Carney Monthbook | March

Oh, man. March was a month full of joy and heartbreak for our family. It taught me that while it is easy to offer the love of community to others, there are times that we need to accept and delight in the love and care of our community towards us when we need it. It is okay to be taken care of sometimes and ask for help. March was a month of being humbled to accept and delight in that offering. It also taught me that, while we can plan everything to a tee, we are not in control. Disappointment because of changed plans or unmet expectations can happen, but we aren’t meant to live in that place of disappointment. The Lord taught me to relish in what He is doing instead of my plans. Plus, if I trust Him, I should surrender to the change of plans, because I know He is always going to prove Himself perfect and good.

Before all of the life lessons, we shot our first March wedding. It was a highlight because, at the vendor table, the coordinators left a place card for the Molliner Photography team … Kim and me! It was just another sweet reminder of answered prayer with Kim.

Other highlights soon after were just the little moments with Ethan. Little pockets of joy with watching him sleep or going to the park with him and Tori. If you want a direct way to my heart, ask to take my child to the park.

things to do with families in gainesville

It was Ashley’s birthday month! We got to celebrate who she is to us on the blog (check it out here), but she gathered her nearest and dearest for a birthday brunch and kayak trip down the Santa Fe River. I LOVE celebrating her. She does such a great job at celebrating others, for everything, that it was so good to celebrate her. We all brought some breakfast goodies and picnicked halfway down the river. We basked in the good weather, good food, good river tunes, and good company. I mean… can we please just stare at the BEAUTY of this picnic spread! So much yumz and so much love.

Things to do in gainesville

Mid-March was the elopement of these two wonderful people. I photographed them in San Francisco and have developed a sweet friendship with them. Kim, from Heart Happy Films, recommended us to Vanessa + Travis and that was the end and beginning of it all. They graciously invited us to be a part of their wedding celebration all weekend, as a part of their friend group. My heart! Ethan and I got to join them at a local brewery for their welcome party the night before. Along with working for Vanessa + Travis, we got to be vendors alongside some of our favorites from Gainesville, making it really feel like home. (Shout out to Kara Winslow for the makeup, Kalah for the hair, and Heart Happy Films for the video) that made my heart feel at home. The elopement ended with a rooftop confetti celebration and it was just the most joy I have ever seen.rooftop wedding pictures

confetti wedding pictures

Wayne started his first clinical internship for PT this month, so we took it as an opportunity to celebrate! We went out as a family, past toddler bedtime, to get some froyo! We also celebrated during a short visit by a Microchurch friend who moved away, Stacey. Some of the microchurch went out to lunch to catch up and just be with her. Moments like these, celebrating the little things, are everything.

Gainesville Church communities

Then the hardship. Without going into detail, Penny was attacked by neighborhood pit bulls on our yard. Wayne and another neighbor had to fight the dogs to get them off of her. It was by far the most awful sight I have ever seen and it has been a long process of healing. It rocked our family and took a VILLAGE to help her. We were hit with several medications, multiple reporters daily, animal control and police reports. It was just a lot. Our dear friends, Dave and Ashley, helped care for her, take her to the hospital, give her medications, washed our dishes, cooked us meals and just really loved us through it all while we weren’t home. They even helped with Ethan by watching him, taking him to school or picking him up. It was hard to accept that we needed extra hands, but the outpour of love and support of our community really just humbled us. There were many others who emotionally supported us, heard us, and served us physically. We really are blessed with people who choose us even when it’s inconvenient for them, or even when it’s hard, or even when we aren’t vocal with needs. *Update: Penny is finally healed up and stitches are out. She’s back to being her normal self and we are giving her all of the extra cuddles in gratitude.

Gainesville Church community

The month ended in DC! Every year, I take an annual girls trip with Ashley and our friend Christina. This year we road-tripped to DC where we were able to see the famous cherry blossoms line the Potomac River. Highlights on the trip were:

  • Late night girl talk, making avocado toast on bagels every morning, biking to Georgetown, taking way too many pictures of the cherry blossoms, reading our Bible and spending time with the Lord at the Jefferson Memorial, and finally… learning that while things may not go according to our plans, our hearts are called to embrace the change of plans or what we have in front of us. There is always something to delight in if we have eyes to see.

Strong recommendations based on our experience on this trip:

  • District Doughnut – Cherry blossom donut all the way!
  • Tiger Folk – Delicious Hong Kong styled street food in a beautifully designed space
  • Museum of the Bible – Listen, I’m actually not one for museums, but DANG. This was gooooood. You don’t need to be Christian or Jewish to walk out overwhelmed here. Seriously I could not recommend this place more. The design of the experiences and education was indisputably the greatest highlight of our trip. We were there for 5 hours and it just wasn’t enough. It was interactive, intentional and just so well thought out. I’m telling you, go.
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture – We only had an hour here, and that was not enough time! I appreciate well-designed spaces, staircases, and experiences and this did not disappoint. Full of powerful visuals and stories, we left undone.
  • Don’t visit during the Cherry Blossom Festival! PERIOD. The National Mall was overcrowded, worse than Disney crowds on a popular day. If you’re planning a trip to experience the magic of the cherry blossoms, visit a few days after the festival.

dc cherry blossoms

dc cherry blossoms

things to do in dc

things to do in DC

The last moment of March was traveling back to Florida from DC. Ashley and I had a layover in NY and decided to adventure out into Queens for some pizza. Put us together and we are most likely to make an adventure happen, even if that means we will only have 10 minutes to get through security! Life is too short to play it safe!

That’s all for March, until next month!

 

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