We have entered my favorite time of year. My favorite holiday season. And my birthday month. I love when they all coincide. Although, Springtime (våren) could be a little more bold and hearty and just, like, stick around and stay and I would not complain at all. That being said, last Sunday was Palm Sunday. The ‘kick off’ of Holy Week. Tim and I were fortunate enough to not only attend Palm Sunday service together but we had the lovely company of my step-sister, Blair, my step-mom, Jenny, and my sister-in-law, Maggie, come along with us. Jenny and Maggie came in from Iowa on Saturday for a fun Girls Weekend of Shopping and to help Blair move. Blair has spent these past few months, her final months of college, here in Chicago as a student teacher. She has a few more weeks of observation here but then will graduate in a month. Pretty excited. We are all proud of her and can’t wait to see what the future will bring. That being said, we spent most of Saturday afternoon and evening dining and shopping in Andersonville. It fact, Maggie got caught red handed having fun in Chicago:
Maggie also brought us some amazing gifts. These - to show a few:
She perfectly picked some new (to me) vinyl! Isn’t this great?
And Peyton (her four year old daughter, my niece) drew us this wonderful drawing. Trond is clearly on top and pink. Katie and I are on the front and Tim is on the back, jamming to his head phones! So sweet!
I walked Trond early on Palm Sunday morning while everyone was getting ready for church. It was a gloriously sunny day. This tree was in bloom and it almost looked as if it was glowing. I noticed it a block before getting to it - I’ve never seen one like this before:
The hund had never seen one before either. Or smelled one, so… you know… he did what he does best.
Palm Sunday service was nice but as we sat in church together, with the windows open, initially, we were warm but by the time Communion was distributed, it was getting chillier and chillier. The day that started out sunny turned cold and rainy. That did not stop us from having a good time, finding good deals AND packing and moving Blair. By the end of the long day, we decided to take my step-brother, Brandon, up on his offer of treating us to a very nice meal. He sent Maggie with special money in tow for us ladies (Tim was working Sunday night) to go all out on going out for dinner. And boy, howdy, did we! We dodged raindrops and made our way to Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro. We all had drinks (Maggie and I imbibed in some whiskey cocktails) in various forms with each course. We ordered two appetizers for the table:
Baked rarebit with bacon and onions and crusty bread.
Beer battered asparagus with a lemon ranch dipping sauce. They were both amazing!
Maggie ordered the half slab of ribs. Mrs. Murphy’s wins at Ribfest every year and is very well known for their ribs. Maggie agreed that they were delicious.
Jenny and Blair ordered various forms of the gourmet mac and cheese. Blair enjoyed a Stout that she had not had since being over in Wales. She also authentically ate her fries like the Irish do, with malt vinegar.
Jenny and I each ordered this deliciously lovely entree: pork tenderloin with bacon on top of root vegetables in an apple cider reduction. It was heavenly.
You know we opted for two desserts to split, too. The Bacon Brownie Sundae with a Chocolate Pecan Brownie, Guinness Ice Cream, Milk Chocolate Ganache, Toasted Pecans, and Bacon Brittle and Brioche Bread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel Sauce, Cinnamon Mascarpone Cream, and Walnuts. We did not get pictures of those. Believe me, they were scrumptious. But we did get a picture (finally) of the four of us, having a wonderful dinner courtesy of Brandon. Mange takk, Brandon!
Last night I went to Maundy Thursday service. That and tonight’s Good Friday service are two of my top three favorite of the year. The Most Favorite being Easter. Good Friday is one of my favorite days of the year, I know it is somber, but we need that in order to truly celebrate Sunday. The day today was not somber, because my very dear friends from college, Kristin and Nathan, who live in Sioux Falls, came to visit me today and finally FINALLY meet Tim Ryder!
Here they are! IN MY HOUSE!!!
My sweet, sweet Kristin and me. ON MY COUCH!!! They were in Wisconsin for a work and family trip and drove even further today to come see where we live and enjoy a lovely lunch together and drop off a birthday present for me and meet my wonderful husband. It was perfect.
This time of year is also significant because yesterday (April 17th) marked our eighth year together. Yes. Tim and I started dating eight years ago. EIGHT. FREAKING. YEARS! While cleaning the other day, I found my old cell phone. We charged it up because I had these text messages saved (not really old love letters but hey - this is modern living, y’all.) from when I realized that Tim didn’t just like me but he like liked me. He offered to pick me up from the airport. Unsolicited. Who does this? Someone who likes someone, that’s whom. He liked me. Woo hoo! EIGHT YEARS!
It’s a record. For both of us.
Speaking of record…
well - that is another entry.
A Blessed Good Friday to you all.