"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What Happened to February

Is it really March 1st?

What happened to February?

-- 1 --

My DH and I went on a University-sponsored retreat of sorts. We stayed at a nice hotel and ate really good food (steak, shrimp, bison kebabs). And lots of it (maybe too much). And I didn't have to cook it. Or clean up from it. Or cut anyone else's food before enjoying it.

We celebrated Mass each day at St. Mary's of the Badlands, reportedly the oldest Catholic church still in use in the state of North Dakota. I got to see the park in the winter from the comfort of a coach bus. After dinner one night, a group of us took a walk in the gently falling snow. The air was warm. The snowballs were flying.

I was introduced to a master knitter, the wife of the University's CFO. We sat by the hotel's beautiful stone fireplace (a fire was actually lit when we were sitting there) and talked knitting. I learned of knitting groups in the Bismarck area. And she taught me how to change colors in the middle of my current project.

The theme of the retreat was: Servant Leaders of Moral Courage: Reflections on the Vocation of a University. More on that later.

-- 2 --

Right before leaving for said retreat, I received a Facebook friend request from my great-aunt's granddaughter, with whom I corresponded in junior high, when she was living in Germany. She is the daughter of my mom's cousin and we were pen pals for a short time, but I haven't ever met her and I hadn't heard from her in YEARS. She is now living in California, not far from my brother. This "meeting" led to the discovery of a host of other cousins I never even knew existed. Cousins living in Egypt and Japan. Cousins starring on Glee. Pregnant cousins. Cousins who like to crochet and cook. And together we've been working on filling in some of the leaves on my maternal grandmother's side of the family tree. And I've got the bug to create some family tree albums.

(My grandma is standing, third from the right. Aren't old pictures fabulous?)

-- 3 --

My dear, dear persevering husband has been working (and working and working) to finish his dissertation. It has to be in the hands of his board by next Tuesday, so Monday is the last possible day he can mail it (and that, overnight). His last "overnight" mailing didn't arrive the next day, so I think he's aiming for Friday or Saturday. We have seen very little of him the last two months -- a big reason why I have not been blogging. or knitting. or reading. I've been busy taking care of life. And drinking wine.

(a Christmas present from my Mom)

-- 4 --

In conjunction with finishing the dissertation, we went to Minnesota for a week, so hubby could use the University library to work on his bibliography and footnotes. We crammed in as much as we could before Minnesota got hit with another foot and a half of snow.

We spent an afternoon at my gramma's, and she surprised the kids with their favorite lunch and ice cream.

Our gracious hostess invited our former pastor and the brothers over for a fabulous lunch of linguine with a salmon cream sauce (I still need that recipe, Faith!) and chocolate cake. We are so grateful for her generous hospitality, and immensely enjoyed our time with her (short as it was in between running around to all of our other commitments).

(No, we are not crazy ... this picture was taken last July before we left ...
different weather, same people, same wonderful hostess!)

The girls and I got haircuts. I was able to attend an in-service retreat day for Archdiocesan staff. The kids went swimming and to the Children's Museum with my dad. The girls were able to get in some dance lessons and time with their friends, as well as attending a ceili. We spent a splendid evening sharing pizza and wine and catching up with dear, dear friends. We had brunch with my sister-in-law. And we made it home before it started snowing! Whew!

You know how traveling is ... time to pack, time away, time to unpack, time to adjust to a normal schedule ... it's good to be home.

-- 5 --

Finally, we celebrated three birthdays in February. On the 10th, we went to Space Aliens to celebrate my DH's birthday -- not because he loves Space Aliens, but because he loves that his kids love Space Aliens, and it was good family time. (By the way, Bismarck is home to the original Space Aliens!) (And they have really great barbeque.)

On the 26th, our oldest daughter turned 10! Ten! She is as horse-obsessed as ever, determined to one day own her own horses, or maybe even a ranch. She proclaimed this birthday "the best" -- I think because of her gifts -- real Western riding boots and a cowgirl hat.

She is determined in more ways than one, always trying her best and setting goals for herself, whether in dancing, or in her school work, or in trying to please her Momma. She reminds me a lot of myself, and I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming.

Two days later, my Baby turned 2! She is my joy and the light of my days.

Babies are truly one of God's great blessings.

Her favorite thing to do right now is to take care of her "babies" -- feeding them, changing them, ...

... and wheeling them around in the new cart she got for her birthday.

And that, my friends, is where February went.

Happy March!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update! I was just thinking today I should send you a note to see if you're still alive in the midst of all that snow and cold.;) Been thinking about you and how much I miss your updates. No pressure...I know you're busy. Hey, love the knitting project!


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