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She came to town last weekend after a few scheduling changes and much anticipation on my part!  Jeanine is one of my very best friends from college.  The first thing I liked about Jeanine was the fact that she agreed to sing in the public dorm bathroom with me on the very first day we met just because the acoustics were good.  She tells me she is shy and other people might say so but it’s a lie.  I have plenty of stories to prove otherwise.  The other first thing I noticed about Je...

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Chicago is not known for its wide open spaces.  If I want to see some of that, I have to get out of the city and drive for awhile.  We did just that this past Sunday when we spent the day hiking around a forest preserve in Elgin.  The weather was supposed to be 75 and sunny.  Not knowing how long my recovery time would be, I wanted to take advantage and do something active the day before my final surgery.   Here is some of that wide open scenery and nature we went looking for.       Add ...

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I had my fourth, and supposedly final, surgery yesterday morning.  I was at the hospital at 7am and out by noon.  Things definitely go a lot smoother when you are on the schedule instead of an emergency addition.  I felt fine yesterday, other than being a little off balance by the anesthesia.  I did a relaxing, but mostly normal day.  Unfortunately, I started feeling bad late at night.  It seems that despite having made a quick recovery from the surgery, my body decided to come down with t...

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Tuesday night we went to dinner at a great place with Eric & Em.  Sweets & Savories is a small store-front, BYO restaurant outfitted simply in warm, mocha hues.  It serves contemporary French American cuisine with a menu that appears to rotate quite often.  (The lady sitting next to me requested a sweet and salty cantaloupe soup that she had experienced the week before.)  The bathroom that I entered (there are two options) had a gorgeous, large photograph of what is presumably a ...

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On Saturday we woke up early (earlier than I've had to get up in a long time, I might add) to be a part of our church's "Serve Our City" day.  We've been doing a sermon series about getting involved in your community and really owning it, regardless of whether you are here for 2 years or 20.  This day was a wrap-up for the series, but hopefully a start of many individual service projects to happen regularly around Chicago.   Though my church is a multi-site church, I think I often lose site o...

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It’s been awhile since I’ve found a spot in the public parking at my work. Mostly it’s streetside for me, so I felt pretty lucky on Thursday when I snagged a spot. But I felt even luckier when I saw what I had been missing. I had to pull off my sunglasses and stare for awhile. An array of bursting bold blooms greets that side of the building. Peonies, my hands-down favorite flowers, were just shouting their vibrancy. I had a moment of total thanks to God for such beauty on a sunshiny day. ...

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These are my potholders, my only two potholders that I have ever owned. I’m sure I got them as a wedding or shower gift because I’ve had them since the beginning. And they are some great potholders. Only, they have looked like this since Thanksgiving five years ago when we cooked our first turkey ever. And we carved our first turkey ever. The carving is important because it was at that point that my husband and brother-in-law thought that using these potholders to hold the hot turkey while t...

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This weekend we had way too much to celebrate.  Two graduations, three birthdays and one Mother's Day.  Squeezed in amongst Nate's impossible soccer schedule and my current weakling tendencies.  There wouldn't have been quite this much if we weren't uh behind in birthday celebs in a big way.   Congrats to Laura & Mark on both earning their M.A.s on Saturday!  I'm proud to be part of a well-educated family:) And Matt, Mark, and Laura are all a year older as of April-Mayish.  We celebrat...

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I came home from the hospital loaded down with some new plants and flowers, and discovered some changes in my plants at home as well.  I told you I was going to try herbs for the first time this year.  Here's a look at the basil that I've grown so far.  One set of leaves if much larger than the rest.  These were grown earlier.  Too bad that currently the thought of basil anything makes me want to wretch and go back to the hospital all over again.  I'm hoping this goes away before my basil ...

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1.  It's a fail-proof weight loss plan - 6 pounds in 6 days.  Of course along with this, you are forbidden to eat or drink anything for 4 out of those 6 days.  And I have a feeling that part of recovery is gaining back those 6 pounds in the next 6 days!   2.  A good roommate in the hospital.  Okay, those of you who met her may not have thought so between the groaning, cursing and everything else that you heard.  But she had a much longer hospital stay than I and she helped me kind of lear...

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