// sharing the pictures // telling the stories //
I went to a funeral on Friday of one of the owners of the building I manage.
It was at a Greek Orthodox church.
This picture is of the ceiling of the dome at the church.
Now here's the story of this particular picture:
I didn't know the part-owner whose funeral it was.
I'd heard his name a lot and I'd met him in a meeting once. But I didn't know him.
I definitely didn't know him well enough to want to see him in his casket.
I was kinda there for work.
Before the service started, when people were going up to his casket to pay their respects,
I whispered to my co-worker, Rachel, if she thought it would be bad if I went to the front
not to see Peter, but to see the ceiling.
From where we were sitting we could not see the ceiling.
I've always seen the outside of this golden dome from Lake Calhoun,
and I've always wondered what the dome looked like from the inside.
In order to see the ceiling, I went up the side aisle and quickly aimed it at the ceiling for a photo.
Is that wrong?
When I got back to my seat, Rachel and Todd were eager to see the picture, because they, too,
wanted to know what it looked like.
On the way home, we stopped at IKEA, and I got a sudden hankering for Swedish meatballs.
I did not get a similar hankering for fish roe spread.
Fish roe spread!
C'mon! Caviar spread would be better.
Then we would forget what it actually is.
But that graphic.
You can't really get past that and pretend, can you?
Then there's the whole tube thing.
Like fish roe toothpaste.
Not so much.
This week we wrote to our other three kids.
We started sponsoring Rose, Yeni and Alexi when each of them were four years old.
Their ages are the same as Sarah, Kaitlin and John's ages.
We did this so that our kids would each have someone their own age in parts of the world that are so much different than our own to correspond with and pray for.
When I cut out their most recent photo bookmarks, I couldn't believe how big they've each gotten.
Speaking of getting big...
We had our family birthday meal with Oma and Opa on Friday night.
I love this boy's smile.
Saturday night JD surprised me with a date night.
We drove up to St. Paul to attend an event at Art House North.
We'd been there before and I knew that those pews look real quaint,
but I also knew that they aren't that comfortable for someone with back issues.
So I'm standing in the back of Art House North, waiting for JD to park the car, and I'm thinking,
I wonder if JD will be willing to sit up front in those white folding chairs.
They look much more comfortable than the pews. But I know that JD does not like sitting in front.
And those white chairs are way up in front. Like, as far up in front as they are white.
They are glaringly up in front.
When he joins me, I ask him and he's like, "Okay."
Then he leads us not to the safe second row of white chairs,
but to the glaring front row.
I wanted to do a Bob Eucker imitation right then and there:
"I must be in the FRONT ROW!"
Basically I was sitting right underneath Andy Crouch, the featured speaker.
Which was okay.
I get distracted if I sit in the back of anything.
I like sitting in the front if I want to really drink something in.
And I drank Andy's talk in.
Dear Andy Crouch,
Thanks for your call to reflect the Trinity as we make art that is very good. I was enthralled and challenged. I want to go make something very good right now. Heck. I want to make anything right now, but especially something very good. I want to read your book, which must be very, very good. And, um, sorry I had spicy Thai for dinner. I hope it didn't bother you too much since I was practically breathing on you.
Dear Troy and Sara,
It's been fun to see your journey from ISD 196 to here. I wish we had more time to visit, I always enjoy it when we can. But I respect that you have a lot of people that feel the same way so we'll sneak out the front door and let you visit with them. Also, I'm sorry that this isn't a better picture of either one of you. And yet, I think it's a great picture.
Andy combined his talk with a slideshow of visual art
and music from both Bach and Tom Waits.
I felt like I was back in a college art class.
It felt wonderful.
"Cultivating creative community for the common good."
That's what the sign would say if it were in focus.
It's the mission of Art House North.
Great surprise date, honey!
While I was at Art House North, I got tagged on Instagram with #widn.
(That's "what I'm doing now.")
I thought I'd do a little experiment and tag some people who I was curious whether or not they'd respond, my kiddos.
See, once, when John was looking through my Instagram account and who I was following, he said
"You use Instagram just like an old person."
I said, "what?!"
He said, "yeah, you only follow people you are friends with. No celebrities or ESPN or anything like that."
So I was wondering: do young people do #widn? or is it an old people's thing?
After John got tagged, he called me and he said he didn't know what that was.
I told him and he laughed and said "but I'm not doing anything... I'm not doing that."
Then Kaitlin and I exchanged texts about it.
She didn't know what it was. She didn't play along either.
Yep. According to my somewhat skewed research,
#widn is an old people's IG game.
And here I was feeling so young because I knew what #widn meant.
The birthday boy told me that he wanted a camcorder for his birthday so he could make better videos.
I am all for him pursuing this creative outlet,
but a camcorder for a birthday gift was a little out of our birthday budget.
So I told everyone who asked what to give him to give him a gift card to Best Buy.
He was able to get a nice little camcorder.
I can't wait to see what he will make!
I wrote my blogging manifesto this week.
That's what my cousin, the English teacher, called it so that's what it must be.
I felt like I got an A+ on a manifesto assignment I didn't know I was writing when I read her comment.
Then I felt self conscious for all the grammar mistakes I make.
The post is my take on blogging. Something I like to call "bloggy-blogging."
If you don't have a blog, please read it, because I wrote it with you, especially, in mind.
If you do have a blog, but struggle with feeling like you need to be strategic in your blogging, you might enjoy reading it too.
I think so anyways, because that's what several people told me after reading it.
They said that it helped them to think of their blog in the way I described.
Bloggy-blogging is real blogging!
Morning snuggles with Sarah.
Every morning I sit in my spot on the love seat in the living room and I read and drink my morning coffee.
Usually Sarah comes down the stairs while I'm still there, and she'll sit next to me and cuddle.
On this morning, when she came to sit next to me, I happened to be looking at my Instagram feed.
"Oooh, I like that one," she said when she saw the picture of the girls with the horses.
So I double clicked the photo. (I would have anyway.)
"Ooooh, I like that one," she said of the picture of the lone horse.
So I double clicked that one, too.
Then, I turned the camera on us.
We took very many photos.
She was totally into it.
She knew she'd be on Instagram and then my weekly post.
(It's hard after morning snuggles to have to think about leaving for work,
especially now that they are home for the summer.)
Sometimes, in my photos, my living room wall looks grey
and sometimes it looks aqua.
The paint name is called "urban blue" and it looks more like the greyish color,
though not exactly.
In case you wondered.
I came home from work to a gift from a friend.
It was unexpected and so thoughtful.
Sarah's softball season has started.
Time for the team picture.
(spoiler alert: whenever the sky is beautiful, many many photos must be taken. It's the law.)
Tuesday night John had an 8 pm game.
I enjoy the late games because we get to see the sun set during the game.
The sky was beautiful with the clouds threatening rain.
John and JD talk about John's last at bat.
With the sun setting in the background.
It's so nice that Oma and Opa live close enough to come out for the kids' games.
And that the sun is setting right behind her.
John's on deck, taking practice swings.
And the clouds in the sky are just gorgeous.
As soon as JD and John both saw this picture, they said they could tell why he was popping up.
In fact, JD brought my phone over to John to discuss it.
Can you tell why he was popping up?
Even after they told me what they saw ("he's out in front"), I still can't tell from the picture.
I just like like the photo.
Because it's an action shot, but also
because the sky is beautiful.
Wednesday Kaitlin and I ran some errands.
Then picked up John from his DRIVER'S ED CLASS!
This is the stuff I find on my camera roll.
These kids are so fun.
I'm so lucky I get to be their mama.
A while ago Kaitlin and I were talking about how it's important to read the Bible because that is one of the primary ways that God talks to us.
She admitted that she doesn't read the Bible as much as she wants to. It's just so hard! If only God would text her to speak to her. That would be so much easier.
I agreed. That would be so much easier. I often wish He would speak audibly to me.
So I got this idea.
I created an account on a free texting app so that she wouldn't recognize my number and I sent her a text from God. I told her that I loved her and asked her if she'd read my letters to her yet today.
I let it go for a couple exchanges, but then I went into the room she was in and I told her that it was really me.
She was a little freaked out. I felt bad.
But we had a good laugh about it.
She thinks I'm strange. But funny.
Now I send her bible verses on that account as if God is texting her.
She asked for it, she got it.
Thursday night at Sarah's softball game.
This is my summer ballgame get up.
My I-don't-want-to-bother-with-my-hair hippie baseball hat and my big sunglasses.
Because looking like a hippie bee is so attractive.
Sarah did great at the plate. She hit the ball well.
After the game as we were walking to the car, I commented on some nice plays she made at short stop.
"It's in my blood," she smiled.
Because her brother is a pretty good short stop and she's pretty proud of him.
That was my week. How was your week?
I'm @annebickle on Instagram if you want to follow me.
I'm linking up with @jeannettg for InstaFriday.