A decade of blessings: From morning bagel dates to the catering menu.

Ten years ago right now, February-April 2003, it was our senior year at Princeton and we were in the thick of thesis completion. My boyfriend (now husband) and I loved to meet on those crisp mornings at Panera in town, picking up Cinnamon Crunch bagels and hazelnut coffee then smuggling them into Firestone Library to get an early start on the day’s writing.

So no tradition is more meaningful or fun than taking our crew to the Panera up the road for Cinnamon Crunch bagels and coffee on a chilly morning.

Same great sugary carbs smothered in butter, same comforting coffee, same cozy booths. Just like in college.


This past Saturday, I stepped up to the cashier and began placing our order. She started entering the items, one by one, then she stopped me:

“OK, you’re ordering from our catering menu, then?”

Me: “Catering?”

Cashier: “Yes, with that amount of bagels, you’re on the catering menu.”

Me: “Oh, OK yes thanks, whatever you recommend.”

I’m grateful for the small reminder of how blessed we have been… even in February!


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  • JM, I LOVE this! It totally takes me back to 2003 and all of the blessings of that last spring before graduation, and I love that you have continued a tradition that began all those years ago! Eat an extra cinnamon crunch bagel for us the next time you go to Panera, and of course, a cup of that great coffee 🙂 And give your kids a big hug from all of us.

  • Kellie “Red”

    So cute! I love that you have continued this tradition and are now ordering off the bulk menu 😉 I took my kids on a shopping errand yesterday, and it was so great just to get out of the house!

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    Enjoy your “anniversary” of sorts and I love that you’re incorporating the kids into a fun tradition. So great. And if the catering menu gets you some freebies, go for it!! 😉

  • Juris Mater

    Kat, you had a big diamond ring on your finger and a fiance visiting you from Boston! So sweet.

  • Juris Mater

    We went to CVS yesterday ourselves, to buy diapers we didn’t even need, just to get out of the house. Oh playground, where art thou, underneath all that snow?

  • Juris Mater

    Yes, I meant to mention that! It’s at least 20% savings buying in bulk from places like Panera, even if it’s a little un-glamorous : )