Friday, December 14, 2018

Love at First Sight

We fell madly in love in High School.  We were inseparable.  It was love at first sight.  The kind of immature, crazy, head over heels, passionate love you have at 15 and 16 years old.  But deep and binding.  Today, we celebrate 25 years of the cataclysmic day that we first met.

We've celebrated the day - the anniversary of the day we met - with a lot of nostalgia over the last 25 years.  It was our first celebration of the importance and significance of our life together.  As incredible and special of a day that it was - it's also very scandalous and so over the years, we've made a point to re-live the tiny details of that day so that we never forget.  As we've shared the story over the years, friends and family have laughed with us, some have even blushed.  It's our perfectly imperfect story.

*One Year Anniversary

Monday, November 5, 2018

An Inflamed Soul

For anyone who has struggled with illness - whether the physical kind or the hidden, often (unknown to others) mental kind, then I think you can relate to the feelings in this poem below.  I wrote it at a time that I was struggling, particularly with my Celiac Disease.  But, I had felt similar feelings throughout several health obstacles in my life.  When I was 23, I was diagnosed with Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy.  At the time, I was in Congestive Heart Failure and struggling with fast, abnormal heart rhythms.  The diagnosis was transcendent - I was shattered, sick and scared. 

And then the exploratory phase begins after such a diagnosis - tests, doctor after doctor, multiple opinions, this explanation, that explanation.  And all the while, you just want to feel better, to feel normal again.  So, you push ahead and walk the line and dig in to fight before it gets the best of you.  But, in all the doctors offices or hospitals, no one ever said, "How are you feeling, mentally?"  I wish they had.  Because I believe if someone had done so, it would have helped prepare me for the anxiety and depression I would feel over the course of the rest of my life. 

 So, for anyone struggling, maybe you can relate to how I felt the day I wrote this.  For me, I just had to release what was in my head at the time.  Hope others will do the same - put it down on paper, share your feelings with someone, or ask for help.  There are so many of us struggling and my advice is just this - surround yourself with LOVE, pray for GRACE and be KIND to yourself and others. 

An Inflamed Soul

I'm pushing all my pain, my fears, my insecurities deep into the center of my being.

My soul is swollen and inflamed and ugly.

My infrastructure, my boisterous imagery, my demons and friends, and my magnified heart are crushing me.

Straighten yourself out, I cried.

Fall into me, I moaned.

I am a monster.  I am unsightly.  I am repulsive.

You're simply you.  With a little mileage and heaviness.  Your stance is poor.  Your mind is fragile.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Escaping to the woods

On a random Tuesday, Ronald said, "Let's get out of here.  Let's go play!"  Since we moved to the farm last year, we've purchased two 4-wheelers.  Both have been pivotal for various things around the farm.  But, we had never had the chance to use them for fun.  Spontaneity and childish merriment are two qualities I'm enjoying these days.  I'm left with more time for working on these qualities since I gave up working on my athleticism.  (Just kidding - I never worked on athleticism.  It evaded me.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


It's been 12 years since you passed and I've missed you every day.  I feel your presence around me often.  And, I know your prayers are still protecting me.  I picture you smiling your sweet smile down on me.  On all of us.  You are special and so beloved.

The majority of my memories of you are from my childhood in Texas.  I've experienced so much of my adulthood without you.  If you could see me now, on this farm, you'd be so happy.  And while the meaning of "farm" means two different things from where you lived and where I live now, they still hold the same sentiment.  There's a lot of age and maturity and experience for me between the two farms now.  As a child, going to the farm meant going to see Memaw and Pa and hours upon hours of making mud pies and chasing lightning bugs with cousins.  Homemade biscuits and gravy every morning and the most amazing pallet to sleep on at night.  (In Texas, ya'll know a pallet is a makeshift bed stacked high with your grandmother's old quilts, right?)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Caromont Farm

 On our twentieth wedding anniversary, we found ourselves in Charlottesville en route to a family celebration in Maryland, and wanted to do something unique.  Since we've moved to our farm, we have been enthusiastically and cautiously considering what kind of animals we'd like to have.  Our neighbors consist of cows and goats and we've enjoyed watching them in their glorious being, all the while protected from the reality of raising them.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Involved May

'Twas an involved May.  Full of celebrations and family gatherings.  Here's the beautiful sum of it all . . . Nothing but Genuine Love from here . . .

We are celebrating a huge occasion in the Lovell family - our first baby!  Our Brother and Sister-in-Law are due late July and the entire family is over the moon excited for them.  We celebrated Baby Henry with a Baby Shower at Glenwood Park.  It was precious and intimate - with close friends and family.  #LovedAlready

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


On a recent medical excursion to UVA in Charlottesville, we opted for a less traditional hotel experience and chose to stay in a Flat in the hip Belmont neighborhood.  We chose the Belmont Flat from  They curate special homes in and around Cville - from apartments to 10 bedroom estates.  The homes available on the website are hand-selected by Stay Charlottesville's team.  And most seem to emanate an air of Virginia - classic but modern and cool.  High five to the interior designers who "blessed" these homes.   

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Winter Wonderland

One of the things I missed the most about West by God Virginia was enjoying all four seasons.  And, I have loved every single minute of this Winter!!!!  I believe there's nothing more stunning than a snowscape.  Cover something ugly in a bit of the white stuff, and its stunning.  But take something already stunning and then add a good 6 inches of the heavy white stuff and its awe inspiring!  Happily snowed in on the farm for the last 4 days and not even an itch of cabin fever.  This is definitely my happy place.  Riley likes the white stuff too - it's like having a fresh snow-cone every step you take.  

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Homemade Tomato Sauce

I've always been a recipe kind of cook.  Basically, I can't cook SHIT without a recipe.  I envy the people who can just whip up a dinner from scratch.  How do they do that?  Recipes that I've made for 10+ years still require me to make note of the ingredients and the measurements.  Is that my OCD?  Or, remnants of the concussion I suffered years ago?  I don't know - but I'm proud to share an amazing tomato sauce that I whipped up all by myself - no recipe!  It's a "Farm to Table" recipe - and in that I mean, somebody else's Farm to my Table. And, you basically, just throw stuff in the pot.

For starters, make sure you have an abundance of tomatoes.  Roma tomatoes are the best, in my opinion.  But, try what you've got - can't go wrong!  Heat a Dutch Oven with Olive Oil, add a bit of minced garlic and some diced onions.  And start chopping those tomatoes!  Chop and chop until you feel like you have enough for whatever dinner you're making.  Let it simmer on Low for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add some fresh Basil or Italian Seasonings.  And, Salt.  Can't go wrong with Salt.

And, in less than 2 hours, you have an amazing homemade tomato sauce that you can add to spaghetti, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, chicken parmesan or your favorite soup!  My best advice though, regardless of what you're making, is that it pairs well with wine.  Cheers!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Mom and Dad

Let me tell you a story about my Mom and Dad.  I’m sitting around one day drinking some wine – the day that my Dad came home from a 5 day hospitalization for bronchitis.  And all of a sudden, I realize that I haven’t been crazy worried about my Dad this week.  Not that I didn’t care.  I did.  I called and talked to him every day.  I got a blow by blow from him on what medicine he had taken, the bowel movements he’d had, and the Doctors prognosis and how they came to that conclusion based on these tests that they performed and an update on his latest roommate and what condition he was in and that he had overheard the nurse asking this interesting fella about where he was from . . . (and on and on and on . . . ) 

and I chit-chatted with Mom as she ran errands in her cute little car and her cute little outfit and “Wouldn’t it be nice to get a coke on ice?”, and “I have to get my hearing aid checked when I leave here”, and “Did you know Madison is still running a fever”, and “How’s Riley doing since his vet appt yesterday?” . . . . (and I got regular updates from Mom on how they were both doing.)

And then he came home, and you’re all like YAY – Dad can get in his recliner and take a long nap, and Mom will bring him soup and remind him to take his medicine, even though he had already set his alarm for when he needed to take his medicine and that alarm had already gone off and he had already taken that medicine.