The youth conference was great overall. The teens in both of our rooms were great, and I even got to take a nap on three out of the 5 days we were there. My girls were great about going to bed at a relatively decent hour every night (12:30-1:00), and I had no grumpy morning people.
Now that we're home again, we're not leaving on another trip for a while. It's nice to be home in our own bed, especially now that it's started to cool off again. The first few days back were hellish, particularly because our house had NO cross breeze. There are these huge windows that DON'T OPEN in the living room that soak up all the morning sun, which is terrific in the winter, but horrid in the summer. And the living room is cut off from the kitchen and dining room with a wall, so any air doesn't travel in there anyway - we don't use that room much lately. Our backyard is at least 50% concrete from the unused inground pool and surrounding area, which brutally traps the afternoon heat. Needless to say, I am thankful for gray, overcast, rainy days right now when I can turn the AC off in the bedroom and come out of my "hole."
My college friend Andrea visited quickly last Monday night on her way from seeing family in Massachusetts to heading to NJ to see other friends. It was fun to see her and a good excuse for us to go out to dinner at Ali Baba Express, our favorite Turkish restaurant in Lake George.
We celebrated Nich's 32nd on Wednesday. I felt a bit guilty as this year, just because we've been so busy this summer, I wasn't able to put forth the time and creative energy into making his birthday extra special. But we went out to dinner with a bunch of friends - where Nich had to sit at the kids' table because two of them insisted they had to sit next to him - and then came back to our house for root beer floats and games. Thankfully, my husband is sweet and easy to please, and he was kind enough to tell me that night that it was one of his best birthdays ever. :~)
On Friday night, I attended our friend Catie's bachelorette party. It was grand, clean fun. We went out for dinner, took her on a scavenger hunt of sorts with stops for coffee and ice cream, and then some of the girls spent the night at the Queensbury Hotel (because there's a hot tub there, and Catie wanted a hot tub).
This was the week for visits from Houghton friends! Jill came Friday afternoon to stay for the weekend. Saturday was a gorgeous day, so we took Jill to walk around the Yaddo Gardens in Saratoga. The rosebushes looked like they had just been trimmed, but they were still pretty and smelled nice. We grabbed a quick lunch in Wilton, and then spent the afternoon by the Hudson, dozing and wading in the water. We went to Lake George for dinner again, and Keri joined us at Ali Baba.
Sunday was Catie's wedding, and it was absolutely beautiful in every sense of the word. The ceremony was meaningful, and there is just something extra special about the marriage between two people whose hearts' desire is to serve the Lord and who you KNOW with absolute certainty that God brought together. I know Catie has been praying for Josh for a long, long time, and it was just so RIGHT to see them starting on this journey of marriage together. Someone joked later on at the reception that the pastor never gave a chance for anyone to object to the marriage, and it struck me that I haven't ever heard that said at a wedding between two believers. Because for those God has brought together, it's not any person's business to pull them apart.
The pastor also reminded Josh and Catie (and the rest of us) that the option to cut and run when things get tough - an option that most of the world sees a valid - is not an option at all for those who call Christ our Lord. I loved that reminder about what commitment truly means, about what "through thick and thin" really means. Because things WILL get tough; that's life. But how beautiful when you work through those times, and you are ever closer for it.
So I'll end with some pictures from the past week.
Nich with the Fischer kids at Moe's for his birthday dinner. :~)
Keri, Nich, me, and Jill at Shepard's Park in Lake George after a yummy dinner at Ali Baba Express
Andrea, me, and Nich
Josh & Catie:
We wish you a lifetime of joy!