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  • Life list – Attend Round Top Antique Fair

    Last month, I flew to Austin, rented a 16 foot moving truck, and drove 75 miles southeast to Round Top, Texas.

    Twice a year, Round Top, population of 90 people, hosts a large vintage and antique fair. I read about this fair years ago on a blog and then was reminded last year when my friend, Nancy, posted some pictures of her adventures on Facebook. Then the owner of my favorite local furniture store, Found, told me that he purchased many items in his store from Round Top, so I knew I had to go. I planted the seed in Jeff’s ear of our need to travel to Texas to purchase some treasures.

    Jeff and I got rid of 80% of our belongings over the summer in anticipation of our move. We donated and sold our couch, table, excess clothing, and tons of kid’s toys and furniture. We really have adapted the motto of “If we don’t love it, we won’t live with it.” The purge was liberating.

    Jeff and I love industrial type furniture. Perhaps, it is because we have four children that play hard and we figure it’s the one type of furniture that can’t be destroyed easily. We really love natural materials such as metal and wood mixed with comfortable linens and fabrics. We gravitate to black, red, and white but love pops of color throughout our home including yellow, orange, and kelly green. Jeff and I agree that we want items in our home to tell a story. We want our children to feel a connection to our home and with the love and items it contains.

    Round Top lasts for 2 weeks but I had a limited amount of time to go, so I planned to specifically attend three events over three days, including the Ex-Cess show (free), Marburger Farm Antique Show ($20 admission), and The Big Red Barn event ($10 admission). There are scores of free shows set up in the middle of farm fields for a stretch of 22 miles. Yes, 22 miles and an estimated 2,500 dealers. My favorite unexpected stop was at Blueseeds. I will definitely be back to that show!

    And I definitely got my arrow fix in Round Top.

    Nancy was gracious in sending me maps of the event and I printed them out at my hotel and was ready the next morning as I headed to get Bessie, my 16 foot moving truck/friend, for the next five days.

    From the moment I landed in the Austin airport I noticed a change in people. A sense of wanting to help others permeated the airport, hotel, and the local Mexican restaurant. When the cabbie took me to the wrong Home Depot and dropped me off with my luggage, a Home Depot employee drove me 25 minutes to the right location. I was reminded of the good in people and how no one seemed bothered or put out to help another human being. To say it was refreshing would be an understatement. When the employee found out that I was alone (I was hesitant to tell him), he gave me a business card with his cell phone on the back. He insisted I call him if I got lost or had any trouble with my truck.

    As I embarked on my journey to Round Top in the moving truck, my excitement turned to a small bit of fear. The truck was massive, I couldn’t back up easily, and I had to learn to trust. Trust in my own abilities (not that of my husband or father) and that of my Father. Yes, prayers were said. It was no accident that I went on this trip. This trip was needed and Jeff sent me on this adventure as much for a journey of self discovery and believing in myself again, than seeking a kitchen and dining room table. Although sitting on a bare floor for meals probably helped Jeff’s decision in sending me to Texas.

    Round Top was worth the hype. It was industrial heaven with the perfect touch of vintage and modern if that possibly makes sense.

    I almost ran out of gas, but I made it. I got stuck in the mud, but I remembered Bo and Luke Duke’s sound advice on Dukes of Hazards and didn’t spin my wheels! As a result, I was able to be easily pulled out of the mud. Unlike the 4 other male drivers and their trucks who were still stuck the next day when I passed the tent. Should have been listening to Bo and Luke instead of looking at Daisy and her shorts!

    The 1200 mile drive home allowed me the opportunity to feel again. Feel alive. Feel tired. Feel scared. Feel bored. I listened to a cheesy murder mystery book on CD, which I loved. No purpose to the book except pure unadulterated pleasure. I refused to listen or read any self help books. I also sang at the top of my lungs to 80s music including my song #867-5309. Yes, it is about me.

    And when I got home, my kids were so excited to see me that they didn’t mind cleaning the furniture!

    I got to check two items off my life list with this trip: take a solo adventure and visit the Round Top Antique Fair. I highly recommend both.

    I came back with some great treasures (like the kitchen table and stools above), but most importantly I rediscovered my own person again. I faced my inner critic, Jane, head on and told her to leave. I also prayed to become bored with my problems. And it is working. I find myself sick and tired of thinking and talking about the injustices that have been dealt to me and my family. Everyone has problems dealt to them and I’m no different.

    We all will face adversity-> so learn from it, become bored with it, and then be grateful to get on with life. At least that is my current mantra. Note: Repeat 1,000 times until you believe it. And then when you are done with that, head to Round Top. I’ve planted in Jeff’s ear that we need to make the trip together in April for the Spring Show. Hope to see you there!

    Blessings sweet friends,




    Nice to have you back Jenny.

    I’m looking forward to getting some things ticked off my life list soon. In fact, l’m getting ready for a big 2013.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


    5 November 2012 at 3:16 am Reply

      2013 will be epic. But I’m still determined to live out the rest of 2012 with the same energy I started with. Good luck with your list!

      5 November 2012 at 7:43 am Reply
    Mary Beth

    You are very brave! And so is your family….to let you go, and trust that you would return home safely. Yay family!

    5 November 2012 at 7:25 am Reply

      Jeff was 100% behind it, but some of my family members were scared (and not thrilled) that I drove that far on my own. If it had been my daughter, I would have had my fears and doubts as well. So glad I went though – no regrets!

      5 November 2012 at 7:45 am Reply

    great post! just finished my first half marathon and battled my “jane” through several miles. will have to come up with a name for her. and i want that diver!!! my daughter is a diver, how cool would that be for her room! thanks for the simple inspiration that you share! xo

    5 November 2012 at 7:56 am Reply

      Congratulations on your finish! I’m currently huffing and shuffling along with my couch to 10K, but I’m showing progress.
      That diver was purchased by a lady who owns a lingerie shop. She plans to use it in her storefront window. Although I agree it would be supercool in a swimmer or diver’s room and I was a bit bummed that it had a sold sign when I spotted it.

      5 November 2012 at 8:01 am Reply

        one step at a time! 6 months ago i never would have thought i would have run a half at 48 years old, never having run a 10k even! keep going! :-)

        5 November 2012 at 8:52 am Reply
    Beth R

    Wow. You are very brave. I a certain that I have a defective link in my DNA chain regarding directions/maps. I have no idea how to read a map properly and my Tom-Tom is a nag. There are soooooo many places I will never see because I just have no way of finding my way there. Ikea is only 2 hrs away and I find myself begging someone to go with me because I am so certain I will get lost (not in an area you want to be lost and alone) so your trip both amazes me and scares the crap outta me ! More amazed actually , but my burning questions is “Will we get to see what you bought?” I LOVE the giant metal letters and would have had to find somewhere to display one or two.
    Wow. you are very brave.

    5 November 2012 at 8:04 am Reply

      Google map and my dad (who is amazing with directions) helped me map out the best route. Over the next few months you will be seeing different things I bought. I also bought a large dining room table but now that has turned into an extended DIY that I am pretty excited about. I promise to share everything – no secrets :)

      5 November 2012 at 8:11 am Reply

      Oh and that orange arrow – you might see that hanging in my living room one day!

      5 November 2012 at 8:15 am Reply
    Jen Kinkade

    I treasure every post that you share. Your heart is always there. I pray many blessing for you always. xo

    5 November 2012 at 9:53 am Reply

    I love it! Yeah for you for conquering your fears and for heading out on your own.

    I must admit that I am jealous. I live in Austin and have wanted to go to that show for years! It always seems to be when I am out of town or otherwise engaged. This year I had planned to go, but ended up becoming the wedding planner for my stepdaughter’s wedding a month before the event and it involved a long road trip home so I missed the show (but hey, the wedding was a success! :) ).

    I plan to go to the next one and would welcome the opportunity to meet up with you in Austin and/or in Round Top. BTW, did you visit the famous pie shop near that Airstream in your photos? Fun place and great pie!

    Keep on making your dreams come true, sista!

    7 November 2012 at 9:08 am Reply

      I didn’t visit that pie shop and am kicking myself for not going! And you know I would jump at the chance at getting together. I’ll let you know if Jeff and I are able to make it.

      9 November 2012 at 4:13 pm Reply

    So, as an 80′s music junkie, I just have to ask … is that song really about you? ;)

    P.S. Congrats on your AMAZING adventure! It feels SO good to have an adventure on your own once in a while, yes? Nothing like getting lost, almost running out of gas and getting stuck in the mud to make you feel ALIVE and one with human kind. That first photo … the one with all the dove-tail wooden boxes has me drooling. Heavily. Did you find a dining room table?

    P.P.S. I have missed you. I hope you’ll come back and visit us more often. I need you to get through this deployment. :)

    P.P.P.S. Okay, back to real life. I’ll be busy wang-chunging if you need me.

    7 November 2012 at 7:05 pm Reply

      Yes, I truly believe that song is about me. :) I did find a dining room table and I love, love it! I am building another top for it and will show a DIY hopefully in the next 4 – 6 weeks.
      Keep moving forward as I know deployments are difficult. I went through it as a child and I saw how difficult it was on my mom and I’m sure I didn’t know the half of it.
      Glad to be back to blogging – I missed you guys too.

      9 November 2012 at 4:17 pm Reply

    Jenny, your posts are truly inspired. You write with such an insight that only someone who is inspired could be. Sometimes I look back at my own writing and think, “I have drifted.” But following your journey has encouraged me so much and seeing that we live in the same state has given me courage. -love Alexis

    7 November 2012 at 9:22 pm Reply

      Thank you – very, very kind words. Keep at writing – I do believe that writing is part inspiration, but also consistent practice and hard work. What part of the state do you live in?

      9 November 2012 at 4:18 pm Reply

        Tucson, but I am an ASU graduate (and I graduate from nursing school in May) :)

        9 November 2012 at 4:43 pm Reply
    cathy stolze

    You are a Rockstar!!! : )

    7 November 2012 at 10:10 pm Reply

    What an amazing adventure! I don’t think I’d have the courage.

    7 November 2012 at 11:30 pm Reply
    Theresa-Garden Antqs Vintage

    hello, I just found your site and loved seeing all the great things at Round Top. I’m at Marburger Farm and I’m also the one does their blog as well as my own blog. If you head this way again, please stop in and say hello and I too would like to offer my assistance if you are ever at the show and have questions, I’d love to help. Also, when you blog about Marburger Farm you’ll be able to sign up for a free ticket. If you come back in the Spring please let us know that you’ve blogged about the show and I’ll make sure to provide the link for a free ticket, Theresa http://gardenantqs.blogspot.com/ and http://marburgerfarmshow.blogspot.com/

    19 December 2012 at 9:50 am Reply
    Sandi ~ A Cottage Muse

    Saw your blog on Pinterest and am sooo glad I stopped in! LOVE this post…totally inspired me ~ thank you, thank you!
    New fan!!

    13 April 2013 at 4:41 am Reply
    Anne Marie

    my friend Mary mentioned you on Pinterest… this is a great post about round top yes, but I very much enjoyed reading your story and learning from your inner strength to change…
    it’s very nice to meet you-
    xo + blessings,
    Anne Marie

    13 April 2013 at 6:52 am Reply
    Diane Walser

    Just read your story. You go girl!!! You are very inspiring. I loved your story about the trip to Round Top. You did such a good job describing your experience there. My cousin and I have a booth in Warrenton just down from Ex-Cess. We call ourselves the Two Funky Cousins. When you make it back down to the show come see us.

    14 April 2013 at 6:16 am Reply

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