This weekend was so eventful that I'm not sure where to start. So be warned, ahead lies a long and stream-of-consciousness post containing excruciatingly minute details that will probably only be interesting to those who where there. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Still reading? Good! Alright...first, here's a list of who all came to at least one of the weekend events (and I know I have left someone out--I apologize ahead of time. If you were there and didn't make it onto this list, will you e-mail me, please?):
- Antique Mommy (Tina)
- Created For His Glory (Lauren)
- Days To Come (Jeana)
- Don't Try This At Home (Chilihead)
- Faithful Mommy (Faith)
- Holding the Mirror to My Soul (Kep)
- Holy Mama (Kelsey)
- Home Sanctuary (Rachel Anne)
- In the Midst Of It (Sarah)
- Kisses of Sunshine (GiBee)
- Life In a Nutshell (Megan)
- Minnie Moments (Minnie)
- My Mind...Lost...Strayed...or Stolen (Jan)
- Overhead Under Grace (Kelly)
- Raising Five (Katherine)
- Reflecting Him (AggieJenn)
- Rocks In My Dryer (Shannon)
- Shalee's Diner (Shalee)
- She Lives (Carol)
- Sing a Lullaby (CMommy)
After a five-hour drive from our fair city, Chilihead and I went straight to the restaurant in Ft. Worth. We popped open the back of her mini-van and freshened up, hoping none of our new friends would see the two Oklahoma rednecks getting ready OUT OF THE BACK OF A CAR.
We entered the restaurant, only to find we were the first ones there. We walked up to the man at the front desk, and the following conversation ensued:
Him: Name, please?
Us: Um, we're here to meet a big group of ladies. The name is probably Jeana.
Him: Last name?
Us: Um...we don't know.
Him: How many people are in the party?
Us: Um...we don't know. Maybe 20?
Him: Would you recognize Jeana if you saw her?
Us: [Thinking back to the tiny little picture of Jeana from her blog] Um, probably not.
It is at this point I realize we've driven across two states to meet people we don't recognize and whose names we don't know. I have become The Kind Of Person I Make Fun Of.
Thankfully Front Desk Man sorted it out, pointed us to our table, and we DID, in fact, recognize Jeana when she arrived. Just as I expected, it was like greeting old friends, not total strangers. The laughing and talking commenced immediately, with the help of some funky blue margaritas. Everyone was just as I expected. Jeana is a hoot, Kelsey is adorable, GiBee is pronounced JEE-bee (I was wrong!) and Faith wore pink. I knew she'd wear pink!
After dinner, we hotel-stayers headed back to the hotel for a couple more hours of
shrieking laughing and talking. At 1:30, Chilihead collapsed into our (oh, yes!) Sleep Number Beds. If you were wondering, I'm a 30.
On Saturday, we slept in until (Oh Great Day In the Morning!) 10:45, a feat I haven't managed since college. It was wonderful. We headed to the lovely Botannical Gardens (or "Botanic", as they say in Texas, which is just wrong) for a luncheon, but a wedding taking place in the same area meant that service was slo-o-o-o-ow. After waiting for our food for a bazillion years, I double-dog-dared Lauren to snag us some wedding cake for our trouble. She gave it her best shot, until the mother of the bride caught her and chewed her out. Lovely! Shalee has an audio post from our lunch over at her site, and you can hear our
cackling fellowship. You can also hear my voice and confirm that I am, in fact, a hillbilly.
Our group split up after lunch, and Chilihead and I joined Kelsey, Jeana, Shalee, and Minnie on a pilgrimage to Grapevine Mills outlet mall. Children's Place windpants for only $5...SCORE! The sassy Minnie (She Of the Funky Hair and Awesome Shoes and Much Too Adorable Figure) was a perfect shopping coach. We even visited a formal-wear store to try on formals, and you can see the photographic evidence of that little adventure here.
After the shopping, we met up with the group at Tina's gorgeous home for a taco dinner. I was able to do much cuddling with Sarah's precious baby daughter Addison, a very special blessing after praying for her so much. There was still more laughing, lots of eating, a group photo (which I will be posting as soon as Tina e-mails it to me; hint, hint, Tina...) and endless chattering. Really, would we ever run out of things to say? (By the way, if you're wondering why I blacked out Chilihead's face in this photo, it's because she forgot to put on her Groucho Marx glasses. Her celebrity must be protected at all costs.)
Sunday morning Chilihead and I had a bittersweet good-bye breakfast with Jeana and Faith (see the picture of my breakfast on the left. Yes, I actually ate a Texas-shaped waffle). Before heading back to Oklahoma, Chilihead and I stopped at Ikea and spent entirely too much time and money on kitchen gadgets. We had a stranger take our picture during checkout wearing our Ikea bags, looking all sophisticated and European. ("Yes," Chilihead said, "nothing says sophisticated and European like a couple of middle-aged Oklahoma housewives wearing Ikea bags.")
Despite a bit of getting lost on the way home, Chili and I had a ball, talking until I nearly lost my voice. Is there anything better than time in the car with a girlfriend...and no kids?
I'm home now, a bit road-weary, still hoarse, and buried up to my eyeballs in the laundry and kitchen explosion that occurred in my absence. But I'm richer, too--I've now mirled with some of the very best the blogosphere has to offer, and I happily count these women among my real-life friends. I'm already looking forward to the next real-life blog gathering, whenever and wherever that may be!