lucky stars collide

Image
It’s hard to imagine many things happier than living together in a city filled with friends.  That’s all most of us can ask for, right?  To be grounded in a city where we feel connected to the people around us.  To be able to throw a dinner party at the behest of a phone-call or two.

A month after we got engaged, Jon received a job offer from a company in Mondovi, Wisconsin – a town of 2,700.  Mondovi’s claim-to-fame is that there isn’t a street-light in the entire town.  Residents may roam freely.  

When we first met, Jon’s job required working late-nights (midnight on a week day) and weekend hours (usually Saturday and Sunday from noon-five).  I wanted to be able to spend more time together, and Jon promised to make that happen.  Perhaps, I shouldn’t have been too surprised when he came home with a bottle of champagne and a map.  Beggars can’t choosers, after all. 
Image
Deciding to leave Chicago – my sweet family, my friends, and my job – was incredibly scary.  I’d moved half a dozen times in my life, but this was the first time it felt like leaving home.  

Why the sudden unease?  Previous moves had come with a built-in social network, a group of friends that would make transitioning more comfortable. When you start college, for example, you’re beginning a new life with thousands of other people that are embarking on a new journey. With a bit of luck, you’ll experience the ups-and-downs of college alongside people that will become lifelong friends.

We lived in Mondovi for just over a year, and then Jon’s company moved us to downtown Minneapolis.  Once again, I felt uncomfortable about the move and the prospect of making new friends.  Rumors that Minneapolites were as cold as the weather made me nervous:

Image 

New Years Eve marked 7 months in Minneapolis, and Jon and I decided to spend the evening sipping champagne and playing games with friends.  I went shopping for party crowns and horns and hats before the event, and as I tried to match celebratory gear to my friends’ personalities, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for all the truly kind people I’ve met here.  

The Minneapolites that I call friends are down-to-earth, genuine, and fun.  Mixing a group of them together for an NYE party made for a perfect night.  When the clock struck midnight, I kissed my sweetheart and thanked my lucky stars that our adventures had landed us in such lovely company.
ImageImageImageImageImage

good madness

Gazing out the window and observing the happenings and mysteries of the world is definitely not my cup of tea.  No mam, no sir.  I’m meant to be wrapped up in the thick of life.  You can find me loving, suffering, daring, failing, wishing, hoping and feeling.  I want to experience, firsthand, all that the world has to offer.

The wonders of life swirl around us, and it’s our task to absorb and share all that the gifts that they bring.  Suffering and pain is inevitable, sure, but the bad times make the good times better.

I’ve never made a New Year’s Resolution – I’ve always been more of a:
Image
kind of girl.  Also a cheesy kind of girl for making/inserting that graphic, huh? Well, we can call a spade a spade: I’m cheesy.

Point is, I firmly believe that we should make each day our best, and constantly think about how to maximize our life experiences (make way for all that loving, suffering, daring, failing, wishing, hoping and feeling). Sometimes we need to live in the moment, and sometimes our actions need to push us toward the future we’re hoping for.

Despite that belief, I’m also beginning to see the New Year as a time for reflecting on the past 12 months.  The new year offers an opportunity to analyze where past plans went awry and create goals for future success. So, this year, I’m making 12 resolutions (or little action steps) to help make sure I’m living life to the fullest.
Image
Okay, okay, without further ado, my resolutions:Image
Did you make any of the same resolutions?  And, last but not least (since I couldn’t stop playing around with words and pictures), a hope to to share:
Image