*SIGH* I love being home. There’s just something about the people, the places, the familiarity, the routine, the food … it just makes me happy. And yes, Sacramento is still “home.” A co-worker told me yesterday morning – “You’re home!” I just looked at him and stated, “No, I’m back.” Don’t get me wrong – I love everyone and my life in Southern CA! But try as I might … it’s just not “home.” So what makes “home” so wonderful? Well, here’s my weekend recap … and one of the two pictures I took, haha.

Friday night, I got cousin/auntie time. I haven’t had a whole lot of cousin time lately, so this was a blessing! Such a fun night of nothingness, really! We (my mom and I, 2 of my aunts, and 4 of my cousins) ended up sitting in a random coffee shop I love in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. We didn’t even order anything, haha. We tried – but they were out of decaf coffee. The sweet guy said he didn’t care that we were {noisily} taking up an entire corner of the shop. We laughed so hard reminiscing about family camping trips, Groveland, peeing our pants, pooping our pants, falling out of trailers, fires. Good times and great oldies. The evening was proceeded by a slumber party. Yay for late night talks on mom’s/auntie’s bed. 🙂 And is there any better way to start a Saturday morning than time reading your Bible at Starbucks? Well, OK … a non-Starbucks coffee shop would be better, I confess. But that’s jumping ahead to Monday morning! Saturday was relaxing with a bit of a cousin-dance-workout thrown in the mix. “Sweep the sand” … “Ride the wave” … “International Samba” … who knew working out could be so entertaining and so hard and so fun and so full of laughter?! Saturday night … what else, but dinner at the Price’s?! I should still be full from the delicious meal of crab (San Francisco was brought to me!), artichokes, grilled chicken, bread, and strawberry shortcake (with a mound of whipped cream – homemade, of course!). But I’m not. In fact, I’d like to eat it all again for dinner tonight … with the same wonderful company … and then hit “repeat!” 🙂 Oh, and let us not forget The Marble Game. So what if I lost, watching someone else lose even worse was a blast, hehe. And what night with family friends would be complete without YouTube videos, hahaha.

Sunday morning at church was awesome. It makes me smile to be writing this after my last post. While I appreciate Kevin DeYoung’s stand and think that Memorial Services are probably better left for Monday rather than Sunday morning church, the guest speaker – a Chaplain with the United States Air Force – was such a blessing. A man dedicated to his God and to his country, he shared about a crisis of faith he had several years ago while deployed in Iraq (or was it Afghanistan?) and how meditating on John 3 and Acts 17:22-34 brought him through that. It felt like I was reading Acts 17 for the first time; what a powerful sermon Paul preached that day! God is the awesome Creator of this universe … yet He is near. And we are His children. What an amazing privilege to be identified as children of God … co-heirs with Christ! OK, this is turning into it’s own blog post. Rabbit trail over. In between church and Sunday School – Peet’s Coffee! YAY!

And the tradition carries on ... so what if we were stared down as we walked into our parents' Sunday School class carrying {7} coffee beverages!

 I must point out Sunday lunch – both for our delightful company and this cake of deliciousness. You must go make this cake, today. And do whatever you can to eat it fresh-out-of-the-oven (yes, mother knows best. you should always listen to her. even when it makes your kitchen/lunch party a bit hectic). Oh, and make homemade whipped cream to go with it. And know this … when you devour a little piece as you’re running out the door to meet up with family at Starbucks and you’re wishing you could sit down and enjoy just a smidgen more – or take the whole pan with you – and you’re hoping for little taste left upon your return … please don’t get your hopes up. There will be no leftovers. Oh and also, since I think the best strawberries might possibly come from Fair Oaks, CA on Kenneth Avenue … your cake might not be quite as good as ours if you use other ones. 😉

Remember what I said about a non-Starbucks coffee shop on Monday morning? Well, the tradition of Karen’s Bakery carries on, too. And I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize this, but my mom and I are such creatures of habit. Whether it’s Aroma in Studio City or Karen’s in Folsom, we order the same thing. Mom – blueberry scone. Hannah – apple walnut muffin. Why do I even look in the pastry case or at the menu?? Lingering in the sunshine for several hours felt wonderful … and even though I enjoyed my 3 cups of coffee, I was still so sleepy! Then came the good-byes. I’m not much of a fan of those.

There … now do you have a little understanding of why Sacramento is still my home?