom risotto. Mmmm....) It was a fun evening celebrating Mom!
**Our end-of-the-year Confirmation Retreat was in May - one of my favorite parts of the Confirmation process. I got to spend half a day with two 9th grade boys talking about faith - and they were actually interested, engaged, and having fun! (So much so, that when we were running behind, they asked if they could just stay longer... Wow!)
**We celebrated the hubby's sister's wedding the third weekend in May! Such a great weekend - and a beautiful wedding! It was such a gift to be there and see Kerry finally make all her dreams come true... Woo-hoo!
(My favorite pic of the day - mom of the bride and the groom get their first look at the bride!)
(Brandon, Kerry, and Dan - one happy family!)
(Our nephew, Evan. It's hard work being the most handsome ring-bearer ever!)
**Hubby got a new car... It's a sporty little Pontiac Vibe - the car he's been wanting for a few years. So fun to make that happen - but so sad to say good-bye to our little Mazda Protege. That car was our first purchase together (While we were still dating - good thing everything worked out, huh?!), and has been on countless fun and exciting road trips... She'll be missed.
**We managed to sneak in a late night concert on a Thursday at the Red Stag Supper Club... A 10pm show for Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers. Great music! (But hubby was tired the rest of the weekend...)
**Another busy weekend: Friday attending a concert in our Village area and having dinner with my friend, Jill, at Mendoberri Cafe afterwards. The music was ok, the food was yummy, and the company was great! Then, Saturday was spent at a City Parks Celebration. I got to try my hand at facepainting (which I think I was getting the hang of!), enjoy a visit from little Elly, and play with the goats in the petting zoo! That night we went to Lake Harriet Bandshell to hear a new band - Matt Moberg. Great stuff!
Davina and the Vagabonds with my parents, happy hour at The Herkimer, and dessert at Sebastian Joe's ice cream... Man. That was a GOOD weekend!
**Coffee with my old youth group member, Kelsey, before she left for South Africa for 5 weeks! So fun to see these "kids" grow up - and still get to be a part of it. My friend, Jill, and I went together on a necklace for Kelsey to take to Africa, a reminder that her "2 big sisters" are thinking of her and sending prayers her way...
**Celebrating Confirmation and Graduation at church! What a fun day to bless and support these youth as they take new steps in their life... We got to confirm the two 9th grade boys, Matt and Jake, that I've worked with for 3 years - and loved every moment. They are kind, smart, loyal, creative, full of questions, and able to think about faith in all kinds of deep and meaningful ways. And they're just a blast to be with!
**A hike in Afton State Park with the hubby and dog. I didn't have any asthma problems and didn't have to continually stop while climbing the big hills! Woo-hoo! (Although, it's pretty cute - our dog automatically stops at each bench and looks at me like, "Momma, do you need a rest?") And, hubby decided to do another loop hike, so I got to hike by myself for awhile - I came across a deer, 10 feet from the path. I had a rough morning, and was still upset about something - and when that deer looked up, and our eyes met, it was the perfect moment of prayer. We stood there looking at each other for several minutes - and I just felt my heart soften... A beautiful moment! When I met up with the hubby again, we saw bluebirds and many more deer... Awesome. We ended our hike with a picnic dinner by the river...
**An all day trip to Valleyfair with six youth from our church... An EXHAUSTING, and fun, day. Two of the boys brought their girlfriends - very fun. These kids are so polite and respectful, and sincere and honest, that I really have a good time being with them. (And they get a real kick when I scream bloody murder on the rides!)
**Dinner with some of our favorite people - Em and Jeremy - at Mediterranean Cruise Cafe... Good mediterranean food and belly dancers. Who could ask for more? (It kind of made me want to take a belly dancing class... Weird, huh?)
**Another dinner out with more fun people! The parents of my two confirmands and the boys took hubby and I to a tiki-themed restaurant, Psycho Suzi's. Hilarious place! Great food and drinks... A fun atmosphere! We had a lot of fun telling stories about the kids and each other - and so fun to celebrate a great three years - and look forward to what's to come!
**And this weekend, we went to the Stone Arch Arts Festival in Minneapolis. I went by myself last year and loved it - so this year the hubby and I decided to spend a whole day out there. I even went online and planned what stages I wanted to be at when, for the best music experiences! Well, it rained for half the day - but that just gave us an excuse to hide out in cafes for bits of time... We actually had a lot of fun, saw some great music (my favorite was a band called "Farewell Milwaukee"), and loved the people-watching! (We saw 3 doggie strollers with yorkies inside - one with 3 little doggies inside! Whoa.)
And awesome month and a half... Here are some things I'm thankful for tonight:
1. So many opportunities to do and see fun things in our city. Love it.
2. Music. Can't imagine life without it!
3. Having a job I love - with so many wonderful people.
4. Moments with family - to celebrate, laugh, try new things, and have fun with!
5. My Dad! It's Father's Day today!
6. And my grandpas - who I miss everyday.
7. A quite day... Lots of naps.
8. Two more days til VACATION!
9. This picture - and the fact that Bailey's days of the "cone of shame" are over! (Although we laughed for 2 weeks straight!)