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carpe diem

I've discussed my love of planning in detail. So what happens when I get a call on Friday morning from my husband claiming that all we need to do is drive the three hours to Louisville, details taken care of because his uncle is going, and we'll experience our first Kentucky Derby?

I worry, I hem and haw, I think about all of the fun plans we'd made in town, and then I listen to the excitement in his voice and capitulate. Carpe diem, he says. Why not?

It was a whirlwind so unlike our usual trips. Toss things into a bag instead of making a list days before, follow someone else's itinerary. Completely out of character but also so much fun. There was no time to worry about whether or not I'd brought just the right things, only enough to go from one place to the next and take it all in.

And boy was it an experience. The people-watching, the horse betting, the lazing in the sun while nursing mint juleps... All I'd known of the Derby was from Nora Roberts' Irish Hearts series (the second book is one of my favorites), and while she did a lovely job, there really is nothing like taking in the real thing.

While the Derby itself was wonderful, what was even more so was being able to spend time with Michael's aunt and uncle, two of the nicest people you'll ever meet. They were so gracious about having us tag along, so easygoing and chatty. It was such a pleasure to get to know them better. How thankful I am to have married someone whose family invites us along on their adventures, and who makes me open to opportunities I would not have taken on my own.

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