Whoa, it's 2011

Saturday night, the first evening of the New Year, back in Chicago.  This morning we drove home after just under a week's holiday in Hastings, MN.  The first thing I did after arriving was to pop open a bottle of red wine, order a pizza and immediately start looking at property to purchase in Stillwater, Minnesota (just 22 or so miles away from Hastings).  After two pages I found the *PERFECT* house.  It's just gorgeous (sans the really terrible tile work in the bathroom) and in 5 or 6 years better still be available at the same (or less) price.  I need it for my plan of Fleur les Deux on the Mississippi River.  Le Sigh...

What a holiday week!  Fighting what obviously was some strain of SARS the week before AND after Christmas, I finally settled on a cough just short of whooping which resulted in finally today bruising my ribcage.  Luckily all the wild turkeys in the backyard, the eagles flying overhead, the fireplace & the laughter managed to help me ignore all of this for a few days and enjoy my time with Mr Mister's lovely family (hi guys!).

With a view like this every morning it's pretty easy to manage to relax.

Despite the cough and my runny nose, we made time for hockey games and three great meals.  Red wine and relatives, naps and antiquing.  And chicken wild rice soup (not once, but twice).   It's always a whirlwind to see everyone with such limited time, but Dave and I still managed to find a few moments here and there to enjoy our time together (once he was relieved of being my personal Florence Nightingale).  Discussions of the day, of the future, my rambles about flowers and work, and his of music and movies.  We're so damn good together and I'm constantly blown away.  I think that Minnesota always brings us closer. ~~~

NYE was spent at Weiderholt's (John's restaurant) for one of the absolute best supper club dinners you can imagine.  We were back at the house by 11pm to sit next to the fireplace with Missy, John and Anne.  The wind whistled in the new year and we sipped our drinks while sharing our stories of joy and recognizing how lucky we all are.  Listening to advice passed back and forth, speaking of dreams and simplicities, I ended up falling asleep that night with thoughts of little chickadees hopping around in my mind.

Simplicity is something I've strived for the past few years and have been amazed at how life has really settled in that way.  The flower world can be so hectic and so maddening.  With over 70 weddings both this year and last, I'm amazed I still have sanity (despite what staff...Caleb...creates as a nickname for me).  Our ninth year is peeking around the corner and this year was most definitely the one with the most lessons.  A couple of tough ones, some really fabulous ones and in the meantime I met some of the most wonderful, supportive, lovely ladies (and gentlemen) in the industry.   We began phase one of the storefront and studio remodel, put the emphasis on OUR design style and shared so many laughs.  I have 62,000 post it note lists all over with changes and ideas and hopes and dreams for the shop.  Playing with flowers and making things look pretty all day is really something special.  As well as something that requires a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice and sometimes countless days of non stop work.  I'm lucky that I have such a strong group of people around me to keep me going when the going gets tough.

Now I'm going to finish this last glass of wine and enjoy the last hour of 1-1-11.  And I want to brag a little bit, you might enjoy this Ruffled Blog feature of Susan & Robert's engagement photos shoot.  In the meantime, I truly wish you the most joyful and most loving New Year.  Our faithful fans and friends and family are what keeps us going, and you're all kinda awesome.  XO

P.S.  I'm excited to start sharing some floral photos with you soon!