Oh my goodness! How is it that so many days have passed since I last posted? The only way I can properly explain the probable cause is simply in saying this...I'm experiencing Christmas.
Crazy thought, I know. Christmas in May? What? No, we didn't get more snow in Duluth, although it's always a possibility. I finished my first semester of grad school just over a week ago and was scheduled to start another class this past Monday. It was going to be three weeks of intense reading and online discussion and tests, so I hadn't made any plans whatsoever. However, Sunday night I took a look at the class syllabus that had been posted and realized the class was not at all for me. Without question, I have no desire to be a school principal or superintendent. That's pretty much all the class was designed for, so I dropped the class (it was an elective) and realized that left me with three weeks of loveliness. Once the three weeks are over, I'll be jumping into two summer courses for four weeks, which will pull all of my time away. Therefore, I'm enjoying every moment of my unexpected free time for these three weeks. Hence, it feels like Christmas every day!
One week has passed. What have I been doing? A majority of my time has been spent dreaming about and preparing things for Ella's second birthday party. The party will be on her birthday at the end of June, which also means I'll be buried deep in school work. I'm hoping to have everything finished before those classes begin. I've found lots of great inspiration on other blogs and have been putting things together. Ella has accompanied me on treks to Michaels for supplies, although she doesn't realize it's all for her. Invitations are finished, as are the kids' party hats, bunting, and most of the other decorations. Now I'm planning the food table and cupcake bar. Yup, a cupcake bar. Ella loves cupcakes!
Besides planning for the party, we've done a decent amount of house cleaning, grocery shopping, and gardening. I've also been getting my runs in for marathon training. Wednesday was my 20 miler. The weather was perfect. I really enjoy the time to think and listen to podcasts. My current fave for running is listening to past episodes of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me from National Public Radio. It literally makes me laugh out loud while I'm running. Seriously. So funny. I've got one more long run - 23 miles - to do before tapering down for Grandma's Marathon on June 18. I'm already praying for good weather.
Two weeks of break remain. What shall I do? Tomorrow Ella & I are going to Minneapolis for a couple days to stay with friends. Then we'll be back up so Pete & I can teach another night of Fully Engaged at our church. It's a six-week course we've been doing for engaged couples. It's an absolute thrill to spend time with couples who are at such a fun place in their relationship. We teach on things like communication, conflict resolution, commitment, and finances. We have a great time doing it. Other than that, I have no concrete plans. That means I get to sew or plant or take Ella on long walks to the farmers' market. See? With a schedule like this, it really does feel like Christmas! I get absolutely giddy each morning thinking of all the possibilities!