shortsnlongs shortsnlongs

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Julie Rybarczyk  Writer, single mom, friend, fan of life. Living the both/and: The bitter/the sweet. The pretty/the pretty ugly. The ordinary/the holy heck.

https://shortsandlongs.net/downright-refreshing

I discovered the movie Babette’s Feast through my mother. She loves it. And she has always talked about how she’d love to bless someone with a feast like that, the way Babette did.
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Well, last night, she did. For my daughter.
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Alex knew about this longing her Grandma held—and she holds a similar longing to bless her friends through rich community, delicious food, and beautiful experiences. So, for her 21st birthday, she asked for a Babette’s Feast. Grandma was delighted.
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Really, there was no one who wasn’t delighted.
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I had the privilege of hosting a beautiful dinner that was created by my mother and curated by my daughter. A tableful of friends enjoyed delicious food and drink around a stunning table (designed by Alex) as they formed new and deeper friendships. And Alex was filled to the brim with the emotion and intention of the evening.
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As for me, besides whipping R-house back into shape (after it’s ongoing makeover), I was named footman for the evening. It was my privilege to serve all five courses and keep glasses filled—while Grandma preferred to remain completely hidden away in the kitchen. (Just as Babette did.)
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My favorite parts of the evening were the moments I got to spend with this sweet group of amazing young women. .
When it was over, my mother looked up at me and said, “I did it!” It was a tremendous effort on behalf of my daughter, who declared the evening “perfect.” ,
I felt blessed from every angle.

The absolute sweetest moment is currently happening on the screen porch. I just can't even. 💗 #21 And a huge shoutout to Grandma who is doing all the cooking for this five-course dinner. 🏆💗

Cheers to this legal birthday girl! 🍷🎉💗 #21

@_alexry is 21 today! Time for some serious drinking to begin. Check out her two birthday wishes in my latest blog post - and please consider helping her reach her goal of $2100 toward clean, safe drinking water!! [link in bio] HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALEX!!! 💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗 #cleanwater #safewater #drinkingwater @charitywater #21stbirthday #drinking #happybirthday #happy #giveback #birthdaygoals #birthdaygirl #21

R-fam is skilled at finding the free fun. Like the @warbyparker photo booth. Shades, specs, score. ✌🏼 Also @_alexry left with those awesome shades. 🙌🏼😎 #rfamvacay #chitown #warbybooth

We topped off a blue-sky Chicago day with a bike ride by the water. I'm so grateful for so much fun! 💙🚲🏙 #rfamvacay #chitown

One of my favorite Chicago views. ☕️ #rfamvacay #wickerpark

Sitting front row for some Chi-town improv with @improvshakesco! #rfamvacay

Having some grand adventures. ✌🏼 #rfamvacay

If you’re having an emotional reaction of any kind right now, I can only say that a) you might be a little too invested in R-house, b) you might need a new summer cliffhanger, and/or c) you might be exactly like me.
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The first time I saw a good chunk of our new siding installed, I immediately entered a wind-tunnel of emotion. Most of it called panic and depression and panic. Change is exciting. But also it’s change. And it demands some navigating. Especially when it hits close to home. Or, like, your actual home.
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Some of our neighbors are still struggling to adapt.
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I get it.
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But also….I LOVE IT!!
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It’s time for new things here at R-house, and I don’t just mean the siding.
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Here’s to fresh. Here’s to home. Here’s to more, friends.
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And, you’re welcome. ;)
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P.S. Lol to HOW MANY of you have admitted to doing stealthy drive-by sneak peaks. Hahahaha. Hilarious and awesome. Next time stop to say hello!
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#rhouse #sidingsaga #sneakpeak #staytuned

So, today our dumpster caught on fire.
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Yep.
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I took a quick work break to apply one final coat of spray paint to our shutters. (Because after 8 days of on-again/off-again work, the siding project is almost complete!!)
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It’s not unusual to smell bonfires around my neighborhood in the evenings, so I didn’t think much of it when I began to smell the soothing, familiar aroma of burning wood.
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Until I realized it was 1:15 on a Tuesday and most of my neighbors work.
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I turned slightly and saw a cloud of smoke rising from the almost-overflowing dumpster, inches from my face. But the situation did not fully register until I saw the flames.
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I believe the first thing I said out loud was something like: “Ummmm, fire?!”—which quickly transitioned to: “The dumpster is on fire!” None of the three siding installers were in sight, and all of them barely speak English, but they got the message and were soon by my side.
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One fire extinguisher, lots of dumpster stomping, and a good soaking with the garden hose later, the fire was out, and I was back to work in my office.
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So, yeah.
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Had I not been standing there spray painting…? I don’t know what would have happened. But I do know I can hardly wait to have my house and yard back—and I can hardly wait to show you our new R-house. We are loving it!!
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Shutters, lights, and address numbers are (hopefully) going up tomorrow. I think I’ll be ready to let you in on the transformation soon, friends. Assuming we don’t burn down first.
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xxoo

Week 2: The suspense is killing us! 😊🤓

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