A Few Things I've Changed My Mind About

1. Souvenirs 
I rarely buy the t-shirt, or the tchotchke. It is possible that I overdosed on souvenirs when I was a kid, when my family annually went hog wild at Wings Beachwear, an exceedingly tacky tourist shop with many, many locations in Myrtle Beach. When we went to Europe, I did not purchase a single item except for an unremarkable adidas hat on an unexpectedly cold day.

Last month I went on an unofficial field trip to the Shedd Aquarium with Juliette's kindergarten class. In the gift shop I happened upon a keychain wallet with penguins on it. As it turns out, I'd been searching for a keychain wallet, albeit not necessarily one with penguins on it. It was cheap and kind of cute, and I've discovered the unexpected bonus - a thing most people must already know because souvenir shops do so well. It makes me remember our lovely day in Chicago, especially the few minutes we slipped out of the overly scary 4-D movie and ended up on our own with the penguins, penguins that Juliette correctly identified as Rock Hoppers.

Ben was understandably mystified when he caught me taking this photo.

2. Yoga
I've taken a handful of yoga classes through the years, and never really taken to it. And then I bought a Groupon for the local hot yoga studio last winter and it just clicked into place. I love it. I crave it. I think I just wasn't ready for it before. After agonizing over whether I could really justify (let alone afford) the expense, I went all-in for an annual membership. My hope is to take about three classes a week. My favorite pose so far is the humble warrior.

3. The UCC
It's not like I ever disliked the United Church of Christ. It's just that, well, I'm a Disciple, and even though I have every intention of serving my congregational UCC church for a very long time, I had this sense that I would do so while simultaneously holding its denominational affiliation at an arm's length. It took me a couple years to get around to taking History and Polity, and another year or so after that to apply for Ordained Ministerial Partner Standing. I became "official" a couple months ago, but I don't think it finally sunk in that I'm truly a hybrid pastor, fully standing in these sister denominations, until last week. I attended the 2030 Clergy Network conference at Chicago Theological Seminary. Golly, are the young pastors of the United Church of Christ a delightful bunch. I liked them so much I wanted to be one of them - and, well, I am.

(I even bought the t-shirt; if you look closely in the penguin wallet picture, you can see that I'm wearing my new hot pink This Is What Clergy Look Like t-shirt.)

4. Raw Kale
I'm all about kale chips, but I've always looked askance at kale salads. We had a great kale harvest - once we figured out how to keep the critters from devouring it - and I decided to try a salad. Oh my stars, is this recipe from Smitten Kitchen good. I didn't even do the supposedly tastier version that involves toasting the walnuts and plumping the raisins, and I left out the bread crumbs altogether. All the adults in the household basically fought over the leftovers, a great irony since Ben is a self-avowed despiser of kale.

Well, I think that's sufficiently random for now.

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