Happy Sunday! I am currently nestled into my newly improved home office (more on this later), in my pjs with classical music. I need this time of peace right now. It was quite a busy week, jammed pack with celebration, travel, and other odds and ends. Allowing myself to “just be” and sleep in this morning was probably the best way I could end this wonderful week and be reminded of how much God has blessed my life with the most amazing people and opportunities.
My 28th birthday was Wednesday, October 10, but my “birthday week” officially kicked off last weekend with the traditional Saturday spent shopping and dining with my mother and grandmother. Three generations of women traversing the mall with bags of good finds, lots of laughter, and reminiscing on “the good ole days” … oh what fun! I am incredibly grateful for these two women and thank them for making my day so special!
I worked all day Monday and part of the day on Tuesday, and then headed to Minneapolis with my boss and co-worker for the Praxis International Advocacy Learning Center Social Change Advocacy Conference. The conference itself was a great time of learning and inspiration. It’s always refreshing to be around new people, gaining fresh insight and knowledge on how to better oneself and the work you do. I came away from the conference with a renewed perspective and a feeling of pride in the work I do and the organization I work for. In the human services business, it’s easy to get burned out by the challenges presented on a daily basis, but I was reminded of how important the work we are doing is and that each step taken in making our communities a better place contributes to making the world a better place overall.
Outside of the conference, us three ladies had time to do some fun activities, including visiting the Mall of America and exploring the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis. We ate two fabulous dinners; our first at Tucci Benucch and our second at Rosa Mexicano. Thank goodness for all the exercise I got after indulging in this deliciously decadent food, including two treadmill runs and a long walk on the Minnesota River Trail. For just a short time there, it was filled to the brim with activity. This marked my fifth out of state trip this year and to a new place, so I am very appreciative for this experience!
I returned home late Thursday night, and was fortunate to have all of Friday off from work, making for a nice long weekend spent with my hubby, family, friends, and in the comfort of my home. There really is no place like home. After being away it’s always nice to come home and be surrounded by those people and things I love most in this world. We ventured to Ikea on Friday to purchase new home office furniture and decor, and then hit the town that evening to celebrate my birthday with my dad’s side of the family. It was a great time complete with good drinks and food, especially my sister’s homemade carrot cake (to die for)! I am so lucky to have an entourage of spouse, parents, siblings, and grandparents who always shower me (and each other) with love! They are truly a gift from above!
Yesterday I celebrated and caught up with a wonderful girlfriend over lunch, afterwhich I ran some errands and then went to the evening service at church so I could spend this morning at home. After a few hours of peace and quiet today, I headed to the 5K event benefiting my workplace. Lucky for those of us who particiapted, the rain held off and the temperature was a nice 65 degrees! Despite the strong wind, I managed a 5K PR of 24:41, and earned the place of Female Overall Winner! There’s a first time for everything! God has not ceased to amaze me in the gift of running He has graciously made a reality in my life! I stand in awe of what He has done for me through running, and give Him all the praise for today’s victory!
My 28th year is off to a great start, thanks to the Lord, my loved ones, and all the adventures of this past week. I am so grateful for all that I have been blessed with and pray that I will make the most out of this next year of life – living it to the fullest and giving back to those in my life who have generously given so much to me, as well as stepping out more in faith and trusting God for the extraordinary! Life is Good!