Girls Weekend: The First of Many (Let’s Hope)

I am one lucky momma.  This weekend I had the luxury of taking Katharine (my now 5 3/4 year old – that 3/4 is very important to her) for her first girls weekend.  I was coming off a very busy week at work (fall budgeting, executive retreat in Southern Utah).  The prompting of the girls weekend location (Seattle) was because I had a business committment there on Friday morning.  A few weeks ago, as we were planning for this busy week, I was lamenting being gone out of town from Jon and the kids for 4 of the 5 weeknights.  So, we decided it was a great time for the first of what will hopefully be many girls weekends (and boys weekends with Matthew and Jon) so Katharine joined me on my business trip.  Given the Seattle destination (Hilary – my sister – and her family live there), it also gave us a great excuse to see them and let our three girls play together.

As the week progressed, and I arrived home from my first business trip to the Executive Retreat at 8pm on Wednesday night having worked about 40-45 hours in three days, I was lamenting leaving again on Thursday even though it was both a work and fun trip.  I was just tired.  I unpacked and repacked that evening, snuggled Matthew and crashed, trying to keep the faith that I could do it.

So, Thursday at work, Jon brought Katharine down to drop her off and we headed to the airport.  My energy had picked up, and seeing her excitement helped me over the hump to leave again.  The smile on her face when she come running into my office and how tightly she held my hand as we walked through the airport will be two memories that I will never forget.

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After I got through my work commitment on Friday morning, I met Hilary and Katharine for a lunch date and we took on the town.  Katharine had three things on her list:  1)  Put her gum on the gum wall in Seattle; 2) See the fish fly at Pike’s Place Market; and 3) Get her nails done.  Despite only an afternoon, we did it. On my list:  A nap.  I didn’t get to mine, but the excitement of seeing Katharine take in the sites, sounds and smells of the city for the first time made it worth it.

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As we bombed around Seattle, I got lots of “I love you” squeezes on my hand and heard a lot of singing out of Katharine (she sings when she is happy).  And, I forgot that I was tired.  Life is busy, and often times the whirwind makes me not live in each moment.  On what was my most tiring work weeks in awhile, I am so happy that I didn’t allow being tired to take away from this priceless time with my little one.  Cheers to many more girls weekends little K.

So Thankful…Relationships Make Me Stronger

Time with my girlfriends is what my soul needed this weekend.  I was able to sneak away from Park City to Denver to meet my sister (Hilary) and one of my best friends (Laurian).  It had been about 18 months since our last girls weekend and probably months since I had time for longer than a 5 minute conversation with either of these ladies.  Life just seems to get in the way on a daily basis.  That said, it is amazing that despite this, girlfriends just pick up where we left off.  There is a lot of life to catch up on, but it always feels like it was just yesterday that we did this on a regular basis.

So, after a weekend of food, drink, dance, spa, catching up and as much sleep as we could squeeze in, I head home thankful.

First, thankful for my dear friend and my sister.  These are amazing women who take on life’s daily challenges with confidence.  Time together makes me realize how lucky I am to have kind, strong women around me.  By no means do we have it all figured out, but we get along so well because we aren’t ever scared to try to figure it out.  The other thing I realize when I am with these strong ladies is how infrequently I let my guard down whether on purpose, or by accident.

Second, thankful for my husband and my kids.  All weekend, I got updates from them and they seemed truly happy.  In one conversation with them, Katharine said “we have an action-packed day planned.”  Jon is a remarkable person, husband and father.  He truly went all-in with our kids this weekend to help them have fun and to help me not worry.  It takes so much effort to entertain a feisty 2 and 4 year old for a weekend, and he does it with grace and true care.  The reason I have these wonderful kids is because I found a partner who is truly a partner.

Finally, thankful for this life of mine.  Although it feels sometimes like I am just hanging on for dear life, dear it certainly is.  I often wonder how this all happened.  How did this shy girl from small-town Ohio, who didn’t seem to know what she wanted, get what she wanted?  I still truly don’t have an answer for that, but after a weekend like this I realize that much of it comes from the relationships that I have with amazing people who help create strength.   I am thankful for this strength around me.