All posts written by lovethk6
Downton Abbey in Midtown

Downton Abbey in Midtown

I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say I love Downton Abbey. I watched every episode and lived for each chance I got to see into the lives of these characters I came to love. So when I saw that there was a Downton Abbey exhibit opening up LESS THAN A BLOCK FROM MY APARTMENT, I could not wait to go! Unfortunately, life has been in the way for quite some time, but with family here who are also fans, we finally made it happen.

And since I know I am not the only fan…here are some shots of the exhibit…just like you were there!!

The exhibit starts out with you appropriately downstairs in the servants quarters….

oh hi daisy!!!…

I’m pretty sure my grandmother had this exact one..ha

 

and the chasm by which the worlds were seperated…

 

so we headed upstairs

to Mary’s bedroom.

 

The costumes in this show were so beautiful.

 

I found the one 1920’s gown that fits my hips…:)

 

We had so much fun. This exhibit is open on 57th and 7th. If you’re in midtown… it’s a beautiful exhibit.

 

Thanks for checkin in guys! love ya’ll!

love,

the grizzards

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Getting Cold in NYC!!

Getting Cold in NYC!!

It feels like Christmas! And I don’t just mean the weather. New York has this magical ability to smell like Christmas… universally. No matter what “your Christmas” smells like, if you come up out of the subway and step onto the streets… you smell it! It just feels like Christmas here and I love it!

We got to have breakfast with friends today, which put us walking by our normal entrance to the park… the girls begged and I caved! We spent the rest of the morning rock climbing, flying through the air, and doing all sorts of things that give this momma a heart attack! But the kids had a blast! And we managed to get a few shots…here are some of our favorites.

 

Thinking about investing in an actual camera this Christmas, so you’ll know if the quality improves!! ha

Thanks for checking in! Love you guys!

Love,

the Grizzards

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Calling

Calling

I was only 12 years old when I sat in my mom’s car. I was sobbing. I’d had the opportunity to do some traveling and singing throughout my younger years… I always thought I was going to be a singer when I grew up. But being exposed to “the life” on a small scale (a VERY small scale) showed me that I actually hated it. I couldn’t handle the stress and pressure. I didn’t want to adopt to what other people wanted me to sing… it just wasn’t for me. But I had an identity crisis because of it. I didn’t know who I was anymore because I thought I was called to this. I cried out to my mom and said, “mom, I don’t want to be a singer anymore! I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life!”
To which my mother responded, “Baby, you’re 12! You don’t have to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. You have to know what you want to do right now.”
But I thought I was supposed to be a singer! I was so confused.
I feel like Christians do this alot. We put great importance on the idea of “calling”. It’s something that seems to weigh really heavily on a lot of people including myself. A lot of times we stress ourselves out worrying about how to discern God’s calling?
“Am I supposed to take this job?”
” Am I supposed to date this person?”
” Am I supposed to stop pursuing the dream?”
” Am I supposed to move home?”
“ Am I supposed to… whatever!!”
 It can be really overwhelming.  Especially for those in their college years. We feel like there are really big decisions that we are making as young individuals and we have to get it right or we could mess up God’s perfect plan, right?
Now in church lingo, we’ve come up with a solution to this problem… we call it God’s permissible plan, right? You have God’s “perfect plan” that you get if you make every decision perfectly and you have this ESP kind of relationship with the Holy Spirit where you can just tune in perfectly to His direction and His voice, so you never miss out on God’s absolute best. But if you can’t make every decision just right…that’s ok…we have God’s permissible plan, which basically means, when you’re human and you don’t make the perfect decisions to lead to your perfect life then God has a back up plan! This was meant to alleviate stress from our lives and help us not all pull our hair out. And while it sounds good, it still leaves us completely stressed about trying to reach that unattainable “perfect plan” that we’re supposed to be shooting for! We can’t miss the call of God because we want the perfect life.
Christian culture glorifies “the call of God”. I remember when I was at Liberty we had a married couple come speak at convo and their testimony went something like he was “called to full-time vocational ministry when he was 16 and little did he know that the exact same night, in a completely different town, she was called to full-time vocational

ministry too!” Now, it sounds like I’m making fun of them and I don’t mean to. They are serving the Lord together and that’s great. I’m a bit biased against this story because when I first got engaged to Jordan, the culture was so that when people found out that Jorda
n was on track to become a worship leader full time, they would look at me and say, “when were you called to ministry?” I would look back at them and say, “I’m a Christian. We’re all called to ministry.” I knew what they meant, but I’ve always been confused by the question.
Now, there is nothing wrong with someone feeling a heavy burden to want to lead God’s people in His church. I am the daughter of a preacher and the wife of a worship pastor. I love those incredible leaders, but I believe we have overused and misused this phrase. It’s what I like to call giving a “heavenly measure to an earthly weight”.

It may seem like semantics, but our words become our message and we need to know what we are telling people. Words are important. Words become our message, which becomes our belief and belief shapes our worldview. It affects how we view God and everybody else!

So let’s talk about the word…calling.
We use it often in reference to a specific direction we believe God has ordained us for. But, in scripture, “the call” is primarily speaking about being called to faith in Jesus or being called to intimacy with Jesus. In my study (feel free to correct me if you know of one), I have yet to see a time in scripture when this word is used to denote a specific job or responsibility. Why? When it comes to work, it matters less about where or what you do and more that you do it for the Lord. He cares more about your obedience to becoming Christlike than a job title or salary.
Look at 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

  • is this passage saying that he elevated the more ignorant to places of scholastic superiority to the intelligent because they were chosen?
  • did he favor a weak man over a strong to win the ancient Olympics because the weaker athlete was favored by God?
no! because the calling has nothing to do with the occupation. It has to do with the election (not talking about Calvinism “election”, but simply those that have accepted the call of God to intimacy with Him)!
1 Peter 5:10 says it this way:

has called you to what?? …”this eternal glory in Christ”.

Of course, there are instances in scripture where God gave very specific instructions to someone to go somewhere or do something specifically. But this is never used to describe a “call of God”. We need to be very careful before we give a heavenly measure to an earthly weight.

We get so frustrated when searching for our calling or the answer to a question concerning what we should do or go or whatever because we want to know  God’s calling.. the answer is…He’s already given us His calling. If you know the Lord, you have answered His call, now we are to live a life deserving of the call according to Ephesians I think. His Word gives you the answers you need. It will tell you who to marry, where to go, what to do, and who to be and the answer to all of them is Jesus. I know that sounds like an oversimplification. No, it does not give you the name of your spouse, or the salary to accept, or the town to move to, because this book is not about us. We read it in the hopes of finding fixes to our problems, but this book is a book that reveals the nature of God. When we read it to get to know who God is, it comes alive. When we read it to find fixes to our problems, we get confused because you’ll read it through the lens of your circumstances. This is why the story in Luke got mislabeled “The Prodigal Son” because someone read the story and thought it was about the son that fell away. If you’ve read “Prodigal God” by Tim Keller, you’ll read this story completely differently. When you read it to learn the nature of God, you see that the story was not about the son that left but the God that stayed! Don’t read the Word looking for fixes to your problems or answers to your questions unless the question is “Who is God and how can I be like Him”?

Once that answer is “I’m growing like Christ”, “walk in a manner worthy of the call”… do it as a barista, do it as a mom, do it as a teacher, or do it on Broadway. Live your life WITHOUT FEAR! We are not called to live in fear, we are called to live boldly. Walk boldly into what you WANT. Because you know that what you want is something that will glorify the Lord because you’ve already established your calling to Christlikeness.

Rest in the knowledge that you can live your fullest life and be very happy and fulfilled in WHATEVER you are doing with the purpose of making Him known. That is the call to which we all live.

….Natalie cont’d

….Natalie cont’d

One of the councilors saw that I was bawling in my seat, and made her way to me. She wrapped her arms around me and just sat with me. It was Mrs. Diane. She was a regular volunteer with the youth ministry, so I knew her well. And she was about to get to know me very well… I guess, kind of better than anyone else.

“ I can’t believe I did this.”

“It’s ok, sweetie. It’s going to be ok.”

She prayed over me for a few minutes until she heard Natalie had stopped speaking and started singing.

“This is a song that I wrote when the Lord delivered me out of my lie. It’s my praise song to God, my love letter of gratitude to Him. I hope that whoever is in here that knows what I was feeling before I wrote this, will feel the freedom of what God has for you through this.” She sang a song called The Real Me. 

Foolish heart looks like we’re here again

Same old game of plastic smile

Don’t let anybody in

Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break

How much will they take before I’m empty

Do I let it show, does anybody know?

But you see the real me

Hiding in my skin, broken from within

Unveil me completely

I’m loosening my grasp

There’s no need to mask my frailty

Cause you see the real me

Painted on, life is behind a mask

Self-inflicted circus clown

I’m tired of the song and dance

Living a charade, always on parade

What a mess I’ve made of my existence

But you love me even now

And still I see somehow

But you see the real me

Hiding in my skin, broken from within

Unveil me completely

I’m loosening my grasp

There’s no need to mask my frailty

Cause you see the real me

Wonderful, beautiful is what you see

When you look at me

You’re turning the tattered fabric of my life into

A perfect tapestry

I just wanna be me

But you see the real me

Hiding in my skin, broken from within

Unveil me completely

I’m loosening my grasp

There’s no need to mask my frailty

Cause you see the real me

And you love me just as I am

Wonderful, beautiful is what you see

When you look at me

This was not going to be the thing that defined me. I was not going to give in to a lie that I wasn’t enough. I am enough because He thinks I am. This was done.

THE CHAD THING….part two

THE CHAD THING….part two

We walked into Sunday the same as we always had. Usually, very mundane, run-of-the-mill…except we were holding hands. No one really noticed until our teacher gave us a quick double take and said, “hey are ya’ll together finally?”

We laughed and Chad said, “Yep. Took long enough, right?”

After we mingled and talked to everybody, we took our normal seats on the front row. This is great. This is exactly what everyone thought would happen. This is exciting. This is… awkward.  I loved this guy. I mean I really loved him. Chad was always like a brother to me, but we’d only been “dating”, “going out”, “boyfriend/girlfriend”…whatever you wanted to call it for two weeks and I could not shake this feeling of “weirdness”.

He did nothing wrong. He was kind and a gentleman. He was the same guy he’d always been to me, but we were trying to make “us” something it had never been. And the shape of the “Chad” and “Kayla” that we had always been was trying to fit into this mold that just refused to fit.

Maybe we just needed more time. Maybe if I gave it some more time then we would settle into this “relationship mold”. Maybe if I just waited and rode this thing out then I would lose the “Chad is my best friend” feeling and it would change into the other thing! The only problem was that I didn’t really want to. I missed the old mold. I missed my best friend. I missed our old relationship. I missed us being silly and goofy and not caring. I missed him. Ugh.

Great. The only guy that I actually had a crush on, outside of the heart-wrenching pain of Jordan, and I can’t even make that stick… with a guy I already loved (albeit in the wrong way, but still). I was truly pathetic and apparently destined to be alone forever.

I know Chad and I will survive this. I’m pretty sure, if I know him well, that he feels this way too, but I really wish it could be different. I wish I could love him the way I want to. If I did, I wouldn’t feel the pain of being in love with a man who didn’t want me.

 

Journal,

So funny story… the group hung out tonight. Chad and I decided to go separately since Kenz asked me to ride with her. As we were driving down the road she asked how things were going with Chad. Normally, I would’ve made some generic statement like “It’s good. It’s weird transitioning from ‘friends’ to ‘more’, but it’s good.” But with Kenzie this would not have flown. She knows me way too well. I sidetracked for a while, but it didn’t take long until all of my reservations came spewing out of my mouth like verbal vomit all over my poor best friend. She took it politely and quietly, allowing me to fully empty myself of all of my anxieties and frustrations. When I was finally done, I was almost crying and just said, “I just miss my best friend, Kenz.” She was quiet for a minute and said, “Kay, you guys HAVE to talk. He literally said the same thing to me yesterday.”

I was so relieved. Neither one of us would have to be hurt! Maybe we could even go back to how things were before! I know it may be weird for a bit, but maybe we can just forget this whole thing happened! We can be stupid and joke and be normal again! 

I can’t even say how excited I am. Here’s hoping I have myself and him back!

“The Chad Thing”

“The Chad Thing”

 

The summer after junior year was rough. School had been great this year and all, but I felt different. Not necessarily different than I had been in the past, but just noticeably different than other people. At least I felt that I was. I had finally got a groove for this high school thing (it only took three years, I guess, to get acclimated to a 4-year program). I felt great about my friends at school and of course the gang at church, but I just felt stagnant. Maybe things would change this summer. You know, I’d get a chance to clear my head and just hang out with the gang. That always made me feel better. Lexie and Kenzie were my refuge. Sometimes I felt like they were carrying me through whatever headache I was going through and then other times they boosted my self-esteem by allowing me to feel like I was carrying them somehow. We took care of each other. Kory was so consistent. He was loyal and calming no matter what chaos we had gotten ourselves into. Steve constantly made me feel like he was protecting us in some way. He made me feel safer than when he wasn’t there. Like a really great, funny brother. And then there was Chad. I didn’t know what to think about Chad. Chad had probably been the best “guy friend” I had ever had. It was no secret that we’d had crushes on each other off and on ever since I moved to town, but I had always truly had feelings for Jordan. But there he was…constantly in my life. Constantly a source of joy and confidence for me. He was (out of the guys) the one that I could really be myself around. There was something I couldn’t shake about this guy.

Everyone at church would make jokes about us eventually getting married. We even had a pact where we were each other’s “backup”. If neither one of us were married by the time we were 40, we would marry each other. I could live with that. Chad had actually dated Kenzie for about a year. They had just broken up a few months ago but managed to stay pretty good friends which we were all very grateful for. I did not want anything to mess up our group. But would it be worth the risk to maybe… potentially… possibly… sometime in the future… go out with Chad? Is that crazy?? That was crazy. Chad was my best friend. We would drive each other crazy, right?? On the other hand, why not? I mean, I hadn’t dated a lot in high school. I had spent most of my time in the theater, with the gang, or at a church function throughout the last few years and hadn’t really had time for anything else. I threw myself into distractions ever since Jordan dumped my almost 3 years before.

Hold on! Had it been 3 years since Jordan?? I hadn’t really thought about it. That was pathetic. I hadn’t liked a guy in 3 years? No wonder I felt like I was from another planet in high school. Everybody else was dating and figuring out who they wanted to go to homecoming and prom with and I couldn’t muster up a CRUSH?? Why? I guess I could be grateful. I didn’t go through all the drama and tears and gossip that could come with all of that. And I had been on a couple of dates… I mean, a girls gotta eat, right? But I’d never really thought about the fact that I hadn’t had actual feelings for a guy since Jordan. Is that normal? Or maybe that’s why I didn’t understand what I was feeling for Chad. Is that what this is? I’d always loved Chad but in a brother kind of way. Did I feel something different now?

I thought he had been flirting for a few days, but it was so hard to tell because we’d always been close. He would come into class on Sunday and immediately make his way over to me. He’d make some funny comment that I would normally make fun of, but didn’t want to anymore. This was weird!

I did. I liked Chad. I wasn’t sure if I was happy about it or not. I didn’t really know how to feel about thinking about someone that wasn’t Jordan. This would be so much easier! I mean, we already know we like to hang out. He knows me as well as anybody. We have a great time together. We’ve already hung out alone. I mean, not often, but there were times when it would be a few of us and someone would get up to go to the bathroom and left just me and him alone for a while…and we were fine! This would just be like hanging out with all of our friends if the other 4 went to the bathroom for a really long time…easy.

FINALLY! I am getting over Jordan!

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

So I’m way late on this post, but one of the first places we went when we got here was the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. We had heard so many great things about this place and I couldn’t wait to get the kids there. It’s located in the Upper West, so it took me a while to get the kids dressed, on the train and carted up there, but I just knew once we got there, it would all be worth it. My resolve was strengthened when I got out of the train station and saw Mandy Patinkin walking toward me!!! Day made!

Once we got in, I checked in at the front desk and paid the entrance fee… it’s $14 a person to get in which is normally pretty steep, but I didn’t mind since I had heard that no kids New York experience was complete without a trip here. After we checked the stroller and bags, we walked into the main room full of anticipation. It is a room filled with memorabilia and interactive displays about Islam and some countries where Islam is prevalent. Jozlyn was enamored with the room where there is a massive screen that you can control with a touch screen. You pick a spot on the globe and it will show you an interactive view of the Mosque built there.

There is also a space that shows how people shop in those areas: the spices, the tapestries and other things found in the markets. Then you can go and jump on the large ship and imagine you are navigating the waters of the Meditteranean. It was very interesting, but after about half an hour, my girls were pretty much done.

I walked around trying to find the way to another room, but couldn’t find any. I finally asked someone if there was another space and was directed downstairs to a basically empty room filled with “block stations”. I was pretty perturbed that this was all there was for $14 a person! Kendall was pretty much done, but we were going to suck every penny out of this place that we could! And so I forced Kendall to find something to play with down here.

After about another 30 minutes and a total meltdown by Kenny, we decided to take off. We found the elevator to get back to the main floor. Once, in the elevator, I saw signage…. for 4 OTHER FLOORS OF EXHIBITS! haha I felt so ridiculous! We quickly ran through the other floors, but Kendall was not going to last long, so I made a mental note to come back and explore fully.

We made the second trip recently, so here are the pictures from both of our fun times at the CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF MANHATTAN. If you are bringing young kids to the city, it’s a great place to let them loose! I know a lot of families feel like they have to keep a very close eye everywhere they go here, but this place is safe and so fun for them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking in guys!

 

Love,

the Grizzards

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COOL MESS

COOL MESS

One of the best things about living in the city is that it is a hub for every body. We get people coming through all the time and it makes me so happy to see friends from everywhere. One of our sweet friends from Prestonwood came in town for work and called to meet up at a cool place she read about on another blog called mommypoppins. A blog I love to stalk as well.

She told us to meet her at a place called Cool Mess. It’s this adorable, almost “diner inspired” place. The food is good, but what is so great is that they let you make your own ice cream at the table.

Pick your base
pick your toppings
churn and chow!

 

So mad that we forgot to get a picture with Shelley and her family. It was so great being able to see them.

This spot is off of the Lexington and 59th St Station…which, by the way, has an escalator…. for all my stroller weilding mommas! It’s in a beautiful area.

Obviously, the kids approved of spot…

Jordan seemed to like it too….

 

In a time of crazy transition and uprooting of their “normal”… I love the moments when I can help make my kids faces look like this. We’re doing good guys. Thanks for checkin in!

 

subscribe to stay tuned in to what we’re up to and how to pray for us!

 

Love,

the Grizzards

Truth in Art

I’ve always loved seeing how people glorify God through art…any artform. I put my daughter to bed tonight, and one of our rituals is to sing a song before bed. She asked to sing the song tonight. Then she began to sing a song she wrote. Once she was finished, she was given the praise that any mom would give her kid after such creativity, and then she said “that was my special song of praise to God” … and I melted. I DO NOT BELIEVE MUSIC IS WORSHIP (many of you are sick of hearing me say this), but I love when music is used to worship God.

Our faith is one of intellect and heart. We are told in Scripture to worship God with our whole being. Music, to me, is a beautiful outlet for that. Music brings such emotion, while lyrics tend to play to our intellect. I love what music does in my spirit. And my favorite one to listen to?? This guy!

I’ve loved that I’ve been able to hear Jordan sing praise the last few weeks. It always makes me happy. Here’s a video from church…. the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I can’t wait to hear Jozzy sing like this.

 

If you are ever in Manhattan, come by and see us!

Story of Us… THE CONFERENCE

If I said the next few months were fun, it would be a lie. I couldn’t shake him. And it wasn’t just him. It was the idea of being discarded that constantly nagged at my heart and head. He hadn’t even really gotten to know me before he decided he didn’t want me. Was I really that deplorable? How, at first glance, did he decide that I wasn’t worth the time? Did I have some kind of signal I was putting off that I wasn’t aware of? Did guys just look at me and say, “ Uh, no thank you… she’s absolutely a waste of my time.”

I’m sure none of this went through his mind, but it’s what I felt. I just wanted to know why? Was it anything I had done at all or was he just so aloof that he could tell a girl he’s interested and the next week just say “Sike!”. Did he do this with a lot of girls? Maybe he told several girls he was interested at the same time and then took a poll to see who was into him so he could have more of a selection. You know, like a fisherman casting a net, so a bunch of unsuspecting minnows can be swallowed up and then sifted for the fisherman’s approval. Well, as a rejected minnow, I felt lost at sea. I did my best to hide my heartbreak…still didn’t do it well though. But I stayed busy with church and things.

At least there would be a good distraction this weekend. The middle schoolers were going to a conference. Ok, I know “conference” doesn’t sound fun, but think “concert” with long commercial breaks of biblical teaching and you’re probably closer to the actual idea of the weekend. They were totally fun and I could use the distraction. Jaime wasn’t going since she was in high school, but I still got to hang out with some other friends like Ryan and Brittany.

Ryan was our worship pastor’s son. He was hilarious and loved to make absurd jokes usually at his own expense. Brittany was a friend from basketball. She was kind of shy and awkwardly funny. She and Ryan had been best friends forever. It was going to be a good break from my monotony.

We boarded the bus and all clamored for seats near friends. Ryan, Brittany and I got seats near the back and started cracking jokes and having fun. This was just what I needed. After an hour or so on the road, Brittany leaned forward to see me around Ryan and said, “So how are you going to be around Jordan this weekend?”

I think all the blood rushed from my face. “What do you mean? He’s not going to be there. Jaime would’ve told me if he were going to be there.” The conference was in Orlando, so it would make sense for Jordan to show up, but I had talked about this event SEVERAL times in front of Jaime and she never said anything! She would’ve said something, for sure. There’s no way.

“ Oh. I don’t know.” Brittany looked as if she’d gotten in trouble. “That’s just what Brycie told me.” Brycie was Jaime’s other best friend and Brittany’s older sister. Apparently, a much better best friend because she told her information that would have been VERY good to have before this trip! I sat back in my seat and just silently planned. Man! If I had known I would’ve packed so differently!! Who wants to spend the whole weekend with the guy who rejected you in baggy t-shirts and long shorts!? Why didn’t I pack my heels? That wouldn’t have been obvious. Ugh! I was just going to have to work really hard to look like I wasn’t working hard at being ok. Easy enough.

Every mile marker seemed to span 10 miles. How long did it take to get to Orlando?? When we finally pulled in, I realized that we weren’t even going to stop by the hotel so I could spruce up. We would go straight to the church where the conference was for the first session. Just give up, Kay. It is what it is.

The adults made their way as we followed to a section to the far left of the house….. and there he was. Seated on the second row. His hair gelled, sticking perfectly straight…. with his girlfriend. There he sat with his muscular arm draped around her slim little shoulders. I was trying not to hate a girl I had never met. This trip sucks. 

Our leaders kept walking and I just prayed they would stop and pick a seat already! We were getting seriously close to Jordan and his group. They kept walking, and walking, and walking. STOP ALREADY! PICK A SEAT…ANY SEAT!… They did. They picked the row directly in front of Jordan. Are you kidding me, people?? This could not be worse. Now, not only did I have to see him throughout the conference, but I had to constantly be worrying about how my butt looked in my middle school, high waisted, long seamed shorts every time we stood up!

You know what?? I’m done! I’m done caring. I’m done allowing what he thinks about me to occupy my mind. I hope my butt looks bad. I hope it looks huge! I hope my makeup is smeared and clothes are wrinkled because then he will know that I put no effort into seeing him today! You know why? Because I didn’t know he was coming and I am grossly underprepared for this situation but more than that… Because he doesn’t matter to me! I’m done!

The group scattered around that row, taking up more space than needed. I cut in front of Brittany and went and sat directly in front of Jordan giving him a quick and perky, “Oh hi!” before sitting. Perfect. It was brief and distant.

I felt his presence the whole conference, but I was determined to remain aloof and uncaring. Yeah, this was better. I totally don’t care that the perfect guy is behind me with someone else; someone he actually cares about. Someone he can actually see. Can I just go home yet?

I'm Kayla. Mom of two, wife of one and new New York transplant. We're a family of four fumbling our way through our new normal in Manhattan! We're excited to learn as we go... we can't mess this up too bad, right? :)

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