Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Parade

This parade was so fun except for the fact that Will had to work. A friend of ours has an apt on Magazine where the parade goes. It was nice because we could look out the window if we didn't want to be in the middle of the masses. This parade is a little different than the others in that they throw cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and onions. Everything you need for cabbage stew. There are other throws such as Irish soap or wintergreen mints. It is much more of a locals parade so it isn't as crowded in some ways.

Viola's dress was perfect. Thanks Hannons.
The first part is a walking parade which means lots of dancing.

And dance we did.

The chicken lady was there. Taking a break from her children.

Twirling with Aunt Jane.

Waiting for the floats.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Typically I don’t find myself looking forward to Lent, but this year was different.  This was our first year to live in New Orleans and participate in Carnival as residents. We had a blast, but by the end I was paraded out. The festivities last for a week and a half and Will and I made the most of it.

Normally during Lent I concentrate more on what I want to give up instead of what I want to add to my life. I tend to pay attention to my body and its relation to food. I do this in order to conjure a longing, a craving, and a need to remind me that there is something much bigger than myself. Even though I have missed certain food items in the past I have rarely found it to lead me to a time of reflection and penitence. I don’t often pay close enough attention to the idea of pruning or searching my soul so that love can grow.

This year I have decided to go a different route. I am going to focus on my mind. The past two years during the New Year I have combed my journals for themes of the recent year. One theme that has been present for years has been stillness. While I often write about it I seldom take action to change. For Lent I have taken steps to carve out time for meditation and setting limits with my time. People often ask me how I have time to make this or do that. Example: I was 2 weeks post-partum and making homemade doughnuts. (Disclaimer: I enjoying trying new things and it isn’t always an issue of being still, but in this case I needed to rest) When these comments are made I usually smile from pride of my accomplishments (which give me value and purpose) but deep down I feel sad that I am so restless. I run around making myself crazy and because of this those I love suffer. I am unable to give the best parts of me by being present with them.
My pace creates a mind that can’t stop making to-do lists. With every completed project comes a list of five more.  Here is how I have determined to set limits for this season. I made a list of every weekly thing I do. This includes browsing social media, reading, crafting, baking, cleaning, errands and several other tasks. I pick 3 things each day that I want to do (not including routine stuff that has to be done like meals, naps, and bedtime stuff). When naptime or evening comes I can’t do anything before I have done my 10 minute meditation. When I have used up my 3 things I have to sit and be still (frightening , I know.)

I have given myself the freedom to tweak what I need to. This is a big commitment and very daunting, but I am ok with failing. I have to remember to offer myself grace and see this as a learning experience so I can get to those deeper parts of my soul. I don’t expect the rhythm of my life to be transformed in one season. However, I do hope for change and new experiences and I believe the goodness of God will carry me deeper into the shadows of my soul.

“Go slowly; meet people. Take your time.”  -Stewart Jackson

Monday, March 10, 2014

Viola's Arctic Themed Birthday

We celebrated Viola's 2nd birthday this past Saturday. I wanted to keep it simple and that we did. In my opinion a brunch was perfect. Who doesn't love brunch food first of all and secondly everyone was still able to get their afternoon nap. We had snowflake waffles, a veggie quiche, a sun-dried tomato and sausage quiche, fruit and birthday cake. I used the sign I made last year and cut out a few paper snowflakes.

An Arctic Party isn't complete without a walrus cake

We used the napkins my mom made.

Hung our birthday banner.

Took a snapshot with the birthday girl.

Hung the snowflakes.

Set the table.

Topped our waffles.


Enjoyed our guests.

Mingled More.


Investigate fire on a cake.

With a little help put that fire out.

Before I forget here is the walrus that was the inspiration for her party. Without him this wouldn't have been possible. Thank you Mr. Walrus.