we are so proud!
we are so proud!
this morning Ellie Kate and I went and waited 45 minutes in line to vote- it was 40 degrees and rainy (which my dad says is the worst weather). Today is a little bit of a crazy day- a few responsibilities for me and Lewis got invited to go hunting all day. The school teacher in me wanted to wear red, white and blue and certainly wondered if i could squeeze Ellie Kate into her Fourth of July dress. The crazy hormones in me wept during the Today Show- thinking about the candidates’ trails, their journeys, their stories, the hopes and fears they individually represent. I was tempted to be frustrated that the Creve Coeur City Hall couldn’t get their act together with some more organized voting processes but maybe because i had this bright eyed little bundle in the backseat and in the booth with me that the beauty, the uniqueness and the sacrifice of what i was doing, what we are all doing today, was not lost on me. “Ellie Kate, we’re voting,” I told her. Me, a mom, a lover of coffee and Cheez-its, a wife, a reader, a runner, me- an American. You, an American.
I do not know who will be pronounced winner tonight, and I am not naive enough to ignore the fact that to some, today is a matter of life and death, and i have to fight cynicism that wonders if anyone can fix anything in Washington. But some tiny part of me thinks that what Ellie Kate and I did by standing next to grandmothers in walkers and immigrants who have called St. Louis far longer than I ever will and firefighters and students and doctors and grocery store managers, what we did was winning. Each of us, in our normal, ordinary, every day, gets to have a say, a vote, thanks to extraordinarily heroic and brave people who have fought for freedom.
This morning, in the forty degree rainy weather, we participated in a system that reminds us that our county is built on hard work and responsibility and hope and essentially the coming together of individuals. Yes, the world is a mess and American people are hurting and the environment is changing and the economy is changing and its hard to tell is standardized tests are making a difference in public school… but for a little bit today, those things fade to the background as we each make our way to stand next to each other, rain or shine, and support and believe and hope in the United States of America.
and , some cat cupcakes!
life got crazy around here. about one week into classes, we found out that we’re going to have another baby! we are so excited and grateful and at times overwhelmed with a million emotions. unlike EK’s pregnancy, this one has wiped me out pretty hard and i feel like i’m just coming back to the land of the living. below is the letter we just sent to close friends- i think it does a good job of summarizing our time out here so far!
To our dearest Cville Family and Friends,
Oh, how we miss you. As the leaves turn their gold and red and yellow and crisper air means flannel sheets, we miss the mountains alive with brilliant color. We miss sharing donuts with you, gathering around a fireplace, enjoying a front porch, seeing your children dressed for Halloween and dried gourds overflowing at the market. Oh, how I wish this were not a letter, and instead I was sitting across your dinner table, walking with you, with you on the playground, sharing a hug at church, sipping a latte at Shenandoah Joe’s!
We have been in St. Louis for almost three months! While I think it will take us months and years maybe to process what this move has meant, we are able to name a few emotions since arriving. Overall, we are grateful for a smooth transition- we are grateful for wonderful community as we live here on campus. A place bustling with young families learning how to love their children and each other in light of the Gospel. You can find Ellie Kate and I on the playground every afternoon- although she is one of the youngest kids on campus, even the older kids have fallen in love with her bald, soft head and bright smile. In short, she is getting very socialized and my very extraverted daughter squeals with delight every time we leave the apartment. We are blessed to walk through these next years with these wonderful families. And, you can’t beat Lewis being able to leave for class three minutes before it starts and come home for lunch everyday!
After weeks of searching, we have found a wonderful church- one that loves seminary students well, teaches truth and among other things has a beautiful worship ensemble. We were not expecting it to be so hard to find a church that felt like home, but I think we also didn’t realize the million ways we were shaped by life and teaching and music and you at Trinity. We are deeply grateful for our years worshipping with you, learning from you and being loved by you. Although we are grateful for the Kirk of the Hills, Sundays are still the loneliest days for us.
We are slowly adjusting to city life- we miss the open spaces and rolling hills of Charlottesville. I always suspected but have quickly been affirmed that my heart was not made for the city. We long to find spots to call our own and often grow tired of shopping development after shopping development! This city does, however, have some wonderful cultural offerings and we are enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of city life!
Lewis is learning how to be a student and I am incredibly proud of his determination, sacrifices, dedication and enthusiasm. I have truly watched him flourish in this short time. As he would describe it, his time at seminary is like a train heavy and loaded, and once it gets going, it is flying down the tracks full speed, but right now, he’s just pulling out the station. Lewis is working hard to try and learn balance in this new phase between schoolwork, family time, and time with friends, etc. It’s been a tough adjustment to re-enter the academic world, but we’re sure we are exactly where we’re supposed to be.
Ellie Kate is beautiful and kind and it is a gift to be her momma. She does not know the word stranger and waves to every moving body that we see. She is much happier at the grocery store seeing the world than playing with just me. She is on the verge of crawling, or her version of what that might look like, and she still has no teeth! That does not, however, restrain her voracious appetite for any and all foods! She is a delight and we learn daily about the beauty of joy and rejoicing.
And that leaves me… Although I have longed to be a mom, I have found that saying good-bye to teaching was harder than I could have imagined, and that I experienced that sadness weeks after leaving Johnson School. I am so grateful for my time there, for the beautiful and crazy children and for the teachers that I worked and loved alongside. I am wrestling with questions of how to love my family well, how to rejoice in the ordinary, how to nourish creativity and confidence in myself. A beautiful gift and affirmation to being a mom came when we found out that we are having another baby! We are excited and overwhelmed and deeply grateful for this new little one who we will welcome in May. The answers to all of your questions are probably, “YES!” Yes, we are super excited! Yes, they will be close in age (16 months!) Yes, I am feeling beginning to feel better! Yes, Ellie Kate will be a wonderful Big Sister! Yesterday we got to see that little peanut and hear the thunderous heartbeat- we rejoice in this new life growing and growing!
Please know that we think about you with smiles and tears. We love you. We’d love to hear updates on your beautiful lives and we hope we get to see your face and hug your necks in December when we are back in Cville and Virginia for the holidays!
Much love, peace and joy,
Lewis, Maggie and Ellie Kate Lovett
although we long to see fall in Virginia when the mountains are alive with color, we have been pleasantly surprised to find that fall here in St. Louis is beautiful! We found a mom and pop pumpkin patch that even had animals for the kids to look at! And the turkey was unbelievable. We have enjoyed the Fall Festival that our church’s “Young Moms” group put on and next weekend we are hosting our apartment building’s Chili Cook off (ah, remember the Lovett Fall Festival? Many of you have asked about it and it warms our hearts! Maybe one fall we’ll make it back to Cville and make it happen!)
At the end of September, my parents came to visit! It was our first time hosting them as we have always lived so close we could just pop home for dinner. We loved sharing Ellie Kate with them and showing them our new home. There is something about your family being where you are to make it feel a little more like home. Then, two weeks later, the Marotta family came for the weekend! Baby June is NOT a baby and is walking all over the place. We had the best time just being- sitting around in pjs, making pancakes, taking naps, watching the girls. We are grateful for friends that feel like family. We enjoyed a really great trip to the St. Louis Zoo and saw the penguins which were so close you could just reach over and touch them (we did not, but it has been done!)