Monday, October 6, 2014


Saturday was Jared's 38th birthday.

He has been in such a season of stress and exhaustion that he mentioned to me a couple months ago that he would really like to have a "retreat" of sorts on his birthday.

It was all super hush hush.  I had no idea what he had planned,  I just knew how much money needed to be set aside for our adventure.  As the weeks passed it became very clear that our retreat was very much a gift for me, not for him.

I often say, "where did he come from?"  Such a special gift of selflessness to plan a getaway for your spouse on your own birthday.

On Wednesday night Grandma and Grandpa took the 5 kids to their place after church.  Jared and I headed to Casa Agave (I lurve that place) for a late dinner.

Thursday morning we headed to a super cool place down by UMKC called Succotash.  Jared is a creature of habit and once he finds something he likes he tends to stick to what is safe.  I think the biggest part of this surprise is that every experience was something brand new.  I was so touched by his willingness to not only plan this for me, but to go outside his comfort zone to find something new and special for me.  He picked Succotash because they have gluten free blueberry pancakes.  They were delicious!  Such an awesome little place.
Breakfast selfie after getting down poured on :)
Literally the best breakfast I've had in years

After breakfast we went to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  Neither of us had ever been and it is really very neat.  We spent hours wandering the halls and looking at priceless art.  It was fascinating to us that all of it was original works.  Nothing was a reproduction.  There was a painting of Jesus with the crown of thorns and He was crying.  It was haunting, so life like.  Just amazing.  I highly recommend going, it's free other than $8 for parking. 
Rodin statue propped against a wall waiting to be installed

Rained all day but what a view!

Courtyard inside the museum

Random coke, made us giggle

After we left the Art Museum we wandered The Plaza for a little while since there was a break in the rain.  We went to the Apple Store to visit our future phones...  I still had no idea where we were staying for the night.  Jared made a quick call to see if we could get an early check in and off we went, destination unknown.

We pulled into this tiny driveway of a beautiful house down by The Plaza.  There was a beautiful sign in the yard that read "Southmoreland An Urban Inn."  He started to tell me the history of the beautiful home while we walked around to the entrance.  We were greeted by a super friendly young lady who gave us run of the place since we were the only ones there.  I immediately teared up.  It was so beautiful and just not anything we had ever done before.  Our room had no TV and no wifi (there is wifi in the house, it just didn't reach our room).  It was truly a place of rest. 
A quick pic out in the courtyard during a break in the rain
I LOVE coffee mugs.  I LOVE special unique coffee mugs.  I LOVE special unique coffee mugs that hold a lot of coffee.  I REALLY LOVE special unique coffee mugs that hold a lot of coffee that are red...  You can imagine my delight when I saw this :)
Such a special keepsake from our special trip
Thursday night we went to New Theatre with tickets we've held onto for months.  It was so nice and dinner was amazing.  We sat with total strangers that were the sweetest couple.

Friday morning we just lounged around the Bed and Breakfast checking out at the very last minute.  The last stop he had planned was lunch at Minsky's pizza.  They have a certified gluten free kitchen so I ordered an amazing pizza and cried as I tried to express my love and gratitude for such a special 24 hours.

Ministry is hard.  It can be very exhausting.  Parenting is hard.  It can be very exhausting.  Life in general is hard.  It can be very exhausting.  But God is good regardless of our circumstances and taking a "time out" to focus on each other and our relationship/friendship was exactly what we needed.  I am so blessed.  Happy Birthday to a very special man.  I love you Jared Richard and I thank God for you every single day.

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