1. Putting my big girl a plane by herself to go to Florida to visit my parents. This is her second time flying alone, but the first time I've dropped her off. Last year we all flew south together as a family, but we left her behind for a few weeks on her own. My mom put her on the flight to send her home, and I met her here. This time I'll send her off and pick her up two weeks later. Big stuff for both of us!
2. Sometime while she's gone it's likely that I'll turn into an official minivan mom. I never really had a desire to own a minivan, but the last time we got a new car I was arguing for it. I was newly pregnant with our second child knowing we would eventually have a third also. It seemed easier to just go for it then even if I wasn't thrilled with actually owning a MINIVAN. My husband's pride won that battle though, and I've had a Ford Freestyle for a few years. It's been a good car, but my love has seen the light. We're ready to take the plunge and will probably work on that a little later this month.
3. The next exciting activity is in July - - Synod School. Love it! This year the whole family is going, and I'm sure it will be wonderful as usual. It's a gathering in Storm Lake, Iowa, Buena Vista University actually, of 650+ Presbyterians (and others) of all ages for worship, learning, fellowship, and general merry-making. I've been going for 7 years. Two of my kids have gone every year of their lives, including when they were 5 and 8 weeks old. My oldest had a year off when she was 1 since Daddy couldn't come, and she could stay home. This year the convocation speaker is Carol Howard Merritt (who I have learned went to the same junior high as me just a few years before I arrived, although now it is called Hoover Middle School). Carol graciously agreed to a request from a friend and me and provided a list of books she wished people might read before they came. My friend and I are leading a class at Synod School based on four of these recommended books. Curious about what they are?
4. Immediately after I come back from Synod School, I'm heading over and down to Chicago for the Young Clergy Women Project's conference, Sabbath in the City. I've followed the group for while, participating somewhat on the blog and more and more lately in the Facebook group. I'm about 5 years away from being too old for the group, so along with 2 Lutheran friends and colleagues who live and serve near me, I'm heading to the conference this year. We might be more excited about flying to Chicago on a plane without kids and husbands as anything else. I'm also excited to meet up with a friend from the UK who will be my suitemate. It will be a grew few days, I know!
5. Lastly on my summer agenda is a non-church wedding over Labor Day weekend. The connection to this family is more complicated than it's worth explaining, but essentially a family in the community has asked me to officiate this wedding between their daughter and her Persian fiance. I'm thrilled to be a part of it and look forward to working with the groom's aunt to craft a service that includes pieces of both cultures and traditions. The fact that the wedding is a destination wedding on Madeline Island in the northern Wisconsin Apostle Islands archipelago makes it even better! It's one of the local-ish sites my husband and I have wanted to visit, but since my job, his limited vacation, and our families whom we like to visit once a year each make the weekend getaways that many people enjoy sort of impossible we haven't in the 4 1/2 years we've lived up here. The family is paying for lodging for our whole family for two nights of the holiday weekend. My mother-in-law is coming with us to take care of the kids while we are are the official wedding stuff. It should be a WONDERFUL weekend right before the two older kids start kindergarten and 2nd grade!
Bonus? One thing I'm not doing but would like to be doing? Going to Florida, not necessarily with my daughter, because I love that at 7 she's thrilled to go by herself. It's just that it's been a while since I've been back there to visit family. Last summer we all met in north Georgia for a vacation together which was great, but I like hanging at my parent's house and popping over to my old hometown to see what's still there and what has changed. Maybe at the end of the year I'll finally get back there.