Seven Things for the Seventh Month

Let’s just say: June was off the charts crazy around here. And by “here” I mean: Chicago, where I now live; Geneva, Il, where I still work; Michigan, where I went to a conference with my worship grant team; North Carolina, where I took my youth group on a mission trip; Wisconsin, where we went to a family wedding. June kicked my butt.

What I wish I could write about is that crazy mission trip, a trip which I do believe could be made into a movie entitled: “National Lampoon’s Mission Trip” (I want to be played by Julie Bowen, by the way, because I like to imagine that if I was ridiculously thin, that’s what I would look like). However (and I’m serious about this) I’m worried that I might be charged with libel if I speak too freely.

So for now, amidst the general insanity that is my life, seven lovely things for the month of July.

1. We have a backyard. I haven’t had a backyard since I left home for college. My parents haven’t lived in a place with a backyard for about 10 years. Thus, my backyard living has been severely curtailed. But now we have one. Fenced in. Complete with fireflies, bunnies, and a garage completely overgrown with ivy. Sigh.

2. On our commutes to and fro, Zora and I have been exploring ways to drive through as much forest preserve as possible. So far, we’ve seen these magical things: egrets nesting; an elk herd; fireflies like stars; patches of prairie; fields of brown eyed susans; and a blimp.

3. Erik and I fell in love with Carolina style barbecue ( the kind with vinegary sauce), and found a good slow cooker approximation. We’re almost out of our first batch, and I think it’s time to make more.

4. A beautiful thing: Zora playing with her herd of little Moe cousins this past weekend…all of them lighting up sparklers in the twilight right about where their Great Grandpa Orville’s barn used to stand.

5. Speaking of that, sparklers were provided courtesy of Erik’s cousin Amy at her wedding. How awesomely nostalgic, sweet, and meaningful is this: Amy and her now-husband bought Orville & Ruth’s farmhouse and had their wedding under a big white tent that stood just to the side of where the barn was (until it had to be taken down a few years ago). Erik got a little teary, I think, when he first spotted the tent, like a phantom of the barn.

6. Two stops, on that wedding trip to northern Wisconsin, for lunch & pie at Norske Nook restaurants. You would not believe this pie. It is too good to be real. I think it might be a sin to drive past one if these places & not stop for pie!

7. Speaking of weddings: my sister Anna is getting married this fall and she is the BEST BRIDE EVER for selecting a bridesmaid dress for us that is completely rewearable…gorgeous but also appropriate for a minister at a professional function.

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