Mardi Gras Mambo... in review

February 28, 2024

 Who doesn't love a good parade? This might be one of those Louisiana things, I don't remember an abundance of parades in Alabama... but we were there during The Great Lockdown of 2020. 

Last year we attended Rio in Lafayette with great disappointment. Everyone in Acadiana talks about how amazing the Houma parades are, and shockingly the three years we lived there we did not attend a single Houma parade. But the big Cajun parade secret, in my opinion, is the New Iberia parade. It's extremely family friendly, you catch more than you can carry home, and to everyone's delight this year it was rescheduled due to weather and set for Sunday afternoon (it's typically a night parade). The weather was gorgeous and the time of day was ideal! I really hope they decide to stick with a day parade in the future. 

About half way through the parade Elliot got the bright idea to put every single bead from the bag onto his short little self. 

Harrison pitched in one this mission to topple Elliot over with beads. 

More bead layering. 

My excitement over the giant Super One grocery store shopping cart is beyond what I can describe. I'd really love to ride in this thing. 😄

There were several floats this year that weren't local to us, I loved seeing the more traditional Mardi Gras costumes. I wish we would have had a map or had the floats labeled better, you couldn't always tell where they were from. 

That wraps up the extent of our Mardi Gras fun this year. 

We intentionally didn't attend any other parades, there is just no need to enough beads to fill a house. As it was I took the beads we caught immediately to school to give to kids to throw in our school parade. Surprisingly I didn't even purchase a king cake, or make a French King Cake this year. Once my boss came to work with several king cakes from Keller's Bakery (the hands down best king cake on earth) I didn't bother getting one for home that would equate to just me and the kids eating a whole cake. 

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Birthday Fun & the Abide Conference

February 26, 2024

 Who would have thought turning 38 would have been enjoyable. I told Jeremy last night that I feel like I'm finally over a hump. It's been a rough few years after Dad died and losing our 3rd baby, the last two birthdays weren't anything I was excited for. Finally this one felt happy again. Enough time has finally passed. 

Now for what birthday fun I've had, in backwards order. 

Instead of driving all the way to Dairy Queen I decided to make Harry and I an ice cream cake at home. This was a winner, and while my icing writing skills aren't bake shop standard... it was dang good. 

I don't have a photo of it, but I made sure I blew out trick candles just because the boys get such a kick out of them. 

Next year I might work on our writing, and the next time I make this I'll share the steps and what I am doing differently. 

On Friday I took the day off work and headed to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for the Abide conference. If you haven't been, you have to sign up and go. Of all the conferences and places I've been over the years, this is by far my favorite women's conference. The music and speaking are always incredible, and the break out sessions are top notch. 

I probably also love it because it is a large conference (1200 women) but still small enough that you run into many of your Louisiana Baptist friends when walking around. 

This year I went alone, my friend Stephanie will probably kick my butt for doing that, but when it came time to book I was still processing all the events of the winter and just couldn't reach out to anyone. It was easier to do the alone thing this year. Now I wanted to run into everyone on earth... but I couldn't reach out. Grief is weird. 

I wish I would have taken more photos, but I ran into Angelle on night one. We were psychology majors together and she knew Jeremy from the BCM. I ended up spending day two sitting with her and the Tech BCM girls. I also got to speak to her mother, who is a minister's wife, and we had such a great conversation during lunch. 

Now this is where the out of order really gets going. I kinda got myself 2 birthday dinners - when I got to NOLA I checked into my room and headed out to Poke Loa. I haven't had good poke since we left Birmingham and was dying to find some since I was in a larger city. Then when I got back into town Saturday night I got the boys to go to Pop's Poboys in downtown Lafaytte. 

Isn't the chapel at NOBTS just beautiful at night! 

Night 1: I snagged a floor seat next to some seminary students and had a great time. Tara Dew and Donna Gaines led the first two sessions (all 4 were focused on prayer and they all taught different parts of the Lord's Prayer). 

Day 2: I checked out of the hotel and headed to campus for coffee before walking through the shops they had set up before the doors opened. The girl who took my order was an Emily, and based on the Emily who taught a breakout session (her bio at least) it has continued to strengthen my theory of Emily's. I'll be publishing my dissertation soon. 😉

Tara and Jamie Dew opening the conference Saturday morning. Y'all the worship music, and all those women singing together was incredible. Meredith Andrews' voice was insane. Especially since on Friday night they were having tech issues and the whole service was very much unplugged. 

Now for the week before! 

Girl things are generally not on the docket for me with this house full of men. I really should have gotten a female dog when I had the chance. I need at least one person on my team. 

Anyway, I got to go to The English Tea Room with Christy and the girls in Covington. It was freezing, but we had the best time. All the fun antique shops were a great addition. 

If ever you were to ask why I love church, outside of Jesus, it's this. 

I met Christy and Emily a decade ago, when Emily and her brother were little kids the same age range as mine are now. We've been able to see them grow up and then get the privilege of coming back to church here and having them in our youth group. Now Emily is in college and her brother Peyton is in youth with us. 

Time flies, but watching kids grow in Christ is such a blessing.

I didn't take any pictures of Sunday morning. They caught me off guard. Emily and Zoey had decorated the youth room! Peyton won himself some major brownie points and came bearing an ice cream cake lol! 

Between the birthday cards, calls, and hugs, I really couldn't have wished for a better birthday. 

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Five Things on Friday

February 23, 2024

Life so far the past two months, let's see...

Little bit got glasses. Turns out he was blind as a bat in one eye and now looks like he will file your taxes. Pre-K during the day, CPA in the evenings

I don't want y'all to think this is Elliot heavy, it is, but he is the child that will hold still for the camera. 

This particular Elliot incident made me laugh, he hates underwear. Seriously, we have a deal that he doesn't have to wear underwear on Saturday, but it's a requirement for church and school. 

For a child that doesn't want to participate in underwear, explain to me why he was wearing two pair of shorts? 

This predates 2024, but we took family photos with Carlie Ann Collective in October. This happens to be a silly one. I told Jeremy we really have to get better at family photos. To date we have only had professional photos taken: for our engagement, wedding, Harrison's newborns, Elliot's newborns... and then this mini session. 

Where are my blind friends who wear tortoise shell glasses at? 

When I tell y'all I have to have a second pair of glass to locate my primary pair of glasses. These were located after a whole day search and it's an absolute miracle I ever found them. 

I could honestly write an entire blog post about the trouble with Cockapoos. Dill has a penchant for only behaving when he knows he's being watched. He won't get on the furniture at all, until we aren't home. Don't let it rain or this nut will come tearing through the house spreading dirt everywhere. He also won't take your food... until you turn your back. He's never been a furniture chewer and is very potty trained, so I'll give him those well deserved brownie points. 

Then he has his Lassie moments. There have been a few times he's come to alert me of something, a mouse he found in the yard and what not. The other day he got in panties in a wad when I left the windows open and Jeremy started doing yard work. I was working out in the bedroom and he came running in barking like a crazy dog. 

Harrison insisted I "see what Dill wanted" and as it turns out he wanted the windows closed. 

Then he does things like this... sitting on a poster thinking it is a blanket. 

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Hi Blog, it's me Emily

February 22, 2024

In a strange turn of events after a year of a lost .com I seemed to have recovered it. 

Let me tell y'all what happened. The year after Dad died was rough, but all the emotions that I thought I had processed... were unprocessed when we had a miscarriage. In case you are thinking, "Emily what on earth are you talking about?" Well, right before the 1 year anniversary of Dad's passing we got pregnant with our third child.  We were super excited and I was super sick (as per the usual with pregnancy) so I wasn't blogging much through Dec. '22 and into January. Well our 8 week appoint came and everything looked amazing. (Now this is completely my speculating because I never had an issue before getting the shot and then THE sickness.) But I got sick the end of the week after my ultrasound and later found out (at signs of miscarriage) that this is when the baby passed away. 

Recovery was rough, and that is when it really hit that Dad had died. 

So in a hormonal fit of also being sick of this same person emailing me for several years wanting to buy my domain for basically no cost at all and the back end coding changes to blog advertising being a mess … I deleted my domain. 

I tried to get it back, and spent a ton of time talking to my domain host. But it was a wash and never worked. Or at least I thought that was the case. 

When it came time for domain renewal (for that domain I couldn't access but was still paying for) I decided to try one more time and to my amazement... the domain finally worked. 

So here we are. Back with a domain, and it started working on the anniversary of Dad's death (yesterday). 

So I think I'll hope back on the old blog again. Not to fuss with advertisers, but to go back to the journal I started in 2008. We can call 2023 a gap year... or a wash. It was really  wash of me deciding I could be okay and move forward. Maybe I just didn't need to blog during that raw mental state of a year. 

Maybe at the end of it all God was telling me to refocus, which is what I've done. I've pulled back from a lot and focus where I need to. I help Jeremy with 11-12th grade Sunday School, we host a high school bible study on Monday night, and I do anything I am able to with him with the youth group. I'm still teaching upper elementary. I've got my mini garden experiment still going as I wait for the day the raised beds finally get to go up. The sourdough starter has been revived (thanks to a dear friend). The boys are being every ounce of boy they can be. 

And in my millennial midlife crisis of an age... I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to get a sewing machine with quilting capabilities for my birthday. 

So going forward, I'll catch up what has recently been left out. I'll start taking more photos again. And I might even post the miscarriage post that has been sitting in draft for an entire year. 
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