© Copyright 2019 by 
Carolyn M. Soto Jackson and Carolyn Marie Photography

Houston, TX

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This past weekend my company, Carolyn Marie Photography went out to Tuscan Hall in Austin to photograph a wedding. If any one of you know me, you know my favorite weekend trip is to go to Austin. 

 

Let's be honest, Houston is a mini version of Austin (or vice versa) and it is a wonderful place to get out and stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery. 

 

As much as it drives my husband nuts, I often request a weekend in good ole, ATX. This past weekend was not any different. We decided to leave a day early (Friday afternoon) and enjoy a whole day in Austin, photograph the wedding Saturday night, and enjoy Sunday with a nice hiking adventure, meet up with some friends and come home late Monday evening.

 

After photographing a wonderful wedding Saturday evening, we decided on a glass of congratulatory wine and an evening to ourselves at our Airbnb called the Southwest Austin Retreat.

 

Unfortunately, by the time we tore down from the wedding, HEB was just about to close and we were frantically trying to choose a wine because I'm quite new to the game.

 

So new, if the wine does not taste like freshly squashed sweet grapes, I'll be having a glass of sweet tea instead.

 

There we were, yelling over the aisles to one another, "Do you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio?"  

 

Having absolutely no idea what words came out of his mouth, we met in the middle and looked over the ingredients at both of our chosen wines. I held the Sauvignon Blanc and Dan was adamant about the Pinot Grigio. After careful deliberation, we went with his choice.

 

 

Napa Valley California 2018

 

We pulled in our Airbnb around midnight with every intention of having a smooth nightcap and getting ready for our long hike in the morning. We found beautiful Grape Creek Vineyard wine glasses in the cabinet and we made our way to our room, yawning the whole way.

 

Dan poured the beautiful yellow tinted liquid into my glass. As previously educated, I smelled, I spun and I sipped.

 

Dan instantly asked, "Do you like it?" as I could feel my face pucker up...two sips and my right eye began to squint.

 

P.S. NOT a Pinot Grigio fan.

 

Knowing this is a learning process, we giggled, capped the wine and decided to try another day. 

The following morning we checked out of our Airbnb in hopes our Sunday staycation home lined up would message us soon. We needed to drop off all of the camera gear before going to Pedernales Falls.

 

We watched our clocks, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., Noon, 1, nothing. We decided to message our friend and heard nothing back. We began to worry as time was flying by for hiking.

 

By 2 o'clock we decided to get on the road back to Houston. Reading Dan's face, he was feeling a little disappointed because of all of our plans had plummeted. On the way home, we cancelled our Sunday evening dinner plans with friends and Monday brunch with another set of friends.

 

What I could not help to notice was the peace which resided in my heart. 

 

As much as I wanted to be disappointed, I wasn't. I don't know why, but everything was okay. Our plans had failed but it was alright. I looked over at my long-faced husband and said, "Hey, this was a business trip, not a play trip." As much as I had planned, I was joyful for the experiences and grateful for being able to have a journey out of town, in my favorite Texas town and get paid for it. 

 

Not bad right? I didn't think so either!

 

We returned to Houston Sunday with plenty of time to spare so I tried to do my best to make Daniel feel better. I requested for one more round at the wine.

 

We headed to our local store and packed the basket with cheese, crackers, olives, garlic mushrooms and then we stumbled upon a ripe and seasoned individual named, Richard in the wine section. He stood maybe 5'4" and was the nicest, most patient man in the entire store.

 

Richard heard the sad weekend story and began his diligent journey with us. He began giving me a small tour around the aisles and mentioned a Moscato. With great eagerness, I boasted, "Oh, I'm not a Moscato girl anymore."

 

He chuckled and continued in great detail about "late harvest wines", all the benefits of red wines, and so on. I felt as though I was in class but continued listening intently while he educated us (me) in hopes we would go home with some tasty grapes, in liquid form of course.

 

Low and behold by the end of the forty five minute conversation and a bottle of wine in my hand, Richard wrapped up the conversation with, "When you start drinking big girl wines...

 

I burst into laughter. I could not believe a 60+ year old man bluntly discredited my Moscato graduation into white wine. Though he meant no harm, it was the perfect exit to get home and enjoy the reminder of the weekend in front of Netflix.

 

And that's exactly what we did.

Over the last few days I honed in on the fact that the weekend was not perfectly executed for Daniel and my pleasure. We were on a journey yes, but it was a business journey. God gave us a little time to spend with one another AND He also gave us time to make money.

 

Last weekend's adventure made me realize how much joy, peace and love I have when working with my husband.  Whether we're giggling in the HEB aisles at midnight or getting a serious lesson on wine from a man who picks on you. This time is essential between husband and wife. 

 

Whether it is in Houston, Austin or any other city, God will provie memorable opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally. Who knows, God may have had to blow all those plans for me to realize it's not always about play time in Austin.

 

So, instead of whining and pouting about the failed plans and maybe a half glass of bitter wine over the weekend, I decided to be grateful for a joyful journey and the intimate time God gave us to enjoy one another. At the end of the day, those precious moments are sweeter than any Moscato I've ever tasted! 

 

Here's to sweet tea!

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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