2 Days in Nashville with Rob Bell

Several months ago I saw an event posted on Rob Bell’s website (my other favorite author) advertising 2 days with him in Nashville.

If you’re a little fuzzy on my latest author obsession, check out this post as a refresher.

I immediately called Husband and asked if he’d watch our kid for 2 nights to accommodate my solo field trip. He happily obliged, and I quickly bought a ticket for fear of them selling out.

As the date approached, I got more and more nervous…would I be able to make this 3 hour drive on my own? What about eating by myself? Checking into my hotel? Could I handle it? To ease some of my worries, I made sure I booked dinner reservations at some highly recommended spots (thanks to my friend S for hooking me up!) and had clear directions to the hotel, event venue, and around town.

I arrived in Nashville safe and sound on Sunday afternoon. My first stop was the Johnny Cash Museum (if you’re even a minimal fan of The Man in Black, I HIGHLY recommend it) then I headed to dinner. I relaxed for over an hour, sipping a cocktail and people watching. Because when you’re used to constant potty breaks, games of “I spy”, and continually convincing your kid to finish those last 4 bites of macaroni on their plate, you relish time alone.

I shopped a bit after dinner and went back to my hotel to enjoy an early bedtime in the king size bed.

I woke up bright and early Monday morning to grab breakfast at a favorite local place, Frothy Monkey, before heading over to the event. Thanks to Husband’s suggestion, I also experienced Uber for the first time on this trip and it did not disappoint.

I arrived with hot coffee in hand, ready to take notes at 3rd and Lindsley. Rob makes a point to only do events in non-religious spaces. His view is that he doesn’t want to bring a group of people into a space that has previously been co-opted, such as a church, that could make audience members feel uncomfortable or cause someone to not want to attend because they ‘don’t belong’ there. Yes, he is a pastor. Yes, he at one time had 10,000 congregants at Mars Hill. But as we learned over these 2 days…the world is the temple. Every space is holy.

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I found a table near the front and met a nice girl that I also ended up sitting with the following day. She had graduated from Seminary and recently taken a job at a church in Ohio. I had assumed the majority of the audience for the event would be folks that worked in churches, were pastors, and/or had attended Seminary. From the chatter I heard in the crowd, it sounded like quite a few folks fit my expectations, but there were also lots of people like me there – enamored with the work Rob Bell is doing, and desiring to be around other folks who felt the same way.

His talk began just after 9:00 am, broke for lunch around 12:00, and ended at 4:00 pm. Between Monday and Tuesday, I took around 16 pages of notes. Yes, like with the Glennon visit in June, I wrote down nearly everything I heard. He is incredibly intelligent but also very relatable. He talked about everything from atoms to spiral dynamics (fascinating stuff – check it out!) over the course of those 2 days, not to mention a break for Taylor Swift’s Instagram and a bit about the Kardashians. He took tons of questions from the audience and was more than happy to sign autographs and take photos.

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I had an absolutely amazing time on my much-needed solo trip to Nashville. Having met both of my idols this year, I could honestly die a happy woman now. But no one would want that – then there’d be no more Lindsay Overshares!

Thanks for coming along on this ride with me, and if you’re headed to Nashville anytime soon, be sure to let me know so I can tell you all about my favorite restaurants!

Until next time,

LHB

 

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Asheville, I Think I Love You

Our second anniversary “Lindsay’s Birthday Trip to Asheville” was amazing! Dying to learn more? Read on…

We made our first pilgrimage without Boo in 2016 and knew immediately this should become a family tradition. We booked our hotel for 2 nights this time, since last year’s one night proved to be not quite long enough.

On Friday morning, we packed up the car and headed east. First, to the hot new local breakfast joint Scrambled Jake’s. I had a naan breakfast pizza that was delicious and coffee that was to die for. Husband was happy with his giant Belgian waffle and Boo liked her biscuit dipped in honey.

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Around lunch time we found ourselves in the parking lot of Sierra Nevada Brewery, one of my favorite places on the planet. We ordered a flight and headed to the patio to enjoy the light breeze and delightful 81 degree August weather.

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After discovering a new favorite beverage, Kellerweis, we finished up our order and headed back to the hotel.

We sped through dinner in an attempt to make it to a local hot spot (with a new storefront) that I’d long been following on Instagram, Sunshine Sammies. We first experienced them years ago at Dogwood Arts Festival (for a refresher on how much I love this annual event, check this post) and were elated when they opened up a store in one of our favorite towns. Their homemade ice cream sandwiched between freshly baked cookies should not be missed if you find yourself looking for dessert (or any kind of treat for that matter) in Asheville!

On Saturday, the day was devoted to our visit at Biltmore. We arrived for our house entrance time early, and having not anticipated the chilly morning weather, I was super grateful that the staff allowed us to exchange our ticket for an earlier entry. We tried to get through the house as quickly as possible, as Boo was not very interested. We managed to finish the tour in about an hour. She did great, and we got out of the way of the enormous crowds gathering as we were finishing up.

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We enjoyed lunch on property, at the delightful Village Social. The service, food, and drinks were all top notch! I liked it so much that a future visit will definitely include eating here and likely staying at the Village Hotel.

Next, for the fun! After lunch, our time consisted of checking out the grounds, letting Boo play, visiting the petting zoo area, and shopping. I insisted on visiting the Winery, which of course turned into gaining a Wine Club membership, not to mention annual passes!

We ended the evening with dinner at The Bistro, then headed back to our hotel to crash after a long and productive day.

Sunday morning we got up and out the door quickly, as I knew our favorite breakfast place (discovered on the prior year’s visit) would fill up fast. We waited in line for about 45 minutes to place our order and be assigned our table at Biscuit Head. It was totally worth the wait. If you like biscuits, or homemade jams and jellies, or delicious coffee…definitely include this stop on your itinerary. It’s amazing!

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This trip certified our love for the city of Asheville, and we can’t wait to go back!

Until next time,

LHB

P.S. You can bet now that we are annual passholders, I am already making plans for our family to attend Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore in December. Look for that post on Lindsay Overshares this winter.

 

All is Well with My Soul: A Lesson in Why You Need to take that Girls Trip

Near the end of June I was afforded the fantastic opportunity to visit my best friend A in her home of Hilton Head Island, SC.

A and I have been friends since college. We got to be really close several years ago, but then life took her to HHI. She seems to love it there, and being able to visit such a neat place is great – but I think we would both agree it has gotten harder to make time for each other now that true adulting has really set in (she & her husband travel all the time for work and Husband & I have our Boo).

I finally decided in the late spring that I wasn’t going to let our distance get in the way of seeing each other anymore (& let’s face it – over time, she’s done a much better job of visiting us then we have or visiting her). I bought a plane ticket and started planning my outfits.

I flew into the HHI airport, which is teeny for those who have not ever arrived there. I spent the entire flight talking to the girl sitting next to me, a 20-something chef from Denver who was brilliant & had lots to say. I’m usually the “headphones in, don’t talk to me” type on airplanes, but she was so friendly & interesting I couldn’t miss the opportunity. We definitely got some side eye from other passengers due to the noisy plane & the necessity to talk to each other pretty loudly…but I don’t think either one of us cared.

I arrived on Friday afternoon. A picked me up and we immediately made a bee line for the closest Target, as I realized I had forgotten my precious charger at home. Leave it to me to make my first stop on my anxiously-awaited weekend island getaway be Target!

Later on, we met her husband for some fresh seafood at Bluffton Seafood House, based on the recommendation of their friend. Turns out neither one of them had been before, but it was delightful! After dinner, A was thoughtful enough to drive me around in search of some local craft beer. I didn’t end up finding any, but I followed the recommendation of the guys at the shop we found and picked up this bourbon barrel-aged Tangerine Quad by Avery Brewing. It was amazing! If that sounds like your sort of thing – definitely try to find some.

We stayed up “late” (maybe midnight by this always-tired Momma’s  memory) on Friday  night talking about the big stuff…our current life paths, our futures, how we’re going to keep our friendship strong. It was much-needed and much enjoyed.

On Saturday morning, we ventured back over to Bluffton to have breakfast at the cutest little place called The Cottage. It was delicious. A’s tea was served in a kettle wrapped in a handmade coozie! I can’t recommend this place enough if you’re up  & around early (they’re quite small, so you could face a wait). And you know me, I can’t leave a quaint shop that sells coffee mugs without bringing one home. It was my first official (non-Target) purchase of the trip!

Next up we ventured to the Spartina 449 flagship store. I had been lusting after these linen and leather accessories for what seemed like forever, but I just couldn’t make the decision to purchase. Being in the store changed all of that. I left with 2 beautiful bags (summer and fall, of course) and coordinating wallets…one was even on sale! Since coming home, they’ve become by favorite bags and I can’t wait for the next season to start so I can carry another new one.

On Saturday afternoon we found ourselves on Hilton Head Island to do some touristy shopping. I had to visit Salty Dog Cafe as Husband & Boo needed some trinkets from my trip, too! We wandered around for a while, but then found ourselves hot, tired, parched, & hungry. I bellied up to the bar and ordered a new-to-me beer, Bell’s Oberon.  You know me, I fell in love with it immediately. If you like wheat ale with a little hop and a little fruit, give this one a try. It’s an easy summer sipper, for sure.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to rest, relaxation, and of course more eating. I had local seafood at every opportunity and my time spent with A and her husband could not have been better.

I will definitely try to make this trip an annual, or at least more often, occurrence. If you’re on the fence about going on that much needed getaway, I can’t recommend it highly enough. You will enjoy it. Your friend(s) will enjoy it. What have you got to lose?

Until next time,

LHB

The Bible According To Rob Bell

I recently saw a post on Instagram from my beloved Glennon Doyle about fellow author Rob Bell‘s latest book and the profound impact it had on her. It’s called What is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything.

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Courtesy of Missio Alliance

The title of the book intrigued me, so I chose to use 1 book credit on my new Audible account (thanks, Amazon Prime Day) to purchase it. The audiobook is around 6.5 hours long. I began listening to it in the car last week, and now I refuse to listen to anything else until I’ve completed it. I love Rob’s narration and his interpretation of the Bible.

I will let you look into him on your own and come to your own conclusions about what he believes, his interpretation of the Bible, and his theological background. I will say that what this New York Times best-selling author and former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church is saying really resonates with me and I am definitely interested in checking out more of his books.

In my initial Google searches, I realized Rob would be coming to speak at our fantastic Bijou Theatre this week. I jumped at the chance to go, and after confirming that Husband was not traveling for work this week, started scoping out ticket options. I convinced him to join me for a week-night date and we were off.

Most people from Knoxville, who have gotten the chance to attend a show at the Bijou, love it. The acoustics are amazing and the venue feels quaint and allows a more personal connection with the artist or performer, despite being able to accommodate 700 people when at full capacity.

Rob Bell was no exception. Despite sitting in the balcony, a few rows up, we could still see him perfectly. As I found out, he’s also REALLY tall, so that definitely helped. The rest of the audience seemed to enjoy him as well, with lots of “amens”, hoots, and affirmations shared loudly throughout the night. His speech was nearly 2 hours long and I hung on every word. I am so glad I didn’t miss this opportunity!

Rob’s book and subsequent speech has sparked in me a desire to work harder on my own spiritual path and I am forever grateful. If this has piqued your interest, I would encourage you to check him out. If not, please look forward to another installment of Lindsay Overshares soon!

Until next time,

LHB

That Time I Met Momastery

Many months ago my friend B and I discussed going to see one of our favorite authors, Glennon Doyle, speak at the keynote session of the 2017 Innovations in Behavioral Healthcare conference in Nashville, TN.

We had never been on a trip like this together and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go through with it – inevitably Boo would get sick, or Husband would be traveling with work, or something would cause me to not be able to go. I reserved the hotel and registered for the conference with cautious, hopeful, excitement.

But nothing terrible happened. We got to go. On Father’s Day, B and I loaded up my Fiat and headed west. We arrived at the hotel and went around the corner to enjoy dinner at Merchants. I’d been able to snag us dinner reservations on the first floor, the bistro, and it was fabulous! I highly recommend checking this place out if you’re heading to the area. I will definitely be going back at my next opportunity.

The next morning, we were up bright and early to get ready for the day’s events. The conference provided an excellent breakfast, so we chowed down and B, a social worker, loaded up on literature to take back for co-workers.

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We headed upstairs to the event, as we were both anxious to get seats and I wanted to make sure to have all of the details surrounding the invitation only VIP meet and greet I had managed to get us both into.

Earlier in the week, I had reached out to the conference to request a copy of the agenda, and mentioned that a friend and I were coming in from out of town specifically to hear Glennon speak. Having heard that her meet and greets can last for hours and be completely spectacular, I asked the conference organizer if there would be a meet and greet at this event. It turns out there was, and I was extended an invitation. I asked if B could join as well, and they graciously agreed.

The meeting room was smaller than I anticipated, but turned out to be appropriately sized for the group. Glennon and her wife Abby Wambach sat 2 rows ahead of us while she was being introduced. Glennon came on stage with the interviewer, each seated in a plush chair, and began talking.

Glennon told her story of addiction and recovery, with content familiar to those who have read her books Carry On, Warrior and Love Warrior. Despite knowing much of what she was going to say before she said it, hearing her speak was still amazing and enlightening. I took 7 pages of notes! A lot of her talk seemed to resonate with B in her work life as well, so I was very glad for that, too.

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IIBH gave Glennon a soccer jersey that read Doyle & had Abby’s number on it.

After their discussion concluded, we joined a small group of people in a different room for the meet and greet. I had brought hard-copies of both of her books with me, as I had originally read them on my Kindle.

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When it was my turn to meet her, I nearly started crying. I have followed her work for several years, and absolutely love her message. When she signed my books, she picked up on things I had mentioned that she’s famous for saying, that really resonated with me. She inscribed each copy – “first the pain, then the rising” and “we can do hard things.” I told her that some of her ideas have revolutionized my style of parenting, and we discussed my amazing daughter. It was a fabulous experience that I will not soon forget and I am so grateful to have gotten to enjoy it alongside one of my dearest friends.

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Until next time,

LHB

 

Sweet Summertime

Summertime is always the best of what might be. – Charles Bowden

I love summertime. I know it’s getting close when I book my first “blonde highlights” appointment with my hairdresser. The days are longer, there’s more sunlight, and a general feeling of contentment begins to fill my days.

A couple of weekends ago, was the perfect summer weekend for us. It was exhausting and will be hard to live up to, but we will do our best to try in the weeks we have left.

On Friday after work, I took Boo over to Oak Ridge for the Secret City Festival. I was specifically going to see one of my favorite bands, The Black Lillies, perform. I’d seen on the event schedule that there were some children’s activities so I knew we’d want to check those out, too.

This was our first visit to the festival, now in it’s 35th year. It’s my understanding that the programming was a little different than in previous years – but we still had a blast!

The Cattywampus Puppet Council kept us entertained after dinner followed by Dave Eggar and his friends.

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Husband was in the process of flying home after a week of work travel, so we were thrilled that he ended up being able to join us for the fun.

After some playtime at their amazing area park, I tore Boo away from the fun to check out the reason I’d come to the festival – The Black Lillies performance. It was fabulous. We can’t wait for the 2018 schedule of events to be released, and hopefully will be able to attend at least one day.

On Saturday, we visited Dollywood with friends. We recently bought our first-ever family season passes and were anxious to put them to use. We had a wonderful day playing, eating, and enjoying great company. We are already planning our return trip!

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On Sunday, we ventured over to the pool near our new house where I’ve purchased a summer membership. Our first visit was on Memorial Day and it was just a bit too chilly in the water for my liking. At this visit, with temps over 80 degrees, the weather was just right, perfect for an afternoon of swimming.

We left hot, tired, and hungry so we called it quits early. All 3 of us love spending time together at the pool, and Boo is getting more adventurous and confident. We look forward to a summer spent snacking and swimming as much as possible!

What have you been up to this summer? What’s your favorite way to enjoy this time of year? Tell me about it in the comments!

Until next time,

LHB