1 launching the second to university

2 kayaking

3 driving two freshmen back to school

4 wisdom from a sage mentor while sitting on the veranda while rain pours down around us

5 handing my mom my 280-page manuscript and saying, “Would you like to read it?”

6 my first Minnesota autumn in seven years, I can smell it coming

7 candy corn (kinda hate it, kinda love it)

8 pumpkin patches

9 Jamie the very worst missionary ever, speaking at Last City Church in St. Paul

10 cooking class with my mom

11 she’s thirteen

12 breakfast bonanza and studying with women

13 community education photography class with a dear friend

14 free neighborhood library shelves (I scored The Martian, The Liars Club, and The Banner of Heaven)

15 Prairie Burn YMCA and music festival

16 skipping church to meditate, hearing Jesus gently ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” (p.s. it was church for me)

17 leaves starting to change color and crunching on the sidewalk

18 doctors who make jokes while sticking needles into my neck and who then laugh at my own jokes, post-procedure, and say, “Well played.” Walking out with a sore neck but full of the feeling that, hey, I might be sick, but I’m funny.

19 cute boots

20 walking along the river with my nieces and nephew, sister, and brother-in-law, overwhelmed by gratitude that I get to live in the world and know these people

21 Thai lettuce wraps with a friend from Djibouti, in Seattle, going so deep in such a short time, soul-to-soul

22 XXX friend-voice, the hoarseness that comes when we finally are in the same room for hours upon hours of talking and crying

23 a maple bacon cinnamon roll literally the size of my face

24 playing Exploding Kittens with my dear friend’s kids (I won. 3/3. Go Rachel, way to crush those little children!)

25 a gracious, tender pastoral presence in pain

26 my mom’s listening and compassionate ear

27 lunch at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire with my son

28 first run while wearing mittens in six years

29 a day with the twins along the north shore, throwing rocks into Lake Superior and being WITH

30 hot cinnamon tea and chocolate covered graham crackers