Thank you for strolling down memory lane with me. I am having such a hard time with this last batch, deciding which wonderful portions of my life I should include! Thanks to the Father above, Giver of all good gifts. . . including our beautiful memories!
35. Birthday parties for C.S. Lewis (both years), which you can read about here.
36. The musicals we did in our youth group in high school -- "Let's Go to the Rock" (in which I had one of the lead parts, and had to "rap" a song with Chad Edgington), and "Who Me?" (in which I starred as the evolutionist science teacher, and horridly sang a solo. . . and otherwise attempted to harmonize with Mandy on the other songs). Boy, do I wish I had some pictures of those events!
37. Meeting Valerie Tripp, the American Girl author. I read her first book when I was 8, the same year she wrote it. 20 years later, I had the honor of introducing her in front of the huge gathering of American Girl fans! She was delightful!
38. Planting a functional and gorgeous garden behind my little apartment in Illinois. I hope whoever lives there now appreciates my herbs!
39. A fun-packed weekend at Donette's in Normal my freshman year of college. She and her roomies (Melissa, Heather, and Mary) were helping me mend my broken heart by inviting me to all their "girl's nights out". Those memories make me want to bust out singing Alanis Morresette. Remember, Nettie?
40. A road trip to Atlanta with Josh and Anna (first year I was married). The reason we went there now seems rather shallow and wasteful in my mind, but it was one of the best times ever! And we think we saw Al Gore. :)
41. My college graduation. . . this may sound proud, but I was so happy to graduate Magna Cum Laude, because it was a goal I had set for myself in the beginning (all gifts from His Hand!). My family, friends and teachers were all so warm and encouraging to me on that day!
42. Cherry pie making with Anna and Misty from start to finish. Step #1: pick the cherries from the Hewitt's trees (r.i.p.). Step #2: pit the cherries while watching "The Happiest Millionaire". Step #3: make the world's best cherry pie for the 4th, complete with Anna's amazing pie art -- one year it was D.C. with fireworks overhead, I believe.
43. Hearing my sister Emily sing her gorgeous T.I. song "Come Home." She has such a sweet and perfect voice, and I was just so proud of her!
44. Catching the bouquet in my brother's wedding when I was 18. Janet (my sis-in-law) threw it right to me on purpose, and that was sort of the start of our really tight friendship. I love that Janet!
45. CEF trip 2006. What a lot of hot days (sounds fabulous right now) working so hard outside and swimming, and hiking and killing ugly trees (we were supposed to). And an abundance of merry-making and all-around silliness in the evenings. Pictured here are the cap-gun bandits.
46. (If you went to MBBC, don't kill me for putting) Lice Fest '99. It truly was one of the most horrible thing I'd ever gone through at that point, but it was such a tremendous time of growth for the girls in the dorms. I remember Sarah came in and "disinfected" my room one night while I was working security -- little did we know that Lysol doesn't do a thing to Lice! (but thanks for the thought, Sar).
47. Pretty much every moment of ri"donk"ulous craziness with my sis-in-law Kari. One time stands out, especially, when she came to stay with me while I was student teaching in Ft. Atkinson (little shout-out, Mark!). She is terrified of cats, and the Z's had a big one, Zumba, which I had to sort of hide from her, because she really is so petrified. Kari also likes to CLEAN, and we decided to totally organize the Z's kitchen and front room, but Kari goes a bit far (I'm sure you're shocked, if you know her) and was pitching tons of stuff! It looked GREAT in there, afterward, but I honestly don't know if the Z's were able to find everything! Oh my word, make me die laughing! That girl probably threw away their bills and things! I can't believe this psycho is going to be a mother! (I'm so happy!)
48. The relief and peace that came after I humbled myself and made things right with a girlfriend of someone very close to me. I had held a grudge against her in my heart for over a year, and I didn't really want to mend things, but the Hound of Heaven sought me out, and wouldn't let me just leave it alone! Thank goodness!
49. All the Bible studies at Kirby's house in high school. I trace my theological growth straight back to that humble abode. I am so grateful that Kirb invested in us that way, teaching us to see and savor Jesus Christ and adore His Word as our final authority. I can still quote the Bible Creed (holla back if you can, too!). Kirby was such an excellent balance of challenging friend and encouraging authority to us, which few kids ever have -- and it made a world of difference to me, and my walk in grace.
50. Okay, mush-ola, but I think I have to put my first kiss. The first person I ever kissed was my husband, Josh! If you can stand the details, read on: I had never kissed anyone before, and we had been "courting/dating" for about a year, and I decided I was ready (he had been for a while) when he told me he loved me. I was 21 years old, which seemed so old at the time! Still, I hold it as quite a precious thing that he was the only one I ever kissed! :)
Well, a million more memories flood my mind, and a million more are waiting to be made! To all of my new friends and readers (Grace, Kevin, etc.), I look forward to building memories with all of you!