Once upon a starry night in Colorado, exactly nine March’s ago, the gals in this picture made a sacred commitment that I would count as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
In Amy’s parents’ bubbling jacuzzi we decided that our spring break road trip could not and would not be our only adventure together. It was just the beginning, we decided, of many years of travel together. I remember all of us discussing the difficulty of such a dream–jobs that might not offer vacation days, bank accounts drained by school loans, perhaps future babies who needed their mamas. Yes, it would be difficult. We knew so and it has been so. But, none of us have ever regretted the effort required to nurture our relationships in a way that no email, phone calls or texting can.
And so, here is a peak at this year’s adventure!
Colorado has been the scene for many girls’ trips. With three of the seven of us living there, it’s often the cheapest option. It also makes the most sense when those three girls continue to get pregnant and have babies requiring us to come to them. Their babies are super cute so we don’t mind a bit.
This year, since Anna is still breastfeeding, she came with me. I love the girl to pieces but please remind me not to bring her or any future babies with me on a girls weekend ever again. She was great on the flights, and smilier than ever, but she also discovered THE WHINE which went on an on all weekend especially when I sat her down or left the room. Clingy, much? Teething? Who knows.
The good news is, after discovering the whine, she also discovered the wave. I don’t think I’ll ever forget saying to the gals, ” I think Anna just started waving hi!” and they all said, in unison, “HIIIII Anna” and then she waved. So.Cute. (Let’s NOT discuss how she also developed a fear of airport restrooms and dogs over the weekend. Sigh.)
Here she is, sporting her “Westmont Sweetie” shirt from Katie. It seemed appropriate for the weekend.
After hanging out with Amy, Danny, Brady and Addy on Thursday–we made our way to Boulder on Friday. Anne’s mom watched the little ones so we could nosh on Tapas and Sangria at The Med. I insisted we stop on the way back to her house for Bluebell ice cream which paired nicely with mini bundt cakes. No regrets.
On Saturday we stopped at the Salvation Army for a Thrift Store Scavenger Hunt. With babies, budgets and cold weather in mind, we had prepared to spend a decent amount of time inside. Erin came up with the idea of making crafts. A quick look at my “DIY Board” on Pinterest had me giddy with options. We all stocked up on old t-shirts, plates, mugs and a few other items including a $4 pair of J. Crew shorts I managed to squeeze into because it was 80 degrees. So much for cold weather, eh?
Jonathan’s parents let us use their timeshare in Estes Park which made life a bit easier in the whole sleeping baby department. Anna, her friend Jada, and their baby monitors, were just around the corner for naps and early bedtimes throughout the weekend. Jada belongs to Erin and Mike, and she’s only six weeks younger than Anna. And yes, we did intentionally bring matching outfits for them to wear on Sunday. Just as our moms forced Erin and I to be friends in junior high, so too will Anna and Jada.
My favorite part of the picture above is Jenny’s commentary upon taking it. “Here, Erin, put the blanket around your shoulder so you look like a mom.” (As if the lack of showers and our barely combed hair don’t already indicate our mom status…)
So, what else did we do? Well, we made t-shirt headbands, these and these vases, some personalized mugs and plates, and (copied) this incredible mobile for Shailyn’s nursery. In between crafting we ate really yummy meals like Lori’s Thai Sweet Sticky Rice, and Anne’s curry soup, and Amy’s carrot berry smoothies, and Katie and Erin’s homemade lasagna. During each meal we’d discuss one question such as, “Who is one person who has influenced you the most over the last year?” and “What was the biggest unexpected blessing in this last year?” Of course, most meals then also included crying, and saying things like, “Why am I crying right now?” followed by giggles. Any men reading this post right now are rolling their eyes. Yup, I get it. We’re so cliche. As if our intentional questions weren’t enough, we also read a book together before hand and spent some time chatting through each chapter. I highly recommend The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. Really, you should read it.
We also went on an all out hunt for Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and stopped by Belts of Estes so I could collect another buckle for Jonathan’s tacky (yet growing) collection which Sam inspired years ago.
I came back on Tuesday to a clean house and a happy husband. I may not have come home as physically refreshed as I usually would (thanks, baby girl!) but I sure did leave feeling encouraged and loved. In fact, I got so excited for next year’s trip that I’ve already e-mailed a travel agent about booking a cruise! As much as I love my girls’ homemade food, we’re tired and want someone else to do the work for us. Counting down to next spring, gals!
…Our past trips…2011 wedding reunion in Santa Cruz, 2010 in Palm Desert, 2010 wedding reunion in Irvine, 2009 in Denver, 2008 trip to Denver, 2007 in Arizona, 2006 in New York, 2004 in Denver, 2003 in Hawaii and Denver.
P.S. Need a good friend song? Our “song” is Watermark’s More Than You’ll Ever Know. Give it a download people!