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The leaves are finally starting to turn here in my corner of the Smoky Mountains. As we wrap up the month of October, I wanted to share a few of my favorites this month.

Something LOVED

October is the celebration of the first day Jay and I met. I’ve shared our story many times over the years. I hope its one I never grow tired of telling. Check out my thoughts , shared on October 13th of this year – the 13th anniversary of our first date. AKA – our dateversary or our 156th monthiversary.

My darling and I at the Thomas Rhett concert, just a few days before our 156th monthiversary

Something SAID

Can you unzip me and hand me my beer?

Jason O.

This past weekend, Jay and I headed to Nashville for one night of “Halloween Havoc.” A friend of his from college is a hard core fan of the holiday, and plans a different party each night leading up to October 31st.

Werewolf and Gnome

Last year we joined the gang (made up of people who each know her, but often don’t know one another) for Mythical Creature night. This year the only night that worked for our schedule was Inflatable Animal night.

Not sure what the Polar Bear is doing to Jay.

Unfortunately for Jay, this meant a gorilla costume without an opening for his face. If you and I ever get a chance to meet in person, have me tell you the story of why I chose him to be the gorilla. Let’s just say I chalked his costume issues up to karma.

Although we were among the last to sign up for animals, no one had chosen to be a sloth. I loved my costume. I got rave reviews all night, not to mention the ease of having a costume with an opening for my face.

Something LEARNED

Sometimes, doing a bit of homework can make life more fun. No really!

Concert season is underway here at Camp Fradd. Months ago my niece Claire roped Jay and me into a double date, taking her and her boyfriend to the Thomas Rhett concert.

Leading up to the concert, I listened to the “This is Thomas Rhett” station on Spotify. Doesn’t everyone do a bit of homework in preparation for a concert? During the event, Jay commented on how many of the songs I sang along to. The more songs I knew, the better I would enjoy the concert – this just seemed logical to me.

Our original seats

Our tickets put us in the nosebleed section of the arena, but we still enjoyed the first couple of acts. Rhett Akins served as the show opener, followed by Russell Dickerson. Between Dickerson finishing up, and Dustin Lynch taking the stage, event staff approached us. They offered us upgraded tickets closer to the stage for no charge.

We didn’t look that gift horse in the mouth, and bounced on over to our new seats. We sat just a bit behind the stage for Dustin Lynch’s show, enjoying being close enough for good pictures.

The music between acts included “Get Low” and “Old Town Road,” and Jay commented that the songs were more fitting rap concert than a country music show. As the songs played and the crowd sang along, the concert crew changed out the stage. When they were finished, we realized our new seats had just gotten better. We no longer sat just behind the stage, but right beside it.

Well hello there, darlin’

My favorite part of the concert is when he played “Vacation.” Who knew a light-hearted country song could be so polarizing. I think it’s a fun song, Jay hates it. My enjoyment of the song is enhanced, of course, because I sing it to torture Jay.

When Thomas Rhett performed the song live, Jay sat down with his head in his hands in disgust. I have a great video of the moment, panning from the crown enjoying the song to Jay on his rear like a grumpy old man.

I didn’t stop singing along while recording, so I’ll refrain from sharing the video. Perhaps the audio portion, me singing along tells the story of why Jay hates it so much? Just know the footage exists, and without me in the background, its golden.

Something READ

My favorite this month is the audiobook Eat Cake. Be Brave. by Melissa Radke, read by the author. Her book is perfect mix of cake (laughter) and bravery (sharing the excruciating times she’s endured). I highly recommend the audio version, because hearing her say the words makes the experience all the more personal.

Last week, I also finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, a book I’d previously abandoned. I’m glad I circled back around and gave the book another shot. While some of her ideas are a bit woo-woo and eye roll worthy in my estimation, she offers encouragement for the creative. More than that, I need reminding sometimes that writing makes me a creative. Gilbert worked her magic and gave me a much needed nudge.

Do you love October as much as I do? I’d love to hear about your favorite part of this month. If you listen to country music, which would have been your favorite act at the concert we went to? And if you’ve read any good books, please let me know! I’m always on the look out for my next read!