Monday, January 28, 2008

Dear Briana,

Dear Briana,

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.


Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie,
I, too have a very wonderful hubby that treats me much the same way. A happy wife is much easier to deal with ;-)
I try not to brag too much b/c I think the majority of my not-as-close friends don't have husbands like this so I am definitely blessed. But my really close friends have great husbands and they don't mind at all us girls getting together for shopping, scrapbooking or just hanging out without kiddos. One of my best friends has a lakehouse so we can treat ourselves there for a weekend without much planning and we go several times a year to shop (especially in November). I am glad you have great connections with wonderful ladies and it is nice to have the best of both worlds. My husband says it makes me a better wife and mother when I have a little time for myself. Hopefully he will always think this way!!! Now go forth and show us a few of your hundreds of pages you got done cropping.
Wendy in Winder, GA

Anonymous said...

You are pretty awesome too, Kristie.
Miss you and the Chocolate already
Love (& no hugs) ;)

Renee' said...

Kristie, We are lucky to have YOU for a friend -- one who is spontaneous, funny, and a super person to hang out with! Thanks for planning our weekend -- it was great! Miss you and the chocolate already....

Anonymous said...

Sounds great! But you are forgetting the third and most important neccessity for such an adventure. Money! One must be able to fund the airplanes, lodging and chocolate, to say nothing of the scrapbooking supplies.

We poor folks have the lower income version of scrapbooking. Heading to other friends houses in the 'hood (must be within walking distance, as the price of gas is INSANE) carrying our Sunday papers and have a coupon cutting party. BYODS (bring your own diet soda) and gorge on Cheetos. Generic Cheetos. Care to join us next week? :)


Loralee Choate said...

I am envious of the chocolate fountain. I have always wanted to try one, but the only one I encountered was at a wedding and a family full of children with snotty noses were standing around it chowing down.

The sight made me want to hurl and ruined it for me.


The Running Girl said...

Wow! I never expected a post directed to me, but I feel honored. You are lucky to have Blaine. My husband is supportive most of the time, but I think sometimes I push the limits. I go to yoga every Tuesday night and then I train with the Team in Training groups every Saturday morning most of the year. I think I am going to have to work on that "girls weekend" at least once a year, though. It sounds like fun. Now I just have to find the spontaneous and committed friends. I've got some scrapbook friends, some running friends, some old friends from high school, and some friends from my first job. That might be an interesting group to get together. But I think with a little chocolate and wine, everyone would get along just fine!


Sandie in MN said...

I am laughing so hard picturing the 'hood coupon cutting group! If they ate funions instead of cheetos it might be truly ghetto though!

Kristie- though the thought of "scrapping" truly fills my heart with horror- getting together with the girls is really what it's all about isn't it? I am so glad you have a group of friends that make you a better wife and mother. (saying it like that takes away any guilt... works everytime!)