My Epic Solo Roadtrip – The Backstory

I’m sitting in my condo with the balcony doors open wide so I can hear the sound of the waves crashing outside. The ocean is one of my favorite sounds in the whole world. It’s both relaxing and also a wonderful reminder of how powerful my God is. He made those waves. He made that ocean. And He is so much bigger and more powerful than anything He created.

Here’s how I got here:

About 18 months ago, I found myself. Really found myself. As weird as it sounds, I believe the catalyst was our miscarriage. It was so heartbreaking, but that tiny, unborn baby has brought me such healing and confidence and bravery. What a legacy.

I think it was the catalyst because for the first time in my life, I walked through grief – deep grief – in a healthy way. I gave myself space to hide away from the world for a whole month. I was really open about my self-care. I was frank when people would ask how I was doing and I would tell them, “I’m feeling pretty awful, so I’m going to hide away for a few weeks and mourn and heal, and then I will go back to living.

I also learned during that time, even more vividly than I already knew, that my God is a great comforter. And He can handle it when I lean into Him with my grief and my stress and my anxiety and my fears of the future and my insecurities and even my anger. He can handle it. He did handle it.

A month after our miscarriage, Mr. Right and I got our matching tattoos. He thinks that was a turning point in my life – where I just went for something big. A tattoo is not big to the average person, but to me, the ultimate rule follower, it was SO big. It was one of the first times in my life that I decided to do something and didn’t care a bit what other people thought. I did it for me.

As a life-long people pleaser and rule follower, the past 18 months have been so freeing. It’s like at the age of 34, I realized that the people around me love me and don’t care if I have a tattoo. Or pink hair (which came later). Or a perfect home, job, family, apperance… life.  And the ones who do care – well, I don’t really care anymore what they think. And not in a “I don’t love people and care about them” way. No, it was more of a “I’m going to put on my big girl panties and just be Bethe and not worry about what others think about me” way.

I finally felt free.

At age 34.

Now, 18 months later, just two weeks shy of 36, I am celebrating finding my voice. I’m celebrating the things that God has shown me about Himself. I’m celebrating my marriage to my husband – which is so far from perfect, but is also such a gift from God. I’m celebrating being a mom to a daughter who is a delight. And a hand-full.

But I’m not just a wife. Not just a mom. Not even just an employee. I’m not defined by those titles.

I’m just… Bethe.

Before this gets too fluffy, let me also say that we have been walking through something really hard this year. So very hard. Just three weeks ago I experienced one of the greatest traumas – one of my worst case scenarios – and it hurt. And so I did the thing I did after my miscarriage – I holed up at our house and told people I didn’t want to face the world. But that it was only temporary. That I’d be back. Because now I know that you can grieve now, or you can grieve later, but you WILL grieve. And so I leaned into the grief, and slept and slept and cried and got angry at my lot and had some very frank conversations with my Creator. And guess what… He can still handle it.

The details of the trauma doesn’t matter. In due time, I will share all the details with you (goodness… if you know me in “real life” you already know all of it… or at least, most of it). But the type of trauma doesn’t matter. It’s the way you overcome it. The way you trust your Savior with your hurt that matters. It’s the way you get back up and keep living that matters.

And so that’s why I’m here.

A week after my worst case scenario happened, Mr. Right and I were on a fancy date, celebrating life in the midst of heartache. And he hatched his idea for me to go on an epic solo road trip to visit my girlfriends. To see my girlfriend who moved to Orlando, and my other girlfriend who moved to Oxford, Mississippi. ­To stop and spend some time at the beach. To rest, and to heal, and to have special girl time with my friends. To just drive and drive and spend some alone time with my God and a good audio book. To find an adventure. To celebrate finding my voice.

And so two weeks later, I’m here. And now you know. I’m out here, driving 1500 miles alone over 7 days, to celebrate. To celebrate life. And freedom. And growth. And healing. To not be a wife or mom or employee or any other label I have given myself. To just be Bethe.

To feel free.

A night off and adventures for everybody

Parenthood is full of so many contradictions. The biggest one may be this:

1. I love my child and want to be around her ALL THE TIME. I have tailored my career, my hobbies, and my schedule, so that it includes plenty of time to spend with her. Because she’s only a kid once.

2. The minute someone offers to babysit (especially overnight!!!) I’m all like, “Peace out kiddo – mama is getting a night OFF!!!!!!!

Can I get an amen?

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Even though we had just had an overnight date a few weeks ago, when the grandparents offered to keep Wrenn overnight so she could spend some extra time with her cousins who were in town visiting, we didn’t think twice. We immediately made reservations at our favorite spot and started counting down the minutes until we could have a hot date. And sleep all night without a baby monitor. And carry one of those tiny clutches instead of a giant mom purse and baby backpack.

It’s the little things, y’all.

I was already as giddy as a high school girl who was asked to Homecoming (have I mentioned that I married the Homecoming King? Yeah. I did.) Then, Mr. Right took it up a notch by sending me FLOWERS. To work. In front of everybody.

I pretty much met him at the door when he came home with a goofy grin on my face ready for a night of fun.

And I would show you photos of this night of fun, but we had too much fun to actually TAKE any pictures. Just imagine me all dressed up – IN HIGH HEELS – having a really great hair day. And Mr. Right looking studly in a new fall-colored shirt he was really proud of. We went to one of our favorite spots (Fort Worth friends… get thee there NOW) and indulged on PBJ chicken wings, fried chicken sliders, mac-n-cheese with bacon and jalapenos, and oysters. We talked about grown-up things and nobody threw a tantrum at the table (sorry Wrenn) and it was so… quiet.

After that, Mr. Right took me out for ice cream BECAUSE HE LOVES ME. And then we came home and sat on the back porch and talked about our upcoming adventure to New York and all the fun things we wanted to do while we’re there. It was such a fun night.

(And mom… don’t worry, we didn’t get any more tattoos.)


The next morning Mr. Right was up before dawn while I slept in until 7:30 (which is my version of noon). While he rode his bike 47 miles from Fort Worth to Dallas, I got a massage and enjoyed a quiet morning to myself. I failed at the “no housework” thing – the weather was just so glorious that I couldn’t help myself… I cleaned out our garage and did some work in the garden. It was a great excuse to get outside on the first cool(er) day in two months.

And then I napped so hard I woke up completely disoriented. That means it was a really good nap, my friends.


While we enjoyed 24 hours of care-free responsibility, little Wrenn got to spend the most glorious day with her cousins in the country, riding the pony and 4-wheelers, playing with stickers and eating popsicles and watching princess movies and fighting over the grandparents’ attention.

This girl had FUN.

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When we finally reunited Saturday night, I figured she would come running to me, squealing with delight as she melted into my arms for the biggest hug ever. Instead, we walked in the door and she saw us and started yelling, “No! No! No!” Because girlfriend didn’t want us to take her home. She wanted to stay there forever.

Ahhh, motherhood.

Our Fourth of July – My Favorite Weekend in Years


Sometimes what you need – what your whole family needs – is a three day weekend filled with nothing but being outside, together, playing and making memories doing almost nothing at all. For me, this year’s Fourth of July was exactly that kind of weekend.

It started with a morning swim at my parents’ house (they were in Europe – lucky dogs), as well as a little swinging on their backyard playground set. My parents got all the cool toys after we grew up!

Have I mentioned that Wrenn LOVES the pool? Our fearless girl will jump in, slide off a mat head first into the water… just like in all other areas of her life, she wants to be independent and push the limits and experience EVERYTHING in the water. Thankfully, her little floaties allow her to feel like she’s swimming all by herself.


She had so much fun that she passed out on the way home. That evening we were scheduled to have friends over for dinner, but that fell through, so instead we washed our cars and cleaned the garage and got our bikes ready to ride. It was so good to just be outside, the three of us, and sweat and work and play.

We ended the night by taking a family bike ride and then running through the water hose.


Saturday morning, the fourth, we took it easy because we knew we would have a late night. Mr. Right built Wrenn a blanket fort in the living room and I finished up one of my quilts (stay tuned for proper pictures later… as soon as I take them).


Then we all took naps. I managed to fit in a nap every single day during our three day weekend. Bless.

Then we piled up in our car, along with just about everything we own (man, we stink at packing light), and drove over an hour away to our dear friends‘ house, where we sat out on a patio enjoying a country evening, and then walked to the old baptist church across the street and shot off fireworks for almost two hours.

Fireworks are one of my favorite things in the entire world, and much to my glee, little Wrenn loved them too. She kept saying, “Fireworks! Up High! Mickey Chair!” She’s still talking about it, two weeks later. They were going off right over our heads, and the sound didn’t bother her a bit. In fact, our little morning girl fell asleep in my arms about an hour in, and I relished an opportunity to cuddle with her sleeping against my chest. A rare treat.


Sunday Wrenn was so exhausted that she slept past nine (she’s always up by 6:30, so this was way out of character). We spent the day lounging and doing nothing productive. I so very rarely rest – why is that? It was so good for my soul.

Little Miss took a bit of a tumble head-first into our ottoman and busted her lip, so I treated it with her favorite thing – a purple popsicle. It’s amazing how quickly a popsicle can help heal a minor injury when you’re almost two.

Sunday evening we were back on our bicycles, enjoying a beautiful evening together. Wrenn has finally gotten brave enough to master her balance bike. We also hooked up a trailer to Mr. Right’s bike, as well as let her sit on dad’s bike rail (totally illegal, but childhood is about being dangerous every once in awhile). With the wind blowing her hair she would tilt her head back and scream “Weeeee!” as they rode together.

Oh, how I would love to live this weekend over and over and over.


Life Lately

Life has been hard lately. It’s hard to watch your sister and best friend go through something traumatic, like having a sick baby in the NICU. But you know what? Even during stressful times, kids bring so much joy. I am constantly reminded of what a gift children are. Mine. My nieces and nephews. Other peoples’ kids. It doesn’t matter – each one is a unique blessing given to us from the Lord.


Speaking of blessings… Wrenn is now 23 months and such a JOY. Like, I can’t even describe the joy she brings to Mr. Right and me. Whether it’s hearing her say a new word (like “air conditioner” or “love you”) or learning to say her ABCs (she can repeat all of them after me), or simply saying, “HUG!” and giving me a giant hug over and over and over… this child reminds me every day that I am blessed. She is God’s gift to me.







Mr. Right is also such a gift. Yesterday (a Sunday), after a particularly hard week, he told me to go get into bed for my Sunday afternoon nap and he would bring me lunch in bed. Who brings their wife lunch in BED? My husband, that’s who. There is nobody I would rather do life with, day in and day out. He is so much better than I deserve, and yet I will gladly take him.

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Life happens in seasons. Last year was a tough season. Up until a few weeks ago, 2015 was such a peaceful season. Nothing lasts forever, but each season seems to point me toward my need for a Savior. Through the peaceful days and the stressful days, I will choose to praise Him for who He is and what He has done for me.

How God spoke to me

I always love to hear stories about how God speaks to people, because as with everything else he does, he is so creative when it comes to speaking to his children. I remember as a small child waiting for an audible voice to tell me something – anything – and I would never hear it, and be disappointed.

And then I realized that God can speak much more loudly than an audible voice. In fact, his words can be unmistakable.

2014 year was one of the worst years of my life. It just stunk. It was stressful, we all had some pretty big health problems, and it just felt like we couldn’t catch a break. I’ll admit – I got a little mad at God for awhile. Not like a “I’m never talking to you again” kind of mad… more like I sulked about how he wasn’t intervening in all of our troubles and making them all go away.

But I look back at 2014, and realize that God chose to speak to me so very clearly, so many times. As cliche as it sounds, during my hardest year, I heard him the loudest.

July 9 – We were in the midst of all of our health struggles, with more around the corner (like Mr. Right’s cancer scare and some super scary asthma attacks for Wrenn). We were tired, we were haggard, we were surviving on fumes. And during one of my quiet times, I came to this verse:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

And it was on this day, with this verse, I heard God speak so clearly in my soul, saying “Baby girl, I’ve got you. Do you think your stress is more than I can handle?”

And again I heard: “Just rest in my presence.”

I immediately wrote this down – because when you feel like God is speaking to you, you ALWAYS WRITE IT DOWN. And I clung to that promise during the roller coaster that followed over the next few months – of not sleeping, of medical test after medical test, ER visits, of holding my baby girl in the floor of our bathroom as I prayed that the steam from the shower would open up her lungs – during what turned out to be very dark months for me, I kept reminding myself, “God told me that he has me. He’s not surprised by this. He can handle ALL of my stress. Just rest in his presence.”

Nov. 22 – My birthday. Our stressful season was in full swing – we still didn’t have a good diagnosis for what Mr. Right was struggling with, and he was only a week away from leaving for India. Our baby girl had been horribly sick with asthma, and on the nights when I wasn’t up all night holding her as she had asthma attacks, I was lying in bed awake, waiting for the next asthma attack to hit. On Nov. 21 before I went to bed, I prayed that God would speak to me, to remind me that he was still there and that he loved me. Because sometimes I need that reassurance, and that’s okay. It’s okay to ask God to speak loudly to you. Because sometimes, that’s exactly what he wants to do.

I prayed that prayer on Friday night, and on Saturday morning, when I woke up, I had an email from a friend who said she felt compelled to encourage me. Turns out, she had walked a very similar path to the one I had walked, and not only did she bravely share her story, but then she shared the scripture and the truth that she clung to during that hard season. She wanted to share the things in God’s word that had gotten her through her hard season, so that I could get through mine.

You guys – that was God talking to me through her. When someone tells you they feel compelled to share something from scripture with you – and they would have had no real idea of how important it would be in that moment – there’s a very good chance that it’s a God thing.

This was a God thing. Not only did he answer my prayer before I woke up the following morning (on my birthday, no less) but I started thinking, and I realized that I had had several people contact me over the past few months sharing scripture that had helped them walk through difficult seasons. And I realized that GOD HAD ANSWERED MY PRAYER BEFORE I HAD EVEN PRAYED IT.

Yep. God blows my mind. Isn’t he so gracious?

Nov. 29 – Mr. Right was 48 hours from leaving for India, and I still hadn’t felt a peace about him going. My husband had felt a definite call from God that he was supposed to travel to India to teach local pastors, and after coming a little closer to begging him not to go than I’d like to admit, I finally just said, “I don’t have a peace about it, but if God has told you to go, then you need to go.” I’ve read the story of Jonah enough times to know that if God says go, you always go.

In the meantime, we were also praying that God would provide the funds to cover the trip. It was expensive, money was tight, not to mention that when a small business owner misses 2.5 weeks of work, it means you’re not going to make any money during that time. We prayed and prayed, and the money came in, but we still lacked $800, with two days to go before his trip.

That Saturday, Mr. Right couldn’t find his malaria medicine (a must when you go to India), and tore apart our bathroom searching for it. He found a stack of cards I had written him, and out fell an envelope with our name in it. Inside were 10 $100 bills. Exactly enough to cover the cost of the rest of the trip, plus $200 in travel money (which is the identical amount I had set aside for him to use in airports/emergencies).

Y’all… God provided the exact amount of money we needed, PLUS the exact amount of money we had set aside, with 48 hours to go before the trip. It was kind of like God lit up a neon sign that said, “BETHE, I TOLD YOU I WANTED HIM TO GO TO INDIA.”

Yes, God. I hear you loud and clear.

It was the sweetest gift he could have given me, because for the 16 days that Mr. Right was on the opposite side of the planet, I felt the greatest peace I have ever felt in my entire life. I had confidence that he was supposed to be in India. That we were following God’s will. And that’s exactly where I want to be – smack dab in the middle of God’s will, all the time. It was a GIFT.

Not only that, but God decided to just WOW me during Mr. Right’s trip to India. I have told people that I think my husband had to travel to the other side of the globe, so that God could do a work in my heart back here at home. On the second day he was gone, after I talked to him and he was still en route (it took 48 hours and three flights to get there), sick and exhausted, I reached into my jacket pocket – the jacket I wear every single day in the winter time – the jacket I have worn 50 times since last year – and there was a brochure for India. My church had hosted a luncheon more than a year before to promote trips to India, and I must have grabbed a brochure and stuck it in my pocket. The brochure featured all of the cities Mr. Right would travel to, with photos of the very people he would get to love on, and there it was in my jacket pocket. I hadn’t noticed it the other 50 times I had worn that jacket, because God wanted me to find that brochure at that divine moment, when I needed reminding that GOD WANTED MR. RIGHT IN INDIA.

I told everybody I could.

And then, one more cool thing – because our God, the God of the universe, likes to do things BIG. It wasn’t enough to provide the money, or provide pictures in my pocket of the people my husband was going to see. No, he decided to send me another love letter, in the form of scripture. You see, God has always used other people quoting his word to speak to me. It has happened more times than I could count.

First, God had a coworker send me this verse on the morning my husband left for India:

“May the God of hope fill you with ALL JOY AND PEACE as you TRUST in him, so that you may OVERFLOW WITH HOPE by the POWER of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

This verse became my mantra – my daily battle cry for the 16 days I was a single mom. You have to remember, my baby girl had battled horrible asthma attacks for months, leading up to about a week before this trip. It had been scary and exhausting. I hadn’t slept in forever. And now I was going to be a single, working mom, entirely responsible for the health and safety of my beloved child, with a husband two days away in an emergency.

I prayed this prayer and clung to it – it brought me so much peace. More peace than I had felt in all of 2014. Like, it was weird.  And God, in his pure awesomeness, put that verse in my daily Bible Study reading on the very last night before Mr. Right came home. There it was – bookending this trip. It was like, on either side, God reminding me that this promise is for me. No matter my circumstances, he wants to provide me with ALL JOY AND PEACE as I choose to TRUST in him.

And guess what… this promise is also FOR YOU.

Friend, I don’t know what you’re walking through. You may be in the midst of the worst year of your life, or you may be at a crossroads and desperately need to hear God speak. Whatever it is – don’t be afraid to flat out ASK HIM TO SPEAK TO YOU.

Note: A great book on this topic that changed my life was this one. Know that when God speaks, it is always in line with his scripture. He will never tell you something that conflicts with it. If you have questions, feel free to email me at

My life is like a Whac-a-Mole


Does it ever feel like your life is like this old arcade game I used to play as a child? A problem pops up, you give it a whack, then as soon as you finish, a new one pops up?

This is what my life feels like. Just when I give a good WHACK to one problem, another pops up.

It all came to a head last Thursday. I had a baby who was very sick with asthma. We hadn’t slept in a week because she had been up every night with asthma attacks. Mr. Right had just found out through a blood test that he didn’t have shingles after all (he’s in the midst of what we thought was his second bout since June… four months of pain on his left eye/cheek). His pain was escalating. The docs recommended an MRI to rule out all manner of scary things that might be going on.


I left for work with our only carseat in the back of my car, so when the doctor called to say he needed to see her today, Mr. Right couldn’t take Wrenn to her doctor appointment. And of course, I had a day full of important meetings at work. WHACK. I scrambled to get to her doctor appointment, and while there we got a call that Mr. Right could be squeezed in for an MRI, but only if he could be there within the hour. Of course, we were at the other doctor’s office and in one car. WHACK. We rushed through Wrenn’s appointment, rushed Mr. Right home so he could rush to get his MRI done. WHACK.

Then we had to wait all night to get the test results. The waiting was the worst part. WHACK.

But we were distracted by Wrenn vomiting her medicine all over herself. And me. And our floor. And more asthma problems. WHACK.

We were all three so tired. So very tired. Everything seems worse when you haven’t been sleeping. I took a long bubble bath and then cried myself to sleep. It was the worst day I’ve had in a long time.

But God is so full of grace, isn’t he? I woke up the next morning with this sense of peace that can only come from him. I heard him say, “My mercies are new every morning.”

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
-Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV)

This week has been better. Life is still hard, but things are a little better. Miss Wrenn is feeling much better. We’re all sleeping. Mr. Right got a clear report on his MRI. We’re still dealing with his illness and the frustration of having to wait a month to see a specialist. It’s hard to watch your loved one hurt.

Friend, do you feel like you’re the only one out there juggling, and finding it impossible to keep all the balls in the air? You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in good company. In the meantime, someone hand me another mallet while I go run myself another bubble bath.

His mercies are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness.

Our summer… in pictures


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Date nights. Hiking in the mountains. Indoor skydiving. Lots of pool time. Spending time with family. Playing outside. Can it be summer every day?


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Holiday Weekend Recap

This last weekend was just so… wonderful. It was quiet and relaxing and fun. Mr. Right, Baby Girl, and I got to spend some quality time together, doing some FUN things around the house. It was so refreshing and peaceful and I want to do it again and again.



On Friday night we hosted a Fourth of July party for our Sunday School class and our neighbors. We had hoped it would be a way to get to know some of our neighbors better, but, well… nobody from the neighborhood showed up. We had fun anyway – I mean, how could you not have fun with a picnic, gallons of sweet tea and lemonade, ice cream, and FIREWORKS. That’s a recipe for the best night ever, if you ask me.

(For the record… Wrenn LOVED the fireworks. For about five minutes, and then she was on to the next thing… but those first few minutes, she was mesmerized. I loved it.)

Mr. Right, in typical party-planning over-achieving fashion, built an 8-foot photo booth. It will now live forevermore in our garage, and you can expect to see it make an appearance at every party for the rest of our lives. Everybody should own a photo booth.

Oh, and I made peach cobbler. You know it’s a national holiday if I get the urge to bake.


Saturday Wrenn and I hung out at the pool with my parents (weekends are workdays for my realtor husband), then we ventured out with Mr. Right to Trinity Groves in Dallas to eat the greatest gourmet hotdogs in the history of the universe. I ate one with pimento cheese (weird), bacon, and gouda, with a homemade bun dipped in maple syrup. It was pure awesomeness. I’m pretty sure it made my calorie-tracking app explode.

Sunday, after church, Wrenn and I bummed around the house and took marathon naps while Mr. Right worked, then we capped off the night with some movie watching and baby cuddles.

Can I have a do-over on this weekend? Or, rather, a do-again?


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Every Day I Love You


Love is a funny thing, isn’t it? During some seasons it’s so EASY and driven by feelings and emotions and romance and pure giddiness. Love can just be so much FUN.

Love can also be hard. Like, when both of your are sleep deprived and juggling crazy schedules and trying to keep up with friendships and housework and jobs and babies and budgets and it feels like you just don’t have much left to (36)

Or when you and your hubby both get the stomach bug, a few weeks apart, and the other is left doing ALL of the childcare and taking care of a sick spouse and trying to disinfect the whole house and take care of everyday responsibilities.

Love is messy. And wonderful. And so very hard. And yet, the most natural thing I’ve ever done.

Mr. Right… every single day I love you. More than the day before.


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100 Honeymoons – Our Weekend Getaway


Mr. Right and I joke about having 100 honeymoons. In reality, for us, that looks like little nights or weekends away – sometimes far, sometimes in town – the place doesn’t matter nearly as much as the part where we escape from our everyday responsibilities and just enjoy each other. It’s a huge priority that we’ve made for our marriage.


This time we rented an adorable little 100-year-old house in the Fairmount District of Fort Worth, just 20 minutes from our home, to celebrate our third anniversary (read here about last year’s anniversary getaway). Mr. Right found it on AirBnB, which offers rentals all over the world, often at a fraction of the price of a hotel. Ours was a steal and within walking distance of one of the hot restaurants we’ve been wanting to try. (PS – we loved AirBnB so much we’ve already booked another trip with them later this spring – the next one we’re staying at is an old farmhouse on 90 acres – I can’t wait.)

collageMr. Right knows me so well. Like, really knows me. When we got to our place Friday afternoon, the first thing he did was tell me to go take a bubble bath in the big clawfoot tub and then take a LONG nap. Having a 6-month-old makes you REALLY appreciate a long nap in a quiet house – it was glorious.


The rest of the trip was equally wonderful. We had a wonderful, leisurely dinner at Ellerbe Fine Foods, and the next morning we slept in and had brunch at Del Frisco’s Grille in a booth overlooking the new Sundance Square.

And then we went and picked up Baby Wrenn (who turned 6 months this weekend… bless!) and covered her with kisses and snuggled her the rest of the day. It was so good to have a night away with my love – our first night away from Wrenn – but now that we’re a family of three, it was so good for us to all be together again. That is, until the next honeymoon…