I can’t think of a more fitting day to write about Richmond than when it is 80 degrees under a bright blue, cloudless sky and a perfect breeze is blowing… in JULY. To be fair, a summer day like this is just as rare here as it would be in my beloved Tar Heel state, but I’ll take my wins when I can.
That being said, it has officially been a full year since we started our life a little further North than we ever expected, but the Lord has blessed us in big ways through it all. As someone who is super attached to my family (which is not a bad thing!), this opportunity was huge for Jordan and I to create our own way of life in a setting that pushed us to rely on one another before anyone else. We have grown so much in our marriage and have been able to find the beauty of a place completely unknown to both of us, and in some crazy way it feels both normal and insane that we have already been here for a year.
We still have a lot to learn and explore in this beautiful city, but for now I wanted to share a few things that we love about the place we currently call home. Come visit us, friends!
Redemption Hill. I would be remiss if I didn’t start this off by acknowledging the church community that has really helped us to call Richmond home over the past year. When Jordan and I were first looking for a church, we ended up putting down roots at Redemption Hill for two reasons: the messages preached always pointed us back to the truth of the Gospel, and church members were always eager to greet us and invite us into their homes. Over the past year, so many of our best moments have taken place in community with those from our church, and that has truly been a blessing that I could never fully measure in words.
Good eats. Many of you have witnessed me wax poetic on this blog about some of my favorite places to eat in Richmond (shout-out, Lulu’s and Proper Pie), but there really is a knack for good, local food around here. So many of the reactions I receive when I tell people I live in Richmond start with, “Have you ever eaten at…?” I wish that I was cool enough to call myself a foodie, but I’m not quite there… but how do you turn down a city of great food? You can’t, y’all. You just can’t.
Community. Between growing up around Charlotte and going to college near Raleigh, cities have always felt so big to me – it was never a negative connotation, but the combination of crazy traffic and zero parking and it taking over an hour to get from one side of the city to the other always reinforced this idea of a city being too “big” to really feel like you could call it home. While Richmond is often times knocked for being smaller, I’ve actually grown to love how cozy and comfortable it can be to live in a city that has a quiet, humble charm to it.
You live where? …and oddly enough coming off of my last point, Richmond (and I would venture to say, Virginia overall) has a serious trend of every little pocket having its own “name.” Northside, Lakeside, Southside, The Fan, West End… the list goes on, but this is still so interesting to me! Obviously naming neighborhoods isn’t unique to Richmond, but for a place that is relatively small compared to other cities, I kind of love that we break it down even more to these little communities. You do you, Richmonders.
City views. I don’t know that anyone is in awe looking at the city skyline when landing at the RIC airport, but I do have to say that there is something amazing about the beautiful views you can find when you experience Richmond day to day. Obviously the James River will put on a show for you any day, but this city and the people who live here have such a deep appreciation for nature, and it makes for some awesome scenic areas around here. Since my morning always feels a little brighter when I see one of these views posted on @visitrichmondva, I’ll leave you with some of their shots:
While I’ve admittedly always had a love for small town life in the suburbs, there’s something about cities that can captivate you like nothing else. One of my favorite quotes when I think about cities is something I saw from Tim Keller once: “Cities have more of the image of God per square inch than any other place on earth.” And that’s not because of beautiful city skylines, although they are breathtaking — it’s because cities have more people per square inch, and the Lord is in constant pursuit of His people. What a beautiful thing to see when you look at a city.
Thanks for one year, Richmond! We’re ready for more.