Thursday, May 14, 2015

Visiting New Orleans

Reposted from May 2012. We are celebrating a three year journey at seminary that is coming to an end this weekend. We are so thankful for God's grace throughout our time in New Orleans and at NOBTS. It has been infinitely better than we could have asked or imagined! 

As I alluded to in an earlier post, there was really nothing in me (or Andrew) to ever want to go back to New Orleans. Not for a visit. Not for a vacation. Not even for a football game. We had both been before on short visits and Andrew had spent an unsuccessful tenure at the seminary back in 2008. I say this to drive home the point that the fact that it even came up in conversation (and in a positive way) was an act of God.  

I distinctly remember how timid Andrew was even mentioning the idea to me. He even told me that he almost didn’t say anything about it at all for fear I might not react very well. Not me. I’m sure he didn’t know that his mention of going back to NOLA was the fringe of a conversation that would change everything. 

After we got it all out in the open we both realized that God had already brought a measure of healing to our hearts simply through talking. What’s more, we were both experiencing an unusual excitement for a city that the thought of at one time, made me nauseous. If that isn’t Jesus, I don’t know what is. 

We were left with a weird foggy vision of something God was starting in our lives and a big “what now?” We decided the next logical step was to plan a visit. Andrew wanted to go as soon as possible but we were at the start of a 6 week long whirlwind of busy weekends so we had to wait. I was glad for that because I think it gave us time to come out of the rush of excitement that comes with doing something extreme. It gave us some time to think, plan, reason, and break the news to our families… who mercifully gave us their approval. 

The weekend finally came. I could go into ardent detail of every moment. I could honestly devote an entire post to the food alone. But I won’t, for now. I’ll just sum the weekend up with a few words. 

Joyful. Intriguing. Exciting. Adventurous. Providential. Prayerful. Peaceful. Assured.
And with that, our decision was an easy one. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

It was probably the best one so far. The first Mother's Day we celebrated with a 10 day old so if we didn't have pictures to prove it, we wouldn't remember it. Last year we celebrated by swimsuit shopping which is as delightful as it sounds (rookie mistake). 

Andrew kept asking me what I wanted to do this year and I finally decided on a day of "doing what I want to do when I want to do it." Which is only possible to a certain extent when you have a two year old. 

So the day consisted of church, a Dave's hot and juicy with bacon, a Mad Men marathon, a walk, a sea salt and dark chocolate bar, dinner at Outback with friends, and ice cream in bed at 10:30 while watching Shark Tank. 

Isn't that all a mother really wants? 

It was delightful until I woke up puffy from all the water retention that happens when you spend 24 hrs eating trash and watching TV. But I wouldn't trade it for the world!!

I also decided my gift to myself would be sleeping in on a Monday and I daresay I out gifted everyone. Jamesy and I are still in PJ's. He is playing with Buzz and Woody and I am trying to get things organized for the big graduation week/weekend ahead! 

Yes, that's right... Andrew is graduating this Saturday and we couldn't be more excited, relieved, anxious, exhausted, or filled with awe and wonder that this seminary journey is coming to an end. Which is basically how you feel when you have a newborn. And with that, this post has come full circle! 

I always complain that I never had good pics with my boy so Andrew captured this one last night. And I've gotta say its a money shot. I can't get enough of those sloppy wet kisses!!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

On Being the Royal Princess's Namesake: An Open Letter to William and Kate

In the media storm that has been my life since the birth of the royal princess, I have not been able to properly and publicly share my deep gratitude toward the royal family for choosing me as the princess's namesake. I hope this letter conveys all that I feel.

Dear Wills and Kate, 

My most heartfelt congratulations on the birth of your first daughter. She is a gift to both the two of you and the world, as we are all sure she will fulfill her responsibilities to her title with the dignity and grace of her mother and late grandmother. 

I was as surprised as the rest of the waiting world when you announced her name: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. I must say I am honored and a bit taken aback. 

Kate, you and I have shared everything through the years. I've always known you cared a great deal about our friendship by the way you emulate my fashion sense. But to name your daughter after me alongside both the names of my mother and the late princess? Well, its just too much. 

I haven't yet spoken to Pippa. I would imagine this came as quite a surprise to her as well. I'm sure if she is at all hurt by your homage to me, she will understand in time and we will move on the way sisters do. 

Please be assured that I will make every effort to be an exemplary model for our little darling. She is (as well as you, Wills, and sweet George) a very important part of my life. Hope to summer with you soon! 

All the Best and God's Blessings,
Charlotte the First

Teaching God's Word to My 2 Year Old

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to share God's Word with James now that he is 2 and developing his vocabulary and comprehension. I'm sure there are a million ideas out there but here is what has been working for us.

I bought James a lot of Bible story picture books. We have the Jesus Storybook Bible but it is a little beyond his attention span right now. Some of the books we got that he really enjoys are: 

I love the ABC Bible Verse Book the most because it has a verse that begins with each letter of the alphabet as well as cute illustrations that help drive home the meaning of the verse. 

I was toying with the idea of helping James learn a memory verse but I had some doubts about him memorizing and the last thing I wanted was to pound something as important as God's Word into him and cause him to resent it (and me). 

But then I thought about the fact that we are learning our ABC's, songs, colors, body parts, etc. and thought we might be able to learn a Bible verse in the same fun repetitious way. So one day while we were reading the ABC Bible Verse Book we got to the letter  G and I knew it was the PERFECT verse to learn first.

God is love! 1 John 4:8 

What better foundation could there be for James' understanding of God and his character?

So we wrote it on our chalkboard and started practicing...

And low and behold the most precious thing happened! 

I'm praying my sweet boy will always know in his heart of hearts that just like 1+1 will always equal 2 and B will always follow A, God is love and always will be! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Crescent Connection 4 Mile Bridge Run

Do you remember that time I crashed that Rock n Roll Marathon blogger meet up? Well, it was providential because through a friend I made there I have been given the opportunity to run the Crescent Connection Bridge Run as a BLOGGER!!!

Hold your applause, that's not the best part. 

Since I am running the race as an official blogger, I have the great privilege of getting you registered for the race at a discount. 

Yay me, yay you!

Here's the info. Register before May 10!! Contact me if you have any questions or need help. 

The race is just 4 miles and spans the beautiful Crescent City Connection bridge crossing the Mississippi River... at sunset to boot!

The CCC offers a really doable training plan for both joggers and walkers. And if you start today, you are only a few days behind. 

It's been a tough few months for me and this race could not be coming at a better time. I'm excited to hit the reset button, set some goals, and gear up for a great summer kickoff at the Bridge Run. WHO'S IN?!?!?!
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