New city, new church. Probably one of the best things we have found since moving to Raleigh is the church we found just down the street. One of things that never really felt right in Fayetteville was the fact that we never really found a place of worship where Luke and I were really happy. We attended Manna a bit because the sermons seemed geared towards our age and place in life. The church was young, contemporary, vibrant, and almost always engaging. However, it was over-crowded and for whatever reason, we weren’t really excited to get up and go on Sunday mornings. Since moving to Raleigh, Luke and I both agreed that we needed to find a church home, or at least a church we felt we could attend every Sunday, happily.
Our hunt for a new church started with the hunt for a Christian-based preschool for Ava. We were considering a Lutheran church and preschool I had found online with great reviews, but a new friend (yay for new friends!) highly recommended a Catholic preschool that her three year old attended, located right outside our neighborhood (literally walking distance…AMAZING!). Luke and I decided to check it out and instantly liked it. Luckily for us, they had ONE spot left in Ava’s class for this upcoming school year, so obviously we jumped on it. We have attended mass there the past two Sundays, and while the sermons have been…well, interesting (1. the church’s financial standing and 2. the catholic church’s viewpoint on this whole immigration mess our nation is dealing with), we have felt not only very welcome, but our children LOVE it. We reserve a spot online (a sign of the times!) for each child in their Sunday school class (age-based) prior to that Sunday. The teachers have art projects set up for them, songs, and a corresponding lesson for that day. They are the sweetest teachers, and Ava always talks about “school” for the rest of the afternoon. I feel 100% happy and at ease leaving them there while Luke and I enjoy worship without distraction.
As usual, the afternoons are lazy. This afternoon, though, I decided it was perfect lighting outside (cloudy, not overly sunny) to explore a hidden gem on the side of our house. When we first moved in, the trees on the side of our house leading up to our back fence door had yet to bloom. They were pretty bare and really only useful for hiding our trash and recycling cans. But, I recently noticed that the trees had bloomed beautiful pink/purple flowers, the weight of which caused the trees on both sides to bend slightly over the rock path that follows the side of the house and into the backyard. I reminded me instantly of The Secret Garden (one of my favorites!) and I knew I had to get some pictures of the kids there right away.
The only downfalls were managing to exclude the trash cans, the hose, and some mud from yesterday’s rain, which of course, both children were instantly attracted to — along with the sticks, flowers, and bugs. After all, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do outside?