Admittedly, this post is a bit late ... ok, a lot late. These past few months have been such a whirlwind, and yet full of so much joy. Since I'm more than a little behind, I decided to combine happenings from the past three months to get caught up. Without further adieu, here's our highlight reel, in loose, chronological order :-)
1. Tim Turned 30
Tim is my little brother. You may be wondering why his birthday is one of my joys.
It's a bit strange having a younger sibling as an adult. As a kid, I never really thought about the two years between me and my younger brother, but now that we're older, I realize my life is measured not only in my own milestones and progress, but in his as well. (Absolutely anyone who knows me knows that I love Tim.) This past year he got married (I am still in shock) and gave me a beautiful new sister-in-law who planned a surprise birthday party for him in DC in February. I couldn't be more happier than watching him start his own family. Welcome to the thirties, bro. Now bring on the babies.
2. The Perfect Valentine's Day Gift
Musa and I don't necessarily celebrate Valentine's Day, but this year he got me a really sweet gift. I've had my eye on the Herschel line of travel wear for a while, and the City Mid Volume Backpack mysteriously showed up on our doorstep on Feb. 14.
I can't say enough amazing things about this bag. Not only is it affordable, it's also suuuuper slim so it maintains its shape well, but still has room for Ellis' diapers, wipes, snacks, sippee cups and anything else I need to carry for the day. I HIGHLY recommend it if you're looking for a pack that's stylish and not too bulky. Plus the black with the brown leather strap means it goes with pretty much every outfit I own. Check out their entire line at Nordstrom. And thanks for loving me so well, Musa ;-)
3. Black Panther-Themed Birthday Parties (#wakandaforever)
March is always a busy month since Musa and Lincoln share the same birthday. This year, we went all out with a Black Panther-themed party, even though we only saw the movie a few days before (kid life).
Just for kicks, we asked our guests to celebrate with us by wearing either traditional African clothing or superhero shirts. I wish I had more photos to share, but apparently I was too busy hosting and fussing over details to be bothered with capturing the moment. I didn't even catch a picture of the beautiful cake that my friend Lindsey Harrison of Love Muffin Sweets made for us. Everyone was talking about that cake!! It was a super moist dulce de leche flavor with caramel frosting that was black, which was kind of like a Jedi mind trick because everyone assumed it was chocolate. You'll have to take my word it was delicious and go check out her work @lovemuffinsweets on Instagram if you live in the DC area and ever need a custom cake. We highly recommend her!
See below for the few photos I did manage to snap. Please note Musa's man beads, Lincoln's black panther costume and my mother's tribal wear. I didn't even manage to get a picture of my super cute outfit (ugh), but my dad contributed the best thing. (Thanks, Ace!)
Somehow, Lincoln managed to talk us into an classroom party as well. If you can't tell from the photo reel below, he was pretty pumped to be celebrated by his friends.
4. Lincoln Takes Center Stage (as usual, lol)
If you've never met Lincoln in person, there are two things you should know about him:
- Once he's met you, he's automatically your best friend forever (he's never met a person he didn't like), and
- If there is a stage, he will find it. He loves nothing more than being the center of everyone's attention.
So when it was his class' turn to lead Chapel at the school he attends, he not only practiced his lines for the Bible story presentation, but everyone else's as well. At one very quiet point during the Bible story, he yelled to his classmate who was playing Jesus, "YOU NEED TO BE LOUDER. WE CAN'T HEAR YOU!" (face palm) Really he probably just wanted to say the boys' lines! Smh.
Despite his attempts to steal the spotlight, Lincoln's class did an amazing job leading devotions and singing (Check out the links for video and please oodle over his adorable friend on the right who clearly has performing her future!) When it was finally Lincoln's turn to recite his Bible verse, there was a moment where he paused when recalling the Scripture reference and I promise my heart stopped beating. I had a mild panic attack assuming he'd somehow forgotten the verse, though he'd been practicing for weeks. Instead, he just lowered his voice, stuck his hands in his pocket, and played it off like it was nothing. This kid lol! One of my life's greatest joys is seeing how he and his brother Ellis are growing to love the Lord from a young age. Praying they grow nearer to Him with each passing year.
Easter was such a special time for us. In the two weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, we centered our evening devotions on Focus on the Family's Resurrection Eggs (if you have kids, getchoo some for next year!) I'd been asking God to really inspire awe in my heart this year, and as we taught the Resurrection story to our boys, He did just that. Not to mention that Musa and I attended a "Seven Last Sayings" service at Trinidad Baptist Church in Capital Heights, MD that felt very much like a homecoming for me. I attended similar Good Friday services at my childhood church for longer than I can remember and joining in the familiar songs, experiencing the fellowship and celebrating the African-American tradition of preaching did my hear good. As if that weren't enough, my sister, Darlene, threw an elaborate Easter dinner as she does every year, complete with an Easter egg hunt and gifts for everyone in attendance. With all the celebration and anticipation, I found myself experiencing the awe anew. All the praise hand emojis for God's redemptive plan for mankind and the hope we have in Christ.
6. New Dining Room Paint
Slowwwlly but surely, our house projects are coming along. Last month, Musa finished the dining room wall color, which is a darker shade of gray that really looks beautiful in the day. Next up is the kitchen, which will be the lighter gray, and then we'll begin furnishing the Living Room. At times, it feels as though we're going at a snail's pace, but other times, I look around and am amazed at how different our space looks since last year. I want to share pictures (friends have asked!), but it would have taken me a whole extra 20 minutes to go snap some so you'll just have to wait for the big reveal :-)
7. Our Love Turned Six
Musa & I celebrated our sixth anniversary in April with an overnight stay at the recently renovated Lorien Hotel + Spa in Alexandria, VA. It's super cute, right in the middle of Old Town, and has been updated with really beautiful modern decor. For better or worse, we didn't get to truly enjoy all the amenities of the property because we were out exploring and enjoying the free time away from our kids every second we could. (Mom, you're the real MVP.)
We did absolutely everything we could in a day and a half including lots and lots of eating, shopping, a 10-mile bike ride through Mt. Vernon (don't get it twisted; I struggled through those hills in a dress, mind you ... smh), a comedy show at DC Improv and the DC Emancipation Day concert. For some reason we also took a ridiculous number of photos of our feet as well. Because you have time and energy to be artsy when you have no kids :-)
This year especially, I'm realizing how much we really do need time away from the kids and the nonstop hustle and bustle to just connect and enjoy each other. It was soooooo good just to listen to Musa talking uninterrupted and enjoy a car ride without special music requests from the backseat. Hopefully we can do it again in the not too distant future ;-)
8. Family Brunch
This month, my brother-in-law Korge and his girlfriend had Musa's entire family over for brunch just because. It was an amazing time and so thoughtful. Everything from the food to the weather was perfect, and let's just say the company wasn't too bad either. Somehow our relaxing afternoon transitioned into a rooftop photo shoot, because who can resist a ROOFTOP??! I so love our family. Hands-down one of my greatest joys.
(Musa joked that the last photo of him and me is symbolic of our relationship. Me giving PDA and constantly getting rejected. TRUTH! lolol)
9. Lincoln Goes to Work
Ok, so this actually happened this morning and I can't get over it. Lincoln is going to work with Musa for a full day today. He's literally been talking about it all week - riding the train and meeting the other kids. I can't with his work clothes! When did he get so big? Where has the time gone? Also, the third photo down made me laugh to myself. This is classic Lincoln, out in front. According to Musa, he had a question for EACH presenter, including the company CEO! Already excited to hear the stories when he gets home.