Well, the fun still continues in the anniversary posts! I left you guys hanging with the dinner details last night so I’ll just jump right in from there: the dressing up and the dining out.
Anniversaries of any sort are important to celebrate because it is cause for pause and reflection on the year that has passed. But it’s also cause for celebration! And this started soon after we arrived at the hotel, when a staff member brought us a small wine and cheese plate. The white wine was tasty and it was fun to feel treated before actually going out, although I expected the cheese to be more than cheddar in a package. But I’m pretty easy to please and do love cheese, so it was fun to eat before heading downstairs. This was all a great Living Social package that Mikey got – the room, wine & cheese, dinner and breakfast the next day! Way to plan this out, Mikey! …and it was all a surprise to me.
Although we had about 2 hours to get ready for dinner, I of course only got moving at 6:18 pm to change my clothes and put some make up on before our 6:30 pm dinner reservations. #notanormalgirl …Always love a chance to wear my blue power skirt!
We headed down to the basement where the restaurant was located (pretty convenient on a cold night to simply go downstairs! Also nice for not walking long distances in heels and after a few glasses of wine) and got ready to order. First up, some multigrain rolls with a mouth watering smoked paprika butter and sea salt – what a great combo! – and half a bottle of our favorite: a Malbec! We generally reserve wine for meals with friends and special occasions – this was certainly the latter!
The menu looked delicious – all local food and very seasonal – and we made up our minds pretty quickly. Mikey ordered a lamb shank with mashed cauliflower and ____ while I went with the butternut squash, chickpea tagine with braised kale and couscous (which made me think of meals in Morocco with Anna and when I learned to make one – sweet tagines like this one are common dinners!). I watched the lamb literally fall off the bone – Mikey didn’t need a knife his whole meal! – and thoroughly enjoyed my dish. It was gone well before Mikey’s.
The atmosphere was fun and Christmas-y in neat gray hues and the portions were perfect. Great meal all around!
We debated dessert and I finally gave Mikey the reigns to order yay or nay and one each or split. Sharing normally would be a no-brainer, but he typically likes fruit-based desserts while I’m a fan of chocolate and/or ice cream based-ones, so we never really want the same thing. Although I hummed and hawed, he ended up ordering a s’more crème brulee with homemade graham crackers. The first bite was super rich, but as Mikey said, it got more bearable with every bite as your body got used to the sugar and each taste was better and better. Like he said, you only order one $10 dessert once a year, so this was the time to go for it!
We had a fun evening talking about the past four years, our future life direction and where we see ourselves, our desire to hold things loosely and stay flexible
in case when God shifts our plans and about our families. Part of being married means learning to balance your families, the way you grew up, the direction you’re moving in and forging new traditions and making new waves as a couple together. I love that! It requires sacrifice, honest communication and dedication, but when God is our center and our focus is on loving Jesus and loving others, it’s hard to go wrong. What an adventure we’ve lived together in four short years! And we have both our parents to thank for their support in so many ways and for the support of wonderful communities around us enabling us to huck it huge – to go for it full blast – and try new things based on the unexpected course our lives have taken.
My favorite part of the day? Yesterday morning, when we woke up and started chanting, fists pumping in the air, “4 years! 4 years! 4 years!”
…and here’s to many more!
We woke up to pack and get ready for the full day ahead and started it not with a workout (I opted to sleep in – getting up in the “6’s” just didn’t seem appealing today) but with a delicious, healthy breakfast downstairs:
An omelette w/lots of spinach, tomato & goat cheese, dry multigrain toast (had 2 – remember, your body digests carbs the best post-workout and in the mornings! Don’t be afraid of them!) & fruit.
The portions were PERFECT – we really don’t need as much as we often think – but I’m not a huge OJ fan and the coffee was okay (I’ll admit I am a coffee snob – strong, dark, and black all the way!). I loved the omelette and toast though; even without a workout, which is my preferred way to begin a day, I ALWAYS feel better with a healthy breakfast and feel good to know I got some protein and greens in the a.m!
Now we’re at the Holy Cross Cancer Center in Edmonton and I’m typing away while Mikey’s in a meeting. It’s very interesting to be back here since this was a stop on our WW2H film tour…I remember Jason graciously parking the RV and pulling through with our sound equipment; Cassandra helping set everything up with a smile Mikey and I reeling after just hearing that the retreat center we were moving into to run had been taken away from us. It was so tough, but seeing the faithfulness of God over this last year with Mikey and good friends like Jason and Cassandra has created a deeper trust and satisfaction in my heart. Seeing patients in this center with shaved or bald heads, noticing the fear, sensing the uncertainty…it’s all too familiar from almost four years ago and has spurned our desire as a couple to inspire hope in those who feel none. We have so much hope in our lives because of the faithful God we serve who provides richly for us daily. And He provided Mikey for me; I am so grateful for this adventure together. I love you, Mikey!
Back to the day at hand, ready for an screenings with oncology nurses and all the meetings Mikey has planned! Edited to add: the day went great! Mikey’s meetings were successful and we shared some drinks with friends and had a great night seeing Edmonton friends! Happy weekend guys. Reflecting from time spent spent in a hospital, a place of sickness and often sorrow, I pray that you would keep living well and be-ing well!
First full mountain peak since chemo, October 2011.