I awakened the Saturday morning of my birthday with a weird stomachache & headache, and I spoke-out from my bed, "Lord, if this is 40 I'm begging you now to take me back to 39!" I learned three days later what my weirdness was, and I'll share with you later in the blog, but first, the good stuff! We'll save the poison for last...
I was told to be ready by 10:00 a.m. with a bag packed. Well, that sounds fun! I'm all about a night away!
When the Honey got me in his truck, he made a left-turn in our subdivision instead of right, which is the turn to the main road. I didn't ask any questions, but in about 10 seconds we were pulling into my sister's driveway where I saw her and her honey loading their packed bags! Yippy! Company!
I have six sisters, yes - that is correct, and it's not often that we can all be together, not even more than two or three of us at a time; it was a thrill for me to have three of them with me for the weekend! We picked up the last two in my baby sister's hometown, and then we headed to Nashville!
Carsick with my weird new 40-is-trying-to-kill-me-funk, we made our way to Franklin, TN to dine at The Boat House before heading over to one of those break-out games.
Now please understand that I have six sisters who are all very talented...me being the least formally educated, least talented, number 5 in the pecking order, 7 for all other purposes. Their husbands are equally equipped with intellect!
The object of these games are to be locked inside a room full of puzzles that you must solve to "break-out" within an hour. So let's take a look at our cast of characters locked in this room called "Casino Royal."
Amy: Computer Information System's major, baker extraordinaire, mother of two little boys (puzzles are a must), Alpha Child (there's one in every family- she's ours)
Joe: Husband of Amy, Mechanical Engineer, General Manager of rather large local industry, boy scout through-and-through, runner, and our family's quiet thinker
Buffy: Computer Information System's major, mother of 3 little girls, baby of the family for 12 years, the sweetest of us all, and her house is always clean & she never loses her temper (those are qualifications that deserve to be on this resume)
Ernie: Buffy's husband, Finance & Business major, stock market guru, antique lover, antique clock restorer, and works as our county's Emergency Manager Director (the kind of guy you want on your side)
Kylee: Biology/Chemistry major, baby #2 of the family, still in her 20's (that matters when you are traveling w/40 somethings, she speaks slang we are unaware exists), waitress while finishing her Nurse Practitioner degree, and just plan cute (it mattered in case we got pulled over in our minivan - we were sending her to be our spokesperson)
Jason: My husband, Entrepreneur, Majored in CASINO GAMBLING in college I'm quite sure, quick witted, strong, highly intelligent in many, many things, obsessed with forensic files and I.D. Channel, owns and operates two separate businesses
Please stop here and equate the money spent on education just in this one room.
We didn't get out.
I know. I know. I blame 40, too.
However, we had a great time, and we were reminded how competitive we are.
The Honey booked us a suite at the Opryland Gaylord Hotel, where I had never stayed - once attended a swanky New Year's Eve party there that was overpriced - but never an overnight guest. It was lovely, and I would have been happy to stay there playing board games all night, however, we had dinner plans in the hotel at Old Hickory Steakhouse. Thank you Amy & Joe! I would highly recommend this place, it's worth the penny you'll spend.
Running late, we bolted to the Grand Ole Opry, another place I had never shadowed the door. I loved this variety show, and was pleased to experience new faces of music, and those of day's past. But I think our favorite, just for the simple reason we had two of his eight-track tapes as little girls, was Ray Stevens. Even though we didn't get to sing in unison to Gitarzan, or about the ring's, bell's, and bones that decorated Fatima for Ahab the Arab, we were reminded that Everything is Beautiful. And with due respect, we serenaded our husbands with these songs later in the evening. So far, no divorce papers have been served.
The next morning found most of us lined up at the breakfast buffet, thanks Buffy & Ernie! Stuffed to the brim, we made our journey home where my mama had ice cream cake and pizza ready for me. What a sweet, sweet ending to a fabulous weekend.
I'm learning on this side of 40 that my sister's are my favorite people to be with. I have some of the most amazing friends in the world, God has laid abundant blessings upon me, and my sister's surely top the list. They made 40 the best yet!
In these past 18 days I have been overwhelmed with experiences that God has allow me to partake of. I spent two days at the Church of God Women's Conference in Lexington. I have never been, and really haven't spent much time with this denomination growing up, but one of my besties grew up in this particular denomination and has begged me for years to attend. I'm saddened that I have not heeded her call before this year. Holy Ghost filled people...that would solve the world's problems. Seriously... What I experienced was an anointing I had never seen, a new place in God's glory that he allowed me to experience and I cannot thank him enough. It moved me deeper into who he is, and since then my worship, my prayer life, and my commitment to him is different.
The following weekend I spent in Gatlinburg with my boy at his cheer competition. We spent two days in the mountains, got there late Friday night to a room with bugs so we checked out and found another hotel. However, we walked in favor all weekend. Our rental was upgraded from a small compact car to a minivan at no extra charge, my hotel fees were refunded by Expedia (which never happens), we were almost hit three times - like, total the car kind of hit - but only near-misses. I rode down with a cheer mom who I didn't really know, and came back with a new friend. My husband also walked in favor while staying home. He scored a free ticket to the UK game Friday and had time to catch up with an old friend, and ended up coming into $700 out of thin air, which just so happened to be about what the Boy and I had spent. (I refer you back to his major in college) There were several more but I'll just list these few.
So onto how I poisoned myself. My weird burning belly, and headaches continued for days and then I finally realized I was putting way to much apple cider vinegar in my Good Girl Moonshine, which is a non-alcoholic drink on the Trim Healthy Mama diet plan. I was attempting to curb my love for soda. I misread the amount for the recipe: the 1 - 2 tablespoons turned into 6 tablespoons in my drink...because I decided my Yeti cup was soooo big that I would make ahead and sip all day. Therefore, I thought I should triple the recipe. I literally scalded my stomach and digestive tract. It's taken almost three weeks to heal...DO NOT drink more than 2 tablespoons a day...
Moral of this blog: Read the recipe twice, be thankful for your family, and if you know Jesus seek an outpouring of the Holy Ghost so you can walk empowered. If I could gift you anything after salvation it would be that...
Acts 1:8King James Version (KJV)
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
I must also give mad props to my radio crew! Christy always makes the best birthday buffet, Brittany comes to bat with the most unique gifts, and Mark always has birthday music ready on que, and says something nice about me. *smiles