A Break from the Barnyard


It is almost 9:00 p.m. here in Central Texas and the sky is still lit up with hues of pink, purple, and blue.  The anticipation is building as The Outdoorsman and I prepare to go on our first-ever out-of-state vacation with just the two of us.  No, I’m not kidding.  We have been married for almost thirteen years, but due to our blended family situation and the thousands of miles of driving we did to retrieve The Trooper for weekend visits when we lived almost 200 miles from her south of Houston, we have never traveled farther than an hour or two away for a brief, overnight vacation.

We are heading to Missouri for a fun vacation, a much-anticipated wedding,  and the start of a new venture on our ranch.  Since the day we decided to purchase Green Acres, I have researched animals I wanted to raise here so we are combining a trip to my cousin’s wedding in Missouri with a trip to pick up our first three registered Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep.  We could not be more excited about the upcoming days.

While we are there, we will be staying at my mother’s lifelong best friend’s house for two days and then a super cool bed-and-breakfast that is situated above none other than a combination antique and coffee shop.  I’m not making this up, people.   My dream combination of shops is right below our sleeping accommodations!  I could not be more excited.  To top off the amazing days of traveling, we will be visiting Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Missouri for one of the days we are there.  The Outdoorsman will be in heaven, no doubt, the entire time we are looking around the Bass Pro Shops dream world.

The highlight of the trip will be watching my younger cousin marry his longtime girlfriend.  They are both so sweet and absolutely perfect for one another and will make a wonderful life together.  To make things even better, they both are blessed with amazing families and friends to support them on their journey.  In addition to celebrating my cousin’s marriage, I am super happy to be visiting my mother’s home state of Missouri.  I could not be more excited to see my uncle, his entire family, and many of the Missouri cousins I haven’t seen in years.

While we are out-of-town, a good friend of ours is experiencing what we hope is a relaxing “farm-cation” on our ranch. I have read about “farm-cations” where a family pays to have a farm experience for a week or two, so we decided to see if our friends would be interested in staying here for a little farm adventure in exchange for helping us out with our animals while we are gone.  He and his sweet wife eagerly volunteered to feed and care for our cows, donkeys, pigs, chickens, dogs, and cats for the five days we will be gone.  The husband will be the main caretaker staying here caring for the animals while we are on our vacation to Missouri. We will pray that all goes smoothly for him at the ranch while he is here and he gets some much-needed relaxation and study time in while we are away.  We gave him a tour of the ranch, a list of the feeding schedules, and advice about dealing with some of our ornery animals.  (We have three donkeys.  There is a reason people are called @*# when they are difficult.  Donkeys can be EXTREMELY stubborn and difficult at times. My husband regularly questions why I still have the donkeys!)   I have promised to provide sweet tea and coffee for our friend while he is here which he claims is all he needs for the days ahead.  What a blessing this family has been to us since we moved to Lexington over a year ago!  Thank you, God, for this friendship.

Not much else needs to be said.  Our first vacation ever without our three children. Sweet friends who volunteered to hold down the ranch.  Seeing friends and family we haven’t seen in years.  Picking up adorable lambs on our way home.  What else could we hope for on our break from the barnyard?

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