Monday, July 15, 2013

Why San Antonio?

I said I would tell you about why I went to San Antonio "tomorrow" about a week ago. I'm sorry. I haven't been giving you the time and and attention you all deserve, and I know how that can take its toll on a relationship. Forgive me? Maybe I can make it up to you with a little healthy cheesecake recipe, available tomorrow. (I promise!)
I left Michigan for cowboy country (although to my disappointment I hardly saw anyone who qualified as a real live cowboy while we were there) to get out of real life for a while; at least, I suspect that's the reasoning behind it. And let me tell you, the atmosphere down there really was surreal. Getting dozens of high fives, cheers, and possible being bombarded with free hugs was expected, and you know what? It was really cool. I met people from Maryland, California, and Oklahoma, all in the same 15 minutes.  On Thursday morning, I ran a 5k with (well, behind, mostly) thousands of other Lutheran kids my age. Since I've been back, I've met at least 3 complete strangers with connections to the National Youth Gathering, the real reason for going to San Antonio.

All week, we learned how to Live Love(d) - singing (screaming) along with bands, laughing at skits, listening to speakers, playing sports, and playing cards in the hallways of the hotel. We saw the theme of the week in action, ALL. THE. TIME., from packing boxes of food for families in Uganda and Ireland and Peru to lending each other money for another meal at one of the plentiful Mexican restaurants in the area. It was definitely one of those mountaintop experiences. I recommend it. 

If I thought everything was going to be the same, predictable and comfy, when I got back home, I was seriously mistaken.  After arriving home at 2:30 at night and falling asleep in my jeans and shoes on the couch, I woke up 10 hours later not exactly sure where I was. 

Jurassic park grew in our back yard.

We have enough prehistoric summer squash and cilantro to power a small town for a year or so, I bet. Goodbye, energy crisis.

There were still cow-person hats lying around anywhere and everywhere, thanks to my horse-loving little sister (and my overbudgeting my food money)

There were all these flowers everywhere, and also my mom earned a car by selling about a million tubes of red lipstick. (Go Mom!) Hence, all the flowers.

Hence, also, a new umbrella, which I happen to really love! It's so happy and stylish.

The roses that bloom for a week a year bloomed and started dying while I was gone. 

It rained.

And then got really hot.

Unlike other times I've left on a summer trip, the pool is still clear and clean. (When you look up my house on Google earth, the pool water is fluorescent green. We were pool rookies and thought we could just leave it there while we left for a couple weeks. Hint: It wasn't)

The swing set was pretty much the same.  But it was really good to see it again.

There you have it, the story of my reason for leaving and then coming home again. Mostly I had a few pictures that I wanted you to see, and I needed you to know how amazing the National Youth Gathering was.

About the Jurassic Park situation . . . anyone have any good summer squash or cilantro recipes?

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