My Birthday Weekend in Kentucky

Well, today is my birthday.  

The big 5-0, y’all!

How in the world???

I mean seriously?!  Where does time go?!!

I want to enter into this next decade of my life with grace and ease, but I might go into it kicking and screaming, if I’m truthful.  haha!

My heart wants to push “pause” on the time button.  I want it all to just stop.  I want to soak up my kids and freeze life where it’s at.  It just seems to march by faster and faster the older I get. 

When Cy asked me what I wanted for my 50th birthday, I said I want to go home and spend time with my dad. 

That’s all I wanted. 

When we moved to Nashville a year ago, I knew I would still be able to see my family often.  I was used to driving back and forth many times to see Jonathan when he lived here by himself.  The drive is not bad at all…a little over 3 hours.  And I knew that my family would come down and visit me often because they love this area too.

And then Covid hit and changed everything.  

We all became quarantined and not able to get out much, especially my dad.  He is 79 and has COPD, which makes him extremely vunerable to Covid.  Our family has tried to be extra cautious around him to keep him safe.

Especially his wife, Janet. (Our angel step-mom.). She goes above and beyond to take care of dad and make sure he stays safe!  (Which I know Mom would be so happy about.). We are so blessed to have her in our family!  Isn’t she beautiful?!

Since I haven’t been able to go home to Kentucky as much as I thought I would this past year, I have really missed my dad.  So being able to stay the whole weekend with him and Janet was just what my heart needed. 

Isn’t it funny that no matter how old we get, when we are with our parents, we feel like a kid again?

It’s the best feeling in the world!  

Both Friday and Saturday night, we watched Hallmark Christmas movies while drinking hot apple cider. 

I slept late both mornings!  (I never get to do that!)

And Dad and I worked on a puzzle together.  PRICELESS MOMENTS!

On Saturday afternoon, we drove to Cheddars and sat outside on the patio by ourselves and ate lunch.

Then we took a ride in his red convertible corvette.  The weather was PERFECT!!

The whole weekend was perfect!

I could never ask for more!



I also got to see my sister, my mom’s family (sisters and cousin,) my niece, great niece, and cousin!  Those ladies are PURE GOLD and so precious to me!  I’m so mad I forgot to get a picture of all of us!

I miss my sister very much too!  We can’t wait for stupid covid to go away so we can see each other more often.  

Friends, I’ll be honest with you that my heart has been extra heavy with all of the chaos 2020 has brought to our lives.  And I’m sure yours has too.  Sometimes it feels so overwhelming that we start to loose our joy. 

I shared on my Instagram stories last week that we need to do everything we can to protect our joy. 

This may mean getting off our phones and social media, stop watching the news, or stay away from toxic people in our lives. 

Protecting our joy may mean taking a walk and soaking up the sunshine, reading a good book, making something with our hands, spending time in prayer, and definitely hugging your loved ones. 

Don’t let 2020 steal your joy. 

Spending time with my family, especially my dad, filled my heart with more joy than it could ever possibly hold, and I am so thankful!

My prayer for you today and always is that the Lord gives you moments like these to fill your heart with joy. 

Much love! xoxo



  1. Traci- you did the very best thing going home and spending time with dad. I wish I had that chance with my folks. Your priorities are right and every word in this post is true about protecting your joy. This has been such a difficult year for my family and others as well. May we all take your words to heart and end the year and begin the new one seeking what really matters. God bless you!

  2. Thank you for sharing so candidly. I needed that today, too. Just to share one incident in my life that is similar. My husband and I are Canadian Salvation Army Officers (now retired) . In the mid 80’s we were transferred to our church in Torrance, CA. The day we left our home in Toronto, my mother suffered a stroke (I am an only child). She was in hospital from then until we came back to Canada in 1989. I was only able to see her once a year for four years. God assured us that all was well, but you can imagine how hard that was. My dad visited her twice a day for all those years until one year before we came back to Canada, he died. To come home for that funeral was devastating, with my mom still in hospital. I had a loving cousin who became me in those years. My mom lasted one year after we came back to Canada. BUT God is good – all the time! May you be blessed!

  3. Happy Birthday, Traci! What a wonderful gift to spend quality time with loved ones. So happy for you.
    Keep filling up that joy bucket and don’t let Satan get near it!

  4. Oh, how I love this and happy birthday Traci! It looks like your weekend was divine. You are exactly right, it’s easy to lose our joy during this unsure, unsettled time but I must say, part of keeping my joy is watching you and your Insta stories. It helps to divert my attention and gives me a little sense of normalcy during the chaos. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful weekend!

  5. So happy you got to spend a weekend with your precious dad! I lost my dad at the age of five and a stepdad at the age of thirteen. But was lucky to have another stepdad for over forty years. Those times are so important. Blessings to you and yours on your Special Birthday🎂

  6. Happy Birthday! 50 ain’t so bad….I’m staring down 60…in less than 18 months! Yikes!

    Yes, going home was the best. I lost my mom just 4 weeks ago…miss her like crazy!

    Enjoy every minute with your kids…love on them extra hard…they grow up way too fast.

  7. Love hearing about your love for your family. I have for the most part, stopped looking at the news. I am so tired of this feeling of loneliness that 2020 has brought. My husband passed away in 2018 and I need to see people and be with family. May God continue to bless you and your family and our country.

  8. hey girl- Happy 50th Birthday! My brother’s birthday is today also he turns 42! U rock -love the post. I would love to visit Kentucky someday- looks so pretty. Good to know that God is in control of everything. We have to have Faith

  9. Happy 50th Birthday, sweet friend! What a lovely way to celebrate your big birthday!!! Your weekend sounded just perfect!!! I’m so happy you got to spend so much time with your dad! I know that is a gift you’ll treasure for the rest of your life!!! And how sweet of Cy to let you go and that he stayed behind to keep things running at home in your absence. May the Lord bless you with continued joy and may you enter this next decade growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Blessing upon blessing to you💕! With love and thankfulness for your life, Kristen

  10. Hey Traci!!
    Happy Birthday!! The big 5-0 is a whopper of a birthday! I’m 8 years pass it, but I remember it like yesterday.
    Time is moving faster and faster for sure! And the older your get the faster it goes! I loved this post and I envy you! I sure wish I could see my parents again and spend the weekend with them. They both have went on to be with our Lord! But boy do I miss them!! You kinda feel like an orphan when both your parents are gone. No matter how old you get! Anyway just wanted to tell you that I love you blog and your sisters blog too! Both of you girls are beautiful inside and out!! God Bless You!!!

  11. Oh thank you TRACI for this post. I’m struggling today from feeling joyless. Had just told my husband yesterday I just want that Christmas spirit joy feeling that covid and my chronic migraine health has robbed me of. You are so right. We have to be looking for it in the small things. God hasn’t left us and He blesses us each day. We have to keep our eyes on Him. Happy Birthday. It was so wonderful to hear all about your time home with your dad and family. Sounded like the perfect time. Yes…. no matter how old we get being home with parents makes us feel young again. Again thanks for this timely post and reminder to keep our joy.

  12. HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY TRACI! I hope that you had a great day. Beautiful pictures of you with your dad, Janet, and Cyndi. Yes, your step mom is so pretty. I’m glad that you had such a special weekend . Because Larry (my husband) is high risk due to the type of cancer he has, like your dad, we are having to be extra careful. It’s been over one year since he has seen his son, a fire fighter. Larry’s pulmonologist said that it’s okay for him to come visit for a couple of days, as long as he tests negative the day before and he wears a mask the whole time. We will finally get to see him next week. I refuse to let the chaos of our country drag me down. God is still in control and he always will be. God bless you!

  13. Happy Birthday, Traci!
    Thank you for this post, I have noticed that I had seemed to be less joyful of late. I had been praying about it this week. Making a point to thank the Lord for everything, little and big. It has helped as well. Thank you again for your post.

  14. Happy Birthday, Traci! So happy to read about your weekend with family. I haven’t seen my mom and dad since the pandemic started and miss them like crazy.
    Looking forward to tons of family time when this is all over! Enjoy your 50th, it’s the start of a great decade!!

  15. Happy Birthday, Traci!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful weekend. This year should remind us that people are most important.

  16. Oh Traci…..I loved this and seeing you and your Dad❤️. My Mom has been gone since Sept. 2014 but our Dad never remarried, he is 81 and still going strong! I am so close to my Dad and cherish those times as well. I spend EVERY Fathers Day with him (I have to fly) and may start spending every Christmas with him as well. I also feel like a kid again being around him and just would like to go back in time. Loved the photos❤️


  17. Happy Birthday!! 🎈 I love following you and your sister and feel like I am part of the family. I have learned so much from you both and look forward to your updates. I take all of your suggestions and copy and paste all of your quotes!! You have made my life better and I thank you greatly ❤️ I choose joy!

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