Kevin and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Texas. We went to help my very special Aunt Mary Ellen celebrate her 80th birthday! Can you believe it? This is Mary Ellen with her sweet friend Scotty…I’m hoping that I’m loaded with her genes (and her wisdom and her elegance and her grace…)!

We’ve actually been thinking a lot about what we want our retirement years to look like and where we want to live them out, and without question, both of us want to go home to Texas. So, we decided that we would also use this trip to look for land – better to buy now while it’s semi-affordable! We decided that we wanted to be down in Hill Country (around Austin/San Antonio, for you non-Texans!). We spent an amazing few days in and around Fredericksburg, enjoying small town life, driving around on beautiful land, relaxing in a cozy stone guest house and relishing each other’s undivided attention. It was sublime! If this was a preview of retirement, I’d like to start now!

I know it seems early to think about, but we’re really at that stage of life where we’re thinking about what might be next. Kevin calls this time of our lives the “adventure years”. Truly it is, as we both are wondering where God will lead us and what He has in store. I’m not only delighted, but I’m also keenly aware of how blessed we are to still really enjoy each other’s company. One thing we’ve always done well is make time together a priority (Kevin started this when Maddie was 1 1/2 weeks old!). It was time well- spent, an investment in our future that helped insure that we would still have something to talk about when the kids left home. Take this as a big tip if you’re reading this before you tuck your kids in bed!

My Aunt Mary Ellen spent a wonderful life with her husband Frank. Even though she outlived him, she has remained a vital contributor, influential in her church and her family, vibrant and full of life. I hope God will use us in the same way in this next part of our lives and that we will look as happy as Mary Ellen and her friend, Scotty, as we chase our grandkids around our Hill Country home!