I know I’ve been really neglectful about posting over the last two months – I’m going to try to play catch up over the next week by doing a bunch of smaller posts about various things that have happened since my last post.
Way back in May, Kurt’s best friends came up from Illinois/Wisconsin for the weekend. It was so great to host friends for the first time ever! The guys enjoyed local pizza and video games, as is their way. We also took a day trip to Ann Arbor, where we explored the heart of the University of Michigan campus (absolutely gorgeous that time of year, with all the flowering trees in bloom), comic books stores, and the brewpub for Ann Arbor Brewing Company. I was in the middle of my no-drinking month, so no craft beer for me, but they had so many awesome vegan options on the menu and I would absolutely go back again to eat AND drink.
Later that month, my mom came to visit us in our new apartment – I could hardly believe that this was only the second time she came while we’ve been in eastern Michigan and the first time she stayed overnight! It was really fun to have her here. She came bearing all sorts of gifts and goodies, including Ikea dishes that I’ve had for ages but never brought to Michigan, Iittala Essence glasses that I’ve been coveting for years, and a beautiful Marimekko tablecloth that I’d also had my eye on ever since it appeared in Crate & Barrel’s Marimekko section of their website. What a lovely housewarming surprise! (Sorry for the bad quality of the photos – I’ve mostly been using my phone but the camera on it is so much worse than my last phone!)
Of course, no time spent with my mom would be complete without amazing food. We spent a day in Ann Arbor and had lunch at Seva, a vegan/vegetarian place that is very popular, even with meat-eaters. It was so cute and “hippie”-ish and made me a little bit heartsick for Portland. We also hit up Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to stock up on delicious things to eat. (For all of my friends who don’t know what Trader Joe’s is, I am so sorry. It’s a lovely little grocery chain that offers low-cost versions of many high-end brands, is incredibly vegan-friendly, has made major commitments to sustainability – especially in seafood – and most importantly sells surprisingly decent wine for ~3 dollars a bottle. AWESOME.) We had a great combo of vegan and non-vegan eats, but I was pretty proud to cook some of my favorite vegan things for my mom. It’s rare that I get to cook for her, instead of the other way around.
Funnily enough, when my mother and I were living together, we rarely did a proper “sit down dinner.” We’re grazers at heart, so while it was wonderful to do a full meal, the rest of the weekend was dedicated to making meals out of lots of snacks.
Having people in our home made it REALLY feel like a home. I’ve moved so many times since I lived in Finland the first time that it’s often hard to feel like any place is truly my own. I get caught in the weird place of falling in love with almost every place I’ve been and then having to leave it shortly thereafter. Maybe someday the craziness will end and I’ll stick somewhere for at least a few years! I always thought I’d be the nomadic, jet-setter type, but being married and never really feeling settled has made me value the idea of having one place to call “home” far more than I ever did when I was younger. Moving all the time feels less glamorous every time I do it. But fingers crossed that my traveling will never end!
Oh, and by the way – my challenge to myself for May went extremely well! I worked out every day, lost a decent amount of weight, and above all, just felt better. In June I’ve eased off a little bit (not working out everyday, drinking wine again), but all my hard work showed me that it’s actually not all that hard to take care of yourself and be active if you make it a priority and find a way to make it a part of your routine. I’m trying to figure out exactly what I want my routine to be from here on out, but I think I’m off to a really solid start and I look forward to seeing where I end up at the end of the year in terms of strength and stamina.
May was a great month, and June has been too – more to come this week!
P.S. Sorry to my friends and family who follow me on other media, I know these pictures are redundant for you! :(