Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fluff & Fudge

In September, my friend Megan married a charming man named Chris...
...and promptly moved to Rhode Island! Apparently it's a pretty big transition for a German farm-girl from Oregon to move in with a good Italian guy from Westerly. Megan's stories about life on the east coast have been entertaining and laden with references to lamé and leopard-print.

This week I received a surprise package from Little Italy's newest resident - full of items she considers distinctively Rhode Island.
Tasty Italian biscuits:

Coffee Syrup:
Apparently the coffee situation has been the toughest part of the transition. "Regular" coffee automatically comes with cream and sugar, and a strong black cup can't be found. But this coffee syrup is a hot ticket! Megan says it's used the way we Left Coasters use our chocolate syrup - mixed in milk. So, rather than dashing some milk into your coffee, folks add coffee syrup to their milk...go figure.

And finally, Fluff:
"Fluff & Butter" sandwiches are made by smearing this marshmallow goo and Peanut Butter on your bread. Health food it ain't.

While I loved the novelty of these little treats, Megan couldn't have known how perfectly timed her gift of Fluff would be. Marshmallow creme is an essential ingredient in my Dad's (practically famous) fudge recipe, which I was planning to make this weekend. As I whipped up a batch of fudge today I was awash in the nostalgia that process and those smells bring to me. As this is my first Christmas to make it without my Dad, that Fluff was probably the nicest gift I could have received.

The jury's still out on the Coffee Syrup.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mary's Peak


Today, Sugar and I went on our first Adventure together. Being that it was a beautiful December day...60 degrees with a light drizzle...we headed out to Mary's Peak to explore what we might find. Not knowing what to expect, seeing that neither Sugar or I had ever been to Mary's Peak, we packed up all the necessities; Hi-lift Jack, Shovel, Ax, Flashlight, Dog Toys (including the chuck-it and squirrel), water for Sugar, water and snacks for Jim, camera, gloves and a pocket knife.

This of course would be the first chance to get the Jeep into any mud. Sugar was incredibly excited to see how the Rubicon would fare knowing there was a good chance there might be a trail or two up on the mountain. We loaded up and headed out stopping to top off the gas tank before heading the short 15+ miles to Mary's Peak Road. According to internet research it looked like the road would be left open all winter accept the short access to the very top.

Sure enough we found ourselves winding up OR34 till we reached Mary's Peak Road. We were a little let down when (in contrast to the signs) the road was in good condition and fully paved. We wound ourselves to a high point and parked in a parking lot. Finding a trail to walk we ended up in a rather dumpy area where clearly people had enjoyed shooting their guns a little too much. The ground was riddled with remanence of TV's and propane tanks, plastic and metal objects that could no longer be identified and a slew of shells from 22's to shot guns. Regardless Sugar bounded up a gravel pile to the top and raced down a sheer face before I could even reach the top. Being concerned she might take off somewhere I couldn't see, I called her, trying to make my way back down quickly only to find that she had raced back up the sheer face and tried to meet me at the top from which I had previously called her. Crazy girl.

We headed back to the Jeep excited to head back down and explore some of the dirt trails we had noticed on our way up. We came upon a little gravel road that lead us to an even more exciting trail. The trail drove straight up one of the hills and lead us to a series of moguls that many a 4x4 before had clearly attempted to mount. About 50' above was a 60 degree rock face that posed a clear and exciting obstacle. We hit the moguls in 4 high and rocked about as we made our way up, spinning a few tires here and there. Putting it in 4 low we bounded over the second series of moguls with incredible ease.

Sugar was excited at this point so we jumped out and checked things out. She headed up the trail looking at where we might go and pointed out that this might be a little more than we had intended to find. Sure, with a friend or another rig along this would be easily surmounted but we decided to shy off and put the Jeep to the test later. Today was just exploring.
We backed our way back down the trail and headed back to the road to see what else we might find. About a mile back we found a clearly well used path off the road and bounced over puddles and through the trees till we came to a little clearing obviously used regularly for camping. Off to one side of the trail was a very small mound that had been driven over many a time leaving decent moguls that would cause anything smaller than a truck to get stuck.

We popped it back into 4 High and bounded up and over the mound with ease, spinning the tires a little as you clearly could feel the jeep teater on two wheels! Sugar was a little let down that it was that easy so we spun around for another go, pulling out all the stops. 4 Wheel Low, Anti-Sway Bar disconnected, finger on the locker button. We crawled over the little obstacle and reached the point where we had teatered on two wheels previously. The rear end spun a little so I hit the locker locking the rear end and rolling with ease once again over the hill.

A little let down at how easy it really is to get over anything in this jeep, we rolled back to the highest point and jumped out to snag some pictures. That anti-sway bar disconnect is awesome. It really does increase the travel drastically.

Even with two tires almost completely jammed into the wheel wells and the other two barely making contact with the ground this Jeep holds its own and then some. I can't wait to truly find a real trail to test it out on.

We made it home and I was quite embarrassed at how little mud we had managed to fling on the Jeep. For a lazy Sunday afternoon Adventure, we did ok though. Sugar, the Jeep and I did get muddy and had a little fun doing it. Sadly it was too foggy to get any pictures of the view but I think we had some fun. Sugar agrees and is now sleeping soundly on her pillow getting ready for the next big adventure.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

...Gone Tomorrow!

Here's the new hair - 6 inches were left on the cutting room floor Saturday morning. My original plan (and the reason I was growing my hair out for nearly four years) was to donate to Locks-of-Love. Sadly, I didn't check my facts closely enough. When I read that colored hair could be donated I figured I was fine. The fine print says that bleached hair (as in my pre-wedding hilight job) was not accepted. BLAST! So, I have to admit that vanity trumped charity and my unacceptably hilighted hair was swept up into the trash. I think Locks-of-Love should issue those "I tried" stickers like you get for donating blood...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hair Today

This is my hair today. It won't be gone tomorrow, but...maybe Saturday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Reoccurring Theme

There seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life that is mimicked by an abundance of specific photos in my iPhoto library.
My life has become centered around one specific, very cute and cuddly white lab we like to call Sugar.
She sneaks into pictures regularly.
Or sometimes intentionally.
She loves the tall grass.
And has a propensity to lose her orange chuck-it ball.
She enjoys chewing things...especially birthday hats her parents made her wear.
She loves going to visit her Grandparents and pestering Tommie Thomas.

She wears a cute turquoise rain jacket when it gets wet.



Bottom line we have the cutest dog in the world and thought you should know. She has stolen my heart to the point I even put up with her "thwap thwap thwap" at all hours of the night hinting that she might need to go out. Yes, she flaps her ears to make just the right amount of noise to rouse you from sleep and then stares at you from the edge of the bed, waiting for someone to stir. If she wasn't so darn good it would be easy to get mad at her but all you have to do is take one look at her and your heart melts again. Welcome to my life.

(Thank you EricJohn for getting us some prints early of our pictures and I of course must mention the reason we have the best dog ever is that Sandy and Dean trained her and loved her for the first 6 months of her life. WindRiver Tails & Trails is the best boarding, daycare and training center in Missoula so if you live there, go check them out!)

~Jim

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween!

We were invited to a Halloween party at Jessie & Tim's house on Saturday night. As we were brainstorming costume ideas, Jim had a stroke of genius. After picking up a baby Ella at the Goodwill and printing out a paper iPad, we were all set to masquerade around as Jessie & Tim!
Jim was extra-committed to a realistic portrayal of our friends - he shaved his head. We had a great time and a few people even mistook us for our doppelgangers from across the room!

Thank you, Jessie & Tim, for being good sports =)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Willamette Valley Wedding Planning Yays & Nays

We had the luxury of spending 18 months planning our August 2010 wedding. Nearly all the vendors and service providers we ended up using were great and I thought it would be worth passing along the Yea's (and a Nay) to others planning a wedding in the Willamette Valley.

First the Yea's!
Attire:
I bought my first dress on a GREAT sale at Bridal Gallery in Salem. It's a nice shop, and the employees were friendly and helpful. Their big sale took place in November (the weekend prior to Thanksgiving?) and everything on the rack was 50% off. Sadly, I realized later that I'd purchased the wrong dress for me, but that had nothing to do with the service or experience at Bridal Gallery.

My second dress - THE dress - came from Charlotte's Weddings and More in Beaverton. This was a really nice shopping experience. You get your own large dressing room, furnished with a big mirror and comfy chairs for your crew. Take photos and ideas of what you like and let the Bridal Consultants pick dresses for you! SO much nicer than sifting through crowded racks of dresses in plastic bags. Ordering my dress was easy, and it came earlier than they'd predicted. It was also reasonably priced.

We got Jim some pretty rad unconventional tux shoes at Men's Wearhouse in Beaverton. These were a big hit, and are getting some play on his conducting gigs.

Alterations:
I used Specialty Sewing by Leslie in Corvallis. Leslie came highly recommended, and I can see why. She was friendly and easy to work with. Her cost was very reasonable considering the delicate work she was doing. The best part? She also steamed my dress for only $45! The cleaners would have charged at least $100.

Fabric:
We ordered fabric for bridesmaid dresses from Fashion Fabrics Club. Turned out great!

I made my own birdcage veil, and had a hard time finding the special Russian Netting required. I finally found it (in white, cream, and black) at the Mill End Store in Milwaukie. Later I discovered that I could have ordered it (in every color imaginable) on Etsy.

Jeweler:
For over 30 years, Jim's family has been using Packouz Jewelers in Portland so there wasn't really a question about where he'd go for my ring. They helped him design a totally unique ring (all via email and phone because he was living in Minnesota at the time!) incorporating stones from both of our families. They also created an incredible necklace for me using a piece of costume jewelry that belonged to my grandmother. Jim's wedding ring actually belonged to his dad, and had seen a lot of wear and tear. Packouz cleaned it up to look like new! Our friends Mason & Greta tied the knot about three weeks before we did, and they are also sporting beautiful unique rings from Packouz.

Spa & Salon:
My girls and I spent the day before the wedding at Phiz Spa in Salem and had the best time! All our services (manicures, pedicures, waxing and airbrush tanning) were great, and the atmosphere made it such a fun place to spend the day. Online booking (through the website) is super convenient, and you receive a discount for multiple services.

Shelly Gritton at Salon Gorgeous has been my go-to gal since college so there wasn't a question who would do my hair for the big day. She did a wonderful job, and one of her colleagues did updo's for some of the girls. They basically let the six of us swoop in and take over the place - even using their mirrors and good lighting to do our makeup. They made it really fun for us!

Photography:
When I saw the photos from Beth & Adam's wedding six years ago, I knew I wanted Eric John to be my wedding photographer! (Nevermind that I didn't even know who I'd be marrying...). We acted fast, and booked Eric over a year in advance. This is especially important if your wedding will take place during senior picture season (late summer/early fall) as he books up fast. His work is gorgeous, and I really liked the way he's able to capture moments and emotions with his photo-journalistic style. Though we were thrifty on most aspects of the wedding, this was our splurge. The only downside (if you can call it that) to hiring Eric is WAITING for the final product. We were told to expect a wait of 8-12 weeks. It's week 10. Still waiting...

Venues:
Our rehearsal dinner was a casual BBQ at Rudy's at Salem Golf Club. Their outdoor BBQ area is a bit rustic, but they make it work really well. We were able to have a full bar as well as a catered menu. The best part was proximity to a really nice lawn where we played bocce ball and let the kiddos run around.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church was the venue for our ceremony. Since this is our home church we didn't shop around for other options. However, I think it's worth mentioning for anyone looking for a nice traditional church setting! The church provides a facilitator who met with us ahead of time, organized the delivery and set up of our flowers, and was on hand on the wedding day to help with all sorts of details. The organist is pretty awesome too =)

Willamette University's CAT Cavern was our reception venue. We got a nice discount as alums, but it's available for anyone to rent. We liked the fact that tables, chairs, dancefloor (and all the set up) were part of the package price. Using any of Willamette's facilities does obligate you to use their caterer, Bon Apetit. This wasn't a problem for us, but might be a deal-breaker if your heart was already set on a different caterer.

Wine:
Because it is a favorite of my family (and perfect for the occasion!) we made a special effort to bring in Amity Vineyards' Wedding Dance Reisling. It's a wine that we love, and it's affordable too (especially when purchased in quantity directly from their winery in Amity).

Paper Goods & Printing:
We wanted to send save-the-date photo cards around the holidays and ended up ordering them through Costco. They have quite a few templates available, but we ended up designing our own and uploading it with their blank template. The cards were fairly large (5x7) and came with high quality envelopes. Total cost? 32 cents each!!

I knew I wanted pocketfolds for our invitations, but was horrifed to see the $2/each pricetag. Some searching produced Paper & More where I found the same pocketfolds for 79 cents each! In addition to the great price, their shipping cost was reasonable, and the product was very high quality.

For printing invitation components, we found Northwest Graphic Imaging in Corvallis. When the cute office beagle greeted me at the door, I knew it would be good. We were on a really tight timeline, and they did great color printing on the paper we provided. I know they would have done more (found special paper, cut the pieces to size) but they were also great about doing the basics to help us stay in our budget.

Sparklers:
At the last minute I decided I HAD to have a sparkler send-off. We ordered 20" white sparklers from Sparklers Online. I knew I was taking a risk ordering 10 days before the wedding, but they made it with three days to spare. They were awesome! It was so fun for everyone and it made for some great photos too!

Thankfully, there is really only one NAY. It's nicer to focus on all the friendly, helpful, high-quality YAYs anyway.
Nay to Olson's Floral in Salem. We had quite an ordeal with them (an hour before photos started) and it was the only stress of the wedding day. To their credit, they eventually refunded our money for the ruined items, but that also required an ordeal. Just go somewhere else!

Happy Planning!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hello Fall

It really started feeling like fall around here today and we had an entire blissful Saturday with nothing on the schedule! Time to light the BIG candle and get cozy.

I baked Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies for a Pumpkin-Carving Party tomorrow.

These are DELISH. I recommend doubling the batch to use an entire 15 oz. can of pumpkin. Unless you have a good use for half a can of leftover pumpkin...

And for dinner, we had Southwest Chicken Soup ala Beth:

Ingredients:
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders cut into bite-size pieces
- 5-6 cups chicken broth
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium zuchhini, chunked
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. dried ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups corn, frozen
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh salsa
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions:
1) In a large soup pot over medium heat, put in the oil and heat to sizzle. Add the onions and the garlic. Cook on medium heat to soften for 5-10 minutes.

2) Add chicken to onion mixture and cook until brown.

3)Add chicken broth, pepper, zucchini, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

4) Add in corn, beans and salsa and simmer covered, until flavors are blended and chicken is fully cooked.

5) Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.

6) Serve with corn tortilla chips, sour cream (or plain yogurt), grated cheese, and lime wedges. NUM! It freezes well, too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Sugar!

18 years ago today my Mom and Freddo tied the knot. Happy Anniversary!
(Incidentally, I'm fresh out of digital pictures from 18 years ago so this one from two weeks ago will have to do!)

A year ago today, we celebrated the very special wedding of our dear friends Nikki & Henry. Happy FIRST Anniversary to you!
Though we didn't know it at the time, our sweet girl Sugar was being born that same day. Today Sugar turns ONE!
(and she's thrilled about the party hat commemorating the occasion).

We've been lazing around Kauai all week and finally rolled into town to reclaim our pooch late last night. Thank goodness for Mimi who, in addition to taking care of Sugar all week long, also made her a special birthday treat - PupCakes!
Those are dog-food "sprinkles" on top - they think of everything. We decided this wasn't the year to train her to blow out candles.

Being a dainty and refined young lady, Sugar swiped the whole thing in one bite...
...and ran it out to the backyard (where all edible treasures are taken to be devoured).

Mmm, PupCake! Nom, nom, nom!

With her PupCake polished off, Sugar's patience with her party hat wore a little thin.



Happy Birthday, Sugar!! We look forward to dressing you up in silly outfits and feeding you novelty baked goods for years to come =)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh Neglected Blog (Wait Till You Hear Our Excuse...)

Dear Friends, Family and former loyal blog readers,

We moved Jim. Unpacked Jim. Got a dog. Reorganized Nicole's house. Finished Planning the Wedding. Delegated the Wedding. Had the Wedding and said I DO! (Actually I think it was "Absolutely" and "Most Definitely"). It's official: We're Married!!

For everyone involved, thank you for making it the perfect day. We couldn't have asked for anything more. The outpouring of love and support was more than we ever could have expected, and was truly humbling. Now that life might settle down a bit, there will be lots of blogging, including an overhaul of the blog in the next months. So add us back to your reader, check in regularly, and we promise not to disappoint.

In the meantime, we're sending you a warm Aloha from Kauai!

PS - BIG thanks to our friend/shutterbug Tim Adams for getting some great wedding images (including the one above) to us so quickly!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Holy Whirlwind, Batman

I guess it's official: we fell off the face of the earth. Back-to-back "where are you?" phonecalls from my mother, and some cheeky little comments to the effect of "quit snogging and start blogging" confirm it.

In all honesty, we're not ignoring you! We've been just the teensiest bit busy. Here's the rundown:

Sunday, May 30th:
- Nicole sings two jazz services, skips the last postlude to jump in the car and race to the airport. Flies to Minnesota FOR THE LAST TIME.
- Nicole & Jim stage the classic greeting-your-long-lost-love-at-the-airport scene (which we gave perfected) FOR THE LAST TIME.
- One last adult beverage with our dear friends Bekah & Matthew
- Jimbo's apartment is consolidated into a 5x8 cube painstakingly arranged to fit perfectly in the 5x8 U-Haul trailer
- We arrive home at 11pm and give the apartment one last cleaning

Monday, May 31st:
- Up early to queue at U-Haul with the rest of the college students in the Twin Cities.
- Friends arrive to help with the loading
- Collective cursing of the three flights of stairs to Jim's apartment
- Sad goodbyes with our Minnesota friends
- by 10:45am we are loaded and road-ready. Nicole's total time in St. Paul was 12 hours and 15 minutes.

- Drive 11 hours. Comment extensively on the blandness that is North Dakota.
- Stop for the night in Miles City, Montana. Had a nightcap at the Gold Dust Saloon & Casino. Classy joint.

Tuesday, June 1st:
- Drive 8 hours across Montana. Let the record reflect that Nicole drove (and even successfully parked!) the truck and trailer. Pop would be way proud.
- Saw two funnel clouds
- Played "Bury the Cows" with moderate success.
- Dinner with Mom & Fred. Ahhh...real food.

Wednesday, June 2nd:
- Drove out to Florence to visit Sandy & Dean (Nicole's Aunt & Uncle) and picked up Miss Sugar for a playdate.
- Visited Sugar's home-away-from-home, Tails & Trails
- Taught Sugar to fetch...with moderate success.
- Visited Shirley & Vic (Nicole's "grandparents")
- Drove 3 hours to Ben & Treena's in Spokane
- Proceeded directly to Benedito's for pizza and beer. Did not pass go. Did not collect $200.
- Enjoyed the evening with the fam and the brown dogs.

Thursday, June 3rd:
- Up and on the road. Drove 7 hours to Portland.
- Stopped for hugs from Jim's parents
- Drive another hour to Salem
- Dinner with the Adams' and admiration of Ella's new "walking" skills
- Choir rehearsal (with cheers and applause at Jim's arrival!)
- Drive one last hour to Corvallis.
- Collapse

Friday, June 4th:
- Up early to unload the UHaul
- Created a giant mess in the spare room
- I abandoned Jim with his pile to go back to work

Saturday, June 5th:
- Up early to drive to Salem
- Quick coffee date with Jim's best friend Ryan and his boys
- Meeting with the wedding coordinator at Willamette
- Errands at Target
- Three and a half hour jazz rehearsal
- Welcome home party for Jim at the Best Little Roadhouse

Sunday, June 6th:
- Up early to drive to Salem
- One big fancy church service in honor of the Bishop's visit
- Picking out a dog bed at Costco
- Back to church for an Evensong service and our quartet's jazz concert
- Dinner with Jim's family at Rudy's

Monday, June 7th:
- Nicole goes to work and Jim commences the settling in
- Grocery store
- Errands
- Jim heads to Portland for a little family time

Tuesday, June 8th:
- Jim goes to the allergist to confirm what we already knew: he's allergic to everything. And especially grass seed. Did you know that Corvallis is smack in the middle of the Grass Seed Capitol of the World? Jim started the heavy-duty allergy injection therapy.
- Baskin Robbins for Dante's 31st Birthday
- Explaining the "31 Flavors" thing to Dante
- More unpacking...
- Wedding invitation assembly

Wednesday, June 9th:
- More work
- Meeting with the facilities coordinator and caterer for the wedding
- Pre-marital counseling session
- Dinner with Dante & Jenn

Thursday, June 10th:
- Lunch with Kate in honor of her last day as our Graduate Assistant
- Reception at WOU honoring our friend Karen's big fancy national award!
- End-of-the-year choir party (and hand-delivering the first batch of wedding invitations)

Friday, June 11th:
- College of Pharmacy graduation ceremony! My Favorite Student of All Time gets her Pharm.D.
- Jim and I interview graduates for a video I'm hoping to create for our orientation program
- Dr. Amanda comes over for dinner and is officially adopted into our family.
- We decide to put Amanda's car on Craigslist (Jim offered to help her sell it).
- Bocce Ball
- Responding to the nine quick inquiries on the car
- Rushing to the car wash to clean and vacuum the car in the near-dusk

Saturday, June 12th:
- Waffles with our new waffle iron!
- Jim and Amanda take the car for an alignment and run other errands
- We pile in the truck and drive to Albany to look at scooters
- Jim and I purchase our wedding/graduation/long-distance survival gifts to each other
-I picked out a sweet helmet, too. The front slides up and down depending on how I want to rock the Storm Trooper look.
- Load the scooters into the truck and drive to Salem
- Unload the scooters at Lucas' garage for a little temporary storage
- Drive to IKEA to meet the first potential car-buyer
- Buyer test-drives, haggles excessively (thank GOODNESS Jimbo was handling that one...) and eventually agrees to buy Amanda's car for the full asking price! Much celebrating!
- Long decision-laden tour of IKEA (with Dr. Amanda in tow) as we pick out a new mattress, and a huge shelving unit for the living room
- Pause for some swedish meatballs
- Load the truck and head to Lake Oswego
- Pick up dinner for Jim's family
- Say goodbye to Dr. Amanda. We won't see her again before she moves to South Carolina =(
- Quick visit with family friends

Sunday, June 13th:
- Coffee at Beth & Adam's
- Back to IKEA for the cabinet we decided we need after all
- Runs to Home Goods, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond for all those little things necessary for consolidating our households in some kind of organized manner.
- Setting up our new mattress and wrangling the allergy barrier around it
- Moving the old bed to storage
- Jim assembles the huge shelving unit, the new cabinet, and another storage cabinet for the bathroom.
- Remove and rehang the existing medicine cabinet to accommodate the additional storage
- 6 loads of laundry
- removing old shelves from the living room and rearranging their contents
- Consolidating and organizing two bathrooms worth of stuff into one
- Collapsing on the new mattress

Monday, June 14th:
- Jim begins his battle with the blackberries taking over the backyard
- Selling the futon and loading it up for the new owner
- Finishing and mailing ALL the wedding invitations! Crossing our fingers that they arrive safely.
- More unpacking, cleaning, and organizing
- Editing the wedding website and developing a scenario to manage RSVPs
- Falling into bed at 9pm

Tuesday, June 15th:
- Driving to Portland for Nicole to attend a faculty meeting while Jim starts work on a new patio at his sister's house
- Picking up our "new" couch (new to us anyway!)
- An hour at the fabric store on wedding-related errands
- Drive home in an Oregon downpour
- More Battle of the Blackberries and weed-pulling
- Packing for the trips that we each leave on tomorrow
- Blogging.

PHEW! If you aren't up to date now, you require too much information! Thanks for bearing with us (and our neglected blog). We're looking forward to the moment when the dust settles. =)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Panda says...

I just opened the fortune cookie that accompanied my lunch. You will soon find new adventure in life. Never has one little cookie so accurately understated the obvious.

In four days my whole life gets turned upside-down (in a good way). Jim and I load up the U-Haul and road trip him back across the country. We move in together. We get a dog. We climb over each other in a too-small little house while figuring out our cohabitational vibe. We get married. He finds a job. The list goes on.

If my cookie is referring to any adventures other than the aforementioned MAJOR LIFE CHANGES I think I will spit it out and pretend I never opened it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Last Day At St. Peder's

Dear Blog Readers,

Today was a tough day, my last Sunday at St. Peder's. It kills me to leave this wonderful congregation and I can't express how blessed I have been to be apart of their ministry. If you are in Minnesota and looking for a real wonderful congregation head to South Minneapolis and visit St. Peder's. They are real people, real lovers of God and never take themselves seriously. If only I could make this place my home. :-(
Rita of course wrote me a fair-well song based on Do a Deer.
Group Photo with the choir.
Annette and Rita.
Elliette, talk about a cute baby.
My Best Buddy Malcom, I'm gonna miss him and his little sister. Talk about a kid that's going places.

I will miss you all but will keep you in my heart forever. Thank you for the love and support of getting me through this period in my life (even though I wore a dress every Sunday). You have all blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.

Jim