Tonight I had the most refreshing dinner with my friend, Mandy. We ate at the Casa Blanca Moroccan Restaurant, and I hadn't been there since Mollner's party years ago. It's the kind of place where you sit on cushions on the floor, take off your shoes and eat with your hands. It's dimly lit with music, and we had the place to ourselves. I feel as full in my spirit as in my belly, with morsels just as scrumptuous. I told Justin that I wouldn't have felt more luxurious if I had been in Paris for the evening.

There's something about being barefoot and eating with my fingers that is kind of intimate, and there's something about being without a toddler and getting to focus on a single soul that is relaxing. But mostly there's something about being with Mandy that makes you glad to be yourself.

Sometimes I have so much to say that I don't know where to even begin. I think I have half a dozen blogs running around in my head, and one that I wrote last night but I'm waiting to post until I can get the photo scanned. Maybe I can power-out a few bits now:

Hippie Church
I just remembered the other day that on my short-term missions team to Russia I met a girl from the U.S. whose parents had what we all referred to as "hippie church". They had been wounded in the church, and left. As they went on their merry way, they came across other families with similar stories and began meeting together. And their little group grew. Hannah's memories are of doing church together in her parent's home Sunday mornings, and then all the families would spend the afternoon together picnicking or playing or hiking or whatever. The adults took turns teaching, and they tithed to a fund that they used for things like buying a car for a family outside their group who was in need. People came there to heal, and many returned to organized church again. But Hannah's parents kept holding the space for new families to come in, be healed and either return or stay. At the time I met her, Hannah's parents had been meeting like this for at least 12 years. I remember thinking it was so quirky at the time, but now it seems more normal than I can explain. If they lived here, maybe I would go.

I've taken up knitting recently. I've toyed with it here and there in the past, but I'm taking it on now. There's a new knitting shop in my neighborhood, run by a young woman my age. We're going to be friends, and she's going to make a killing. Knitting is so relaxing and rhythmic. I think it's making me a better mom. This afternoon (after we took a huge walk this morning), Amelia played in her playroom while I sat, knitting, in the rocking chair. It was great. I could watch her and interact way more than when I'm reading a book, so she knew I was paying attention to her. Yet I wasn't so completely bored that I was running around trying to multi-task. Plus, I have this fascination with all things "Little House on the Prairie", so knitting fulfills some desire I have to feel earthy.

Back to my knitting. I'll try to get that other entry up tomorrow.