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We got home from home just a couple of hours ago. It was a great trip back to Minnesota and Wisconsin, and although we didn't get to see everybody we wanted, overall it was a big success. That's always the way with these trips; it starts out seeming like we'll have all the time in the world - 10 days! - and suddenly we realize that there's no way we can get to everything we want. It's hard to cram half a year's worth of interaction with friends and family into a few measly days.

We did have major success on the wedding front. Mom and I took Andrew over to Camp Friendship and he loved it! They've done a bunch of remodeling in the last couple of years and so many of the communal buildings were even nicer than I remembered. Most importantly, we'll be able to use the lake, including boats, and the grounds. We can have a nice outdoorsy wedding, a fitting theme to who we are as people.

Also! I bought my wedding dress! I didn't dare hope I'd find it on the first try, but Andrea's Vintage Bridal was a real winner! Mom and I had a Wednesday morning appointment with Andrea. It was just the three of us (plus a big poodle) alone in the shop to sift through all of the dresses. Andrea truly knows her business, and she could see possibility in every dress I tried on (about 20). It was a wonderful time, especially to get some time alone with my mom. Ultimately I picked a beautiful 50s dress with sleeves and a skirt of exactly floor length - the two things I wanted. I debated whether or not to show you the dress (Andrew's already seen it, I can't keep my own secrets to save my life), but I'm going to have a few things altered on it (sleeves shortened, sash added), so I won't show it to you now. I will give you a look at the beautiful lace that made it absolutely perfect:

I would absolutely recommend Andrea's shop to anyone looking for a wedding dress, or to a more limited extent, a vintage party dress. I've been thinking about recommendations a lot lately, both because of the dress shop and because I've been recommending the Accidental Creative book so vocally. More on recommendations soon.

Speaking of the book, have you bought your copy yet? Just checking. It's given me a lot to think about over the last couple of weeks, and along with that, we picked up a couple of Seth Godin's books, Tribes and Linchpin, yesterday afternoon. We read about the first quarter of Linchpin out loud while driving (do I have a great guy or what?) and then I read Tribes at other points during the drive. I should be able to finish them up this week. And yes, Jason, I am loving them!

All three books have really got me thinking about who I am and what I'm about, what I want to be about a year from now, ten years from now. I've settled on the following:

  • Enthusiasm: My greatest strength is my enthusiasm; enthusiasm for good ideas and for good people. It's also what I love to see most in other people. I'll go a long way out of my way for a good idea or a good person, and I hope to inspire that in other people. The world just seems to be better when we're excited about life.

  • Learning: I love to learn. Nothing more to it. See previous post.

  • Teaching: This is the key for me, I think. I don't really feel like a new piece of information belongs to me until I've taught it to somebody else. As much as I love learning, it feels so much better when I can help somebody else learn something new.

These are the key principles I need to build my life around. I'm happy when I'm doing one of these things and I am in heaven when I get to do all three.

I'm pretty sure my lot was cast before I hit two years of age. Mom tells me that they were trying so hard to teach Tom to talk (he would have been four when I was 18 months), always repeating the names of everything. "Say car, Tommy, say car." They never needed to teach me - I just sort of picked it up and fell in line, and by two years old I was trying to help Tommy to talk, too. I learned that words were the most important thing in the world, and that learning and teaching were satisfying. Combine that with a happy, safe household, and really, is there any surprise I ended up with those as the three traits as most important to me?

So that's what I've got to report. I'll post some more photos from our escapades soon. But for now, I'll leave you with this:


Me and my guys

Oh, and one more thing:



Did you buy the book yet?