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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Minneapolis

We arrived in Minneapolis Friday afternoon to cold temperatures but glistening sunshine as well.  The week was COLD.  I have forgotten what the deep freeze in Minneapolis feels like.  This week I was reminded with temperatures around zero for much of the week. 
We had a great week in Doug's home town.  The first thing we did was celebrate his mom's 80th birthday with a big bash on Saturday. What joy to see the folks from Eileen's life come together to celebrate the joy, warmth, and generous spirit of my mother-in-law.  Doug put together a funny, delightful, wonderful little quiz about his mother and two sisters shared beautiful thoughts from their hearts.All 5 of the kids were present which hardly ever happens anymore and the whole day was one of celebration and joy. 
The rest of the week was spent shopping, visiting, eating, enjoying family and relaxing.  We had a great time with the family, saw some old friends, ate some good food and shopped in our favorite stores.  No sales tax on clothing in MN makes for some very good deals!
A special highlight was spending a wonderful afternoon in a coffee shop with Doug's sister Debbie, hearing about her life, getting excited about her new place to live, enjoying some one on one time.  We also were present to celebrate our nephew's 12th birthday and it is hard to believe how grown up he is. 
It's good to have the luxury of time and money to be able to visit our families.  The long vacations that we enjoy on the European system are a real gift when you live overseas, far from your family.  We treasure these moments shared and even though it was freezing cold outside, the warmth from within burned brightly.  Minneapolis has gotten about 20 inches of snow over the past couple of days.  Doug is returning to MN next week.  I will go on to equally snowy Stockholm.