Thursday, August 18, 2011

Relationships with women are interesting. Not only are those relationships difficult to manage and foster as girls, but it seems to remain true as we age and build relationships as grown women. As I've aged, I have found it to be equally as difficult to make and maintain girlfriends as it was in middle school. So I have learned how to foster the few I treasure and be okay with "surface-y" relationships with all the other women I'm around. That said, it isn't often we meet other women who we can be real and honest with, be 100% of who we are around, and not fear losing the friendship, offending her, or worrying she might spill the deep, dark secrets you revealed to her in a gossip-filled dinner one night. While I know people that have tons of female friends, I've just never really been one of those women; but instead have always been more comfortable in the company of guys. To be short, they're just less drama...and that's how I roll!

I say all of this because when I really do find a good, solid, trustworthy, loyal friend, I hang on to her, I work at the friendship, I bare my soul in complete faith, and do whatever I can to keep the bond and appreciate every bit of that friendship for all it is and all it offers - even if sometimes it's heartbreak. I do this because I know I'll get it back just the same as I give it out, what I share will be held in high confidence, who I am will be regarded with high esteem, and I will be held accountable for my actions. Women need these types of friendships far more than they need people to gossip with. One such friend of mine, Meghan, I met over 6 years ago at our wedding as merely a guest of one of our groomsmen. Though I'd not ever met her before that day, I have never regretted that boy's decision to bring her as his date. Their relationship (dating, not wedded) has ended, but as we jokingly say, "I got Meghan in the divorce." Despite having crazy jobs and living in different cities (or states) during the entire length of our friendship, we have only grown closer, more deeply involved, and more consistent over time.  I'm grateful to call her a forever friend.

Because we live in different places and most of our friendship takes place on text, email, facebook, phone calls, etc. we decided we needed to get away for a quick girls trip. Though it'd be easy to do one of our two cities, for some reason Vegas became the city of choice for this long weekend away. Not really sure how that happened...but we found ourselves on an early morning flight from Atlanta to Vegas, baby.

So off we went one Wednesday morning. But let me preface this trip by saying that the night before our early morning departure, my dear sweet friend totaled her car. And she still left town with me in spite of being hurt, broken, and bruised not only emotionally but a little physically, too. It's this that makes Meghan my forever friend. She shows up. She cares enough to sacrifice and be there despite personal tragedy. And she gives her all. Even though we lost about four hours in the air, most of which we slept, of course, we still managed to arrive at 9:30 in the morning...but since we'd been up since dark, felt like it should be lunch time...or nap time if nothing else. It's odd, having your body tell you it's 1:00 in the afternoon even though it's still morning. But what do you do but roll with it. We were off to see some sites, eat some food and lay by the pool before we found some high roller tickets to go see "O" at the Bellagio that night. Before bed that day, we'd already seen more hotels than we could count, and ridden a roller coaster through one of them, and started into some amazing conversation. We spent the next day (the ENTIRE day) at the pool. Lounging, talking, catching up, challenging each other, listening to each other's vices, wants, desires, needs, and giving honest and open advice. We met people, we talked with strangers, we got burnt to a crisp, but we had a blast. I love this part about my relationship with Meghan. Nothing is hidden from view, and she still loves me for it. Maybe even in spite of it. That is a rare gift in a friend, but one for which I am beyond grateful.

We found ourselves dining on some fabulous Mexican fare at the Palazzo that night. For FREE might I add! And I think between that meal and the others, we found ourselves either eating Mexican or french fries at every meal. Why? Not sure, but it was the way it was. The next day we  toured some of the hotels, shopped a little, and took in the heat of Vegas while wandering (and getting lost) in the maze that is the hotel feast in Vegas. There was lots of people watching. Lots. There was more talking. Lots. And there was fun. Lots! After some nap time and some time spent shopping for some gifts for my kiddos, we were off to enjoy our evening on the town. We learned a little about black jack and met some funny people and took our pictures with more funny people. People that get dressed up as random people just for tips. Go figure. Before we knew it we were saying goodbye to our quite remote controlled room at the Aria and headed for the airport.

How quickly it went from arrival to departure, but the memories made and the fun had was more than I could recount in this short note; however, I left a richer person, and knowing I needed to take more time for myself with other women as often as I can. While I don't have a terribly large amount of people I can do this with, I need to capitalize on what I do have. I think it makes me a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, and a better woman. Able to give more to whoever is in my world and able to see with new eyes. I'm grateful this time away provided me all that and a new view into the soul of a dear friend whom I am able to provide for even across the miles. Thank you. I love you. I can't wait to do it again!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What a fast year it's been, but my "BABY" boy is now three! What a fun time we had at his party. I wanted to do a real party this year because I felt like this was the first year he really understood what people were doing when they brought gifts and came over to was all going to be for him! And I wanted him to feel really special.

So for Aiden's birthday this year, we had thoughts of doing a Super theme...after being inspired by a Hostess with the Mostess blog about this A-mazing party which was also for a three year old. Even though all the parties she features are fabulous, this one just caught my eye as something Aiden would really love to get into. So we did our own version of this party on a budget, of course, as only we know how! Needless to say it was both fun to plan and fun to throw and I think all the kiddos had a blast! We had kids from Aiden's class, kids from the neighborhood, and family all there to help us celebrate in style and I think it was a hit! I had my brother create an awesome invitation.

After that went out we had a good amount of buzz about our party and everyone was pretty excited including me. I ordered capes for our family...they turned out so cute, thanks to the ladies at Pip and Bean...they helped me out with my particular requests and last minute changes. The capes turned out awesome. I also ordered capes from Sew Plain Jane to give away as party favors. We added an initial to each cape and created a "kit" full of stars, hearts, and other super treats for them to decorate their cape either at the party or when they got home. Our thing with parties for Aiden is to always have a bounce house of some kind, so this year we got a huge water slide for the kids which ended up being really fun! We even provided towels for the mess! We had all kinds of snacks and super treats for the kids and set up a candy bar for everyone to take home some sweet treats. To top it off we sang to the Super Boy of honor and dove into the cupcakes with homemade toppers...which turned out great! We were lucky enough to have sweet Lillian come and take pictures of the party for us, and since she does all of our family pictures, it made it extra special for her to see this fun and loving party time! Enjoy the pictures!

All in all it was a super fun party and I can't wait to dream up one for Baby Girl in another six months! Should be fun.  I think Aiden felt really THREE and really SUPER!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

After a long, sad good-bye to our dear Taylor ("Taya" as she will forever be known), we were headed to Knoxville for the long Easter weekend. Nate and I took the day off on Friday since Corporate America doesn't recognize anything related to Jesus, and gave ourselves a three-day weekend. We were looking forward to celebrating Buddy's birthday (27, wow!!) and some time with Pa-Mimi at their place rather than at ours. It was such a fun weekend full of fun, laughter, good food, and lots of fun memories.

We spent Friday at the mall, where Aiden was finally able to ride the much anticipated West Town Mall Train. He'd been talking about it since Christmas, where he feared for his life every second he was on it. No one really knew if he was going to ride it with a smile or with tears, but we were all hoping for the best. And the best it was, he LOVED the train, Teagan did too. It was fun. We got to say hi to the Easter bunny, from a distance of course, as we were not about to go anywhere close to him other than waving "hi!" Quite a funny boy, that Aiden. We went for a run in the park that afternoon and then played outside after naptime before Nate and I got to go on our date night.