Hello everyone! So many things have happened/changed for me over the last few months and it has caused a great deal of creative ideas and habits that I hope remain permanent! I’m so thankful for my strong and supportive family who helped me look at bad things, like my grandfather passing away, into a means to a creative outlet.
My grandpa passed away on the 19th of April after a six-month battle with bone cancer. His illness was very hard on our family but brought so many blessings in the end.
After all of it, my mom and her brother are closer than ever and their relationship with their father strengthened, as well. The most amazing part is literally minutes before he passed, with the most peace, my grandpa accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior! For my family, that turned something so sad and permanent into something so temporary.
My grandpa Arno taught me a lot about our Finnish culture, from recipes to folk songs, to how to make an authentic sauna “vihta” (look for a tutorial later this summer)! He was a lover of animals and nature and a wonderful painter, despite his color-blindness. He will be so greatly missed on this earth but we will see him again!
We celebrated his memorial service by taking a boat out to Lake Superior and scattered his ashes at a place he referred to as “Suojanen’s Hole.” He used to be a commercial fisherman and claimed he was the only one to catch loads of fish at this particular spot.
Had he still been alive there would have been no way my grandpa could have made the 7-hour drive to our wedding, but he was there, I’m sure, smiling at his first granddaughter to get married and loving his family.
So, that brings me to this exciting business- I GOT MARRIED!
Our wedding on May 5th was the definition of perfect, neither my husband, Kyle, nor I could complain about a thing. Our wedding party of 18 was greater and more helpful than we could have wished for!
I truly can’t thank my maid of honor, Gretchen, enough for all of her support and help.
While my grandpa was sick my mom was his primary caretaker. It was really hard on both of us that she couldn’t be as big a part of her only child’s wedding as we wanted her to be but the fact that my mom could help at all given the situation is just further proof that she is a superhero. She does so much, I hope she knows how much I love her!
Kyle and I honeymooned in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Neither of us had been there and we stumbled upon (or googled-upon, is more accurate) our Pigeon Forge cabin by accident. It was perfect, just five days flying by the seat of our pants! We didn’t plan anything, everything we did was stuff we saw on billboards or brochures once we got there- truly the best way to vacation as far as I’m concerned. We went to a parrot sanctuary where I was in heaven, Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies, Smoky Mountain Knife Works, the world’s largest knife store (I actually enjoyed that!), and ate lots of Chik-Fil-A.
Now we’re home and getting settled as newlyweds! I love being a wife and am enjoying every minute of “nesting”. Now that I’m cooking for two on a regular basis I’ve got lots of good recipes on the way!
I hope your summer has been fantastic and that you have found fun ways to survive in this crazy heat!!
Krista Lemke, creative editor, is a crafter, dog trainer and animal lover who shares her Milwaukee apartment with her husband, Kyle, a collie, cat, and three small parrots. Some of Krista’s favorite things are cooking, sewing, eating cupcakes, not cleaning her apartment, and watching How I Met Your Mother, usually all at the same time.