East Coast Baby Tour 2013

In my last weeks of freedom this summer, I decided to take a grand tour to the DC-area to visit lots of pregnant friends/new babies!  It began with a stop in Sykesville, MD to see friends from camp – Josh and Deirdre.  They got married about a year ago and are having their first child any moment now (not sure if it’s a boy or a girl!).  The day I arrived was the day after Deirdre’s due date, so it was an exciting time, filled with anticipation.  To make things even more exciting, Matt Zemanick (another camp friend) had just gotten back from a year in Hungary (doing Young Adults in Global Mission) and joined us for the evening.  Together, the four of us enjoyed some Hungarian liquor, grilled out, did a driving tour of all the places in Sykesville Matt has lived, got fresh water from a spring, had a book discussion on the Life of Pi, and played Settlers of Catan.  It was a wonderful evening of catching up, and a great start to my trip.

Next, I made my way to Manassas, VA, where I hung out with more camp friends (and Josh’s cousin), Math and Jana.  They have a 3-yr-old – Lily, a 1-yr-old – Jack, and are about to have their third child (Timothy Benjamin) at the end of August.  I’ve seen Lily and Jack a few times before, but on this trip, I finally got to spend some quality time with them.  It feels so good to get to know your friends’ kids…a pretty new feeling for me.  Together, we recounted lots of former Mar-Lu-Ridge days, planned some future ones, recorded music, put together puzzles, and watched Shark Week episodes.  I had two full days in Manassas and left with a warm heart and, well, a sore throat.

The rest of my trip was spent in DC, staying with one of my best friends from childhood – Sarah Wegner.  Sarah and her husband Todd just had baby Theo a couple months ago, and I couldn’t have been more delighted to meet him!  Unfortunately, my sore throat developed into a full blown cold, making me feel a bit miserable and keeping me from hugging Theo as much as I wanted.  Still, we spent lots of quality time together, and between moments with Sarah and her family, I found time to hang out with another family – my Luther Place family.  I had brunch with PK on Saturday, celebrated community with Luther Place Saturday evening at an event called SoulFiesta, and attended worship Sunday morning.  SoulFiesta was one of my trip’s highlights.

It was an event that grew out of something I had started in my work at LP five years ago.  The homeless choir I had started then performed this time as well under the direction of Pastor Karen.  Matt Zemanick and I stood together with tears in our eyes, thrilled beyond words to see the work Luther Place is doing.  Members of the congregation danced in the street with homeless women from N Street Village and new friends from the Latino community in the neighborhood.  There was beautiful art and lively music and delicious food.  I saw so many friends and felt so lifted up by my church family – a feeling I have missed deeply over the last two years.  I felt blessed to have news to share of my new job and the next chapter in my life.  After four relaxing days with Sarah intermixed with LP love, it was time to head back.

But not before a couple more visits.  On my way out of town, I had breakfast with Ed Kim, a friend of mine from the summer I spent in Paris in 2010.  He’s a fellow musician, so it was great to catch up and look ahead to our musical futures, which will hopefully not be so far apart.  Finally, the last stop on my baby tour was in Bridgeport, CT to spend a couple hours with Danielle, my sister-in-law, who is also pregnant!  She and my brother Jeff will be having a baby boy towards the end of October – my first nephew!  I’m so excited to have another little one in my life…especially so close to where I live.  You better believe I’ll give more reports as we get closer to her due date.

And with that, the East Coast Baby Tour 2013 came to a close.  This tour was the first of its kind for me, and a bit of a strange one at that.  This time in my life has been the most diverse in comparison with all my peers.  Growing up, you’re in the same grade as the people your age and generally doing the same things.  But at 26, myself and many others are living the single life while other close friends are getting married, and still others have been married for 5+ years and are on to their second or third kid!  Some of us are buying houses, others are making a name for themselves in a career, and still others are traveling the world with no commitments other than to the pack they carry.  None of these solutions is right or wrong, but after years of being on par with your peers, it’s certainly hard not to keep comparing lives.  I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead for me.  No good way to wrap up these musings except to refer back to Luther’s prayer for the journey: Lord, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending…

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