Bread and Wine (and a Season of Happenings)

How's your week been, loveys? We've started preschool this week and we're getting used to Ashtyn's school schedule as well. And there was a nip in the air today that felt suspiciously like fall. Can it be coming already? Are things like costumes and bite-sized candy really right around the corner? Good grief. Before that happens, my baby sister will be getting married. I've just accepted that it's going to be a rather emotional fall season for my family. A season of happenings. You know the kind.

I know we have some warm sunny days left. Still, the days go quickly and fall is knocking at the door. Time takes us along whether we're ready or not. I sat in the preschool orientation last Friday and listened to the teachers line out all the events for the year. A year planned out already.

I don't want to rush it. (P.S. I was given a super-helpful handout at the orientation, listing out many recommended snacks, along with a list of "discouraged snacks." This mom had just been to the grocery store. Very sad that ALL our recently purchased snacks are on the "discouraged" list. Hm. I will practice guilt-free motherhood and not worry about it.)

The truth is that my birthday is almost here. (This is a not-subtle reminder to my family, who are all probably chuckling at this moment. My dad says he can never forget my birthday because I am so prompt at reminding everyone. ;)

I'm turning 36 soon. It's a little crazy to me that I'm inching toward 40 (as slowly as possible, mind you). But I'm also grateful. I'm glad for every year, every minute I spend as a wife and mother. I'm thankful for every season I get. I want to see my children grow. I want to keep growing as a person. Jeff was asking me what I want for my birthday (don't worry, I had a short list ready for him). You know what came to mind a little later? The movie Julie and Julia. Let me explain.

I went out for shopping and drinks with some girlfriends the other night. It was basically a perfect night. Antique shopping. A grapefruit cocktail. Yummy appetizers. Someone singing an acoustic version of a Tom Petty song at the restaurant. Lots and lots of stories and laughter. I've also been part of a book club/dinner club for the last several weeks. We've been reading Bread and Wine, which is one of my favorite books. We read a few chapters, then get together and discuss--over food and wine. It's been really wonderful. All of this has reminded me how great it is to live in community with others. To share pieces of our history with people. To talk over bread and wine.

This is where my own love story started. Jeff and I went to a jillion restaurants while we were dating. We'd sit at tables for two and eat together and talk. It's how we got to know each other. And that first year we were married? They practically knew us by name at the Applebees right down the street from our house. We'd go have soup and salad every week. No one was addicted to their phones back then. So we sat together (sometimes side by side) and talked. And he and I became us over broccoli and cheese soup.  

As we were antique shopping the other night, the girls and I were talking about the movie Julie and Julia, which I love. My favorite scene in the movie is when they eat lobsters for dinner on the roof. The lights, the food, the relationships--it's a perfect scene. Then I remembered that in that particular scene, it's actually the main girl's birthday. Her husband gives her pearls. I told Jeff that's what I want. (P.S. Not lobsters and a rooftop--though no one is denying that lobster and rooftops are awesome. Also, I don't need pearls. The beauty of the moment is the equation of friendship and love and food. That's perfection right there.)

My birthday wishes at 36 are different from past birthdays. Now my wishes are for more time with family. I hope for a love that continues to grow with my spouse--and I'm so thankful to have Jeff to walk through life with. I feel a desire to grow in my faith. And the need to let go of what isn't beneficial or positive to who I am or how I feel.

I'm more reflective as this birthday approaches, I think. Jeff has asked me, "Is this where you thought you'd be at this stage of life?"

It's a good question.

The answer is yes and no. I'm not sure I ever thought I'd be a stay-at-home mom. That's okay. It's going fine. I did very much hope to be a wife and mother and to have a happy home where I felt comfortable and safe. Those are the best dreams of my life and I get to live them. I'd hoped to be a writer and an editor. Those things have been beautiful parts of my life. I think I assumed I'd live close to my parents. You never know what the future holds though. It could still happen. I think I assumed I'd live in Texas. But here I am in Colorado. I know I hoped I'd be happy. (And I'm smiling right now as I typed that. I can't stop!)

To be turning 36 is a gift. I have a friend who's the same age that I am and she's battling cancer. She reminds me that life is a gift. Not to be wasted on people who are mean or petty or materialistic. Not to be wasted on anger or bitterness or selfishness. Not to be wasted on what doesn't matter.

Life is meant to be lived and lived abundantly. That means experiencing love, gratitude, peace, forgiveness (and sharing those things with the people in your life). It's good days and difficult days. In 36 years, I've made a lot of mistakes. I've cried and been hurt. I've laughed until my side ached. I've fallen in love after a perfect first kiss. I've delivered three babies and been terrified every time, then taken them in my arms and known every minute of fear was worth it. I've prayed when I didn't know what else to do. I've met people I'll never forget. I've moved on from things that needed moving on from. I've held on to what I hope will last. I've loved. And I've been loved well.

36 years. Not bad.

Lobsters and rooftops. Letting go and holding on all at once.

Seasons of happenings.

What's your wish for this year, lovey?


  1. I can't believe summer is almost over though it'll be warm here for a few more months. I love how positive you are about life! So much to be thankful for and you are. Cheers to you!!

    1. I want to hold on to summer warmth as long as possible! Winter is long over here! 😉

  2. Hi Brandy! Great post! Hope you will have a Happy birthday! :)

    My "wish for this year" is for all of my creative career dreams (writing, photography, fashion and food) to come true! :)

    1. Great wishes, Alexis! May God bless you!


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