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Nate had his 27th birthday last week.  He's a low key guy, so we had some low-key celebrating.   Sunday night we went over to our friends' backyard to celebrate.  We had individual berry shortcakes & wine and just spent time talking together in the low-lit yard.   Monday night all of Nate's siblings came over for a quick Mexican dinner and Strawberry Cake Roll for birthday cake.  We stuffed our faces and Nate opened his gifts.  Then we went off to the bowling alley to play one game tog...

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This weekend took me to Kalamazoo, MI for a hitching. It was also a mini grad school reunion, as Sandy is a friend from Wheaton and people were flying in from Missouri and Korea to be there for her. It was a fun two-day reunion involving lots of girl time, laughter, road tripping, wedding dancing and not much sleep. Sandy looked beautiful, beautiful enough to make her groom cry on at least four separate occasions:) We ended our mini reunion with a final night in Chicago at Honah’s apartm...

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I was waiting to fall asleep a few nights ago and started reflecting on things Nate and I have really prayed for recently.  I realized that in the past few months we have had two major prayers answered in a really positive way.  Of course it's easy to claim the answers that turn out positively as opposed to the times that he did answer and I didn't notice or think about it because it wasn't what I wanted.  When each of these two recent things came through I was very thankful to God for them, ...

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I’m really glad for the great friendships we’ve formed in Chicago. I’m glad our friends have us over all the time, too. I’m glad that they like to garden and I’m glad that they work on their yard and I’m glad that it’s summer and warm out and jobs just don’t seem as important. Because sitting in our friends’ yard in their new lawn furniture on a mellow summer night is one of the most relaxing things I’ve found to do.   Add new comment...

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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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