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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

let me love you.

The overwhelming amount of great memories I have of all the different Valentine's day is amazing. Some of my favorite childhood memories are how my Mom and Dad always made that day so special. We would all wake up to our favorite candies on the kitchen table with a gift! We loved it. As I got older, my Dad would always send me flowers, which of course as every girl knows, makes you feel like a million bucks. Through high school, my friends and I grabbed a movie (usually The Notebook, lets be honest) and ordered in a heart shaped pizza... or two or three. Friends and sisters are always the greatest Valentines. The memories of funny things that we did and gave to each other is too long to list. To this day we still laugh and tell our husbands about our former hilarious single days and the stupid things we did. Sometimes they laugh and sometimes you get the look that says "that is only funny to you and your friends." - which I have to say, is usually true. To me though, I think the true value is in the memories that were made, the joy that is brought in those gifts, and the time spent together. 

The greatest joy that I receive is in giving love and the many different ways that we can show it. 
Here are some of my favorite things I have made / given / received!

made by me this year for my Mom & Dad

the card I made for my younger sister, Cait, this year

my gift for Josh this year ...

the phone case I got Josh this year for valentine's

my valentine from my boyfriend, Luke, this year

the card I made for my younger sister, Jamie, this year

my baby sister, Addison, with some of the things I sent her

the card I made for my Dad, Laura and Addison this year

my tea from my friend Jayne two years ago

cupcakes sent a couple years ago from my favorite bakery by my Mom & Dad

probably my #1, my first valentine's day card from Josh two years ago

& valentine's day last year from Josh


Love is such a gift. The beauty of love is all it's different shapes and forms that it takes. The way we love one another is a reflection of who we are and how we choose to feel towards another. This past week Josh and I read through The Five Love Languages and we really learned a ton. We realized so much about how we feel loved, what we need to feel loved, how we can better love one another, and just how special that is that we are all so different. I love that we are different. I love that Josh feels love in another way than I do and now I know how I can better communicate that to him. So far, in the tiny steps we have taken to express our love to one another, through quality time and the simple hand on the back, we have both felt better loved. 

I love that God has blessed me with being Josh's wife and being able to love him in a way that only I was created to love him. As we enter into a new part of our relationship, passing the 2 year mark of being together, we have found the chapters of each part of our story to be so different but equally beautiful. Realizing that you can't live on a mountain top, that there is beauty in each phase of life, and seeing growth in both good and the bad has been a huge blessing to us both. Falling in love with each other daily in new ways, loving each other when you fall short, choosing to show each other love when you are tired and just want to go to bed... this is the beauty of our God to me. I love that He has modeled the perfect relationship and reflection of love. Thank God, because I fall short everyday. But Josh loves me the way that our God loves him, with mercy, grace, and unconditionally. 

This Valentine's day was better and different than any other because of that man and the love we have been given. I hope everyone else has had a great love day, whether it was being silly with your sisters or friends, sharing it with your parents, or with the man / woman you love. 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

falling for nola

This will be my fourth Mardi Gras in the great city of New Orleans. I fell in love with the city that first year, but our love grows deeper and differently every year. My parents have blessed with me with a love of traveling and lit the fire within me to have adventures. I love trying new food, walking around the city, listening to great live music, and being present in those moments with my family. 

Contrary to the usual Mardi Gras experience, my favorite memories of Nawlins are the ones we have made in restaurants, watching my Dad ride in the Bacchus parade, and walking the French Market. The culture of the city is so rich and full of flavor, jazz, and art. Jackson Square is in the heart of down town and surrounded by street artist trying to make a buck. 

We have stayed at the Hilton on the River, the Hotel Monteleone, and the Ritz Carlton. I highly recommend staying down in the French Quarter for the full experience. Save your money up and splurge on dinner at Commanders Palace. Eat breakfast and have dessert at Brennan's. Don't count calories and eat a couple of those world famous beignets and cup of cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde, you won't regret it. Take a tour of the city and see the lower ninth ward, garden district and everything in between. Do a buggy tour in the French Quarter and walk the cemeteries. 

The best part of going to this great city each year is that it is unpredictable. My first year, the weather was colder than it was at the winter Olympics. Last year, it poured a couple days and was 75 degrees the next day. You have never seen anything like the people you will see in New Orleans. All walks of life. You will turn a corner and there is two incredible musicians just playing for hours, then further down the street are literal gypsies just doing their street show thang. It's amazing. It's unpredictable. It is something I recommend to everyone, go and experience this great city that much life and unique charm. 

I didn't take too many of my own pictures last year, but here are a couple of my favorites. 

We leave for nola next Friday and I can't wait to tell you all about my latest adventure. 

Lexi Dawn Kiker. Powered by Blogger.