charlotte | the best of both worlds.

this weekend seems like a blur. partly because my whole life does right now (how is it almost june??) and partly because i had a sinus infection that hit its peak while i was visiting. on mother's day, in particular.

also partly because i took like, six photos. (and, unless there's a photo reminding me that it happened, i probably won't remember that it did.)

anyway, i arrived on friday, just before dinnertime.

saturday was a full day of soccer in the morning, live streaming abby's graduation in time to see her walk across the stage (!!), and then helping T with a project she's been working on until it was time to go to church.

which, let me just hit pause on our weekend for a second. because one of my favorite things about charlotte – about having family there, visiting so frequently, the city in general – is elevation church.

usually, i keep the conversation focused on my family and how grateful i am that it worked out this way, that T and lee ended up in a place so easily accessible, that my parents followed (and J & A soon, too!). it's never lost on me how blessed i am that i get to have the best of both worlds, that i get to live my life in nashville and also pop over to charlotte once a month to see (most of) my family and watch my nephews grow up. i am in awe of how God worked out those details, solving problems before i even knew they existed.

what i talk about way less frequently is how incredible it is that they ended up in this place, where i have the opportunity to regularly worship at my two favorite churches (the belonging co, in nashville, and elevation church, in charlotte). maybe it's because i've always thought of it as more of a perk of having family in charlotte than one of the divine details of how it all worked out, but i've only just recently realized how much i truly have the best of both worlds – in my family life, and in my church life.

looking back, five or six years ago, i had no idea how much i would need this exact arrangement.

 cleaning crew. (sweeping and mopping with jack reminds me of lawn mowing and leaf blowing with luca, when he was this age.)

cleaning crew. (sweeping and mopping with jack reminds me of lawn mowing and leaf blowing with luca, when he was this age.)

i spent the night at my parents' house on saturday night, as i usually do when i'm in town for mother's day, because i know my mom likes having me there.

we enjoyed a slow morning, with coffee and chocolate covered strawberries and good conversation, and then we all went back to T's to spend the day.

as i mentioned, i don't really remember what happened this day, as i was mostly focused on how to make my face stop hurting. i do remember we had steak for lunch, which is not the greatest option when your sinus pressure is causing teeth and jaw pain.

i survived.

on monday, i was feeling much better as we carried on with pretty typical day-to-day, monday activities.

on monday night, T and lee went to a meeting at luca's new school, so i got to babysit.

luca likes to play "earth II," which involves him reenacting scenes from ...you guessed it, planet earth II, which you can watch on netflix. he has each episode memorized and will list them all out for you to pick which one you want him to do.

here is what happens: you sit in the black chair and watch as he acts out different scenes, moving his body around on all fours (in a way only a 4.5 year old can), climbing on the ottoman and couch, jumping off the ottoman and couch, making the animal noises, and also narrating with an accent like the narrator on the show has.

(also, this doesn't stop in the living room. when he's strapped into his seat in the car, he'll request from the backseat a particular song from the soundtrack, which he also has memorized – and can even tell you approximately in which order the songs go in.)

this is what we did on the night i babysat. jack (who was so tired – tired enough to sit still for an entire half hour) and i sat in the black chair and watched luca play.

later, luca would ask me to have a home date after jack went to bed and i obviously said yes to that, even if it was getting late. we drew hearts on construction paper, wrote our names, and then swapped papers so he has my heart and i have his. we've been on a lot of dates (many of which involved donuts), but this one might be my favorite of them all.

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i drove home on tuesday. always tuesday, so i can be back in time for church.

it's the best.