1) Impress These Apes! got 3 stars in the Chicago Tribune today! The review is from Nina Metz, who had this particularly awesome pull quote about me:
"...and the only one to give actual (and needed) critiques, Erica Reid as April May (in her turban and ball gown, she has the look of Tallulah Bankhead and the kvetching voice of Joan Rivers)."
Yeah! Thanks, Nina! April May may be harsh, but she loves all the contestants.
2) Today is the one year anniversary of my bike crash, and I celebrated it today by running almost 3 miles WITHOUT MY KNEE BRACES. YEAH! My knees are doing ok with this week, so I might take a risk and go without them for the triathlon the weekend!
3) The what? Oh yeah, we have another triathlon this weekend. The South Shore Tri. I am less trained than before, but whatevs, it'll be fun and I'll be fine. I just hope it isn't one of our many 100 degree days we've been having.
4) Also this weekend is my 6 year wedding anniversary with the love of my life, the wonderful and amazing Fuzzy Gerdes! I am going to shut out the rest of the world this weekend, so good luck with everything, world.
5) This is really random, but lately, when I hear an awesome song while I'm driving, I've started taking after my dad and banging on the steering wheel in time with the music, which then makes me think about how my mom used to hate it when Dad did that and would always tell him to stop. So this happens in my head each time--I do it, then I tell myself to stop, then I keep doing it anyway. I got a little of both my parents in me.
6) My Bester Rebecca has been WAY better about blogging our fun summer adventures than I have. Read about them here: Tubing, Wilco/ Andrew Bird and Phish! Takk, Rebecca!
7) And on a more serious note, my brother and sister-in-law are having tough times this week in Tanzania. Their house was burglarized and all their computers/phones/wallety things, etc. were stolen. Their dog was poisoned (she is doing ok--slowly getting better) and they've been put into a difficult situation with their night guard. Katie blogged some about it here. I've been lucky to be able to talk with them and skype with them to check in on them this week, but it's also hard and emotional, and they are struggling a bit. Please send some good thoughts and prayers and vibes their way if you can.
Not to be cavlier, but the thing is, Christopher and Katie are amazing. They chose this difficult life to live where they live and get completely out of their comfort zone. I admire that SO MUCH. No way could I ever do it. We knew that this sort of thing was a risk, and it is really unfortunate that it happened, that it happened when it did and has rattled them in the way that it has. C&K just had a life-changing trip in the African bush (read about it on that link to Katie's blog above) and this came on the heels of that trip. But they are Missioners--they can handle this. It's just a test and a bump along in their journey--and they will be fine. They've been through harder things, and they will again. And they will get through this set-back. Yeah, it sucks, but they are safe, thank God. They are just starting their journey and their mission in Africa, and this is one of those real life moments where you learn and strengthen, harden a bit, and keep going. They have a long and amazing road ahead of them. And if anyone can do it and can not only persevere but also rise above it, it is Christopher and Katie. They are the strongest people I know, and I am damn sure honored and blessed to be related to them.
Hang in there, Christopher and Katie. You can do it. And you are doing great. Keep going, and don't ever question your strength or capacity to handle things. You'll be back on your feet soon, I know it. I am your biggest fan and supporter, and I wouldn't be who I am or as strong as I am without you. You're my biggest motivator to keep going, to take risks, to help others, and to embrace my full potential, because I see you doing it each and every day. I love you.