We spent this past weekend celebrating the birth of my youngest sister Melody.
On Saturday, we started with brunch at Palo Santo in Park Slope. At noon, there was no wait – score! Mel got the steak and eggs, Kim had the huevos bañados, and I indulged with the bacon, egg and cheddar sandwich. I’ve been breaking my meat/carb rule left and right.
The birthday girl!
I channeled my inner Retta and had a mimosa. I don’t really like mimosas…
After consuming the yummiest grilled yucca ever and a lot of girl talk, we headed to Red Spa Nails in Sunset Park for manicures and pedicures. Their work is okay. Don’t go if you’re in a rush – they are really slow because they work very carefully.
While we were getting our toes exfoliated and our nails polished, the men bought tickets to The Hunger Games and went ahead to wait on line for us. They’re too cute. Luckily there was no line. ST and Tommy were the first in line for… an hour and a half. But better safe than sorry, right? At least we had great seats.
The next day, we had a family dinner and gorged ourselves on sushi and cupcakes from Butter Lane. What a splendid weekend.
Happy birthday, my dear Melogee. It’s not over yet – we’re going to Harry Potter World in two weeks!
A new spiritual home, that is. For the past three months, ST and I have been searching for a new church.
The decision to leave our church did not come lightly. During our premarital counseling sessions, our good friend, pastor, and officiant, Wing, introduced the idea to us. For a while, I didn’t think much about it. I actually kind of dismissed it. However, over time, I began to understand why Pastor Wing brought it up. I’d attended this church for eleven years – it was my community, not ST’s. My ministry, my friends – me, me, me. After a year and a half of attending my church as a married couple, I knew we had to find a church for the both of us.
This was a difficult, sad, and lonely decision. But it was the right one.
After meeting and praying with our pastors, telling our friends, and Googling churches, we started our church search.
The good news is, there are many churches in NYC trying to live out God’s vision and mission. There are a few that could use a bit of work. I’m not going to review churches here – I’d just like to offer support and encouragement to anyone who is in the same position.
So where did we begin? Well, when I was in college, my small group leader gave me a trustworthy tip to understand the Spirit’s guidance – the Holy Spirit always points to Christ. One church we attended offered great practical advice for life – I actually still remember the sermon – but it wasn’t Christ-centered. So we moved on.
We’re looking for a community, not an organized program in a building. One church we attended was one of the unfriendliest places I’d ever visited despite having all the ingredients for a proper Sunday service. No one even spared us a second glance, much less a hello. That was an immediate turn-off. The service and worship was also difficult to follow.
Of course, we’re thinking about FB too. Always.
We know this will be a journey. Perhaps it will takes years, months, or weeks. We trust that God will lead us there in His way, in His time. As Oswald Chambers has reminded me time and time again – we are not made for moments of exaltation on the mountain top with Jesus. We are made for the valleys, the mundane, and the uninspired day-in and day-out. In this way our faith is strengthened and refined.
I can’t wait for the second season of Game of Thrones!
In fact, I’m re-reading A Clash of Kings in anticipation. There are several new characters that were introduced in Martin’s second book and some are my favorites.
Davos Seaworth, played by Liam Cunningham. I’m definitely rooting for Stannis’ loyal underdog.
Gendry, played by Joe Dempsie. I must admit that Gendry is a bit more goofy looking than I’d hoped, but the casting directors definitely know what they’re doing, so I won’t question their choice. I’d love for a Gendry-Arya storyline follow up in Martin’s sixth installment, The Winds of Winter (read the sneak peek here).
Jaqen H’gar, played by Tom Wlaschiha. It’s great to finally put a handsome face to this intriguing character. I look forward to the scenes in Harrenhal. I wish they’d released pictures of Rorge and Biter too.
Margaery Tyrell, played by Natalie Dormer. Excellent choice. ST and I watch The Fades, and Dormer is great in that role. I have no doubt she’ll play Cersei’s adversary flawlessly.
Melisandre, played by Carice Van Houten. While I’m not particularly interested in her character, I’m rooting for her homeboy, underdog Stannis (I’ve got a thing for underdogs).
Myrcella Baratheon, played by Aimee Richardson. I love Myrcella’s sweet character and Richardson definitely looks the part. Now if only she’ll rebel against her mom!
Xaro Xhoan Daxos, played by Nonso Anozie. Our first glimpse of Qarth. I pictured him older and thinner for some reason. I can’t wait to see the costumes and the city.
Ygritte, played by Rose Leslie. It was really difficult for me to picture Jon Snow’s love interest due to Martin’s description – crooked teeth, wonky eyes. Fans had mused that Lily Cole would snag the part but I think Leslie is a much better choice. She’s pretty but not over the top like Cole and she looks strong. She has to – Ygritte is a tough girl.
Can’t wait! And thanks to our buddy, we’re watching it for FREE!
All images via io9.