England: north London and Cambridge
Jerry and I just got home last night from our 8 day trip to London and Paris. Words seem inadequate to describe how incredible this trip was for us. While I had been to both places before, Jerry had never been to either. The cities themselves would have been lovely, but we had the good fortune of visiting two sets of friends in London. Once again the value of people rose above everything else, even in such historic, beautiful places. Aside from it just being a fun trip in general, I am not sure exactly what my expectations were, but regardless, they were far exceeded. We basically had three mini-trips rolled into one, so I will post and recap accordingly.
Let’s start with pictures from part one.
We spent the first three days with our friends C&S and their four kids on the northern side of London. C was the resident director of our dorm when Jerry and I were in college. Back then they only had one and then eventually two of their now large brood and I would babysit their oldest son, only two years old at the time. I cannot say enough positive things about this family. I simply adore them. Their children are quite possibly my favorite photographic subjects…
We spent a day with them in Cambridge where S recently finished his PhD work. In elitist Cambridge, the insider connection is essential. S showed us around St. Johns, his college, and took us for the authentic Cambridge experience–punting down the river. Jerry even tried his hand at punting and managed to not fall in or lose the pole. Impressive, in my opinion.
These two were little buddies. Just imagine this little guy, in his British accent saying, “Jerry, you’re spikey.” He then proceeded to give Jerry “a shave” with his plastic toys. Be still, my heart.
This munchkin was my little snuggle buddy. Best baby I have ever seen. Super chill. Didn’t cry AT ALL in the three days we were there. I guess that happens when you’re the fourth…
Authentic British tea and scones. A necessity.
The train conductor.
Tabletop strawberry picking. Genius.
Best way to spend a morning with this little guy on your lap.
Playing American football.
We love this family.
There could not have been a better start to our vacation. I admire so much about the way that C&S have built their lives–the way they prioritize their marriage, raise their kids, and seek God’s direction over their lives. In the midst of a highly intellectual culture, they remain authentic, generous, humble, and servant-hearted. They are consistent and patient in the way they raise their children. Time with them is always an encouragement to me, an encouragement for what is possible for my own family down the line. While I may not be able to conjure up Asian-Caucasian babies (my favorite mix!) or little British accents, C&S stand as an example that I can have smart, interesting, fun kids and a marriage that thrives despite the demands of teaching kids proper manners, reinforcing kindness in everyday tasks, and orienting little minds towards Christ and callings beyond primal selfishness.
Thank you C&S. We love you guys.