I came home and met the new and beautiful Bridgette. In college we nicknamed Alicia “Mama” because she seemed to be the most responsible person our age we knew. She knew what medicines to take when you didn’t feel well and how you should dress for a job interview. And now she is a real-life mama. We are all so happy for her and Chris! Here are some photos we took when Bridgette was just a few weeks old.
Been working on putting some of my photographs from Africa on display here in Louisville. This summer I have been sharing work space with some talented artists at Sojourn Community Church. We are all going to have our work hanging in the Sojourn Gallery at St. Vincent’s starting August 23rd. If you can come out, there will be a reception and artist talk on Friday the 23rd. The event is from 7-9pm. I was also featured in Sojourn’s Art and Culture Blog.
Filed under Art, Louisville
For those of you who don’t know who “that guy” is – its Jonathan Shields. Now I have only known Jon since I have been back in the states but he has already made quite an impression. The kid (and by “kid” I mean that he is the same age as me) is going over to Africa too, so I have been helping him get ready. At first, I really freaked him out – but now, the feeling has reversed. Most of our time has been spent with him being absolutely ridiculous and me trying to stay on my toes. It is exciting. I haven’t been around that much positivity and energy in a long time. Refreshing and yet a little tiring all at the same time. But the kid is a bundle of sunshine and I am so glad that I get to be his friend for this month of overlap in the states.
The smells of fresh-baked pastries, a confetti of colors, and the sweet anticipation of warm delight – it was my first trip to the doughnut shop in 2 years. GADS, oh how I have missed you. The 24hour doughnut shop holds so many memories: from going with my dad on special weekend mornings to studying for finals at 3am. And now, another generation gets to experience the joy that this little shop bakes.
I pride myself on being a Kentucky advocate. I love talking up my home state. There are so many beautiful things to see and do here that you can only do in Kentucky. So I felt it was a travesty that I had yet to visit Churchill Downs or see a horse race in general. So talk about really getting into the “American-swing-of-things!” My 3rd week back in the states provided me with my first visit to our historic track. Bailey’s birthday extravaganza landed us in the general admission seating for Downs After Dark on the most perfect of themes: Star Spangled Banner Night. Red, white, and blue was everywhere (along with a fair share of sparkling). We took pride in our country, picked our winners, and watched the storm roll in. Rain didn’t darken the mood, only the sky. What a grand night for a horse race.
There is nothing better than sitting on a front porch swing, surrounded by your oldest friends, watching the twilight settle over the southern rolling hills. I got together with my “family” for a family farm weekend. These are the friends that know me the best, who I can count on to welcome me back home to America like I never left. Granted, there were a few more kids and spouses than before, but it still feels the same – the love is still there. We spent the weekend telling stories, playing music, hitting pinatas, swimming the lake, playing cards, and shooting guns. The sun shined bright on our days and sparklers lit our nights.
Filed under Family, Friends
What was the absolute best way to spend my first weekend back in America? Going to the RC and Moon Pie Festival, of course! It has been a tradition since 2008 for us to go the Festival in Bell Buckle Tennessee, and what a beautiful tradition it has been. I felt like America was welcoming me home with a big Southern hug. Not only did I eat a corn dog that was a least a foot long, but I had cold RC and a banana Moon Pie just like I remember having when I was little and would go fishing with my dad. We shopped in antique stores, walked through arts and craft booths, and listened to a hog calling contest. Loren went prepared this year to win the hula hooping contest; where she had to drink an RC and eat a Moon Pie without dropping her hula hoop. She came in 4th place this year, but we were not discouraged. Loren and I decided to compete in the water balloon throwing contest and this is where we won first prize. Which led to us being knighted on the stage by the Queen and King of Bell Buckle. Our prize: a free t-shirt and the privilege of cutting and serving the world’s largest Moon Pie.
Filed under Food, Friends