About a month ago, I had the incredible experience of getting to go home for a month. I have not been home for this long in about 5 years. I feel so lucky for this opportunity to connect with family.
On this trip I created a million beautiful little memories and I feel overwhelmed by the thought of them…
I spent some time at my grandparents.
I had a handful of incredible dinners with the family. (Including a thanksgiving dinner!)
I spent some time without electronics.
I spent some time with some of my oldest friends.
I saw snow!
I spent beloved time with my nieces and nephew!
I explored Columbus, OH with a bit more intentionality.
I went to Nashville! (Hear all about that trip here)
Christian came to town!
I failed a time or two.
& I grew in understanding of the beauty of slowing down.
I think that was the big takeaway for me…it is beautiful to slow down and really take the time to enjoy the connections in front of you. It might be slowing down enough to watch the snow fall or maybe it is looking at art in a museum or maybe just some giggles on the couch with your family, but regardless of what it is…there is magic in slowing down.
I am a person that believes if I am not dead, than I can do more. I am constantly doing more things. I always have some sort of task to do: read this book, go to this store, do this assignment, and so much more. I get so caught up in what I could be doing. But, by getting caught up in what would be, I miss the magic of what is.
This trip to Ohio has reminded me to get captured by what is. It isn’t about getting everything done (at least not always). On this trip I wanted to read two different books and finish them before I returned. But, every time I picked one up, something better to do came along. Like, an opportunity to chat with my sister or send time with my momma. And towards the end of the trip I realized what was happening…that I was failing at my to-do list…that I was running out of time. But, I decided I couldn’t give up the simple magic. It was too important.
I guess, I am just saying that maybe our priorities aren’t what they used to be. And to remind you that family is always worth it, that beautiful connection is always worth it.
Christian, the super cute rockstar boyfriend, and I have been talking about Nashville a lot within the last year. The more serious we have gotten as a couple, the more we have talked about where we want to raise a family and where we want to move to next.
Nashville keeps being brought up in both of our lives. For me, it all started over a year ago hearing about an organization that exists in Nashville. When I heard about this organization my heart leaped. It centers around teenage women that need rescuing. From that, I heard about this girl moving from California to Nashville, and followed her journey along the way. I couldn’t get away.
This holiday season I went home to Ohio for a month (more to come soon!!) and Christian came to join for two weeks. With “all this time” on that side of the country, we had to take advantage. (I put quote around “all this time” because we definitely did NOT have a ton of time, even though on paper it seemed like we did).
Despite our long trips, we did not want to take away any time from family time. We began planning a trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
We drove to Nashville early one morning. The drive was magical. There is something special about road trips and open hearts. I am so thankful to have had this drive with my boy. On the drive, our excitement continued to rise to new heights. We tried to talk about what we were looking for in a new hometown. The list was fairly short…
People with our style & style inspiration. We wanted to find people that we could fit in with: tattoos + vans. But, we wanted to find people that inspired us in the realm of style.
We wanted genuine warmth & friendliness. We wanted to feel warm in the city and friendliness with the people. We did not want the people to be too nice to the point of being fake.
We wanted small homey vibes mixed with the risk of a city. We wanted the beautiful vibe of a small-town, but the opportunity of a big city.
And the thing we were afraid of was that the city would be too flashy and would be filled with people hiding behind masks.
With our short list, we drove over the hill to see the cityscape of Nashville.
We squealed. Like, legitimately squealed.
We went to this area called The Gulch and got some brunch at a place called Biscuit Love. We were smacked upside the head with the sweetness of the south. A heaping plate of biscuits and gravy, a tall glass of sweet tea, and kindness in the eyes of the people around us. If I am honest, I was hooked from that moment.
After our delicious food, we explored the city. We walked and drove and felt our hearts continue to come alive. We saw the beautiful houses, the shiny lights of downtown, and heard the sounds of the country music. We went downtown, down music row, and explored the hills just outside the city.
We found our people at a coffee shop called The Frothy Monkey.
After hours of exploring, we went to lunch at a cute little cafe and the headed to our Airbnb.
This Airbnb was THE CUTEST thing I have ever seen. We took a nap. We freshened up. And then we headed back onto the town. Our goal was to go to The Bluebird Cafe, but that was everyone else’s goal, too. The Bluebird is this bar that has reached its height in popularity from the show Nashville, but the cafe got it’s true name from its hidden stage for new songs and it’s safety for the stars. The line was super long and so we didn’t get in, but the history of this cafe as exactly what we were hoping to find in Nashville.
We ended up at a restaurant/bar called The Row. Apparently, this place’s reputation is far less sparkly and cool as The Bluebird Cafe. It was a fairly cheesy place decked out in famous country music starts and a menu filled with BBQ and burgers. We decided to go here because there was supposed to be live music. Unfortunately, we ate dinner in the restaurant and not in the bar with the live music. But, after we finished out food we went to the bar and honestly, were pleasantly surprised. Our hopes were not high about the quality of music, considering how our night was going. But the music was great and seeing the camaraderie between artists, audience, and friends.
The next morning I had the opportunity to meet with my upline at Young Living. We chatted about the business and about making the most of this opportunity. I felt like this coffee date was an incredible representation of what Nashville could offer for us: new opportunities.
We ended the trip with another brunch at a place called Milk & Honey.
We were amazed by the beauty of this city.
It stole our hearts.
I do not know what the future will hold, but I must admit…