Celebrating a birthday yesterday and spending the last week at home in the Smokies with my family has me thinking quite a bit about how much family means to me.
Family is everything.
The older I get, the more I realize how privileged I am, for many reasons. But my family is one of those reasons.
I grew up in a family that’s always been amazingly close. We love hard—and we tell each other often. We don’t always get along, but I would go to war for them, even on our worst days.
The last year’s been hard, there’s no two ways around that. But my family is my haven. Time with them makes me feel lighter and more joyful.
My favorite birthday present this year is the gift of time with my mama. I opened a gift yesterday to find information about a hotel reservation in Nashville and tickets to the Grand Ole Opry in two weeks. So mama and I are going on another adventure—and to say I will treasure it is an understatement.
I can’t wait.
Each week, I’ll drop in a pic and description of my favorite sip or bite—and a recommendation, too!
Well, y’all, I just realized I was so interested in eating this week’s best bite that I didn’t bother to take a photo! But this week’s best meal goes to my birthday eve dinner of chicken and dumplings.
These aren’t made of canned biscuit or from a restaurant—they’re the real deal, made from scratch using my Big Grammy’s recipe. She taught my mama how to make them years ago, and they are a birthday favorite in our family. So, of course that was my request for a birthday meal!
I finished Pat Conroy’s “South of Broad” last week, and I loved it! It took me a little bit to learn how to parse through his phrasing for some reason, but once I did, I really enjoyed it.
I found another book of his hiding on a shelf in my parents’ house from where I’d abandoned it years ago, so I will give it a try soon!
I’m currently about halfway through Jacquelyn Mitchard’s Two If By Sea. It’s a complex subject matter for a piece of fiction, and I’m not quite sure what I think yet. Will report back!
I’m making significant progress listening to “The Alice Network: A Novel” since I had a 2 1/2 hour drive last week to get to the Smokies. Have another drive back to Chattanooga today, so will get in another good chunk. This book is so riveting!
Now surely, you didn’t think I’d create a blog without my baby love in it, right?!
Having this sweet girl sit next to me during yesterday’s birthday lunch was a special treat. 😍
Questions I’m pondering…
These things are on my mind—if you know the answer, please share! Sometimes these will be light-hearted, other times they will not.
- Can anyone make it through Laura Story’s “Blessings” without tearing up?
- WHY are there SO many super bad drivers out there? Mom and I were trapped in the parking lot at the mall the other day because people couldn’t even drive appropriately to get out of the lot!
- Why are some things from our childhood the most comforting things as adults? (P.S. If you love Winnie the Pooh, go see “Christopher Robin” soon!)
Quote of the week
Wrapping things up
Have you stopped to tell your loved ones that you love them today? Do it!
If you’ve known me for long, you know that I lost a best friend to cancer in 2007. At the time, I wrote a column where I expressed that my new motto would be “Never take a day for granted.”
I still try to live by that—and I try to always never take my loves for granted either.
See you next week.