A Night Out to see John Crist!

Michael and I have been really grateful to be able to get out on a few date nights these first months of Sam’s life, thanks to friends and family.  This past weekend, we were out way past our bedtimes so that we could see one of my favorite Christian Youtubers live.

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John Crist.  He’s hilarious.  If you haven’t seen his stuff on Youtube, here’s one of my many favorites:

His set was really funny.  It pokes a little fun at Christian life and some of the things we say and do.  There were 6000 people there.  It sold out in only a few weeks.  wp-1539112031617..jpg

My favorite part is when the DJ would start playing a song and then we had to finish the phrase.  It started out with some Christian hits (Good, Good Father) and then they threw in a Biggie rap song.  When the audience easily finished that lyric too, Crist joked that there must be some testimonies in the audience tonight.  It was so fun.

It was a great night.  Michael and I even got shirts, which I never buy merch, so that was pretty big for me as well.  We paid for it the next day with lots of nap times, but it was so, so worth it.

If you have a chance to see him, I would highly recommend it!

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A Visit from the Parents

My parents live in Atlanta, GA, about 14 hours or so away from us.  So, any visit from them is quite a treat.  Last week, they visited for the whole week, and it was wonderful.

We did several things together, but I didn’t get very many pictures because I was either juggling the baby or lost in the moment.  I don’t apologize for that, either.  But I did manage to get a few pictures from the Dallas World Aquarium, one of our major stops during the visit.

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We visited right around feeding time which was really fun.  There were divers in a lot of the tanks, either feeding or cleaning.  Sam was most interested in what they were doing.

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I thought the aquarium would be better than the zoo because of the heat but also I thought that for a four month old, this would be more his speed than big open pens of animals.  The Dallas World Aquarium is somewhat like a zoo, however, because it has a lot of animals in addition to the fish.  There is a huge enclosure with birds and crocodiles and another exhibit of penguins, so it was like a first step to the zoo.

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Also during their visit, I took my parents to IKEA because they have never been to this store.  When I found that out, it was a must for this visit.  IKEA is such an experience.  We had dessert in their restaurant and walked through the entire store.  I took several pictures for ideas for the house.  I’ve really enjoyed our couch from IKEA.  It’s so easy to clean and has held up pretty well over the years (and is so comfortable).  I’m making bucket lists for several rooms in our house, so IKEA trips may become more common in our future.

We also went several other places and did many other things (including a nice date night for Michael and me which was so appreciated).  But my favorite moments were just hanging out and watching my parents love on Sam.  They ooo’d and aww’d at all of Sam’s milestone abilities, laughed and played, even changed a diaper or two.  I’m so thankful for this visit and for my parents being a part of Sam’s life!

The Farmer’s Market

I love going to the Farmer’s Market.  I hadn’t been yet this spring or summer because of the baby, but I finally went last weekend.  And I took the little boy with me. Granted, it was during the normal time of the day that I take him for a walk in the stroller, so he slept through this experience as he does most stroller rides, but I see this as only the beginning to a fun tradition.

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It seems bigger, which I think is great.  And it’s so much more than vegetables.  There were people selling jewelry, apparel, lotions, hot foods, even a bookseller (which I managed to resist this time, but I don’t know about next time.  They were children’s books, though any book tends to be my kryptonite).

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But there were a lot of vegetables and fruit.  And the fruit was aromatic.  After making one trip around the entire market, I settled for the biggest fruits and vegetable booth, mostly because they were selling okra.  But the fruit smelled so good, I ended up buying some of them as well.

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This was my haul.  I also purchased a cranberry raisin walnut bread and a pain au chocolat from a bakery booth.  The bread was a perfect balance and excellent warmed up with a little butter.  And the pain au chocolat was ridiculously delicious.  The croissant part was buttery and the chocolate center was perfect.  Plus, the fruit was perfectly ripe.

Michael wasn’t able to go with us this time, so I know we will be back again at least one more time this year (though it’s open every Saturday until November, so it will probably be more than just one more time).  I’m so grateful to have access to these food options, and I look forward to my next visit!

Our Family Trip

Last week, we traveled for the first time with a baby.  The ride there was pretty uneventful.  He slept the entire way.  And throughout the visit, he was sleeping and eating at regular intervals, despite being completely off of his schedule.

The reason we traveled with Sam so early was that we wanted him to meet Michael’s dad.  His dad has Alzheimer’s disease which has progressed to the point that he can no longer travel and needs full-time care.  I didn’t really know what to expect.

Honestly, both he and Sam slept through their introductions.  But he seems to be happy and well taken care of where he is, which I am very thankful for the people who love on him on a daily basis.

The rest of the trip was spent with Michael’s mom, his brother and his wife and their daughter.  It was really a great time.  We walked around the local college campus.  We chatted about raising our kids and all the ups and downs.  We watched the two cousins interact (well, as much as a two-month-old and an almost one-year-old interact).

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Michael’s mom’s church threw a baby shower for Sam.  And there were lots of ladies there who cooed and snuggled Sam.  We are so thankful for the love and prayers from that church.  They have become a part of our amazing extended family these past several years.  I am so thankful for such a wonderful visit with family and friends!

Birthday

So, this month, I turned another year older.

Of course, this birthday was super special because I had a precious little boy to snuggle all day (although to be completely transparent, the boy was quite a grump on my birthday, but I still managed a snuggle or two).

Michael also fed my insatiable book habit with six new books.  Two of them aren’t showing in the picture below because they are preorders that will come out in September and October (The new Deborah Harkness book and the new Ransom Riggs book).

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And then, Michael came home early on my birthday, and I went out alone to get my nails done.  I didn’t take any pictures because I was seriously just enjoying the moment.  I got a package deal that included an amazing neck massage with the manicure.  Simply divine.

And then last weekend, Michael’s coworker watched Sam while we went to dinner.  It was the first babysitting experience outside of family and, honestly, it was wonderful.  Michael and I ate steak and had dessert.  And we ordered things on Amazon for Sam from our phones.  Ok, so we were still thinking about him and our conversation was all about him, but baby steps, right?

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Overall, I would say this was a pretty amazing birthday.  I’m so grateful for this last year, and I look forward to the adventures this next year will bring!

Showering The Baby

As I mentioned in Week 18 of my pregnancy, we decided not to have a baby shower before Sam was born.  But we did have a celebration last weekend for his arrival.  To see it all put together was very overwhelming to me. I didn’t know if I would actually get to this point, but here we are.

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One thing I know for absolute certain is that Sam is loved.  And there were so many who have been waiting in anticipation to celebrate this arrival.  He was held and cooed at and loved on the entire time.  In fact, one little girl, the daughter of one of my friends, followed him around as he was passed from one loving set of arms to another, just fascinatingly smitten.

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Another special part of the shower were the people there.  Especially these four girls.  I hosted some of their showers when their boys were born, and now they were here to celebrate my son.

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I have an amazing community.  I am so grateful for the people who have celebrated this little boy’s arrival both near and far.  We have been just incredibly touched by those who have sent cards or other items, encouraging notes, and sweet messages.  Thank you for loving our little family and for providing such an amazing welcome for our son.

Black Panther: A Review

For our Valentine’s Date, Michael and I saw the new Marvel movie, Black Panther.  I’ve been stoked to see this movie since I saw the trailer back in the summer.  I know that there have been a lot of great articles out there that articulate the amazing things this movie has done and is doing for the black community, such as this one from the New York Times.  But for my review, I just want to share my two favorite things about the movie from my perspective as a Marvel Universe loving girl.  No spoilers, I promise.

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My first favorite thing is the women in this movie.  Last year, I thought DC had really cornered the market on the female representation with Wonder Woman, but in this movie, there were three fierce, beautiful, intelligent women who kicked butt.  I call them the soldier, the spy, and the scientist (because I love alliteration and it works).  And even though I loved their fight scenes, car chases, and attitudes, my favorite part was that they each held to their own convictions.  Throughout the film, they each get told in one way or another that they are naive, or that they are assumed to act a certain way (and this is coming out of an egalitarian society), but they stick to who they are and what they believe.  In the end, they each prove themselves by just being themselves.  I’m afraid that I can’t give too many specifics, though, because of spoilers.

The second favorite thing is the set design/cinematography.  The sweeping landscapes and deep, rich colors of Africa are pronounced throughout the film.  My absolute favorite set, though, was the throne room of the Jabari tribe.  A close second is the throne room in Wakanda.  But what I loved the most was the intertwining of the traditional with the technologically advanced.  When I think of futuristic cities, I usually imagine pristine, minimalist buildings.  But in Wakanda, you had what seemed ancient ruins mixed with hovercrafts.  There was a point in the movie where they showed a part of Wakanda where people were selling things in a market, and a hoverbus goes by.  I wanted to pause the movie and just get lost in all of the details – the ivy growing along the buildings, people communicating from their bracelets.  It was absolute perfection in a way I hadn’t thought of before.

Overall, I highly recommend the movie.  Like in most of the Marvel movies, there are amazing themes of redemption and mercy, understanding where people come from, and caring about the people around you and doing what’s right.  Definitely in my top five favorites in comic book movies of all time.