3 years...

Last night hubs and I decided to celebrate our 3rd anniversary by biking all around downtown. We both were in the mood for a good bike ride and since we got married downtown we chose to do so there. Im so glad we did. Ive always loved downtown, but biking on a beautiful Sunday afternoon made me fall in love with it even more. It was so relaxing and peaceful. We covered so much ground in such a short period of time and got to visit some of our favorite spots from our big day. Pictured above is the fountain where we took our wedding pictures. Those pictures are still my favorite today so it was a lot of fun 'recreating' them!;)
June 29, 2012

After stopping at our favorite spots we decided to cruise along the river. I haven't been in a long time so this was my first time seeing all the new stuff they added. I know Memphis has issues (most cities do right??) but it seriously makes my heart so happy to see them adding all these fun new things. Its a definitely a step in the right direction.

beale street landing with this hunk.^^ Love this man to the moon and back.

Dinner at Aldos! not the fanciest place for an anniversary, but definitely made for a delicious one. After riding bikes on the river, pizza just seemed right in so many ways.

The T-rex. Im assuming its named for meat lovers. and that we are!:)

Back to the river
We both agreed nothing would tickle our souls more than watching the sun set while sitting on the grass. so we hopped on our bikes, grabbed a few drinks from the riverside restaurant, and made our way down to witness one of life's simplest luxuries. Gods creation is amazing!

After the sun set we decided to bike some more. We ended up going down main until we came to Earnestine and hazels, one of my favorite places. We had a couple beers and ate some soul burgers then went to the upstairs to relax. None of the lights were working for some reason which made the place a little eeery. (if you've ever been to E&H you know what I mean) But after a while our eyes adjusted and we realized the moon coming through the big open window was the perfect amount of light for that setting. We sat on the window seal and talked. Like really talked. Sometimes I feel when your married and have kids, life is set on this super sonic speed and your just always going going going. We never get time to slow down and relax like we did that night. (im working on changing that) But it was so nice. We love our little booger though, and wouldn't have things any other way. In fact we both agreed that without him, we would never truly appreciate nights like this. Rob brings us so much joy and has definitely allowed Cal and I to grow and love each other deeper than ever before. I feel so blessed to say that. Our relationship is no where near perfect and just like everything else, it is in dire need of Gods endless grace. Calving constantly surprises me though, in the best way! He takes care of us and works harder than any other person I know. He loves us and never fails to put a smile on our faces. And when his crazy wife said.."hey babe..I think I want to go to Africa" he says absolutely. Not ok, not no way. Just absolutely. He values traveling and loves me so much that he wanted me to embrace an opportunity of a lifetime. He took care of our son and helped make everything possible. I literally have no idea where I would be without him. I once had a girl tell me she could never imagine being married so young. I thought for a second and then realized (truly realized) that I couldn't imagine not being married. I love my sweet Cal so much! Happy Anniversary babe. XOXO

The night seen through an iPhone 


Today in South Africa...

Free Day in Cape Town
Today in South Africa we had our last and final free day before heading back home. You know Cape town is a fantastic city when you call and pay for a cab to drive you back for one last hoorah! We were staying in Stellenbosch at the time so it was a good 30 minute drive. There was still so much more to explore of downtown cape town, but we chose to stay at the waterfront to make things easier. There is still a million things to do there as well, plus the view is to die for! Such a fun little atmosphere with food and shops everywhere. I could spend a hundred free days here. :)
My sweet friend, Lauren, who spent the day exploring with me! She also had no shame in being my partner in crime as I ate my way through the place. We might have stopped at almost every stand! ha (yikes)

Reason 849349854 cape town is one of my favorite cities:) they take coffee seriously! oh and to the right there is spekboom. An indigenous plant to South Africa. We first learned about it from anna during one of our garden tours. She calls them little Vitamin C tablets. you just pick them and eat them. Every time one of my friends and I saw them we helped ourselves.They really are a burst of citric flavor! yum:)


Today in South Africa...

Peninsula Tour
Today in South Africa we did the peninsula tour. We got to see all the sights along South Africas western cape, starting with the most adorable little penguins then ending with a sunset in the ocean as we left cape of good hope. I try not to say one day was my favorite because they all hold special places in my heart for their own unique reasons, but today was pretty dang awesome. I feel really 'touristy' saying this was a close favorite, but who cares! Gods creation is beautiful and is worthy of  awe and adoration. There was a moment on one of the mountains where it all just hit me and a flood of emotions rushed over me. Throughout the past two weeks we had seen all kinds of things; fun things, cool things, and even sad things. Standing on top of a mountain overlooking Gods creation was a way for my mind to wind down and just absorb everything I had experienced that week. As silly as it sounds, Cape of Good Hope was a kind of a cleanse for my mind. A simply gorgeous view that helped put a lot of things in perspective.
Some pics to try and do it justice..


Today in South Africa...


 Today in South Africa we visited the township of Kayamandi. Tambi (I hope I'm spelling that correctly) was our tour guide. Such a sweet and fun loving person she was! She gave us insight into the history of kayamandi and added some light-hearted humor when it was appropriate. She explained to us how lobolo in Xhosa tradition has made it harder for people in that area to get married. According to lobolo, the man must 'pay up' to the brides family in the form of cattle or money. Unfortunately this system does not work in todays broken economy as they have little cash and practically no cattle to offer.

During the township tour, we also were given the opportunity to meet local entrepreneurs and even dine inside a Xhosa mommas home and enjoy their traditional food. Both were deeply profound experiences that I feel so blessed to have. I was so inspired by jimmy, the pottery maker, and the lady who made jewelry in the township.(I wish I could remember her name) They had little to nothing, but that didn't stop them from creating beautiful pieces of art. I watched in awe as Jimmy shaped and designed different pieces of pottery with skill and effortless grace. He just made it look so easy! I wonder sometimes if here in the States, we stifle creativity and ones natural thirst for knowledge by our competitive attitudes and the constant pressure to be 'successful' in life. I put that in small quotes, because I'm slowly learning that success is unique to the individual. Our materialistic world will tell us that success means you own a big house and fancy cars and can send your kids to the best schools. Such a heartbreaking and dangerous way to live. Jimmy and the lady who made jewelry showed me that success isn't based on what you have, but is based on what you can do with what you have. I also view success as having a positive attitude in life, Therefore making jimmy and the jewelry maker some of the most successful people I have seen in a long time!

After visiting with the local entrepreneurs, we were then invited into the home of a Xhosa momma where she cooked the most delicious Xhosa meal. It was such a treat to see her home and have her sit down with us while we ate. She shared stories with us and explained to us how she cooked different meals. My favorite was the bread and the ginger beer. I actually never had ginger beer before, so it was a nice little treat to wash down my yummy food. I have to also note the very welcoming atmosphere her home provided. They treat their guests with love and kindness. As we walked in, our Xhosa momma greeted us by holding our hands and giving us the most sincere welcome. Being from the south, hospitality is something Im use to. However, being authentic is something a lot of people struggle with and I guess that was what our Xhosa momma had going for her. She was real and I could tell. Im so grateful for this opportunity and will treasure it forever!

sporting my dots that Tambi gave me. In their culture, this is a sign of beauty.

home sweet home

One of the creches we visited.