Ville De Mon Coeur

This week mug shot comes from New Orleans, Louisiana. The name on the mug might sound familiar to you since it is one of the largest tourist sights in New Orleans. Cafe Du Monde is known for their great coffee but more so for their Beignets (pronounced Ben-yays)

I collected this mug the summer of 2013 while I was on a mission trip with my churches youth group. Most of our time in Louisiana was spent helping a church in the area put on a VBS (Vacation Bible School) but there was one day when we were able to explore down town New Orleans famous Bourbon Street and the french quarter.

In my last post I mentioned that my dads parents lived in Louisiana. They live in Lake Charles, a beautiful city, but it’s about 4 hours from New Orleans. I had been to New Orleans before though so this time around I felt less like a tourist.

I don’t know about you, but for me when I visit most cities I enjoy my time there but eventually want to go back home. New Orleans is different. Each time I’m there I fall in love with the people and the culture even more. And those of you who have been there know, there is a lot of culture.
File_000 (2)This particular mug reminds me of a dream I have, to eventually live in or near New Orleans. I have a passion to help the people there since it is an impoverished community. I also love to learn about their culture. This one town is so rich in history and a lot of the people who live there do because their ancestors did.

 

When I look at this mug I think not only about how much I love beignets, but how much I love the city of New Orleans the ville de mon coeur. (City of my heart)

California Love

File_000 (2)For this weeks mug shot I want to share with you a mug that I found while visiting my family in California.

Growing up my I never lived close to my extended family. My Dads parents live in Louisiana and my Moms family is in California. For the purpose of this post I am going to focus on my Moms parents.

For my entire life distance has been a problem for me and my grand parents. I was born in Germany, because my Dad was in the Air Force. Shortly after I moved to Illinois where I have lived ever since. My grandparents would visit Illinois when they could but eventually travel became physically challenging to them. And it cost a lot of money for my family of 5 to fly to California so that happened rarely.

This last year however was a time of great change in my family. My oldest sister had her first child, a son named Wyatt. A more unfortunate change that also happened was that my grandparents had to move into a nursing home.

After my parents got them settled into their new living situation, my mom felt it was necessary for my grandparents to see their grand children and meet their great grandson.

And just like that we had our backs packed and were off to Santa Rosa California. This trip was special to me because it was intentionally planned so that my siblings and I could see our grandparents, possibly for the last time, because their health was declining.

I remember the look of joy on their faces when they saw us again, and how happy they were to meet their great grandchild Wyatt for the first time. They were so pleased to be able to hold him and love him.

The trip was not only filled with quality time with my grandparents but also with my Aunt and cousins who live there. We were able to go to Pier 39 and spend time together laughing like we did when we were younger.

It was while I was spending time with them that I was able to find this mug. I say find like I had to search for it, but honestly souvenir mugs are not hard to find in San Francisco. I use this mug often, and like many of my mugs it reminds me of time spent with ones I love. When I look at that mug I remember time spent with family.

This mug holds even more value now since my Grandpa has passed away. This mug now reminds me of happy memories from time spent with him in California as a child. It reminds me of the San Francisco Giant and how he was a die hard fan. So much so that he requested that his ashes be spread at McCovey Cove, which is a section of the bay right outside the Giants stadium.

My Grandpa was a kind and loving man, and I remember him every time I see my California mug. It reminds me of the love I have for him and the rest of my family in California. And that although we are far in distance we are close in heart.

 

 

The Bean of My Existence.

For my first mug shot I want to share with you the mug that started it all.

In 2015, the summer before my sophomore year of college, my best friend moved to Texas. If any of you have had a best friend move away, you might know how sad that can be. Although I knew the distance would be difficult, I was certain our friendship would remain strong.

Flash forward to the end of fall semester, I received plane tickets for Christmas to go visit my friend in Texas. I was beyond excited and so was she.

Once I got there it felt like we hadn’t skipped a beat. We were back to our goofy ways and fun conversations. We ate at all the amazing restaurants in town, shopped, stayed out too late to go to a concert then stayed up even later to talk. It felt like the good old days.

One day when we woke up she asked me if I wanted to go to this cool coffee shop she liked. I was taken aback. One thing you should know about my friend is that for our entire friendship she never liked coffee, while I had always been a fan. At first I thought she was just offering because she knew I liked coffee, but then she explained that when she started college she also started drinking coffee. Funny how college will do that to you.

We headed off to this coffee shop that looked like it was straight out a movie. The outside was a rough brick that was perfect for taking artsy photos and the inside was modern and cool and filled natural light. All the iced coffees were served in mason jars and the pastries looked like they came from a magazine.

We ordered our coffee and had a seat. Before we got there we decided to share our new years resolutions with one another. It’s not unheard of for people to make a resolution and not complete it, but we wanted to be different. Our hope was that if we shared our resolutions with one another, we would be able to hold each other accountable.

So we sat and sipped iced lattes and read the Bible and went over our new years resolutions. We had a conversation that was intellectually challenging and somehow relaxing at the same time.

File_000 (2).jpegWe sat and talked for a solid 2 hours. Eventually we realized the time and decided it was time to go somewhere else to either drink more coffee or have some food.

As we were on our way out I saw that the shop had some mugs for sale. One in particular caught my eye. It said “Coffee, the bean of my existence”. I knew immediately I wanted to buy it and I am so thankful I did.

Every time I use that mug (which is often) I have a flashback of feelings and memories of what my best friend and I talked about when I went to visit her. It also reminds me to call and text her, which keeps us close and involved in each others lives.

This is how my mug collection began. After a while I found it too easy to find mugs because so many conversations I have happen over a cup of coffee. But this mug will always have a special place in my heart. It unique and clever just like my best friend.

About Me

Hi, my name is Brooke Little and I am a 21 year old college student at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. I love coffee, and I’m sure most of my college peers share this love.

What they might not share with me, however, is not just the love of an energy giving drink, but what that drink comes in. That’s what this blog is about. Mugs. Or more specifically an individual mug and the story of how it ended up in my hands.

Each week I will feature a mug and the corresponding “life snapshot” (which are the feelings and memories it evokes in me) to create a Mug Shot.

When I look at a mug I see the person I was with when I bought it, or who bought it for me. I think about why someone gifted it to me, or why I painted it the way I did. When I wake up in the morning and I am able to hold one of my favorite mugs tight in my two hands, I feel happy.

Some of you might not like coffee; or if you do, you might not collect mugs. What I do believe is that we all have our own “Mugs”. You might collect wrist bands from concerts, or matchbooks, or even Polaroids. We all have tangible reminders of moments in our lives, where we look at them and smile.

My hope is that as you read this blog you would not only enjoy my (sometimes silly) stories of how I got my mugs, but that you would search your own life for what your “mug” is; and if you don’t have one yet, that you would find one.

 

Brooke