1. Tonight we went out for an early dinner at Buca de Beppo, armed with a $10 off coupon. (I always think of my friend Robyn when I see BdBs; we drove past one in high school, and she started shouting BUCA DE BEPPO!!!! repeatedly. I'd never heard of it before and thus thought she was having some sort of hysterical fit. She just really loves family style Italian.) We ordered chicken pesto pizza, which totally breaks one of my hard and fast food rules: chicken does not belong on pizza (another being mayonnaise doesn't belong on hamburgers). It was tasty. Our salad order got botched up and was pretty late, so they comped it. It ended up being an extremely cheap dinner.
2. After church on Sunday...
Ben to Juliette: Are you ready, Toots?
Juliette to Ben: Ready, Toots!
3. I did not manage to memorize the entire Mary Magdalene monologue for Easter Sunday, but I made discreet notecards and managed to not use them very much. The part I hadn't memorized was a prayer, so I conveniently bowed my head and was able to read less conspicuously.
4. Last week a Facebook friend mentioned she was reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I've been reading and liking his blog lately, so I stopped at the bookstore on the way to church that very morning and picked up a copy (how's that for viral marketing?). I couldn't put it down. The whole premise is sort of inverted, and I kept thinking it would fall apart in the thinner places, but it never did. I can think of a lot of people who would really like this book, but perhaps especially scrapbookers and preachers, because they are all about telling stories.
5. I've learned something about fashion from the ladies at church. Many of them have been wearing the same clothes for as long as 20 years. And they invariably look fantastic. Much of what they wear is either timeless enough that it never goes out of style, or so specific to their personal sense of style that it's irrelevant whether or not it's in style. Lessons: buy decent clothes that look good on you and will last, take good care of them... and take good care of yourself. You can't wear the same thing for 20 years if you aren't the same size. The dresses two sisters from FCC Pomona gave me for my graduation and ordination are the perfect test case for my new fashion goals. I wore one on Palm Sunday; will I still be wearing them in 2025? (Incidentally, a gruff but ever sweet gentleman stopped me during coffee hour and said, "You're wearing a beautiful dress." :)
6. I am slowly but surely packing up our stuff. The stash of boxes is growing.
7. My friend Erica, whom I first met online through The Young Clergywoman Project and then at the two preaching conferences, is one of our new "neighbors" in the western suburbs of Chicago. She and her husband are taking us to a Cubs game this summer. I'm so excited to experience my first Chicago sporting event! I've noted that there's some serious trash-talking betwixt staff members at my new congregation related to the Cubs and the White Sox. I'm afraid this early invitation to see a Cubs game is going to land me on the Cubs side of the scuffle.
8. The good news is that I get to return to Collegeville this summer for a much-needed weeklong writing retreat, and that some friends will also be there.
9. The bad news is that poor Juliette has to have surgery to insert ear tubes and remove her adenoids. She hasn't been well for two months, and has had this recurring ear infection since the beginning of March. We're anxious about it - especially with Ben's history of hearing loss related to infections - but we've heard good things about the ENT surgeon and the procedure itself. We'll find out tomorrow when the surgery will be.
10. We did not feel the earthquake on Sunday, though it seems nearly everyone else did. I thought that I was just unsteady on my feet from having woken up at 4:30am for the Sunrise Service. I'm really hopeful that it's the last earthquake for awhile now, and am considering tracking down one of those cheesy shirts from the Signals catalog that says STOP PLATE TECTONICS.