Tuesday, July 5, 2011


(Clearly, Gracie has spent the past few weeks catching up on her classics...)

June caught me by surprise this year.
I am always prepared (if cautiously apprehensive) going into May, because May has always been a crazy-busy-good month for our family. Birthdays, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Prom, Graduations ... May is a whirlwind that leaves us, on June 1 sitting with our feet up and smiling at the wild ride of life we've just been a part of. May is good like that, and the June that follows is typically a welcome respite.

This year, though, the ride hasn't stopped yet. I think God is looking down and smiling on my tenderly, "My child how little you know... and how deeply I love you."

I was certain that this year would be a year of settling in for us. A year of homemaking and quietly undeniable growth; a year for nurturing and putting down roots.

Instead, we've been blessed with opportunities. Opportunities for growth-- upward movement, for sure, but perhaps more importantly growing into ourselves. ...Maybe I could even say "settling" a little deeper and becoming a bit more comfortable with who we have always been.

All good. But tiring :)

I guess all this is to say: I feel like I've been walking around in a bit of a fog since the last time I posted. Scootching along from A to B, & making time... but I feel that my responses have been muted in both intensity and response time. And I celebrate this, because I know it's just a phase, and that I will adapt to become present and cognizant once again. ... You know, fog can be stunningly beautiful; softening & blurring sharp edges with a water color precision ... but we still celebrate the sharp visual clarity that comes as the sun burns through.

I can feel the fog lifting all ready.

A few standout thoughts from the fog:

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On marathon training with MiT:

I'll just get right out there and say it: I love this.

I am continually blown away by the kindness of my running group, as well as my own drive to keep at it. A happy discovery was made on our June 18 group run-- I live in the same neighborhood as our pace leader, and within a 5 minute drive of another woman from our group. We've been meeting up on Monday & Tuesday mornings at 5:30 am (which is NOT easy yet, but I'm going to keep trying!) to do our runs together. This morning we added Stacey to our group, so now we are a lovely little group of 4.

Most heartwarming & impressive to me: 2 weekends ago I ran my long run (8 miles) on Friday, because I knew I couldn't get in a long run before all the wedding festivities. Dana & Heather each ran 3+ miles with me, so I didn't have to do the whole thing alone.

How did I get so lucky?! I can officially say that I am head-over-heels in love with running again.

...Who knew that all it would take was signing up for a marathon?

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*beer margaritas*

Okay, so the real reason I've been afk for over two weeks? My best friend's wedding. ...And the month of crazy fun & stress leading up to it :) (Absolutely weighted more heavily on the "fun" side ... but if anyone ever tells you that a wedding is completely stress-free, they are delusional. Simple as that.) Anyhoo...

On June 18, my partner-in-crime Kaitie & I hosted Saun's bachelorette party. We planned meticulously. Menu? (Beer margaritas, hot dogs on the grill, pasta salad, chips & funfetti cupcakes) -- check! Decorations? --check!

giggling our way through pictionary ;)

Lessons learned along the way included: running to your sister-in-law's house to get cookie cutters & fulfill MiT milage at the same time sounds like a great idea ... until you have to run 1.5 miles clutching said cookie cutters and hoping nobody actually sees what your holding & calls the cops on the "creepy running girl". Lesson Learned: plastic bags are not nearly opaque enough for comfort. Also note: when you light the grill, just step away. Do not close it or the fire will go out. *Eh hem* True story. (Insert obligatory engineer joke here. Sigh.)

Kaitie, Saundra & me

But it was all so, SO worth it. It's a night I'll never forget, and I hope Saundra feels the same. We drank out of "man-shaped" straws and ate naughty-shaped brownies. We played pictionary & laughed until we had tears streaming down our faces. We dressed up & went out dancing, and didn't get home until 3am.

All the ladies

In short, a good time was had by all.
(Thanks, Kaitie, for the pictures!)

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...And then two Saturdays ago, we gathered once again, this time to celebrate the union of Saundra and her beloved, Mike.

Just married!

It was a beautiful day, down to the tiniest details.

mimosas at the hair salon (doesn't that seem so movie chic?!)

More wedding thoughts and reflections coming your way this week, in a new 'Love Letters' post.

We clean up nicely, eh? (Amy & Jon, 6/25/11)

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This weekend's joyful chaos centered around 4th of July celebrations, with family & friends alike. We laughed and cheered and oohed and ahhed over breathtaking fireworks displays; and there were also moments of quiet meditation and thanks for the men and women who have fought and continue to fight so hard for us.

Jon & I hosted the family celebration this year (is there anything cuter than chubby babies in red & white stripes? I think not.), and so a majority of our weekend was spent preparing the house & yard for our guests. There were multiple moments when I caught myself standing back and watching Jon, thinking, "I may never love this man more than when we are working side-by-side." I think it's a perfect symbol of what marriage is all about. Even as we sweated and swore under our breath, it felt good to have a companion.

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And so there you have it: a little summary of where I've been & what I've been up to. July is looking busy but significantly more manageable for me (knock on wood), so I plan on being around quite a bit more. (As I mentioned above, stay alert for a "Love Letters" post later in the week!)

Your turn: Was your June a busy one? What have you been up to? How did you spend your 4th of July?