This weekend marked ten years since we moved to Memphis. Matt was driving his car pulling our tiny U-haul up I-55 with me following behind in our other car. In the nine months prior to our Memphis move, we had graduated from Bama, moved back home to Jackson, MS, and gotten married. We were young, naive, and ready for adventure. Now, ten years later, we are not quite as young, hopefully a little bit wiser, and we’ve got lots of adventure (named Lydia, Charlotte, and Georgia!)
We spent the weekend celebrating a decade in the 901 with a date night to Porcellino’s, a trip to the zoo and Belly Acres with the girls, and, of course, Muddy’s. This morning, Matt’s team invited the girls and me to their office to celebrate his 10 year anniversary at Speak. I still remember the Friday when Matt called me in Jackson on his way back from Memphis. He had just interviewed for the job at Speak, and as soon as I picked up the phone I could tell how excited he was. We talked and agreed this was a good move for us. He accepted the job, and we packed up our little apartment in Jackson. A short two weeks later we moved into our new apartment in Memphis. I returned to Jackson for a couple more weeks to tie up some things with my job. While I was away, colleagues introduced him to Sheridan’s custard so that when I arrived he said we had to go. So, that first night in our new home we drove to Sheridan’s and got the grasshopper–vanilla custard with mint and crushed oreos. And then we did it again our second night, our third night, our fourth night, until we realized about a week in that neither our wallets nor our metabolisms were going to be able to sustain this habit.
Several years passed, and when Lydia was about six months old, we tried to sell our house so we could move back to Jackson. At that time, the real estate market was struggling, and it was a bad time to sell a house. Also, we had certain friends who shall remain nameless 😉 praying that it wouldn’t sell. And it didn’t. As much as I know it would have been good to be near our extended family, I’m glad the house didn’t sell. It forced us to build our little family, to create our own traditions, and establish our own rhythm. We had to dig our roots deep here in this new home and write our own story of family.
And, oh, the learning we’ve done in this place. You don’t go from 21 to 31 without (hopefully!) learning a ton. Much of it has been painful because I am stubborn and love to learn the hard way. But God gave us a village in this city, a sisterhood and brotherhood to teach us, challenge us, sharpen us, and push us. These people have poured into our marriage, have encouraged us as parents, and have given us that rare gift of authentic friendship.
Sometime several years ago, I remember realizing that, finally, after years of living here, when I said home I was talking about Memphis. For years, Matt I would say we were going home whenever we went back to Jackson to see family, but sometime after bringing our first pink bundle across the threshold this place became home. We were building something new. We were learning something important–to savor this moment and this spot, to dwell in God’s Presence right where we are.
Some of our favorite places in Memphis . . .
Restaurants // Restaurant Iris / Porcellino’s / Second Line / Hog & Hominy / Babalu / Aldo’s / Belly Acres / Brother Juniper’s / Sakura / Muddy’s Bake Shop / and a new favorite Casablanca!
Fun things to do // Memphis Zoo / Brooks Museum / The Dixon / Memphis Botanic Garden / Walk or run the Greenway / Levitt Shell summer concerts / Civil Rights Museum / Go see the ducks at the Peabody / Antique shopping at Sheffields / Redbirds game / St. Jude half-marathon