Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"AnniMaBir" Month in Rochester

Early in our married life, my wonderful husband realized that he had a big problem. The month of May would always be a bit "stressful" for him as it included three big gift-giving occasions: our anniversary, Mother's Day and my birthday.

Knowing that he was bound to forget one or more of the special days, we proclaimed the month of May "AnniMaBir" month.  No big gifts/celebrations needed ... we just enjoy the everyday blessings of family, friends, and each other ... everyday of the month. I was so happy to be in Rochester during my "AnniMaBir" month this year as it provided many opportunities to celebrate these everyday blessings!

Celebrating the gift of church friends
We were happy to be able to spend Sunday mornings with our hometown church friends. We have only been gone seven months, and already my sweet church kids are getting taller than me!

Although for this year at least, I'm still taller than my Godchild Ella!

Celebrating the gift of biking friends
Rochester has many fabulous bike trails, and we were grateful to be able to bike along the Mayowood Trail to see the bluebells in bloom.

A ride on the Douglas Trail with our Outspokin' bike group brought us to the Better Brew Coffeehouse in Pine Island for some delicious homemade pie and lively conversation. 

Celebrating the gift of work friends
The original reason to spend a month in Rochester was so that I could work the required shifts to keep my employment status active with my former employer. While returning to work may not be considered by some to be a great way to celebrate, I enjoyed the chance to refresh my nursing skills as well as reconnect with my work family! Happy hour (even at midnight) is a fun way to recharge after a busy shift!

Celebrating the gift of TRAM friends
When Doug and I were more serious bikers, we participated in The Ride Across Minnesota (TRAM). TRAM is a five day, 300 mile bike ride that raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The money raised supports those affected by this devastating disease that affects young people like my cousin. While we no longer ride, we were happy to support the "Kreb Cyclers" as they work to maintain the title of the top "fun" and "fund-raising" team. To find out more about the ride and/or to contribute to a great cause, click here.

The gathering included a silent auction ... I was happy to take home a basket of "consumables" from the local co-op.

Celebrating the gift of girlfriends
I enjoyed many meals and gatherings with special girlfriends. It is always good to know that no matter how long it has been since we last saw each other, the smiles and support are still there for me!

Celebrating the gift of new RV friends
While in Rochester, we stayed at Autumn Woods RV Park. Other than some highway noise, the campground proved to be a comfortable place to call "home" for the month. The owners keep the grounds, showers and laundry area pristine.

Located nine miles south of the Mayo Clinic, the campground provided a relaxing atmosphere for patients seeking medical treatment as well as their supportive families. We were delighted to meet new friends Robin and Glen, and celebrate her successful surgery.

Celebrating the gift of "great outdoors" friends
Biking along the Cannon Valley Trail
We were happy to be able to continue another "tradition" by spending Memorial Day weekend camping with friends at Lake Byllesby Regional park. Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer in Minnesota, usually brings some rain and cold. But that doesn't stop us "hardy northerners" from enjoying the great outdoors!
Serious Dominos competition
Bella and Paige give two thumbs up for Doug's peach dump cake!

Celebrating the gift of my lifelong friend
Keeping busy at work and with RV projects took away from something that we have come to take for granted ... spending time with each other. What a great gift to arrive at Lake Byllesby a day before the busy weekend crowds and enjoy the quiet beauty together!

We had the campground and hiking trails all to ourselves ... Yes, the best "gift" is still time with each other.

I ended my "AnniMaBir" month on a special note. We moved on to our next "home" at Baker Park Reserve on Memorial Day, and I was able to enjoy a combined Birthday/Mother's day celebration with our sons! We look forward to spending more time with them as we explore their current home of Minneapolis in the next month. With Father's Day approaching, I suspect that there will be some brewery tours in our future!

Until next time ... appreciate the gift of others ... and enjoy the adventures in your life! 

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