A little bit country; a little bit growing up.

So, not a single comment or acknowledgement of my last post. It is true, and I am pretty sure I have stated it out loud, that I write for me. But, I also write for you. I would rather hear from you saying, “wow, that was just crap…why did you even bother?” than hear *crickets*.

Just sayin’.

Now that we are clear on my expectations, let us move on.

I realized this morning that growing up very often sucks. Yesterday, I pigged out on Christian Chicken; today, I am having to behave and eat healthy and light to make up for it. Apples with a schmear of peanut butter and a bottle of water just ain’t the same as a chick-fil-a #1 with sweet tea, extra lemon, if you please.

Yesterday, we got The Call. That’s right…we’ve been selected to participate in the annual grape harvest at our fave vineyard, Grey Ghost. Before you go getting all jealous, let me explain to you how this works. Amy ended our conversation with, “we will see you Sunday, coming through the gate at 6.” She said it way too cheerfully for meaning SIX A.M. Sunday morning. In Amissville. So we leave here around FOUR A.M. Sunday morning to get there in time for the 6:00 a.m. breakfast call?

That is so not happening.

We are heading West Saturday afternoon, early evening and hanging out at a local motel/notell in Warrenton. At first, we were looking to splurge and stay somewhere like, oh…this place. But Amy assured us the expense wasn’t worth it unless we were getting there early in the afternoon and all. We will save Flint Hill for another excursion.

We receive a hearty six a.m. breakfast, some training, and then they let us loose in the vineyard. I have been informed by My Man that we are picking the Vidal Blanc grapes. After a few hours of picking, they feed us a hearty lunch, ply us with some of our favorite fermented grape beverage, and send us on our way.

Seriously, we have been wanting to do this for years and have never been able to fit it into our schedule. This year, we changed our schedule so we can fit this in.

I will be taking my camera and attempting to click and pick. Following up with a blog post next week.

We are in the thick of our-son-is-a-senior-and-wants-to-attend-college days. Colleges are the only thing on our My Man’s brain. The Wild Boy, our senior, is so not focused on that yet. He told me the other day that he is so busy with football and school that he hasn’t stepped foot in the basement (where the XBox is) since school started! He was quite Put. Out. I don’t mind that he isn’t focusing on colleges yet, although in a way I suppose he is since he is diligently focusing on school. And football. Oh, and a sudden and keen interest in the Lady Spartan Varsity Volleyball games. *what’s that all about?*

My nails are rockin’. My Girl talked me into getting shellac nail polish and I have to say I’m hooked. But I also realized I have totally forgotten what it is like to play the 12-string guitar with these long, rockin’ nails. It’s not good. But, considering what these babies cost to shellac, I am not cutting them down myself and my guitar playing will just have to suffer until I get my money’s worth.

I am positive that God understands that my heart is still very much in my Worship, even if my nails are not.

Two days after getting my nails and toes done, I banged my right big toe on my desk and split that nail down to the middle of the nail bed. I currently have it scotch taped together to let the nail grow out some. True story. Also, clearly I am not wearing flippies out in public. I seriously had a good cry over this because it has been forevER since I have had coordinated, painted nails and toes.

These are the things we women struggle with that men just don’t have on their radar. 

I truly planned a serious blog post when I sat down this morning to write. I’ve got some things swirling around in my brain that I want to share; but honestly, yesterday was just such an emotional and stressful day with the shootings at the Navy Yard, that I couldn’t go all gloom and doom on my blog.

Maybe next time. Or not.

Love you guys.

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A few things I’ve learned…

1. Just because a car raced up along side you at the stop light doesn’t mean the driver wants to race. Necessarily. But floor it when the light turns green, anyway. Just in case.

2. Nothing depresses or frustrates more than trying on dresses at the store. Except for trying on bathing suits. Also, nothing motivates more.

3. Men: just because you are legally able to go without a shirt doesn’t mean you should. Some of you…ever.

4. If you are not happy with all of the crap you have already…what makes you think you are going to be happy with more crap?

5. Kale is of the devil.

6. As are dressing room mirrors.

7. Puppies are really cute, sweet and lovable. Until they poop and pee on your floors; chase the cats; and chew on your favorite rug. Then, not so much.

8. Daughter’s should move out when they bring home a puppy to their parent’s house.

9. If your Pastor and his wife move in next door to you and it doesn’t work out…you are the one who will have to put your house on the market and move declaring you are “retiring.”

10.When your youngest child finally cleans his room, any manner of things will turn up that have been missing/lost for months. Including a vacuum cleaner.

11. When the first child goes off to Kindergarten, there is wailing, gnashing of teeth and rendering of garments for days. The kid’s backpack weighs more than he does and matches his lunch bag. You personally meet his teacher and check in with her regularly and you are the first one to volunteer to be room mother.

12. When the second child goes off to Kindergarten, there are tears as you wave goodbye to the bus. Her backpack is well stocked and trendy, but not stuffed to the top. Her lunch fits nicely into brown paper bags and, for the first month or so, you actually write her name on the bag. You are happy to meet her teachers and you offer to help out the room mother, you know…if she ever needs something.

13. When the third child starts his senior year of high school, there is much jubilation, including cartwheels down the school hallway during your very last back to school night. You meet each of his teacher’s but only to wish them, “good luck with that.” The kid has never, ever, since the first day of Kindergarten, taken his lunch to school and you have, indeed, forgotten (many times) to add money to his lunch card. Several weeks into his senior year, you toss a couple bucks at the kid one morning and say, “go buy yourself some pencils and a few notebooks…that should do ya.”

Love you guys!

P.S. #9 above is to get even with my Pastor’s wife who put on the prayer list this week: “Pray for the Allen’s as they are having trouble with their next door neighbors…”

The journey.

Thirty years of marriage.

We met thirty-eight years ago. Or so.
While we did start dating in high school, we certainly have not been together since then.
But our children, or at least My Girl, thinks it is cool that we are high school sweethearts.
Thirty years.

Not always easy.

We actually separated for a year.

He fell in love with That Girl. She was sarcastic; angry; selfish.

Among other things.

And sometimes, more often than I would like, still is.

But, he will tell you, that he loves This Girl, with all her junk and baggage, even more.

Last night, we celebrated with a rare dinner out, just the two of us. We toasted to thirty years. And three children. And then we had a moment of silence, contemplating that, even though there have been some really rough times; painful times; we are still here.

Together.

Do or die.

Taking our covenant with God, and with each other, serious.

Honestly, wanting to kill each other, or at least walk away, on many occasion. Deciding so far, not to do either because 1) we don’t want our children to have that legacy, and 2) we do love each other, I suppose. I know.

And because, foremost, of our Covenant with the One who is jealous for us.

Thirty years.

Last night I said, what about the next thirty?

*crickets*

And then we laughed.  Because we know, from experience, and pain, that it can all change tomorrow; tonight.

And so we silently agree to hang in there; to love; to find Joy; some days, to choose; for the next thirty.

Or, as long as He blesses us with. 

And we hope, we pray, that our children will look back, look ahead, and think, “I want that. Like my parents.” The same children who are anxious when they hear us argue. Because they have heard it so infrequently. (Because their mother shuts down with conflict? After years of rushing forward to embrace the battle.) 
We have been blessed.

Daily, we ask that the Mercy continues. For us; for our children; for our family; for our friends.

Mercy.

And Grace.

Both we are undeserving of.

Both we covet.

Thirty years. How can it be even remotely possible?
The Grace of God.

Love you guys.

Monday thankfuls.

…sitting with My Girl watching her baby brother (her “munchkin” who is 6’3″) football. We took selfies; we laughed; we lamented on how very lucky we are, despite the tremendous loss and pain…

…puppy breath with puppy snuggles…

…feeling overwhelmed because we have All This Stuff…

…Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap…in all the yummy Fall flavors…

…purple anything…

…Queen Elizabeth roses growing in my front garden…

…having all my babies with me, Sunday morning, in the church pew…

…after Sunday lunch with sweet friends…

…my baby, all grown up, entering his Senior year of high school…

…books, books, books…

Love you guys.