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My Birthday Wish - June 2022

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

The iconic film, When Harry Met Sally, was released in 1989 when I was three years old. Somewhere in my teen years, I discovered the film and it became a New Year's Eve tradition to watch it with my mom and sister. After I married twelve years ago, my husband dutifully took up the mantle and we've watched it almost every New Year's Eve since.

Every year when my birthday rolls around my mind immediately goes to the scene where Sally is lamenting how life is passing her by and I can easily hear Sally's aka Meg Ryan's voice in my head saying, "I'm going to be forty!"

Well, I'm not there yet. I have four years to go! I don't feel like I've lived long enough to be thirty-six and yet here I am celebrating another birthday and so so so so thankful that I get to do so. This year, my birthday wish was to spend a quiet, secluded weekend in a cabin with my family.

When we told our kids we were taking a mini-vacation to a cabin near Prescott, AZ—with no tv, tablet, wi-fi, or cell service they thought it was going to be the worst weekend ever.

We had the best time. We even brought our dogs along!

The day before we left, my nine-year-old son made a dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate birthday cake with vegan buttercream frosting (how awesome is that). We took it and some snacks to enjoy at the cabin, along with board games, books, and a family puzzle that we had printed for Father's Day.

We arrived in the late afternoon and cranked up the A/C unit in the window in an attempt to cool down the cabin. After settling in a bit, we ventured about half an hour from the ranch into Downtown Prescott where we dined at a historic saloon called "The Palace", and I picked up a ton of ideas for future stories. It felt very much like stepping into the past, which I very much enjoyed.

The Palace - saloon in Prescott, AZ

We returned to the cabin for cake and read stories together. My husband finished reading our kids a series called, The Land of Stories, which they've really loved and has helped spark our son's interest in reading more independently. The next series we started is Chronicles of Narnia!

I was very excited to see the stars, as I can't remember a time when I was far enough from city lights to get a full appreciation of a starlit night. While I love writing stories set in the 1800s--without electricity, modern conveniences, and especially cell phones, I learned very quickly that I am actually quite terrified of being "off the grid". I stepped off the cabin's porch for all of two minutes to enjoy the stars and then ran back inside and locked the door. It did not help that prior to our little cabin excursion my husband binge-watched the show, Something Bit Me, further scarring me for life. I am certain there were no bears or mountain lions lurking on the property, but my writer's mind conjured them in the bushes all the same. After everyone else was asleep I spent three hours laying in bed wide awake.

Of course, it wasn't just the fear of the unknown and animals that had me worrying. I've been more... cautious... since Evelyn was diagnosed with Epilepsy. Not having the ability to even call 9-1-1 if she had a seizure weighed on me. I expect it'll be a few years before I fully cope with the trauma of her first seizure.

Other than that, the weekend was exactly what I was hoping it would be. By the second day, my fears subsided quite a bit and we settled into the peacefulness of the cabin. The kids barely noticed the lack of electronics, because they had our full attention.

We had coffee and muffins for breakfast. My husband read the bible to me like he does almost every morning, but this time it was on a serene porch as the sun came up. Midday we headed into town for lunch. We ate at a bistro that had an awesome historical photograph of the town on its wall. We walked to a little bakery, got a treat, and then went to a grocery store to pick up food to take back to the cabin for dinner. Once back at the cabin, we sang songs, tossed a football around, played board games, and completed our puzzle.

I slept much better the second night, albeit I had to do quite a bit of cricket-wrangling as they kept getting in through the windows and they made such a ruckus! I was sure our dogs were going to eat them, so I kept getting up to find them, catch them, and release them outside. (I can't kill bugs, big or small. No, thank you. I let my husband kill the scary things and I try to save the harmless things.) It must've been quite the sight to see me catching crickets in the dark with a cup, a piece of paper, and my phone for a flashlight. On the second morning, I caught a cricket and when I went to set him on a rock outside, he immediately turned around and jumped on my chest. I squealed like a ninny, shooed him off of me, and ran in the other direction. Poor thing must have been so confused. I think he was just trying to say, "thank you."

Before we knew it, Monday morning arrived. We packed up the minivan and made it about ten minutes from the cabin before our tire pressure and check engine lights came on. We kept heading toward town and as soon as my cell service returned we looked up an Auto-Zone. (This comes on the heels of having our battery replaced after it died three weeks ago when my husband was out of town and I was taking my son to soccer camp in 110-degree weather. That's a whole other story.) Alas, we were told it was something to do with the transmission and that we "would likely make it" the two-hour drive home. Thank God we did. After a few days of repairs, all is well now.

So much more happened in June, but there is never enough time to write about it all! Suffice it to say, our summer is going well. I can't believe it's already half over! As always, I'll share more pictures below and if you'd like to see more frequent updates, you can follow me on Instagram.

I hope you are having an excellent summer and getting to travel and/or rest!

With Love,


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