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Twenty + One Month

You know how life gets kinda messy sometimes? My version of messy looks like this:

  • Four kids including a teenager learning to drive; a kindergartner learning to get herself ready in the morning; a senior learning about adulting; a middle schooler learning to ride her bike to electives every other day,
  • a mortgage
  • husband's career
  • church service
  • pandemic, civil unrest, election year
  • my own personal need for friends and connection even when my schedule looks like a revolving door

Our big anniversary was last month and we were lucky enough to celebrate together this past weekend.

We managed to sneak away for 24 hours. First I need to give credit where credit is due. There was a very generous friend who volunteered to parent the children during our 'Nelson marriage offsite.' And there was a generous benefactor who donated Marriott points to spring for the fancy room. I won't mention either party by name, but thanks to their generosity we had a great time. I'd always wanted to explore the Gaylord, so here's my quick review on this fun getaway.

To all my non-Texas friends that haven't heard of the Gaylord, I'm not talking about Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents. This is a resort along the lines of the Vegas hotels. We'd been there once before for ICE (see more here), a magical refrigerated part of the hotel where they have ice sculptures, indoor sledding, and snowball throwing.  It was really beautiful, super cool (pun intended), but after living in a cold climate for a long time, I was like, "Why pay a ton of money to go be freezing again?" That said, I'll probably take the girls there to go ice skating during Christmas break.

It was fun to explore. There's an enormous indoor atrium with rooms overlooking two different settings. We stayed on the Riverwalk side, and the other side was modeled after the Hill Country. There's a water park, indoor pool, outdoor pool, an outdoor concert space, a parking garage, and all of this is located on the beautiful Lake Grapevine. There were a handful of restaurants inside. We tried out the Starbucks for breakfast and I'm pleased to report that the jalapeno burrito and the honey bran muffin were quite delicious.

So I love roses but am a terrible gardener. I wrote a little about that over here. Bonus points if you can figure out why I asked Norm for 18 red roses and 2 yellow ones.

This year for our anniversary Norm let me choose whatever I wanted. He likes it when I'm assertive, and when I don't expect him to read my mind.  And we both like it when I finally figure out what I want. It's really a winning combination. So I let him pick where we went to dinner and he let me pick everything else. We walked around Southlake and explored some local shops, we had time to watch TV or talk to friends on the phone, time to sleep in and not be parents, time to be on a date together. It was really fun. My favorite souvenir from the weekend is this necklace charm from James Avery.

He even went to a free concert with me. My good friend M offered to share some live music with us, in her living room. How can I say no to that? N doesn't even like jazz, but he went with me just because he likes me! The bass player was amazing (she was tinier than the instrument), the guy on piano was amazing, the guitar, percussion, everything. It was the nicest way to end a really great weekend. 

One of my favorite things about my partnership with my husband is that he likes my music. I'm happy to say that, deep in the heart of Texas, Norm stole my heart again. Okay, steal might not be the right verb here. He won my heart, or I gave it to him. 

(Just found this great new song by Gentri: Choose You Still. Go check it out.)


  1. What a cool place! I have my guess on the roses, but I’ll keep it to myself. And you look like you’re in your early 30s in that picture! Way to go!

  2. Okay Julie, you're way too nice. I still look 30 something? Happy day. The two yellow roses are for two years in Texas.

  3. Kristy! I loved reading this so much! I'm so glad you guys got to sneak away to celebrate! I met you when you were newlyweds! What a strange year! We love you guys and think you make an awesome couple!!

  4. Hi Jamie! Thanks for reading my post. Y'all need to start planning a fun one for next year. Rona willing. Yes, what a wacky year. Love you and Brian and hope to see you soon.


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