1. Our church has selected a new pastor. Karl and I haven't been to church in almost two months - this is a record for me (other than the four years I missed while in college). But Karl and I have been gone or busy with weddings since Memorial Day weekend. I will say it was nice to be back. I love my church friends and I don't know where I'd be without Transfiguration Lutheran Church. Honestly, I feel so blessed for the community of our church. Does anyone else feel like a new person when they walk out of church on Sunday morning? There's an extra lightness in the air and with each step.
I was extremely close to our senior pastor, probably because we worked together for four years after I first moved to Minnesota. When Karl and I met with our pastor (Pastor Vern) last year to go over last minute wedding details, he told us he was leaving. I bawled. I never thought I would do that for a "pastor"!?!?! But I did. Maybe it was the banana pancakes at the The Original Pancake House (Joe Nathan of the Minnesota Twins eats here!) we’d have some mornings to catch up or because he had such an enormous impact on my life. He was by far the best boss I’ve had to date. He taught me more about effective communication than any of my professors in college ever did. I miss him dearly. But I am ready to meet the new guy and I hope he can handle me! Time to move forward!
2. The Oil Spill in the Gulf has been contained
Thank GOD! THANK God. Amen.
3. Planning a vacation with the in-laws
Karl's parents are graciously taking us on a trip this winter. I am excited! Problem is - nobody really knows where we want to go. I could tell you where I want to go: Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, every little island in the Caribbean, etc., etc. So I had a BAD experience in Mexico and feel like I don't ever need to go back. I think that's probably where we'll end up, and that's OK. I know I can be persuaded, but after our honeymoon in St. Lucia, there will always be a special place in my heart for the Caribbean. I just wish travel wasn't so expensive!! Any recommendations? Someone recommended a cool website called Vacation Rentals By Owners. WOW! Now I just want to use this and travel the world! Must finish writing my book so I can reach the best seller list!
4. I can't keep up with my magazine subscriptions
I have a teeeeeeny obsession with magazines. Let's see...I get Us Weekly, People, Health, Women's Health, Self, Shape, Fitness, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, Real Simple and Redbook starting very soon. I mean, a year subscription for $5.99 is a steal!! A year ago, I'd plop down on the couch and read the entire magazine the second it hit my mailbox. I promise, one of these days I'll have an article in one of these magazines!!Today, I have stacks lying all over. Now I understand why my mom has this very same problem! It's all starting to make sense...
5. My love affair with Chipotle
I could probably eat Chipotle three times a week without complaining. I love their food. It's healthy and you can mix it up so it tastes like something new every time! What food could I eat for the rest of my life, you ask? Chipotle, pizza and fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. Raspberries, cherries, strawberries and blueberries are in my top four of favorite fruits...there's a tie for fifth: kiwi, watermelon and mangos. God, I love summer!
6. Is there volleyball in heaven?
In the sixth grade my best friend Laura picked up a volleyball. We started passing the ball (it was called "bumping" in the 80s and 90s) back and forth. I was hooked. Laura encouraged me to try out in the seventh grade. We made the team! And I have been playing ever since. That's about 19 years of volleyball under my belt. I'm sure the day I stop playing for good will be a day of great sadness. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and play with the knowledge I know now. Life is funny like that! I also wish my coaches in college would have let me play a little more. Damn politics!!!
7. South Africa
My younger brother, Mark, and my sister-in-law, Amy, (who we call Tater Tot), are supposed to come back to the states November 11. Our plan was to have a huge welcome home party for them back in Roscoe, Illinois. THEN out of nowhere Mark's work asked them to stay another month! NOOOOOOOOO! WTF! Seriously. Again, life is funny - nothing goes as planned! But just in case Mark’s boss reads this: I AM SAD!!! We want them HOME!!!
8. Wanted: Husband for my $100k Wedding
I'm on chapter 11 and I'm LOVING my book. I know I'm not pumping out chapters at the rate other hopeful writers are, but I'm trying! I will say this book has been so much fun to write. I just hope agents and publishers will see this...
9. Old Spice Commerical
I don't know if you had a chance to watch the Old Spice commercial but it cracks me up and I think it'll make you laugh as well! My husband thinks the man behind "old spice" is Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins. There is an eerie resemblance. I'd Google it if I were you...
10. Mental illness is wide spread
I know my fair share of people who suffer from mental illness, and yet there are so many who are scared to admit this or share their stories. Or they assume it's something else. Maybe it's cancer or migraines or stomach issues? The brain is SO powerful. Do not underestimate it!
Do not be afraid or feel alone - there are others who need YOU! I wish I could understand better what these dear friends of mine are going through, but it's hard to relate. To me, shutting the brain off from thinking or worrying is as simple as flipping a light switch. To them, controlling their thoughts is near impossible. And I don't get that.
I won’t lie - I will spend countless hours wondering what heaven will be like or how I'm going to react to losing someone close to me. Will I see them again? Is this it? Will my dog be there? But I have God to lean on. I have to believe he's out there because of LOVE. Love is so powerful and nothing is greater than that. To me, God is love. And just when I think I can't love anymore, something happens to challenge my thinking. A child is born. A miracle takes place. Love is real and so is God. If you are suffering right now, please know you're not alone and God is right there next to you! I promise! He has to be!
That's all for this week! More to come next week - my parents are coming up! Yeah! Have a wonderful weekend all!
"The most I can do for my friend is simply be a friend." -Henry David Thoreau