I have the opportunity to be part of Nicole Baart’s street team to promote her new novel, which comes out mid-June! I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy for my Kindle through NetGalley and gobbled it right up!
The story is about a mom-daughter duo who become Insta-famous and is told brilliantly from many perspectives and timelines.I loved the description of the Instagram photos and thought the book was just about as dramatic as I could handle. I’m not one for books with a lot of suspense or darkness, and this one went right up to the edge for me.
Nicole did a giveaway, which sadly is already over, but she encouraged people to think about their journeys in life and how taking “the long way back” sometimes brings you the best joy. I know that at the end of travels, getting home quickly can sometimes be the goal, but it is important to remember that the Long Way Back can afford you a different view of your return and of your home and can help you to savor every moment of the journey.
I love books set in Minnesota and this one takes place “up north,” in a fictional town north of Duluth. I’m pretty sure I’ve been there and can imagine the houses and beaches on Lake Superior. The book also touches on current concerns, such as social media influence.
As I said, I gobbled this book up and hope that people look for it when it is released on June 13!
Mothers. Mothering. Being mothered. I’m so blessed with incredible women in my life: my mother who exudes unconditional love, my daughter whose joie de vivre shines in her mothering, my sister-in-law who is raising amazing, compassionate humans and my stepdaughter and aunts and cousins and friends and all who are gracefully teaching life lessons to children – their own or the children of others.
It’s hard work, mothering, but such important work. Reading the origins of Mother’s Day is humbling and reminds that mothering doesn’t start and end with flesh and blood.
In 1908, Ann Jarvis petitioned to start mother’s day in honor of the passing of her mother, a peaceful activist who cared for soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.
She was a blessing and being a blessing to everyone you meet and lifting them up so that they can also bless others is great important work, as well. Maybe the greatest.
Hope everyone had a fantastic Mother’s Day! Virtual hugs to all!
We have enjoyed watching Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show at Home and he and his guests have been talking about how it is day 14 of their social distancing / quarantine. I can’t imagine. My pattern of life hasn’t changed, so far, even though life surely has changed. Chris and I are still working our regular shifts, so time away from work has been spent recovering from work or preparing for work.
This weekend was a little glimpse for me – I had a 4-day weekend. Chris just had a regular 2-day weekend so Friday and Monday were on my own. Friday night I had a virtual happy hour with some friends and Saturday night Chris and I played online games with Marissa via Zoom. Who heard of Zoom before two weeks ago?
This weekend we made homemade deliciousness, we ordered in to support a local restaurant, we exercised via computer trainers and we watched Netflix (Tiger King, just like everyone!). It felt like a weekend at home, but we didn’t get to see any family or friends IRL (in real life). I’m a social being, so that’s hard for me.
We watched the concert on Fox last night. It’s been hard to keep up with all the “at home” events and special things streamed; Broadway shows, piano and art lessons, meditation courses. I’m trying to pick and choose a few things that bring joy, as well as comfort during this crazy time. I know my book reading has suffered due to social media and news watching. Hopefully I can get a better balance going forward.
I wonder what our new normal will be like? What will we keep? What will we change?
As someone who just decluttered and moved (and needs to continue decluttering), this was an interesting book to read! Imagine finding a storage room filled with someone else’s belongings from a different era… and then imagine tweeting about it! It is an interesting way to glimpse into the life of Madeleine. At times, I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t “click” to enlarge a photo or “click” on a link that was provided (etsy, youtube!), so I did end up going online and finding the songs she linked to (listen while you continue to read!):
I didn’t look for the audio of her interviews with those who knew her, as I don’t speak French, but I am glad that the author went in search of those who knew and remembered Madeleine, as I loved their thoughts about her. The common thread seemed to be “I wish I had asked her more questions, got to know her better,” which led to, “I wish I knew my own parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents better, had asked them more questions.” And that made me grateful that in my family we bought both of my parents a Story Worth subscription** so they are receiving weekly emails with questions about their lives which will be compiled into a book at the end of a year.
Ultimately, this book was not fully satisfying to me. I love Twitter, so I am now following #Madeleineproject and the author (@clarabdx) and will check in occasionally. This book takes you through Seasons 1 and 2 and currently the author is working on Season 4, so I have some catching up to do. I would have loved more of the interaction with other Twitter followers to more fully develop the story of Madeleine and Paris. Unfortunately I don’t read or understand French, and the Storify links don’t translate, so I probably will not delve too much further into the life of Madeleine.
But maybe with all my decluttering, I will create a time capsule of life in the early 2000s that can be discovered by grandchildren in their adulthood. And I will be more purposeful in asking questions and learning about all the people in my life.
**I really should work for Story Worth, because I love it so and recommend it to everyone I know! CLICK Story Worth for more information!
I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Click below to enter a giveaway!
A young woman moves into a Paris apartment and discovers a storage room filled with the belongings of the previous owner, a certain Madeleine who died in her late nineties, and whose treasured possessions nobody seems to want. In an audacious act of journalism driven by personal curiosity and humane tenderness, Clara Beaudoux embarks on The Madeleine Project, documenting what she finds on Twitter with text and photographs, introducing the world to an unsung 20th century figure. Along the way, she uncovers a Parisian life indelibly marked by European history. This is a graphic novel for the Twitter age, a true story that encapsulates one woman’s attempt to live a life of love and meaning together with a contemporary quest to prevent that existence from slipping into oblivion.
Through it all, The Madeleine Project movingly chronicles, and allows us to reconstruct, intimate memories of a bygone era.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is a Paris-based journalist for the France Info news network. The Madeleine Project has been wildly popular in France.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Clarabdx
It’s IMPOSSIBLE to land on May 1 and not think of the song from Camelot – the Lusty Month of May (as evidenced by two blog posts in my history referencing the song!). So go ahead, take a minute and have Alexa play it for you or find it on YouTube…
Ok. So I’ll forever think of that and sing it often – in my head and aloud – throughout the month.
Since it’s May, that means it’s TIME FOR A WEDDING! Last March (2016) Marissa got engaged and dreamed of a destination wedding – so here we go! She and Adam are celebrating their marriage on Cinco de Mayo in Cancun! How fun. We are all looking forward to warm weather (upper 80s during the day! 70s at night!), family time (every Grimsrud child and grandchild will be there!), and fiestas galore! I’m hoping I’m not a blubbering fool because it’s going to be a joyous day – so I will do my best not to blubber! I worry about finding words of wisdom or having an eloquent speech, but actually there is lots of life ahead to share wisdom, so I’ll try not to stress about that.
More about the wedding when we get back… it will be a memorable time!
Haven’t done a post in a while, so I’ll just blather on here a bit about what’s been making me happy in these last few months. So much to be thankful for (always!).
We have been searching – first casually and then more seriously – for a new home. It all started with wanting a gas stove. We tried to see if it would be possible to update the kitchen in our townhome. And then we started dreaming about aspects of our dream homes. Me, I wanted big windows, lots of light, an open floor plan, not too big but big enough to be able to host gatherings. Chris wanted a fabulous bathroom with tile shower and a glass door and granite countertops. We both wanted that elusive gas stove. Well, we found it. It’s just big enough for us but with that open floor plan that will make it fun and possible to host Christmas and Thanksgiving and singalongs and game nights and backyard BBQs. But it’s small enough that we won’t have to spend all our free time taking care of it. It’s just perfect. More on that later, as well! We will close in June, so this summer will be filled with changes!
Movies – not as many of those lately, but we did get to one movie during the International Film Festival. We saw a Romanian film called Two Lottery Tickets. It was a funny little film. So glad the festival is here in Rochester and so glad that I got to at least one movie.
Books – I’m on a bit of a reading streak, so that is fun! Book Club is meeting MONTHLY so that helps! Recently we read “The Light Between Oceans,” “Euphoria,” “Big Little Lies” and “Thirty Rooms to Hide In.” Next is “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat.” I’m also reading “When Breath Becomes Air” for a book club at work. Looking forward to beach book time in Mexico!
Food – We haven’t been going to as many restaurants because we are cooking at home! We have now tried Marley Spoon, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron in the past few months. We are going to stick with Marley Spoon, because all the meals were so very tasty, although the most challenging to make, and you have control over the meals you get (unlike Blue Apron) and have an option for 2 meals in a week rather than 3 (unlike either of the other two). We find it hard to cook at home 3 days out of a week and most need to be eaten within that time frame. So we have had some really good food at home recently – today we had a spicy rigatoni with lemon ricotta. Looking forward to cooking on our gas stove in the new house! I do love having the house smell like good food!
Wedding Wedding Wedding! – There have been showers, bachelorette parties, a USA wedding, too-many-to-count Mother of the Bride dresses tried on and returned, and the various ablutions that come with a fancy to-do. So that has taken up quite a bit of time recently! The day-long mermaid themed bachelorette was an incredible time on a beautiful April day (April 1!). We had mimosas in the morning with a Beyonce drag show, failed an Escape Room in the afternoon, had a patio party at Betty Danger’s in the evening and then went clubbing into the wee hours. Oh my. So fun! Looking forward to more such shenanigans in Mexico!
Be of love (a little) more careful than of anything. — E. E. Cummings
May you find many things to be happy about in this Lusty Month of May!
Summer of 2016 is marching on. Today is National Happiness Happens day (8/8/16), so I thought I needed to catch up on what has been making happy memories for the summer of 2016! *the question I ask myself most frequently on the blog
Gathering with friends and family:
At graduations – a few friends had kids who graduated this year – fun to watch them get through this emotional time with grace! Gracie also graduated from 8th grade, and boy, does she have grace. She wrote a letter to the principal and he read it to everyone…. uff. There were tears.
At the cabin – Several weekends in June and July have been spent with family. We kind of thought Memorial Day would be the only time we would all be together there, but there have been so many wonderfully relaxing days spent there. Looking forward to Ferragosto 2016!
At Berne Woodfired Pizza – We went in June with Sierra and family and enjoyed a beautiful night with great music. I went again in July with various family members. It was a HOT night but mom and dad got there early and scoped out a perfect spot in the shade of those big trees and the nice breeze kept it so very comfortable. Definitely a must-do in the summer!
At Whistle Binkies on the Lake – birthdays, book club, and “no-more-class” celebration all at Whistles! Also met with Troy and Cheryl there for a lovely lunch on their patio. He had to see the place that is such a big part of us! So good to see him anywhere!
At Four Daughters – the social work department is attempting to promote more social activities! The first was at Four Daughters. We were a small group but we were treated to a tour of the wine and cider making equipment and had a delicious dinner together. And the ED social workers kept the party going by visiting various rooftops in Rochester. A fun night out!
At Thursdays on First – Also had a fun night with co-workers listening to music at Thursdays, followed by eats and treats in various locations. A great night!
At the Minnesota Zoo – We spent a steamy day at the zoo in July! What fun to wander there with grandkids and to watch them watching the animals. Such a great day!
At the Minnesota Twins – We had prime seats to watch the Twins (vs. Chicago White Sox) on a beautiful day! It was Chris’s first game at the Target Field in Minnesota – he thought it was only for concerts and food & wine shows! Even though they lost, it was a great game (extra innings) and good fun with the family.
At Skyline Raceway – with Chris’s work family (ha!) we rode go-karts, played mini-golf, and ate great food.
At Flapdoodles – we’ve visited the new south Flapdoodles a few times… have to celebrate National Hot Fudge Sundae day, and National Ice Cream Day, and whatever else needs celebrating….
At various new (to us) restaurants – we’ve tried out some new places, in addition to our favorites. Luna Rosa Wine Bar in Stillwater with Marissa and Adam, Pittsburgh Blue in Edina after a hair appt, Fogo de Chao in Minneapolis for Chris’s birthday, Hen House Eatery for breakfast downtown Minneapolis, World Street Kitchen and MilkJam Creamery for dinner before a movie in Uptown, and Modist Brewery before the Mini Takes the States gathering in Minneapolis. Ah, good memories!
A Birthday Road Trip – Chris and I took a road trip in June. We celebrated his birthday at Fogo de Chao and then the next day we headed north: destination #1 Grand Marais! We motored in his Honda and stopped briefly at our hotel in Grand Marais (incredible view!) before continuing on up to Thunder Bay, Ontario for dinner at Tim Horton’s! First passport use together! Grand Marais is beautiful, and home to the World’s Best Donuts, so of course we had to try that for breakfast. The next day we motored our way back to Duluth, with stops at Cross River, Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, and finally our hotel in Duluth. We ate at Grandma’s Saloon, Amazing Grace for breakfast, toured the William F. Irvin shipping boat, and then made it back to have some dinner at Rochesterfest. We know how to pack in a lot on a road trip! We are planning our great big Birthdayversary Trip to the East Coast now – so much fun to anticipate these trips!
Movies – At home I’m binge watching The Gilmore Girls in preparation for this FALL! Can’t wait to catch up with them all again! So not many movies on Netflix of late…. Seriously, just checked my “recent activity” on Netflix and it’s all Gilmore Girls and episodes of Grace and Frankie! I love Grace and Frankie and recommend it! It’s a Netflix series with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. I thought Season 2 was better than Season 1. Good stuff!
In June I did buy a streaming live ticket to see She Loves Me live from Broadway! Invited some girls over and we had Ice Cream during intermission (“Ice cream! He bought me ice cream!”). It was fun to see a Broadway show and exciting to know that it was LIVE! There were technical difficulties in the beginning so that was a little frustrating but we got through… and it was great fun!
In the theatre:
Me Before You – Thought it would be all book club mamas but there were a lot of teens in the audience! It is a good rendition of the book. Not as detailed but the things they left out were ok. Shock ending to those that hadn’t read the book!
Don’t Think Twice – So. Fun. For weeks I had on my calendar that there was a showing of this new movie written and directed by Mike Birbiglia, playing in Minneapolis. When I went to get tickets eventually, it was sold out. So I was thrilled to get the newsletter from Mr. Birbiglia saying they added another show and I quickly bought tickets. He was there at the end for a Q&A and it was very fun. Chris got a high five from him (he collects high-fives from famous people, evidently – well, Mike Birbiglia and Glen Hansard, two of my favorites!). The movie was great, as well. An improv troupe in NYC is facing changes as they all strive to be noticed for national television shows (ala SNL) and their theatre space is being closed for some big expensive NYC thing. I recommend you see this if you can – and it is being released in Minneapolis and other big cities, so you can! Good stuff.
Ghostbusters – took a crew to see who was ‘fraid of the ghosts! I realized that I wasn’t a super fan of the first movie but this was great fun for me. It was great to see all the cameos, I was just scared enough (I hate being scared) and knew that it was silly fun scaredy-stuff, and the ‘busters were fun to listen to.
Jason Bourne – we watched all the Bourne movies at home over the past year, so this was the first one seen in the theatre. Uff. It’s a wild ride. When I’m at home I can walk to the kitchen, remaining in ear shot, and avoid the stressful stuff. In the theatre I just closed my eyes a lot. A. Lot. Not going to overanalyze the Bourne, just enjoyed a night at the movies!
I’m reading Books again – Since my last post in June about the 3rd Provence book, I’ve read a few books! Maybe I’ll legitimately reach my book goal for 2016!
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (author of The Paris Wife) – so captivating! Based on real people and real events, a story of ex-patriots living in Africa. The main character is Beryl Markham, a fascinating woman with a fascinating story. Highly recommend!
Life’s a Beach by Claire Cook – a light summer read. Nothing earth shattering or remarkable. Just something to keep me reading!
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – for FC book club. A story of three women in WWII and how their lives connect. It was up to the brink of horrifying (WWII is so filled with horrifying stories) and led to great discussion at book club. As usual, I finished the book in time to wipe away the tears and run off to discuss it. We had good discussion (about the book and otherwise – also, as usual!).
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner – a compelling book about a successful woman’s spiral downward with addiction to pain pills. It showed the hard work she had to do to maintain her addiction, her lifestyle, and then the hard work she had to do to start on her road to sobriety.
Currently reading All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank.
Also currently listening on Audible to Hamilton by Ron Chernow.
And Four Friends by Robyn Carr (taking too long, may drop it).
Phew! I’m tired. This is a glimpse into our life. So much to be happy about! Right now I’m looking forward to Ferragosto 2016, hoping for relaxation at the end of the dock for days and days… more books, some movies, good talks with good friends. What else could you want? We are also having a lot of fun planning our East Coast adventure this fall. We are going to do some leaf-peeping, hoping for a good showing of autumn brilliance, but most importantly we will see the people that are important to Chris out there! Looking forward to meeting the people he talks about. And seeing his dad again. 🙂
So enjoy your August, enjoy the photos below, and if you feel so moved, let me know what is making you happy!
I don’t remember many Leap Days of the past, but here are some ramblings…
The year Marissa was born was a Leap Year. With a due-date in late February 1988, I had wondered what it would be like to have a Leap Day Baby. She had a Leap Day Baby in her graduating class, so we do think of her every Leap Day!
I remember taking a Leap Day walk with Beth where we did many Leaps along the way – over puddles, over cracks in the sidewalk, over tall buildings (ha!). It was a fun walk (one of many) but leaping made the day memorable!
Leap Day 2008 was closing day on my flooded Rushford house. Marissa and I just drove around Winona instead of going to the closing – tears were shed, memories were shared. Probably the most memorable Leap Day for me and the day was chosen purposefully so that it wouldn’t be a yearly memory – once every four years!
And now to Leap Day Present. Nothing memorable – just reflections of how much can happen in four years! Leaps and Bounds!
I didn’t know Chris in 2012 and now I look forward to spending the rest of my Leap Days and all the days between with him.
It’s the 2nd Leap Day in this home – 8 year anniversary is coming up in July!
Next Leap Day, little August will be 4! Kaydee will be 8 and Emma will be 5! I’ll be in a new decade (Yikes) and we will hopefully be debt free?
Today I told my mom she should have a party pretending to serve foods inspired by all things leaping – rabbit stew, frogs’ legs, Mexican jumping beans… it didn’t happen but we will have to plan it for the next time Leap Day rolls around!
Looking back, February 2016 was again filled with friends, family and fun! Chronologically:
Lunch with Cindy and a Take Note! party at Beth’s!
A Tropical Celebration with my parents for their birthdays, retirements and their anniversary – a Permanent Vacation party!
Superbowl party and Mayo Basketball!
The Forager for dessert and Panera for dinner with Chris’s kids.
Prescott’s for Valentine’s celebration amid Chris’s big work weeks. His new job meant a shift change and overtime work.
Celebrating Marissa’s birthday and SocialICE 2016!
The Grammy’s and the Oscar’s and Downton Abbey and movies at home!
Belated Margarita festivities with friends at El Patron, Nupa with Sierra and family and Victoria’s with Kevin.
“The Lady in the Van” at the Wehrenberg
Now we’re staring at March… what madness will ensue?!
Our life in a nutshell… readying for more goodness in #sweet2016!
#marriedlife2015 * Emilee Ashlynn Overton born* Basketball * LaCrosse, WI * Dahl Automotive Museum * Tony and Tien * Starlite Lounge * American Sniper * Take Note! Choir Monday nights * Madison, WI * Flaming Mos * Ella’s Deli * The Imitation Game * Signing to SDSU * Osaka Birthday lunch with Mom * Art Show open house * Double Dates with Beth and Doug * Paddington * Soccer World with Kaydee * SocialICE * Brrrrr * Beersicle * The Doggery is a favorite * Birthday by the pool * Marissa is 27 * Basketball * Oscars 2015 * Still Alice * Almost Maine * Lanesboro, MN * Mini Cooper * 2015 4 door 200 hp * Go-Kart Handling * 100% more doors * Thirsty Belgian * Beth’s Birthday * Blues Fest * Cinderella * Gracie is 13 * The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel * La Poblana * Chris’s road trip to Rhode Island * Relocating friends * McFarland, USA * broken tooth * Baseball * Lakeview Drive-Inn * Texas Roadhouse * Gunnar is 18 * Danette is an LICSW * Such relief * Johnny Holm * Mac’s Restaurant * breakfast all day * Book Club * Minnesota Monthly Food and Wine Show * Winona, MN * Minnesota Marine Art Museum * Blue Heron * Lake Winona * Casablanca * Kentucky Derby * Take Note! * Gender Reveal * It’s a boy! * Billy Joel * Singalong at Gluek’s * Ike’s Food * 25th Anniversary party for Chuck and Carolyn * Graduation party for Sierra * Trajan is 16 * Pitch Perfect 2 * Memorial Day in Lanesboro * Thursdays on First * Gunnar Graduates June 2015 * We’ll Always Have Paris, a Memoir * Campfire with Friends * Road Trip to Chippewa Falls * The Leinie Lodge is booked up * Showdown in Curd Town * Ellsworth, WI * Tractor Pull * Spy * Mississippi Sippin’ * June birthday vacation at the Lake * Once * State Theatre * The Local * Hoy’s Resort * No pelicans this year * Ted 2 * Minnehaha Falls * Lola’s Lakehouse * Waconia, MN * Parley Lake Winery * All-Star Football game * hottest day ever * Mankato Air Show * Food Truck Summit * Inside Out * 4th of July * Minions with Kaydee * Book Guilt * Not reading much * Magic Mike XXL with the girls * Trainwreck * Tooth extraction and implant * live music * rooftops * The Afterwhiles * Marissa and Adam buy house in July * #2015isamachine * Gunnar goes to SDSU * Family time * Ferragosto * Hoy’s Resort for meals * National Day of Relaxation * August 15 * Mini in the Mountain road trip * Mitchell, SD * Corn Palace * Wall, SD * Wall Drug * Mount Rushmore National Memorial * Rocket Motel * Iron Mountain Road * Needles Highway * Wyoming * Loveland, CO * Denver, CO * Kristyn and Andrew and Natalie * Snooze * Estes Park, CO * Rocky Mountain National Park * Vail, CO * The Arrabelle at Vail Square * Continental Divide * Pikes Peak * Nebraska * Iowa * Derek’s shouse * Football * Berne Wood Fired Pizza * Macy is 13 * Thursdays on First * Sierra is 19 * The Afterwhiles * The Great Minnesota Get-Together * State Fair * Everything on a Stick * Hot September * Ricki and the Flash * Cosmo Girls * Bowling * Garden Party * Meals * Cosmos * Thankfulness * Rees is 10 * RYFA Rees’s turn *Me Before You * Taylor Swift * I’m a Swiftie * hugs * A Walk in the Woods * Sierra and Aaron buy a house in September * Pickle Factor * Pepin, WI * On a Budget * Painful / Not Painful * Birthdayversary week * August Edward Rother born* Nana ‘Nette * Terza Rooftop * Pizzeria Lola * Couples massage * Covington Inn B&B * we’re on a boat * Surly Brewing * Christos for anniversary dinner * Love Greek * The Martian 3D * Sierra and Aaron get married in October * This queen gets a crown * Dentist work is no fun * Tyler is 23 * The Intern * Medea at SMU * baby cuddles * Satellite Sisters * You’re the Best * book signing * Satellite Misters! * The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 * Glen Hansard * State Theatre * Ethan is 10 * Worked during Thanksgiving * Kevin is 17 * Bendson Cousins get-together * found a Cuban café in Rochester * Messiah Singalong * Take Note Christmas concert * Winona Brass Band * Cosmo Girls * Kaydee is 4 * Creed * Nana Duty * Star Wars: The Force Awakens * Twice * 3D Imax * Brooklyn * Pho * Honda CR-Z * One-Year * Almost a record * Netflix Binges * Long Way Round * Gracie and Frankie * Orange is the New Black * The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt * Mad Men Finale * Refinance at Forest Knoll * Books * Book Club * #sweet2016 ahead
I failed at the Daily Gratitude Posts on Facebook this November, so I thought I’d attempt a wrap up of the month. There is, indeed, so much to be thankful for!
I am grateful for the arts – music, movies, theatre…
Chris and I saw Madea at Saint Mary’s University in Winona – a translation from Seneca which was creative and interesting to see!
10 years of Take Note! Amazing… 10 years ago we created a group with people who loved to sing showtunes. We moved on a few years ago to incorporate different genres, but we still have a great time! We have put on 10 Christmas concerts (our final one with our current director is this Sunday!) and 9 spring concerts. We have performed at community events, nursing homes, and with college students. It has been a touchstone in my life, keeping me connected with the community where I grew up and raised my daughter, with my friends, and provided me with great visits with my parents. Let’s see what the next journey is!
Koni, Gracie and I saw the final installment of the Hunger Games series, The Mockingjay Part 2. We went to a late show and sat holding hands through the entire movie! Just a little stressful, that final flick. A war film with monsters. I watched some through my fingers and asked for spoilers (Gracie remembers the story better than I do!). Glad to see it through!
Chris and I saw Glen Hansard at the State Theatre in Minneapolis! I don’t know what it is about Glen, but his passion for his art moves me. I had tears in my eyes for the first four songs! He started the concert unamplified with strings. Wow. Chris appreciated the live music and got a handshake as he came up the aisle! A fun night! Tickets were purchased in August – the anticipation was worth it!
I am grateful for family –
We had a great weekend in Rushford during opening buck season. Many cuddles with baby August, Gracie’s first buck, Rees’s first hunt (with the big ones that got away!), and movies and relaxing together. Only thing that would have made it better would have been having Derek’s family and Chris there!
We had a delicious tuna casserole (made mostly by Chris) at Sierra’s house, with games and books and good times! We also had Kaydee over to help decorate our Christmas tree – complete with hot cocoa and cookies!
I worked during Thanksgiving so I missed all of the family time in Rushford. But Dana and Koni invited us over (via an email from Rees!) for a Thanksgiving Feast on Saturday night! We had great food, great family time, and played some fun games (Suspend for the win!)!
Sunday we drove to the Cities for time with the Bendson Cousins! Kristyn, Andrew & Natalie and Emily and Andrew were home and we joined them with Ruth and Steve and Marissa, Adam and August for snacks and chili. All was delicious and the company was fantastic. A great celebration of family!
The basketball season is underway, so we have made a few games with many more on the calendar! I hope to make as many as possible! Trajan, Gracie and Rees are all playing, so it’ll be a whirlwind!
It’s hard to get enough snuggles of that new little grandbaby. He’s giving us those precious smiles and it’s hard to stop looking at him. Love him so! Marissa is counting down the days left at home, so send special wishes and prayers her way!
I’m looking forward to December and hoping for some quality family time, grandbaby snuggles, and Christmas cheer!
I am grateful for friends –
Cosmo Girls met at my house in November and the focus was gratitude. How appropriate, eh? We watched YouTube videos, TED Talks, discussed what we’re grateful for, and of course there were laughs. We left everyone with a notebook to keep track of the things they’re thankful for and Thank You notes to send. I’m going to start my daily journaling in December – so that’s tomorrow! Looking forward to getting in to a habit of writing again!
The Satellite Sisters were in Minnesota for a book signing and us faithful followers drove up to be with them and get books signed by them! They are amazing women/sisters, and it was fun to see Sheila and Liz in person and hear the stories they chose to share. There were many laughs and a few tears. We had a great time and I’m so thankful that my Satellite Mister from NYC was able to come to Minnesota and spend a little time with us. He Periscoped from the Brooklyn signing and it was so fun to get that glimpse into the next-generation of women who wrote for the book, and it wasn’t too hard to convince him to trek to MN! We had a great time with the Sisters as well as over dinner at Parma 8200. It was such a fun day!
Work has been a little calmer than earlier in the fall. I worked a lot of afternoons, evenings and overnights during November, so I am not used to getting up in the morning but I am working on it. 🙂 I’m thankful for my coworkers who work hard, are supportive and fun. It makes the difficult stuff we do a joy.
I am looking forward to some intentional quality time with friends during this holiday season, as well! I’m going to start making plans soon! Time is precious!
I am grateful for so much.
For the cookie dough I whipped up, which is in the refrigerator waiting to be rolled out into stars.
For Hulu and Netflix – I love commercial-free television.
For books – I’m hoping to spend more time reading and less time on Facebook in December.
For quotes and words and pictures.
For the wonderful autumn we have experienced so far – it has been amazing!
For Trader Joe’s.
And most of all for my daughter, the beautiful new momma, and my husband, my confidant and rock.
Life is good.
William Blake, 1757 – 1827
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise