It's very cold in Minnesota. The bright and shiny sun belies the fact that it's in the 20s with wind chills in the low teens. I am wishing for Portland, where it has been in the 70s.
I can't wait for our trip to California in a month. We have it all planned out now. Flying into San Francisco, two nights in Sonoma (where we are going to a wedding), a night with my aunt outside of San Francisco, two more in Carmel, one in San Simeon (where Hearst Castle is), and the final two in Santa Monica, flying home from LA. It's going to be a great adventure!
I led an evening prayer/vespers service for the first time this week, which included giving a little reflection on a Gospel reading. It was a lovely, half-hour service we've been doing every Tuesday in Lent, and I hope we continue it after Easter. I've attended a few of them; they are such a peaceful step out of time and a chance to center oneself at the end of a busy day. I enjoyed leading it. The white alb, the opportunity to do something resembling a homily ... it was a tiny little taste of what it might be like to be a priest, though of course that will never happen for Catholic women in our time. It also provides a small glimpse of what monastic life might be like, where they pray together not only every evening but several times a day. I think that would be a wonderful practice.
Daniel seems to be getting bigger and stronger and smarter every day ... there's so much for him to discover in the smallest things I take for granted, and he explores everything with gusto. I carried him in the Ergo while I was grocery shopping this week, and he was fascinated by the rows and rows of apples and oranges. He would lean down to touch them, and I didn't have the heart to pull him away. Let that be a reminder to wash all your produce thoroughly before eating it!
We got together with my friend Lisa on Thursday. She has a 4-year-old son, and it was fun to watch him and imagine what Daniel will be like in a few years. He's bursting with energy and life ... he pushed his little plastic car around on the muddy paths (and sometimes sat in it and "drove" it with his feet, Flintstones-style) in the woods near their home while Lisa and I (with Daniel) walked behind him. The cold air didn't seem to bother him one bit! I hope Daniel will have that sense of adventure and fearlessness as he grows up.
I think I am going to make hot cross buns for Easter. That's the reason I am online this morning in the first place — to find a good breadmaker recipe.
Today's main goal (now complete) was to clean our living room windows. Why? Because on Monday, the people from J.C. Penney are coming over to install our new blinds! Yes, it's time to say goodbye to the heavy, white drapes that have been in this house since before we moved in. They are the drapes we love to hate. I have been cursing them for years, so it was particularly funny that when my mom was in town for Daniel's baptism, we were sitting at the dinner table and she said, "Emilie, I just love these drapes!" Steve and I burst into laughter, and my poor mom had no idea why. We're replacing them with some simple honeycomb blinds that are a shade of light gold-beige that's just a little darker than our walls. It goes nicely with the wood that frames the windows (which could stand to be refinished, but that's another project), and I think the simpler look with the exposed wood will be really nice for those rooms. I hope so, anyway!
I'm Emilie, a writer and mother to two young boys, married to my best friend and living in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was diagnosed with a soft-tissue sarcoma in August 2007, while pregnant with our youngest son. Cancer sucks. But we are trying to live life to the fullest in spite of it.