21st June 2007
Whew, it’s taken me a while to be able to sit down and write this blog! We’ve been so busy. Even now, it’s 10:45, and we’re just now getting settled into bed, but I thought I’d steal a few minutes to catch you up a couple of our adventures. I’ll use my trip summary from an earlier blog, and give you the "plan" versus "actual" trip details.
Friday, June 15th – our departure, EARLY. LONG day in the car. Hopefully, we’ll get into my friend Tami’s house before midnight. Surprisingly early departure, before 7am! Only one trip back to the house – just from outside the neighborhood – for my wedding ring. It was LONG day in the car, as anticipated, and let’s just say that my kids are not very good at entertaining themselves. Thank goodness for the movies and playgrounds at McDonalds. We got in to Tami’s at 1am, got the kids back to sleep just before 2, and Josiah awoke at the crack of dawn in the 5 o’clock hour.
Saturday - Spend the morning with Tami and her family, and then head off to Shell Lake, WI, my parent’s house. Fun morning hanging out with Tami – who’s having a baby in just a few days! – and her son, Scott. Analise and Josiah enjoyed playing on his new playground, and though Analise had problems sharing, I think they had fun together in the long run. Then we had another long afternoon in the car before and evening with my family. Even Kat was home to greet us. One embarassing moment.. we left poor pregnant Tami on the floor cleaning up after an Analise accident just as we were leaving. I felt so bad! Sorry, Tami!
Sunday - Go to church at Salem, enjoy a little down time with my family. It’s always nice to go back to the church I grew up in. No one could believe how big Josiah had gotten. We had a quiet Father’s Day with my dad and Brian. Brian’s highlight was his new books, the promise of a new Tour de France DVD and a 3 hour bike ride. What more could he ask for?
Monday afternoon, June 18th – Head to the Twin Cities to visit with my brother-in-law, Hal. Stay with my dad in his new apartment in Minneapolis, his weekday home while he’s working at the University of Minnesota. We actually had a quiet day in Shell Lake before heading to the Twin Cities, meeting my dad for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Pizza Luce. His apartment is really nice, though we’ve cluttered it up pretty well.
Tuesday – No plans! We joined my brother-in-law, Hal, for a trip to the Como Zoo and some rides at the ComoTown kids amusement park. Very fun! We’ve got a few pictures to come later. I tried to visit my dear Trader Joe’s grocery store, but it turned into a major mis-navigation mess. I’ll share more details later. Now it’s a funny story. It was quite the disappointment on Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 20th - The bike racing begins! Stage 1: St. Paul Criterium In case you didn’t catch Brian’s note last week, he’d not racing in the 5-day Nature Valley Grand Prix bike race as we expected. Quite a disappointment, and not without huge amounts of trying to convince people to let him race. He definitely is competing at the level of these racers, but it just wasn’t meant to be. But we’re here anyway, and he’s racing this weekend in the amateur races. We met some dear friends of mine from Mercy Ships, Amy & Brian Finley and their son Caleb, and Shelly and Gaston Kingue and their son Nathaniel for lunch. Wonderful, sweet reunion that nearly brings tears to my eyes. It was so fun to be together with our little ones reminiscing, literally in awe of all God’s done since we met in the fall of 1999. All three of us were just diving into our young-single adventures in the mission field. So much has happened! It was a great time.
After some naps, Brian, Analise and my dad went down to St. Paul to watch the bike race. I had a rare evening out to myself with one of my dearest friends, Robyn. It was another sweet, time of catching up, and it was so good for my heart to have some girl time. Robyn’s about to have her first baby any day now. Another wonderful time of reminiscing and enjoying God’s grace on our lives. What a great, awesome day of enjoying friendships from the past for me. Much needed.
Thursday, June 21st – Stage 2: Road Race in Cannon Falls. No bike race for us today. We had a fun adventure at the Mall of America, playing in the amusement park, doing a little shopping and enjoying the Underwater Adventure aquarium (where you walk through a glass walkway under all the fish, sharks, rays and turtles. Very cool. I made a nice dinner of tortelli and sausage to get Brian started on his carbo-loading for this weekend’s races. Then I FINALLY got my long-awaited trip to Trader Joe’s. *sigh* Love that store.
Enough details. We’ll be back tomorrow with pictures, hopefully. Not much on the agenda tomorrow. We need a rest day!