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We had another “typical” Goins weekend this past weekend. The only thing that was atypical about our weekend was that we weren’t going anywhere. This summer has consisted of multiple trips to Illinois, a five-day vacation to North Carolina (where we spent our honeymoon), and other adventurous jaunts that I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Our weekends “typically” – and I (Jeff) use that term loosely as things are always changing – consist of: eating at least one meal out (or having a nice dinner at home), at least one nap (per day), some kind of photographic endeavor, church, and our best attempt to clean our apartment.

Friday night, I made what is becoming a bit of a specialty of mine – grilled chicken and bacon over spaghetti with red sauce and a LOT of parmesan (I’m still thinking of a shorter name for it). We concluded the evening with dessert and a movie.

Saturday morning, we got up bright up and early to do a family photo shoot. Ashley is doing more and more of this type of thing these days (see her website for updates: Portray Photo). We went out for breakfast to Panera (my wife treats me so well), and then she went to meet with another client to drop off some prints.

I spent the afternoon (after we both took a nap) cleaning the apartment, which was both terrible and amazing at the same time, while Ashley edited photos. I don’t personally enjoy the process of cleaning, but I sure do like the peace it brings when you’re done. I’m still amazed that we have so much space and that our stuff (clothes, books, mail, crafts, etc.) still seems to pile up.

Sunday, we went to church, where Ashley led worship (something we’re both doing more of these days). Then, I believe, we took another nap, I cleaned some more, went grocery shopping, and then we hung out with our neighbors Mark and Diana, whom we have not seen in probably a month. The last time we saw them it had been about a month.

All four of us agreed that we were tired of saying, “It’s been too long!” I mean, they live one building over; we certainly can do better than once a month, right? And yet, life seems to happen to all of us, even when we have the best intentions to stay in touch. We’re so grateful for the gift of grace and the ability to reconnect with old friends and new, picking right up where we left off.

That evening with our friends, we had an eclectic meal of hot dogs, chips and salsa, various mayonaisse-based picnic concoctions (i.e. macaroni and potato salads), McDonald’s ice cream cones (which we all agreed are surprisingly amazing). As we licked our cones, we went for a walk in a nearby park – partly due to guilt and partly due to an appreciation for the beautiful evening.

This weekend, we’ll have another “typical” weekend, which will look nothing like the previous one. Ashley will be in Illinois, and I’ll stay home. When she returns on Sunday, we’ll have an evening together, and then on Monday I’ll drive to Georgia for a week’s worth of meetings at AIM.

It sounds unusual, but this is normal for us, and we kind of like it. (Although, we do celebrate the coming of fall and a slightly slower schedule.)