Wednesday, May 01, 2013

What I Loved in April:

1. Eric Clapton in concert: Epic. 'Nough said. Also cool: hearing "Wonderful Tonight" on the radio as we drove to the concert, and hearing it live less than an hour later. (And these concert-goers actually had lighters, not cell phones! It was awesome.)

2. The HUB: The new Sunday evening worship service in Charlotte is a breath of fresh air. Take a look at my piece on it here.

3. Visiting family in Florida: It was so refreshing to get out of town, go to the beach and see some family I hadn't seen in far too long. Sitting out in my grandmother's front yard as the breeze wafted up from the ocean two blocks away, visiting St. Augustine, going through old photos with my mom, seeing cousins, picking oranges from an actual orange tree... A wonderful trip.

4. My universal to-do list: Around the start of Lent, I randomly began to keep a bullet list of reminders to myself in a little blue notebook. Two and a half months later and I LOVE it. I just scribble down anything and everything that needs to get done or that I want to do, and highlight it when it's complete. I know, this is such a Type-A perfectionist thing to do, but it has definitely made me forget less and complete more. Plus, it's interesting to see what I find myself most drawn to doing as the weeks pass. (My friend Rosie does something similar - I got the idea from her!)

5. Greenie Bags: I love these bags from Under Stella's Umbrella. They're colorful, classy, big enough for my books and laptop (or as my mother often says, my "boulder bag" since I carry so much stuff - gotta be prepared), and they stand on their own! They're also made from 100% recycled material. Win win win win win.

5. Phone calls: I had some great catch up chats with friends in April, and enriching, insightful talks with writing mentors as well. It feels like a living, moving time in terms of connections right now.

7. Blog redesign: You're looking at it. It was a lot of fun to work on!

8. Sacred reunions: I got the chance to go back to two sacred spaces from my college days, the weekly campus worship service, and my Methodist fellowship group. It was great to be with other alums, my best friends, and to meet current students who are being deeply impacted by these groups just as I was. Cue Joni Mitchell: And the seasons, they go round and round...

9. Good food: Turkey and spinach on toast, spinach lasagna, hot broccoli spinach and carrot salad, strawberry shortcake French toast, the list goes on... some good cooking experiments through the month!

10. Photography: I went to a day-long photography class at the National Whitewater Center, practicing for my friends' wedding that I'm shooting this summer. I'd never been out to the center, which is only about 20 minutes from town, and it is gorgeous. The class was offered by Your Photo Safari, which travels around to several locations in the southeast. Highly recommended!

So, what did YOU love in April?

(Also - it wasn't what I loved in April, but it has been so moving to hear from folks who read my piece on the passing of my dog, Rusty. Everyone who's ever had a pet - perhaps a dog in particular - understands the agony of that loss, and it's been such a help in the grieving process to be reminded my family is not alone. Kind notes from acquaintances - including one offering to paint a watercolor portrait of our sweet dachshund - have been so meaningful to me. Thank you!)

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