Heather taking Leah's pic

This weekend Ray, Leah and I went with our oldest daughter Heather to take Leah’s senior pictures. I can hardly believe I am writing this – her SENIOR PICS?

Anyway, we wanted her pictures to have a pretty nature background so we drove to the Dunn Cider Mill, the Loch Lloyd scenic, multi-million-dollar-home community, and other pretty areas.

I desperately wanted to find a red maple tree for Leah to stand in front of, but Ray said we couldn’t just barge up to someone’s home and borrow their tree for our picture’s backgrounds because we could be charged with trespassing. (Would they really care?! He said yes, especially in a gated community. We had to get a visitor’s pass just to take pics there!)

At the cider mill, Ray went inside the mill store to buy some cider doughnuts. He came out with one for each of us.

I wanted to take a picture of the doughnuts (I take pics of everything!), and as I opened the bag to get a closer view, he accidentally dropped the bag and all of the doughnuts fell on the ground.

I’m sure the birds appreciated those cider doughnuts.

Ray with hot apple cider

So off Ray went, frustrated, to stand in another long line to order more cider doughnuts. Apparently everyone else had gotten the same idea.

They were worth the wait. The hot apple cider Ray bought was delicious, too.

Heather took Leah’s pictures for me, which saves us hundreds of dollars because photographers are expensive.  When she finishes editing them, I will post them here and on Facebook.

After that we  visited our middle daughter Eden and her 3 1/2-year-old son Jacob. For lunch we went to Gino’s, an Italian diner. Lunch was great. Whenever Ray and I go out to eat somewhere, it’s common for Ray to ask me if I want to order a certain dish that he recommends to me and I say no; then when he orders it himself and it arrives, I want to have a bite of his (or a couple of bites – one time when we dated, I ate almost his entire salad while he was gone to the restroom. He’s more careful now when he offers me a bite of his food.).

This time Ray ordered Chicken Spedini, a lightly breaded, broiled chicken topped with a mogu sauce (lemon, oil, garlic, and oregano). After I tasted his, I said, “That is  really good! I should have ordered the spedini!” Ray’s reply was, “I told you so.”

Jacob sticking out his tongue, lol. (Dalton, Jacob, Eden)

But I did enjoy the sampler tray that Heather and I shared: lasagne, chicken alfredo, penne marinara, and fettucini. I gave Ray and Eden the Italian sausage. Leah tried the pasta con broccoli, Eden ordered a Caesar’s Salad with chicken, and Eden’s boyfriend Dalton ordered pizza.

Jacob wanted spaghetti with a meatball, and then he only ate the tomatoes from Eden’s salad, refusing to eat his spaghetti. It was almost Jacob’s naptime so he was tired and whiny – but he is absolutely adorable with his brown spiked hair and brown eyes. Ray enjoys having at least one boy child in the family so far. For years he and our son-in-law Kyle have felt surrounded with all the females in the family, especially at certain times of the month.

I loved Gino’s. The owner walked around the restaurant, singing loudly and asking everyone if they were enjoying their meals. Italian music played in the background. It made me long to go to Italy again. Ray and I traveled to Europe for ten days for our 10th wedding anniversary: primarily Switzerland, but also Italy, France, Germany, and Lichtenstein.

We loved it. We ate delicious food that was unbelievably cheap, walked and drove on cobblestone streets, enjoyed museums and admired the breathtaking cathedrals and architecture of other buildings, bought tons of Swiss chocolate for souvenirs for family, stayed in a ski lodge in the Alps, went up Eiffel Tower at night, bought chestnuts from a street vendor in Paris, bargained for a French beret for Heather at a sidewalk marketplace, saw an incredible castle in Lichtenstein, and saw the most beautiful blue-green waterfall in Italy that I’ve ever seen, next to Niagara Falls. I think it’s time for another trip!

Ok, back to this life….After lunch, we went to see Eden’s workplace, a bakery where she makes delicious cupcakes from scratch each morning. Their popular one right now is pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing, drizzled with melted caramel. I ordered vanilla with chocolate icing, of course!  Ray chose key lime, Leah mint chocolate, and Heather chocolate and peanut butter. Jacob refused to eat his cupcake and instead ate a Snicker’s bar. Then he wildly ran around the bakery as the sugar rush started kicking in, and Ray told Eden we should go so she could still keep her job.

It was nice going somewhere new and trying a new restaurant. Take time out occasionally to go someplace where you’ve never been to get a different perspective and to de-stress. Meet new people, eat new types of food, window shop. Take a break from your usual routine, even if it’s just to drive to the next town or go for a walk in your neighborhood.

This “trying new things” applies to your personal life, and to writing, speaking, coaching, or whatever your business or ministry is. Today I rolled down my car windows, feeling the wind and sunshine on my face, and enjoyed the sight of fall leaves floating through the air as they fell from the trees. Such a simple thing, but it made me feel happy!

“Everyone has a “risk muscle.” You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don’t, it atrophies. Make a point of using it at least once a day.” – Roger Von Oech, author of creative thinking classics, inventor, and speaker

Leah, Ray & Heather at cider mill

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    2 Comments

  1. Beth Jones October 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Susan, it was just incredible. I will never forget it. We had such a good time. Maybe I will start blogging about that! Yeah, I can’t believe I ate his salad like that either, LOL. He now waits to go to the restroom until after he eats, haha, and keeps an eye on his food.

  2. Susan Evans October 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Your time in Europe sounded wonderful! And I can’t believe you ate most of your husband’s salad while he was in the bathroom! LOL

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