Happy July 9th!

Can’t we celebrate every day like it’s a holiday?
Every day is special, after all.
Special, and fragile.
Full of opportunity, and inspiration.
Don’t forget to seize it!

Take last Thursday for instance.
Sure, it could have just been another Thursday.
Just another “July 2nd”…two days before the real holiday.
But it wasn’t!
Because I made a conscious effort to make it special, and inspiring.

And it all had to do with a certain New York Times best-selling author named Mary Kay.

That afternoon, my Mom, Kevin and I headed out for a fun adventure none of us had ever experienced before.

As we made our way west on the I-10, the sky in front of us slowly began to look like a giant bruise, and the shades of red, blue and purple all played backdrop to a dark and mountainous thunderhead.
But the storm didn’t deter us as we made our way towards the charming, seaside town of Fairhope, Alabama.

Thank goodness, the torrential rain didn’t start until after we had reached our destination.

It was a quaint, two-level bookstore called “Page & Palette”.
It wasn’t long after we arrived that a relentlessly fierce gust of wind ripped a tree clean in half on the sidewalk, right outside the store.
Now normally I would have been panic-stricken with all the destruction carrying on outside.
But not this day.
This day, I was completely captivated by Mary Kay’s voice as she read excepts from her newest novel-
“The Fixer Upper”.

The atmosphere in the small room we all gathered in upstairs was electric, and it wasn’t because of the lightning. Mary Kay proceeded to tell us about how she developed some of the characters in the book. She shared interesting and humorous anecdotes about her life, and her house she calls, “Breeze Inn”, on Tybee Island, in Georgia.

(Mary Kay’s home, “Breeze Inn”)

One of my favorite stories she told, was the one about her trip through Tennessee on the previous Tuesday. One of her Facebook friends directed her to an antique store along her route, called “Rare Bird”.

(Mary Kay and her new friends at Rare Bird in Goodlettsville, TN)

As soon as she mentioned that she filled an old suitcase full of treasures from the shop, I was dying to know what was inside! Of course when Mary Kay began to take questions, I raised my hand to ask.

She delightfully answered my question, first describing how thrilled she was by a booth that had been decorated for the 4th of July. She said the booths owner was a talented folk artist, and that she bought one of his handmade Uncle Sam dolls, completely made from vintage textiles. The little guy was even holding a vintage box of sparklers! She also bought a vintage black-and-white photograph, taken at the beach. But the pièce de résistance, was a 1920s, wool, one-piece bathing suit, ready for framing, and displaying at the Breeze Inn!

(Another vintage bathing suit, on display at the Breeze Inn)

I went to Books-A-Million yesterday, here in Prattville, and was so excited to see that “The Fixer Upper” is now at #6 on the New York Times Best-Seller list.

Congratulations Mary Kay!

Thank you for sharing your amazing gift with all of us, and thank you for making July 2nd such an thrilling day for me. I was inspired to the very edges of my soul!

(Mary Kay Andrews, telling me about the color she painted Breeze Inn)

(Mary Kay Andrews and me, smiling for Mr. LC)

Click here to win a weekend at the Breeze Inn, courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com!

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