my week in review: 6/14-20

// sharing the pictures // telling the stories // 

Sarah and I and her doll, Emma, had a Mother / Daughter / Doll date last Friday. 
I took the day off of work and the three of us headed up to the Mall of America.

We had lunch reservations at the American Girl Bistro.
We did a little shopping.
We went on some rides.
We had a ton of fun.
I wrote all about it in a separate post, so I won't repeat myself here.

When we got home Sarah helped me create a collage of all her favorite parts of the day.

Being at the Mall of America always brings back memories of when John and Kaitlin were little and we lived just five minutes down the road.

[bonus feature:]

When they first opened the Mall of America, we locals called it the MegaMall. 
It was a horrible monstrosity, a monument to consumerism and materialism.
I would avoid shopping there if I could, preferring to drive farther to a smaller, less touristy mall.
Did you know that people fly in from other states - even other countries - just to shop there because Minnesota has no tax on clothing.
Well, we had no tax on clothing... our socialist lifestyle has caught up with us.

...I'm getting sidetracked... what I meant to say was...

Fast-forward to when I was a stay-at-home momma.
I was so grateful for the Mall during the winter months. 
Those long Minnesota winters.
Walking around Camp Snoopy back then (now Nickelodeon Universe) with my toddler and baby was a relief to this momma on those stir-crazy winter days.
Sometimes we'd just go to walk around Camp Snoopy and play at Lego Land for free.

But sometimes we'd take them on a couple rides, like this Ferris Wheel. 
Or The Bus, which was their favorite.
It made those winter days so much more bearable.
Made me appreciate the MegaMall after all.

Did you know that the first indoor mall was in Minnesota?
Necessity is the mother of invention.

[end bonus feature]

While Sarah and I were at the Mall on our Mother / Daughter / Doll date,
I got the following text from JD, who was in Omaha with John and Kaitlin for a baseball tournament:

So I sent him this text:

Later, I sent him another picture I thought he would appreciate:

We continued to send each other photos of what we were doing through out the day.
It was like SnapChat without the self-destruction.

John's friends Mike & Ike were at the Mall.

After the Mall, we went across the street to IKEA.
Sometimes when I say IKEA in my head, 
I say it sing-songy, like the first time Madame Blueberry sets her eyes on Stuff-Mart.
"Madame, your kingdom awaits." 
In the background angelic voices sing: "IKEA."

That night Sarah and I pulled out the sofa bed and had a sleepover.
Kitty was really into the movie.

The next morning, as I as trying to have my coffee and read, our cat
 - who is not snuggly at all - 
was all over me and purring like 
So I sent JD this text:
It may have earned me the moniker Breakfast Nazi, after one of our favorite Seinfeld episodes.
"Kitty, no breakfast for you!" 

I'm hooked.
Don't get me wrong, I love strawberries with sugar. But it's a little too sweet.
For some reason I got the crazy idea to put some balsamic vinegar on my strawberries instead of sugar.
(Could it have been the summer salad I saw listed in the American Girl Bistro?)
It was yummo.

I spent some time being artsy this week.

Sarah, Bethany and I painted on the back porch until the Omaha crew came back on Sunday.

Sunday night we went to DQ.
As I took the picture JD surprised John with a kiss.

We all thought it was pretty funny. 
John's expression after the kiss is priceless.

I'm so thankful that this guy is the father of my children.
Such a good daddy.

I came home from work one day this week and Sarah had all the ingredients for muffins lined up on the counter.
She recruited me to be her camera man for the cooking show video, 
but she made me promise not to put the video on here.
You are going to have to take my word for it: She's gonna give Rachel Ray a run for her money.

#raphotoaday day 18: on my left // Oma
She's a very enthusiastic fan at baseball games.
And she's a bit of a ham for the camera.

Now that JD's not in the dugout, Reggie gets to come to the games.

#raphotoaday day 19: this song is my jam / this morning on my way to work

Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me.
I come alive, I'm alive when you breathe on me.

Speak to me, word of God, speak to me.
I come alive when you speak to me.

Awake! Awake! 
Awake my soul! 
God resurrect these bones
from death to life through you alone.
Awake my soul!

A pretty sunset after a walk around Silver Lake with JD.
It's a pretty picture, said several people on Instagram.
What you can't see is all the goose poop in the foreground.
Sometimes things are prettier on Instagram than they are in real life.

One of my friends sent me a quick note and said, "it looks like you're doing great from your blog."
It bothered me a little bit because actually things aren't "great" right now.
I want to be real and authentic and I'm willing to acknowledge difficulties, 
but I don't want or need to over-share specifics in this public place. 
Especially not while we are walking through them.

I don't take Instagrams of the goose poop at Silver Lake. 
I take pictures of the beautiful sky.
I don't tell the stories of the crap, I tell the stories of the beautiful ordinary.

It's important for me to be real, and I think I am as much as possible on a publicly shared blog.
Hopefully I am balancing authenticity with the beautiful ordinary in a way that doesn't come off as invulnerable.

I'm @annebickle on Instagram, linking up with @jeannettg for InstaFriday.
If you have a bloggy-blog, I invite you to join us. It's fun.


Jessica said...

Oh, you're so real! But being too real in a public place almost comes across as complaining. You know? That's why I don't do it. And because my in-laws read my blog ;) So, I guess we have to settle for some beautiful ordinary.
I love Sarah's baking show idea! I think I need to give my kids more freedom in the kitchen - that looks fun! You are a fun mom.
Your texts with JD are hilarious! You two are doing a fantastic job with your relationship. You get major points for making things fun like that and for speaking about him in such a positive and loving way in a public place like this!
Bonus feature:
We were the first high school to have our senior prom at the MOA in 1993 (which was my senior year!). Bloomington Jefferson was so mad at us. Boom.

Anne Bickle said...

Thank you, sister friend. I appreciate that. // I figure that the price of the ingredients is worth the confidence they gain in the kitchen. It is usually at least edible, often really tasty. Your girls will love it. // And also... way to beat Jefferson at something. Bam!

Oma said...

I remember when John was small and we took him to the MoA for rides. Bethany got on the bus ride with him, as an accompanying adult. I'll always remember Bethany's surprised look when, instead of going forward like the train ride, it took a sudden UP.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a fun week!

laura bell said...

I think we all understand that everything can't be shared here, in blogland. There are things that are just too private. But, I don't think you're coming across as if you're life is perfect. We all need to remember the beautiful moments in our crazy, stressful days. That is the reason I started my blog, to slow down and look at the beautiful moments!
That said, it looks like you had some great moments in your week. I would love to come over and paint with you! Didn't mean for that to sound creepy, just would be fun to paint with others!
laura @

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness, the mother, daughter, doll date!!!! I LOVE it so much, how much fun :) I'm kinda jealous. I have two girls and neither of them are that into dolls. The big girl always played with dragons and dinosaurs, and the baby girl will play with dolls, but would rather have horses or doggies. These pictures are adorable and so fun!! I also really love the painting outdoors thing, very cool! And I think the Sarah cooking show is awesome, too, how cute!! :) ~ I so much enjoy and appreciate your "beautiful ordinary"!!! :) ~ see you around Instagram my friend!!

Amy said...

This was an especially good week:) I always think of that same Madame Blueberry thing when approaching an IKEA!! And I still love it. go figure. I'm happy we're getting one in KC, so maybe I won't go as crazy thinking I can never go again. I've been to Mall of America once. I can't figure out why I can handle IKEA but the Mall overwhelmed me. I honestly think I had a headache from dairy, and I like shopping for my home more than my body. My girls loved the fun part in the middle, for sure.
Goose poop. Yes, I get that. I love the good you share. I love finding and noticing beauty. But oh my, life is full of goose poop. Just because we don't do close-ups of it doesn't mean it's not there. Sometimes we can't share it because it involves others, and sometimes we just need a break. We have no choice but to deal with it. But looking up? Looking beyond the goose poop when we can? A gift. Love to you in all the real--sunrises, sunsets, malls, goose poop, games, art, family fun, growth, work. All of it.


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