"...and the greatest of these is love."   1 Corinthians 13:13

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend with family and friends! No big post today, but I more just wanted to get down a few recent thoughts.

Sitting in church today, the pastor was talking about how different our lives are because of Christ's resurrection. Because Jesus was crucified for our sins and they were buried with him in the tomb, and because He was resurrected, we have new life. Simple enough. He talked about how we have the capability to trade our sorrows for joy, our despair for purpose, our defeat for victory, and so on. It is nothing that I haven't heard before, but it was a strong encouragement that I needed to hear. Basically anything that is a negative, we gain as a positive if we choose to do so as a child of God. The key is actually choosing to do so. In my opinion, this is the real challenge.

I was actually pretty weepy this weekend...I was really missing my dad. I've said it a million times, but he just made holidays and get-togethers so much better. I missed seeing him stuffing the Easter eggs at the kitchen table and making his deviled eggs. I think he loved watching his three grown kids hunt Easter eggs more than we enjoyed finding them. Sweet Rob was such a great husband to me...just letting me talk through things and cry on his shoulder. It was tough. But listening to the sermon today, it reminded me of the gift that I have because I have accepted Jesus. I know that in Christ, a scenario that is seemingly very tough on earth is actually a victory in the Lord's eyes. I know that I have grown much more in my faith because of my loss than I would have otherwise. I know the same is true for many, many more people that Dad came into contact with during his time at MD Anderson and at work as he shared his story. I know just how well the Lord can hold me when it seems like my world is upside down. I know and trust the Lord's timing much more than I ever have. I have come to know Him as a father in a much deeper way. The list can go on forever. And yes, it is obviously very easy to see my situation from worldly eyes...it is, after all, natural. It is easy to pull out all of the "it's not fairs." But when we choose to see things and events from God's perspective, things just seem to make more sense.

Rob and I had a good and busy weekend. We got to host my mom for a few days and also got to spend time with much of Rob's family. It is always a treat to spend holidays with family...something I often take for granted. I certainly missed the competitive rush of the annual Maxwell house Easter Egg hunt, the annual Kerrville Easter run, and the rest of my family, but I was thankful for our weekend. We are richly blessed.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SB 2011

Happy Spring!

Well, in light of all of the government cut backs the education system is receiving, I thought I would highlight one of the nice perks of being a teacher instead... It's called Spring Break :) And I loved it this year.

Rob and I decided to head over to New Orleans for Spring Break (yes, he was kind enough to not leave me at home all alone for a week) and just enjoy the week together. Neither of us had ever been before, so it was such a blast getting to explore the city with a clean slate.

We stopped at LSU's campus before we got there. Rob had played lacrosse there while he was at A&M and wanted me to see the campus.

While we were in New Orleans, we were such tourists, but we loved it. We hit all of the hot spots that a good New Orleans visitor should, ate all of the food we were supposed to eat, and made some good memories along the way :)

We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in the French Quarter. We loved being right there in the mix of all that the FQ had to offer. Our first night there, we hit up the one and only...Pat O'Brians. We had their famous hurricanes, which was just the way to start off the vaca. Rob's face is so telling... :)

We walked around Bourbon Street that night and just experienced what NOLA had to offer.

The next day, we walked around the city and explored the beautiful streets and their vendors. We loved taking in all of the sounds and sights that we saw.

We were obsessed with the live music and jazz that seemed to envelope the French Quarter. Saxophones, singing, swing dancing, and tap. It was glorious. The talent that was displayed there was unreal.

St. Louis Cathedral downtown. Stunning.

A view of downtown New Orleans from the train tracks...

We took a break and grabbed some muffaletas at the famous French Market. Rob was really excited about them...

After lunch we took a street car tour through New Orleans' garden district, which was beautiful. Unfortunately, the only picture that I snapped was of this bead tree. We went at the end of Mardi Gras, so there were still many remnants of the week's fun.

That night we headed to such a fun restaurant called the Acme Oyster Bar. Adam Richman from Man vs. Food on the Food Network did an oyster challenge there, so we wanted to check it out. The food was delicious. Rob got to indulge in some delicious oysters, while I was sad to settle for some rice and beans. Thank you shellfish allergy...

We headed out that night to hear some good jazz music at the Preservation Hall on Bourbon Street. The pictures were odd because of the lighting, but we so enjoyed it.

The next morning we headed to Cafe du Monde to have some of their famous beignets. They were so delicious...

...and they had the line to prove it. Luckily we got there before the line exploded like it did here.

We went back to the hotel and hung out poolside until our next adventure...

...an alligator tour, which was probably Rob's favorite activity while we were there. We took an air boat through the marshy water... I cringed, he completely ate it up.

We actually got really close to many of the gators that we saw...

And we even got to hold a gator that was about 2 years old...eek!

Even though it was a little unnerving to float through gator infested water, it was a gorgeous day and we had a great time.

My absolute favorite meal came that night, which happened to be on our two year anniversary of being together. We ate at one of Emeril's restaurants, called Nola. It was, by far, one of the most incredible meals I have ever eaten in my life. Everything was wonderful from the duck confit and arugula pizza to the incredible homemade ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now. If I could have a last supper...

What a fun way to celebrate with my love. What an incredible two years :)

The next morning, we hit up the famous Cafe Fleur-de-lis per my hairdresser's request. We absolutely stuffed ourselves to the brim. So worth it :)

We left the next afternoon to head home to pick up our 75 pound baby. Big thanks to Adam and Kara for watching our little man. I know he had a blast with his girlfriend, Myla.

We definitely loved going and we will for sure be going back. Who's with us next time??

More later,