You only really need two things to get away to scrapbook (or whatever your hobby of choice is) like I do:
1. A husband who doesn’t mind, and
2. Girlfriends who are both dependable and spontaneous.
I’m lucky enough to have both. Blaine has always been supportive if I needed to get away, even if it was something as small as going to a movie by myself on a Sunday afternoon when the kids were tiny and I couldn’t take another single solitary minute of diaper changes and runny noses and Teletubbies and strained peas flung across the dining room and cleaning high chairs and whining and crying. I’m not sure if my weekend getaways were harder when the kids were smaller and it was more hands-on work for him, or harder now that they’re older --- less personal care, but much more in the way of social and school responsibilities. Either way, he’s never begrudged me my time away, and I love, love, LOVE him for it! I love even more that I come home to both kids and a house in working order, so I can leave without worry. He’s the bomb, isn’t he?
And as far as my girlfriends go, well, I’m pretty much the luckiest girl on the planet. There is a group of about twelve of us, the majority of us met either in Ohio or Georgia. Mostly military wives, we’ve scattered all over the country, but we’re committed to meeting every October for the holiday weekend. We change the location each year and drive in, or fly in, or whatever we have to do. We went away for the first time in 2000, and started "this group" in 2004; I look forward to those weekends of reconnecting more than you could know. That’s where the “dependable” part comes in, because we committed to this and everyone has stuck with it. I truly believe we’ll be one of those little old lady groups still getting together when we’re in our 80’s, still gossiping and eating chocolate and fussing about our false teeth and Medicare and irresponsible great-grandkids.
Then, usually once or twice a year, smaller parts of the group will make arrangements to get together “locally”, such as the weekend we just had. That’s where the “spontaneous” part comes in because often times it’s a spur of the moment impulse simply because we miss each other. This time it was me, and girls from Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. We went to Arkansas because it was close to the middle for everyone, and we found a resort that was offering a scrapbook retreat. Less than two weeks’ notice, but when you have girlfriends as awesome as mine, you take any chance you can to get together.
What's funny to me is that most of my life, I've preferred hanging out with the guys, and never had a lot of close female friends until I met these ladies. We've merged into this amazing group of friends, and now, I can't imagine my life without any of them in it. (sigh) Can you tell I’m feeling nostalgic for this weekend and missing them already? Plus there was a chocolate dessert buffet with a chocolate fountain and strawberries, so it was pretty much the greatest weekend on earth.