goin’ to carolina in my mind

You know how sometimes you agree to something, but don’t actually ever think that “something” will materialize? And even though you’re taking steps to make that “something” happen, it kind of doesn’t hit you that it’s actually happening until you’re on the plane reading Marie Claire and realizing you’re going to see and hug people you haven’t seen or hugged in ten months in just a matter of hours?

No? Guess it’s just me then.

When our family first made the decision to move to Texas, one of the groups of people I was dreading telling most was my “Girls’ Night” girls. Five of us from Sunday School took one Tuesday evening a month to get together and have dinner – without the kids or husbands. For some of us, it was literally the only time we went out without children attached, and for all of us it helped provide some sanity to our week. And if you knew these girls, you’d know that me saying they gave me sanity is more than a little ironic.

In the moments, days, and even months after I told them we were moving we all talked around the idea of doing a Girls’ Weekend – a sort of retreat. “Definitely,” I said – pretty certain it would never actually happen.

But then we found ourselves deciding on dates and putting down a deposit on a cabin in the mountains. I found myself buying plane tickets, planning meet-ups, and writing up devotions. Without entirely realizing how I got there, I was shocked to look outside my plane window and realize that it was really happening.

I was traveling for the first time by myself since we’ve had kids, and I was away from my boys overnight for the first time since I’d given birth to Bear. I’m not sure if you realize this, but traveling without kids is a lot more restful than traveling with them. I didn’t pack any sippy cups, I didn’t pack any graham crackers, I didn’t have to get to the airport two hours early, and nobody shot me dirty looks because my child wouldn’t stop crying as we flew. Instead, I got through security easily, sat down at my gate, and read a magazine. From cover to cover. If you’re wondering what the latest fashion in eyebrows are this fall or how to look slimmer in photographs, I gotcha covered. I got up to use the restroom when I needed to, and I felt no need to change any last minute diapers or get any last minute sillies out.

Once the plane landed, I got to see the lovely sight of one of my small group girls (Brittany) picking me up. We hugged, cried a little, hugged some more, and chatted up a storm on our way back to Winston-Salem. She surprised me by driving me straight to Kernel Kustard – one of my favorite things to do in Winston ever! KK’s holds a lot of memories for me – even deciding on Bug’s name while listening to the music one summer. Several friends had gathered at Kernel Kustard’s to surprise me, and I was so excited to see not only several of my small group girls, but some good friends as well.

My girls decided they needed to be body guards and not allow me to go back to Texas:

Brittany, Sara, Me, Kayla, and Elizabeth:

After horking down an incredible cheeseburger and fries, the girls took me to a new frozen yogurt place I wanted to try. They have an insane amount of toppings, and if it included the word “chocolate,” I heaped it on. Yummm. Y. Once I was sufficiently stuffed to the gills, a few of my girls met me for a sleepover and we stayed up entirely too late talking – especially considering most of them had to get up before 6:30 for school. I can’t lie – I wouldn’t trade a moment of that time for anything in the world.

Since I knew I’d be available to hang out once I got back from the mountains, we didn’t do any emotional good-byes, and I set out with my friend Katie to get some coffee and good conversation. I actually stayed at Katie’s house while I was in Winston, but I knew I’d be hopping about trying to see everyone. I’m so glad we got that time to actually sit down and catch up before Lindsey picked me up to head to the mountains.

I have so much more I want to write about and photos I want to share, but it looks like Bear is waking up. Stay tuned to find out how the rest of my ‘going to carolina in my mind’ trip went!

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