Perfect *REAL* Life

Every day in the last week or so, I've found myself thinking, "Thank you SO MUCH, God, for this perfect life!!!" I can't help but be bowled over by everything I've wanted for my family, my personal level of comfort, and culture & community being met (and amplified by the exploding green leaves and flowers of spring!) I am in heaven here. And I don't mean there haven't been down moments, but the big picture is what counts: life here is beautiful!

So, this first point may sound exactly opposite of the joy I've been chanting: a week and a half ago, a friend of mine in Junior League had a double mastectomy. She's only 27 years old with two young girls and was diagnosed with breast cancer just a couple weeks before. The joy is the way people here have rallied to support her - you'd think she was a celebrity with all the "Supporting Brittany" wristbands & t-shirts, stores & restaurants donating a percentage of sales to her bills, etc. It fills my heart to be raising my children in a community like this - no awful, secret suffering behind closed doors; instead, open and active help and support - as much as possible! Brittany is a super stylish girly girl, and her hair is a big deal. (Of all people, I certainly can understand that!!!) She starts chemo April 10th, but wasn't going to get a real human hair wig, b/c it would cost $1,000. At our JL meeting, just from the people in this picture:
we raised it all. ALL. Being part of an organization like this and a community that truly cares is priceless... It's what I want our children to know as "normal".

As of this last Tuesday, the 13th, JB and I have been "an item" :-) for FOURTEEN YEARS. ♥ Every long-term relationship has peaks and valleys, but we are hiking up such a gorgeous mountain right now, and it feels FANTASTIC! Every single aspect of life just keeps getting better & better - his work schedule, all of our health & fitness, family time, etc. Life. Is. Good.

Last Thursday was a rollercoaster day. Up: I taught great Zumba friends, and I got three new songs almost ready to incorporate into my Zumba classes; the wisteria began blooming everywhere, which absolutely set my heart atwitter; and Will brought home a 100% perfect report card! :-) Down: Sis left school crying that a boy hurt her feelings; Davidson lost in the NCAA tourney; and Will & I had an emotional breakdown over his spelling. But as I lounged in my comfy sports mom chair at Will's baseball scrimmage - gorgeous, well over 80°, and sooo relaxing!!! - all the "down" completely melted away. Being out at that ball field was the perfect way to ride the day out on an upswing! It made the junk feel *so easy* to get over.

As if I couldn't love living here more: Friday evening at our Dixie Youth Baseball Opening Ceremonies - 80° in the shade on a perfect baseball field, blooming flowers & trees everywhere, and an invocation to start them off. You can say I'm wrong, but I *never* went to a secular sporting event up north that began with prayer; in the South, it's normal...and again, I want my kids to grow up knowing this "normal". It got even better when the man praying extended an altar call to "step up to the batter's box of life" to those who may not know Jesus. Some readers may be turned off by this, but let me tell you, it was 100% genuine, sincere, and not for show - you could tell those words were unrehearsed and came out before he knew what he had said; it was precious. He gave a little chuckle at his impromptu analogy, but then went on with it; and for me, it just felt so...edifying to be participating in an open community of faith. :-) God bless the South!

The kids & I had supper [JB was on biz in Mississippi Wed-Fri] at the delish barbeque place by our house after the opening ceremonies & before team pics an hour later. I had my fave - their dreamy barbeque baked potato - and we dined outside on the patio. ♥ Perfect weather, gorgeous sunset, & the singer they had even sang "I Love Beach Music"! (All you Carolina girls know how quintessential that is!!!) #Southernfamilyheaven

[Now, before y'all think I'm either charmed beyond belief or totally lying about all this perfection ;-) of course the meal was not w/o incident: Will made an already-tired Annelise burst into tears at the table when he said that polar bears (one of her fave animal species) will become extinct and be gone forever. Thanks, Bud. After a lengthy discussion on loss of habitat, conservation efforts, and the definitions of endangered vs. extinct, she calmed down enough to eat her sweet potatoes. :-P Another issue: our team pics weren't until 9 PM!!! My kids go to bed before 8!!! But we made the best of it; they were a bit touchier than normal, but they thought it was so cool & special to get to be out so late! :-D]

Friday night's formal team photo:
[Will: middle row, 2nd in, 1st in our hearts! :-D]

Saturday was a 99.9% perfect day: our glorious children let us sleep in peacefully until 10 AM!!!!! [No, they didn't sleep in - being up late does NOT adjust their waking up at all; but they "played school" together & watched kids' Netflix quietly upstairs = joy!] I enjoyed sunning myself in full spirit attire at Will's 1st baseball game:
‎[The 0.1% of imperfection was that they lost; but they played hard. They just had two hits get away from them, so it ended 10-6. Oh well, we'll get 'em Monday night!!!] Afterwards, we ate family lunch at the *new* Cafe 230 over by our house. The kids & I took a backyard walk and had a little photo time w/ wisteria & azaleas. (Giant picture post of those HERE! :-)) We rode out to buy veggies to plant: tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, & strawberries. We stopped by Swirl, where their new blueberry tart/white chocolate frozen yogurt is divine! Came home, planted the garden, and baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps and baguettes. Oh, and lest I forget - Will decided to open our pool for the summer...IN MARCH:
I absolutely cannot imagine a better "average" Saturday. Perfect weather, being outside some, family time, productive, yummy eats, being on-the-go... This is my heaven!

Y'all, Sunday rocked, too!!! Family church time blesses me like nothing else. It's our kids' favorite event of the week - I kid you not. We stayed after today for a Leadership Luncheon (since I head the Zumba Ministry), and it was like we told them they would be staying extra time at Chuck E Cheese or something! We had to leave for Will's teammate's bday party at the park by the zoo, and we had to draaaag them out of there! :-P More sunshine, outdoor bliss at that party, followed by a quick stop to see some zoo friends. Annelise & her baby, Flamingo, hung out in their matching animal print attire with the gators:

I can't say it enough: I am so thankful for this life, this place... I feel blessed beyond belief to live somewhere that blisses me out so much that life's irritations roll off so easily... THANK YOU, GOD!!!


  1. I am so glad you are having a season full of blessings!!!! It is amazing how things come together at the Father's hand! Your family is so precious!

    I will be praying for Brittany and her recovery!!!

    BTW, my little guy is playing Dixie League Baseball here as well. Our opening day was last Saturday and we won our game as well!!!

    OH, and I am glad I saw your team shirt because I am borrowing the idea of the ribbons because I am not loving this "mom" shirt that I have but have to wear it!


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