Tag Archives: The Mercantile

Birthday Presence

“What do you want for your birthday?” I paused to let The Question sink in. Another year, another birthday. I internally asked myself the same question my friend had just posed. That’s when I realized it happened. I had reached the age at which material things no longer carry the same hope of satisfaction and gratification that they used to. Perhaps this is because I have accepted the truth that they won’t, in fact, sustain my soul. Neither will they retain the same excitement factor they once held when they were shiny and new. But if I didn’t want a present what was it then that I really wanted?

If there’s one thing I’ve longed for the most during this transition season it’s community. I definitely experienced a period of restlessness and discomfort while struggling to grow into life after graduating, and a huge part of this was exacerbated by the fact that in the aftermath of change my friends and I were pretty scattered while we figured out how to piece the puzzle back together. Now that the dust has settled I can confidently and gratefully say that God has blessed me abundantly with the restoration of old communities and the birth of new ones.

So, in response to The Question, I decided that all I really wanted for my birthday was to set aside a day with close friends going to church and doing all of my favorite things in the great city of Los Angeles. Instead of presents from my friends I wanted the presence of my friends.

What resulted was the best gift I could have ever received. A day spent with wonderful people eating our way through LA. Moreover, it was a day drenched in Love. I am so indescribably thankful for each and every moment I have with these people and I am in awe of the work God is orchestrating in our lives both separately and together. As I looked around the table at dinner and the night drew to a close I was overcome by the awareness that we are all threads in the tapestry of life and together we are being woven into a great and perfect design.

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KatieKat and me at the good old Mercantile. A staple and forever favorite.

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The Hollywood Christmas Parade happened to be that evening, so we camped out on Hollywood Boulevard and patiently awaited Santa Clause. We never actually saw him, but in the meantime several Batmobiles, the Ectomobile (Ghostbusters, anyone?), the Scooby Doo van, a Tatooine land speeder complete with Jawas, and many other iconic film vehicles cruised by. …and of course the occasional supersized Elmo or Kermit the Frog.

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IMG_0747_1IMG_0743_1IMG_0754_1Dinner at Figaro Bistrot could not have been more perfect. This is one of my absolute favorite places because it truly feels like France whenever I’m there. Totally and completely.

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(Thanks Kimmie for taking the camera to capture some of the above images! Check out all the interesting and lovely things going on over at her bloggity)

It was pretty fitting that my actual birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year. I was able to stop and truly appreciate God’s provision, faithfulness, and undeserved, unbelievably abundant grace in my life.

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday special whether or not you were in LA with us! You are loved!

initials

Becoming almost sort of somewhat regulars

One of our go-to restaurants in Hollywood is quickly becoming The Mercantile. This airy and bright French-inspired wine bar on Sunset Boulevard has the best brunch and lunch options (and we’ve even had a lovely dinner there as well). Recently I tried the Butternut Squash soup and Mac ‘N Cheese Balls. Am I the only one who finds this humorous?

 

Thems were some tasty balls. (Hey, a little juvenile humor is acceptable on occasion…right?)

Sunday in lalaland – 11 December 2011

Today was yet another fabulous Sunday spent in LA with a wonderful group of friends. For the past few months we’ve been going to church at Reality LA in Hollywood and I couldn’t be happier with my experience so far. This church is truly Gospel-centered and I walk away every week feeling convicted and closer to understanding what it means to have a relationship with my savior. I have encountered quite a few surprised reactions when people hear that I’ve been driving the 40-something miles to LA for church every Sunday, but the fact of the matter is that it’s so much more than church for me. It’s a time of learning, of pure and uninhibited worship and response to God’s love, of re-dedication, and of community.

After church we have the day wide open for exploration, beginning with a new restaurant to fuel our usually starving bodies. Today I suggested we try a place I’ve driven past countless times, always making a mental note to go sometime, but never actually going. Just a few blocks up Sunset Boulevard from Reality, The Mercantile is a French-style wine bar that serves brunch on the weekends. The atmosphere is nothing short of idyllic, with sun-soaked brick walls adorned with white hand-painted signs advertising their cheese, wine selection, and pastries. Their menues are simple sheets of paper on wooden clipboards, and what they lack in terms of entrée choices they more than make up for with quality and overall tastiness. Three of us ordered a type of egg omelette taco thing, accompanied by the loveliest looking cubed potatoes I’ve seen in a while. Let’s just say their plates were practically licked clean. Katie and I both ordered the “mini” pancakes, although we both agreed that they were just about the same size as the pancakes we make at home. Since we were extremely tantalized by the chocolate cake sitting in the display case behind us throughout our entire meal, we opted to split a slice between the five of us before leaving. Unfortunately, it was very very mocha-y and I am not exactly a coffee fan, but everyone else seemed to greatly enjoy it. We are definitely looking forward to eating there again.

Since Nick is in law school and super important taking finals right now, he parted ways with us and headed off for some studying at the good old Bullocks Wilshire building aka Southwestern Law School library. The rest of us finished off the day with a quick trip up to the Griffith Observatory since Sam had never been, and the city really did look quite beautiful. Today was a day filled with giddy laughter over stupid jokes as we all basked in the glow of the end of finals week and the beginning of winter break (or the beginning of real life for me).

He caught me…

All connected, all the time.

It seems my lens was a little dirty. Oops.

Sundays are the best. I hope yours are just as lovely 🙂