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game night (and an updated blog).

24 Mar

Three college friends – plus a spouse, a daughter, and a boyfriend – and I planned a night together last Friday.  We met in St.Paul and had only one goal : wear crazy hats.

It’s a game we played a lot in college and also in seminary.  The Great Dalmuti is its name and it requires crazy hats.  Friday night we had a lime green cowboy hat, an Arizona Wildcats foam hat, a bear headband, a hood, and my mother’s wedding hat from 1980.  Depending upon how well you do in each round, you may get to wear a really awesome hat or you may be forced to wear a really crappy hat.  [The wedding hat was declared to be the least great of the five; sorry, mom.]

We also played a little Spot It, ate pizza, and drank hard cider.  Our next get-together is on the calendar for May; we live too close to not get together more often and wear ridiculous hats.

As an aside, you may notice the blog looks different [again].  Surprise!  It was my sermon procrastination technique for Saturday night … I hope it’s easy to navigate and pleasing to your eyes.

Big city, yeah, yeah.

9 Feb

[Big city, yeah, yeah.]  I went to the Cities on Thursday night.  Pastor Joel from Montana [the pastor whom Paige and I had just seen a week earlier] was in town for a continuing education event.  It was almost as if we didn’t actually live a 16 train ride away, seeing each other twice in the course of a matter of weeks.  The continuing education event at the seminary was over and Joel was getting on the train that night.  We made dinner plans and I made plans to arrive in the Cities a bit early to explore a few of my favorite places.

IMG_2019Favorite place #1: Paper Source.  I drool over the catalogs when they arrive in the mail. It’s where I buy bookmaking supplies and my Christmas cards.  They have an entire wall of cards and envelopes in every size arranged by color.  #dreamy



Favorite place #2: Right across the street in Uptown is the Kitchen Window.  A kitchen store.  #drool.  I went in for a pastry blender and walked out with that and the creme-of-the-crop candy coating discs that I use for cakepops.  I usually pick up the Wilton’s brand from craft stores but when Merken’s brand is available, it makes huge difference.

IMG_2021Favorite place #3: I met up with Joel and Paige at the seminary and we were off to Punch Pizza where the pizzas are cooked at 800 degrees for 90 seconds and the best salad on the face of the earth exists.  Hands down.

I do love the Cities and seeing my friends there.  I love St.Anthony Park [featured photo] and creme brulee at Wilde Roast.  I kinda miss it all – the paper, the proximity to high quality cakepops supplies, the pizza, and especially the friends.

a church day.

11 Jul
I’m highly caffeinated.  
It’s nearly 1am.  I spent right around nine hours in a car today.  And I’m wired.
Two iced coffees, two sodas, and a cup of warm coffee in a church fellowship hall.  
The day began with worship at my home congregation.  Talk of upcoming ordination and congratulations were many from dear congregation members.  There was a bit of distraction and also a bit of focus on the congregational vote that was happening in Austin.  THE vote to call me as pastor.
I arrived home and found my phone ringing.  A 507 number.  This was it.  I answered and heard this on the other end –
“Thank you?”  [I wasn’t entirely sure who was on the other end …]
The conversation continued and it was, indeed, the chair of the call committee of Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church in rural Austin.  They voted to call me as their pastor.  [yay!]
phew.  I had known in hypotheticals that this would eventually be the case.  I’ve never heard of a vote not passing but it was still reassuring to know that it’s the real deal, that I could make it facebook official, and that I can now mail out my ordination announcements.
After the phone call, I jumped in the car and headed north on Interstate 90 towards LaCrosse, passing a bus of Dawson friends traveling south at one point just north of Madison.  I knew that Dawson youth were on their way to Chicago for a mission trip and I knew that they had stayed the night in the Dells the night prior.  I kept my eyes peeled, wondering if our paths would cross.  And they did!  I called Emily to say hi and to tell her I saw her bus with organist Chris driving in his bus-driver-man clothes.  It was a fun coincidence.
I drove to Sparta, jumped in the car with friend, Cassie, and we headed west to Albert Lea to our pal, Josh’s, ordination.  I was able to catch up with my roommate, who also attended, and congratulate Josh.  Josh is called to a church in southwestern Minnesota – the synod I was in last year while intern in Dawson.  I caught up with the bishop from that synod, who was interested to know if I had a call yet.  If not, he said he was ready to snatch me up.  [Apparently both southern Minnesotan bishops fought for me in the draft.  ego boost]  Cassie and I returned to Sparta, and then I jumped back into my car and drove home, arriving on Aarback just after midnight.
It was a good church day.  I have an official job.  Josh was ordained.  Car time road trip with a seminary friend.  Waving distantly to old friends.  Tomorrow [technically today] will be a good day too.  Ordination announcements can officially go out and plans can begin to be made officially.  And then I’ll start crying because, for some reason, my ordination makes me super emotional.  More about that to come.

forward movement.

16 Jun
I haven’t been completely honest nor completely secretive about how this whole first call process has been going for me.  It’s been frustrating and confusing.  Waiting and more waiting.  Feeling both helpless and hopeful.  I spoke to the bishop of south eastern MN on Sunday night at my friend’s ordination.  He restored me to hope as I had scarcely allowed myself to hope before.  [Ten points for that movie reference.]  I became more hopeful in my waiting.
Though there have been minor break-downs and a few pouty lips, overall I have “trusted the process.”  [That’s what they encourage us to do.]  I think I have trusted the process and been patient in waiting because of what Dawson taught me.  I remember how it came out kind of wrong when I told my coworkers in Dawson that to be there was not my first choice.  It’s true; it wasn’t.  This girl was assigned to go to Brookings [also not a first choice], only to have that site fall through and then be given no choice but to go to Dawson.  I cried a bit, and thought a place with a gnome park was a little suspicious.  Please take no offense, Dawson-ites, because then I went and fell in love.  The process was good to me.  Learn to trust it I did.
Between us girls [as my pal, jD, likes to say] and blog readers, tonight I received a phone call.  From the church in Austin at which I’ve had two interviews.  I stood in the laundry room at my friend, Kim’s, house while her puppy sat at my feet, stared at me, and farted, and they offered me a call as their pastor.  It remains not official-official; a congregational vote – with two Sundays notice – will take place on July 10th.  So, please, calm down just a little bit – not that much – but I was too excited to not share.  I’ll keep you posted as the vote approaches, and let you in on the insider details [or at least some of them], as long as you [please] keep me in your thoughts and prayers as this process continues!


9 Jun
Hello.  You’ve reached the voicemail of Lindsay. 
I’ll be out of the office until Monday morning.* 
Please leave a message** and I’ll return to blogging as soon as possible. 
Have a happy day and a great forever!***
* Where am I off to until Monday morning?  Two nights at the cabin [no wireless there – no electricity!] with Joel and Melissa, perhaps a day trip to Wisconsin Dells [though perhaps a bit chilly for a waterpark day?], and then onto the Cities where the main attraction is Paige’s ordination at Luther on Sunday evening! 
** Comment.
*** I designed and ordered tshirts for a senior week activity at seminary.  I was put into contact with the tshirt point person for Luther at a specific company.  I left this specific person a few messages as we played phone tag back and forth.  How did his personal voicemail message end?  In an overly enthusiastic voice, “Have a great forrr-ever!”  It made me giggle every time.  What else about him made me giggle?  His name was Rocky.  Exactly.

two lists.

31 May
Things I will miss about the Cities [in no particular order]:
1. Fancy bakeries with macarons.  [I finally tried a real one this morning with Joel and Melissa.  “Real” meaning one I didn’t make.  It gives direction to my macaron adventures.]
2. Random adventures with MN friends.  Like the nine of us who saw Bridesmaids last night at 9:45.  
3. Friends who play geeky games with me.  [New Carcassonne game!  New Carcassonne game!]
4. Discovering fun, unique new places in the Cities.  [Gems like the Riverside Theater, Wilde Roast Cafe, and cute stores like Patina.]
5. Museums.
6. Consistent proximity of Target.  Rosedale Mall.  A great JoAnne Fabrics.
7. Walking about campus.

8. Downtowns.
9. Community education courses.

10. Walks around lakes.

11. The seminary neighborhood. [The post office on Como, the Bibilot, Finnish Bistro, and Park Service.]

12. Friends who quote Friends and other movies with familiarity and general awesomeness.

13. Miss M and her family.  Family dinners in Stillwater.

14. to be continued …

Things I will not miss about the Cities [in no particular order]:
1. Children screaming outside my window.
2. An apartment without air conditioning.
3. Traffic.
4. Lack of stars and prevalence of pavement.  
5. um.  um.  [please note which list is longer]

the 411 on 5/29.

30 May
It was a long, wonderful weekend that began on Saturday with the arrival of my mom and sister for a picnic on the lawn of the Bockman dorm on campus.  We ate in the sunshine with my friend, Cassie, and her parents, and then meeted and greeted the CYF staff.  A group photo was taken on the steps of Bockman.  [My sister had my camera and took some great shots.]  Grandma and Grandpa Danielson arrived in time for baccalaureate – a communion service – in a tent as it poured outside and Grandma’s chair got wet. 
After baccalaureate, we ran off to my apartment where my awesome family helped me lift, move, and load boxes and a bed into their vehicles.  Truth is, I haven’t completely moved in the last five years – meaning some of my things had always remained in storage somewhere – and now that I finally have to completely move, I have a lot of stuff.  It’s actually quite frightening.  Between mom’s car, Grandma and Grandpa Danielson’s car, later a car of Aunt Peggy’s and a few bags and boxes into the back of Reilly’s van, a dent was made in getting my things from MN to WI.  [But I still have work to do.  Packing.  Loading.  I procrastinate by blogging.  And by going to the movies later with my friends.  Eh.]  We went to one of my favorite places for dinner – Big Bowl Chinese and Thai – and all settled in for the night with the family staying at a local hotel.  

Sunday was the day!  The family and I – with additions of Karen and Mark from Stillwater, and M. and her parents – had brunch at a local restaurant.  The food was delicious and we were able to entertain ourselves with boots of crayons and the white paper that covered the tables.

From the restaurant, we moved onto Central Lutheran in Minneapolis for the ceremony.  It was a fun service. Clapping, yelling “Amen!” and grinning ear to ear as Joel rapped his speech on behalf of the students.  I couldn’t help but smile after I walked up the steps and across the platform to receive my diploma and master’s hood.  I loved my hood – it felt so great around my neck.  [I think it looked pretty good on me too!]  Four years of class and work completed and symbolized in the master’s hood.  Truth of the matter is that we use the hoods for the ceremony and then must return them after photos.  I wanted to keep the hood and not give it back so I could wear it around the house.  *sad face.*
We took many a photo with the robe, the hood, and the diploma.  It was a mess of searching for family and friends in the chaos outside of the doors of the church, but once we found each other, hugs were given and photographs taken.  Watch the slideshow.  *giddy face.*

My family made off for home right after the ceremony.  I grabbed an ice coffee, stared at my diploma with a goofy grin, and had pizza with pal, James, who was visiting.  More friends and I met at Mannings, the unofficial seminary bar, to celebrate further.  To simply sit at home last night would have seemed far too anti-climatic.
It was a great weekend of celebration with friends and family alike.  With graduation behind me, it’s onto serious packing with hopes of moving home on Wednesday.  Two words: too soon.

master of divinity.

29 May
It happened.  I graduated.
And I just feel giddy about it!
I’ll post more about the day tomorrow – all you could ever want to know about a seminary graduation and more – but for now, a three-photo preview:


28 May
I graduate tomorrow.

I sit at a hotel in Roseville, staying with my mom and sister since my bed is already packed into the back of my mom’s suv.  Three grandparents and an aunt are also here, and we await an aunt, uncle, and two cousins tomorrow morning.

I’ve talked about it before, ad nauseam.  But now it’s so close – within twenty four hours – that I’m really just not sure.  The emotion of graduating, leaving friends, moving home; it’s too much to articulate!  [glass case of emotion!]

One emotion I can articulate – nervous!  I’m not even speaking [as my rapping friend, Joel, is] but I do need to walk across a stage and lean down to be hooded.  [so not a big deal really but I’ll make it into a big deal]  Smile pretty for pictures.  Hug people.  Say goodbye?!

And then it will be over.  My family leaves for home tomorrow night; what my celebration will look like is questionable.  I’m not quite sure what  I’ll do with myself when the hype of the day is complete.

Even the gnomes are being worn by all this transition.  Just look at them –


pinch me.

26 May
Is it real?  Seriously.  Am I really supposed to walk across a stage in three days to receive a master’s hood? 
It doesn’t seem possible.  Classes just ended and it has been nearly two weeks of playing, sleeping, and repeat.  It’s been a fun two weeks of avoiding the inevitable reality that I will be moving in less than a week.  That I will no longer be a student.  That I will no longer call the Twin Cities my current home.  That I will be in a continuous state of transition.  Again.
yes.  those are the christmas cards I received still hanging
on my closet door.  I like the photos of people I love displayed,
even if it isn’t seasonally appropriate.
My family begins to arrive on Saturday and on Sunday morning I have a party of 18 dear-to-me people who will celebrate my graduation with me during a brunch before the commencement ceremony.  I will walk in my robe [picked up ominously yesterday afternoon – robe with wonky sleeves] across the front of Central Lutheran Church and complete this four year journey.  
[enter cliche line about looking to the bright future]
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