Potter mania.

epic. 

…movie. 
…women. 
…experience.

for the showing of the final HP movie, the girls and i loaded up water bottles with bloody marys and gin and tonics (i know, probably illegal), made bags of popcorn, and set out on our bikes to ride to the theater downtown.  we invested in the 3D version, and were given Harry Potter-style glasses for the movie.  it was a beautiful finale of such a great story. 

we biked home at 2:30 am, under a nearly-full moon, and collapsed into bed.  life is full and rich, indeed.

chamomile tea and apple computers.

tonight, after dinner, the ladies of the house settled into the living room, each on their Mac of choice–laptops and Ipads–researching hiking trips and “apocalyptic lightning storms,” writing articles, reading commentary and blogs.  then Ang made us chamomile tea and, coupled with the lighting, it became a very relaxing and peaceful environment.  not a bad way to spend the evening.

a lifetime.

i once received a cheesy forward email that held deep truth:  you will have friends for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  i’ve been blessed to develop “lifetime” friends from every season of my life.  and tonight i had the privilege of visiting with my high-school season friend.  she was in town from Vegas and, while we haven’t seen each other for over a year, it was like we didn’t miss a step.  such is the beauty of “lifetime” friends.  you don’t get upset at each other for not calling the last six months; you know each other’s journeys and families and issues and growth, without much explanation.

home alone.

i found myself completely alone on a Sunday afternoon, a rarity in a house of 6.  so i enjoyed both the solace as well as a spontaneous dance party to Jay-z in the kitchen.  i took this shot, and what i love most is how this exposure captures the notes on our blackboard in the background.  notes of love and family and grocery lists.  the glorious nitty gritty of daily living.

 

improving on no-bakes.

one of the early traditions Kelley and i established when we lived together was the glory of no-bake cookies.  perhaps the simplest recipe in the cookie kingdom, you just add butter, milk, peanut butter, cocoa, oats…boil on the stove…set out on wax paper to harden.  easy mcsqueezy.

so, as post-lunch found us craving a sweet treat, we decided on no-bakes.  Kel took to the stove and i measured the ingredients, and in all seriousness we began to discuss the mechanics of such cookies, little tricks we’ve learned over the years…bring to a slow, rolling boil; boil consistently for a full minute–any less or more will lead to runny cookies that don’t set up.

the irony began to settle in, that we were “improving on” the simplest cookies known to man.  we were making child’s play into serious art.  we were taking easy-bake-oven to a Julia Child level.

and we began to laugh.  laughed foolishly and ridiculously as our little works of art didn’t set as they should.  laughed as we scooped warm, liquid cookies off the wax paper and hurriedly plopped them in our mouths.

retreat.

a couple weeks ago, i felt led to schedule some time away and with God.  leave it to me to do this further into the city (Chicago) instead of away from it.  fortunately, my dear friend Megan was away from the weekend and said i could have her place all to myself.  so i booked the megabus (uber cheap) and a couple city bus rides later, found myself in a wonderful little cave of a place, in a quiet neighborhood.  just what i needed.

it was a strange 48-hours, as i slept for nearly half of it.  but it was so rewarding to travel alone, navigating bus systems and crowds.  God definitely had me meet a fair share of interesting people–a Philippino man who offered me his adult son in marriage, said I would like the Philippines; an older couple from Mexico who helped me get off the bus when the door was jammed;  a homeless man named Bob who told me life is not worth living without the struggle; a man named “Magic” who asked if i was a minor–a strange, but still worthy compliment on my age.

plus, i got to try out my new pack, which is wonderful and worked so well for travel.