Tuesday, April 23, 2013

life lately: part 2

Two weekends ago (the 13th) we found ourselves approaching the city of Charlotte, NC once again.

Dusty and I were desperate to see NEEDTOBREATHE in concert again. It would be concert number 4, with many more to come, I hope!
The first time we saw them was at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. They were touring with Train. It was awesome, and I think it really opened our eyes to how much we love going to concerts together!
The second time was in New York City, at Madison Square Garden. It was one facet of a truly amazing trip, and the concert blew our minds once again. (Taylor Swift was also there, kind of the main event.)
Our third time was here at Liberty University. This may have been the best one, because we sat in the very front row and had priority tickets that allowed us to enter before everyone else. It was a seriously great night, and they were wonderful.

All that being said, we weren't content with just 3. So we set off to numero 4 with high spirits and happy hearts!
Our friends Jon and Emilie graciously allowed us to go to Charlotte with them, and dropped us off at the concert for a few hours.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous.
We couldn't have picked a better day to attend an outdoor/amphitheater concert.
We arrived early and were able to wander around, grab some dinner, and pick up some merchandise!
We got some shirts and pre-ordered their next album, which is due some time in the Fall.

The opening band is called Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. 
I would seriously recommend them. We especially loved "The Wine We Drink" and "Tennessee". Completely gorgeous. It was the perfect way to start the evening, just as the sun was setting and cool darkness was settling upon the audience. 

The band is centered around a husband and wife, who are adorable and talented and love Jesus.
They were wonderful live and we became instant admirers.
Later on in the show, they joined Needtobreathe for an amazing rendition of "Stand by Me", and Ellie (wife of Drew Holcomb) joined them for the female part in their song "Stones Under Rushing Water".
It was fantastic!

Needtobreathe rocked. They really rocked.
It seems impossible that they could continue being this great, but every time I see them they're even better than before.
Seeing them live is so invigorating -- they're passionate and their music is phenomenal, and all I kept thinking was, "everyone in the world that I know and love should be here right now, in this moment."

I particularly loved one of the new songs they performed, called "Difference Maker". 
It was just really wonderful and really powerful live.
It's a song about the cycle of life, and how the whole process, the God-given process of life, has been going on long before us and will continue long after us.
Sometimes it's easy to get caught up, looking at ourselves and our own two hands, "Look at me...I am the difference maker. I am the only one who speaks to Him, I am the friendliest of friends of God."

Life is but a vision in a window that we're peeking through...
We are all transgressors, we're all sinners, we're all astronauts, so if you're beating death then raise your hand...but shut up if you're not.
These amazing vintage lanterns dropped from the ceiling.

My favorite picture of the night was the very beginning, when they first came out and it was just them and their instruments and the spotlights above them.

Happily enough, they chose to post my picture on their Facebook page to represent the concert that night!
I discovered it later that night, and was overwhelmed with excitement.

After the concert, Jon and Emilie came and picked us up.
We decided to go to a late night cafe, which was a cutesie local spot that fully embraced the theme of funky Parisian!
It's called Amelie's French Bakery.

The line wrapped all the way through the entire cafe! Obviously a much beloved spot.
It was so entertaining looking through all of the elaborate decorations. It had to have taken forever to put it all together!
But it was a fun late night snack.
We had a plate of various treats (including lavender macarons!!) and lavender lemonade.
We took it all out to a back bistro table and talked and enjoyed the desserts.

The next day we went to church, and then went to one of our favorite restaurants, Maggiano's.
We also went there last time we were in Charlotte, and it's still dear to our hearts.
How can you not like a family style Italian restaurant where you get unlimited platters of appetizers and entrees? It's basically a dream come true.

Honestly there was something otherworldly about this peach tea --
It was frothy and cold and unbelievably delicious.
Coupled with the melt-in-your-mouth cookies, it was almost too much to handle.

It took them quite a while to get our second servings out for us, so they came out with this on-the-house platter of goodness!
We were speechless.
Because we had stuffed our faces with it.

That afternoon we packed up our stuff and made the trek back to Lynchburg!
On our way home we stopped by IKEA to run an errand, and grabbed some cinnamon rolls, coffee, chocolate and candy.
Goodness gracious, we had a lot of terrible (delicious) things that day.

It was a lovely weekend getaway, and I really hope we get to take a lot of fun trips to Charlotte and other nearby cities this summer.

When we got home, we had a week full of various joys.

Dusty finished up the soccer season, and I watched his last two games with two other law wives, Victoria and Allison.

We've continued our weekly Starbucks trips, which is a little mini date for us. I love it.
We've started to switch to iced coffee and iced Americanos as the weather warms, which is such a lovely thing!

I took on a little painting project, because I realized we had nothing donning our door for the lovely spring season!

I've also taken on a fitness challenge with my friend from home, Becky.
We are challenging and motivating one another to eat well, work out, and meet our fitness goals.
The beautiful weather has also helped to push along the motivation.

And if the weather's not enough, I made these little guys.

They've done wonders for my confidence.

On a completely unrelated note, we had an oh-so-exciting "ribbon cutting ceremony" for the loading of the first bin for the new library.
We'll be moving who knows when, but at least they're keeping things interesting.
As far as library-related parties are concerned.

 That about sums it up!

These next few weeks we'll be in full-on finals mode.
We are going to see Tarzan at the Liberty Theater this weekend, which I'm really excited about.
It should be a tiring but rewarding few weeks, and then we'll be home free for happy summertime!

In love,

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