Friday, September 30, 2016

Nashville Birthday Getaway

Sometime in the summer, Jeff saw some really cheap airfares come through on Southwest and in an hour or so, we had tickets to Nashville "for my birthday"!  It was "for my birthday" but it was also for "Jeff just wants to get out of town"!  I wasn't homeschooling in the fall so I think we both acted upon thinking I'd have all of this free time and my leaving town during the week wouldn't be a big deal..... Well, thanks to a BUNCH of people, our kids were well taken care of and got to and from while we left town.  I did learn it's not my favorite to be out of town during the school session and I think I will reserve that for "musts" or "once in a lifetime celebrations"-- not just a getaway.  However, looking back on it, I am glad we went-- of course!

We have friends who lived there just a few years ago and she outlined some really fun, local places for us to check out.  And basically that is all we did.  

There was more to Pinewood Social than this vintage bowling alley.  It is a restaurant as well with a big living room feel.  Dozen Bakery sold their yummies there.  They offer bocce ball and dipping pools flanked with an Airstream to serve up more yummies.

Mas Tacos did not disappoint but I am struggling to find any taco that rivals Velvet Taco's #3!

So this was my birthday treat. That's all I am going to say about that.

Is this not the cutest thing??  If I had had somewhere to PUT the flowers I would have absolutely bought some!

We visited the Frothy Monkey locations a few times for our multi-daily coffee.

And this one was a little to high brow for us.  Barista Parlor.  We honestly didn't even know what to order.  They specialized in pour overs and their menu was just complicated for people like us who had never been there..... The thing we don't love about pour overs is the coffee just doesn't seem to stay hot very long.  It was a unique experience in a very swanky setting.

We hit the car show our last day.  I wish I knew more about them-- and whatever this one is-- but I don't.  I just know we saw some really rare and expensive cars.

Grateful to be able to do these things and more grateful that Jeff and I enjoy doing it together.  He is always up for adventure and seems to be always up for dragging me along when I get in that "drag me along" mood.  Jeff is the perfect travel companion because he's never in a hurry and up for really anything.  Hoping for many more fun trips with him!

But this is my favorite birthday-- back home with expressions of love from Jeff, Julia and Brighton.  What can really beat this??

Rocking My World

No one else knows, but September is almost over and I don’t have a post on the books.  My mom let me know a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have enough to make a book this year.  At least someone is keeping track!  What she doesn’t know is that I have done a lot of “back posting” — another way to say it is that I have been cheating blogger.  I love that feature— wish Instagram had it— but then it wouldn’t be very “insta”, would it?  But it allows me to put things in LATER that I want in the family book.  It’s mostly been events or vacations — and really, THOSE are the things the kids enjoy.  All my words?!  Oh my gosh— nope, they get ENOUGH of those during the week.  Pictures.  That’s what they love seeing.  So here I am, with a day left in the month and determined to post SOMETHING in real time.

So what is “rocking my world”?  You know, I just gave it that label this week.  I know people have used that expression for a while but it’s really the best way I know how to describe this thing.  Last summer, I lost “my store” with the pharmacy I work for after nearly 20 years.  Not my job— just my store.  I don’t even think I’ve told Jeff this— too embarrassed at the time— but on the day I knew I wasn’t scheduled there again, I cried on my way out.  I mean, I don’t just LOVE my job.  I am grateful for it but my heart is at home.  However, I have been there almost EVERY week for the last 20 years.   I have seen babies born and go off to college.  I have seen more sweet elderly people die than I care to count— and seeing their spouse a week or two later is heart- wrenching.  So, I cried.  There wasn’t a big to do— which I am typically not a fan of— but somewhere in my sentimental spirit, I wanted someone to recognize it.  It was the very first store in the DFW metroplex and the corporate big wig {now retired in Trophy Club} and I opened it together.  The company flew 6 of us to Des Moines to train for a week so we could open the district here.  Ok, sniff, sniff — enough about that.  It’s been a year and I am so over it.

What I am NOT over is this—and this is what is rocking my world—  I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT EIGHT HOURS OR WHAT STORE I AM WORKING IN WEEK TO WEEK.  NO DAY TO DAY.  {I typed in bold and caps so you wouldn’t misunderstand me.}  Granted I only work 8 hours a week but it’s a chunk and I never know when it’s going to be extracted from my seven days.  So when I say “day to day”, I mean, I’ll be driving Julia to school at 8:20 and I will get a text on my phone offering a shift for the afternoon/evening.  Very rarely do I know the day before anymore.

Here are my conversations with people— “I’d LOVE to hand out Chik-Fil-A to the boys before their game Tuesday night but if I get called into work, I’ll have to bail.”  “I will do carpool on Monday and Wednesday but if I get a shift, I’ll need to switch it around.”  “I really want to come help with the coach’s surprise party after practice, but if I don’t show, it’s because I went to work.”  “I’ll see you Thursday at prayer unless I get a shift last minute.”  “Yes!  Let’s meet for coffee!  I’ll text you as soon as I know if I have to go into work.”  “I’ll be at your son’s football game Friday night if I don’t have to work.”  Don’t you want to be my friend?  Lame-O.  Seriously.  If reading those got on your nerves, I PROMISE you, speaking them day after day is like watching a used car salesman commercial 25 times.  Misery for me.

First, perspective.  I had a GREAT, predictable 20 year run.  I have a good job that pays well.  They have not fired me and I can still work 8 hours a week. {So far.} I do not have to get vacation approved.  Yes, I could look for a different job in pharmacy —- a few things that deter me— my retirement plan, learning a new computer system {can you say “lazy”?} and the pay is good where I am.  I am not looking at this point but maybe after several more months of this, I will.  Who knows?

I had no idea though, what this unknown 8 hour disappearing chunk would do to my thought processes.  I don’t feel I have one anymore- a thought process. I am a planner and I am not doing much planning. Until I get that shift, it’s like I am going hour by hour.  I absolutely LOVE a Monday shift because then I know the rest of the week is “stable”.  Pieces of it won’t go missing.  There are, of course, the non- negotiables for our family— what we will miss and what we won’t, and then there are times that are just too complicated for someone else to cover for me if Jeff isn’t available. So imagine a week ahead of you with stable pieces— things that you will NOT miss no matter what and then everything else is like driftwood floating on the surface waiting to be claimed.  I’d like to say I am getting used to it, but I am not.  However, I am figuring it out trying my best to make it work for my family.

To say the least, it’s been a year long exercise in flexibility— and that may be RIGHT where God wants me.  Oh— and also loss of control of my schedule.  The more I write, the clearer it’s all coming to me.  He totally has me right where He wants me. He is strengthening my weakest muscles— flexibility— and hindering me from exercising my ugliest strength— control.  All of a sudden this feels a lot different.  Father, help me to submit with humility and joy.