24 hour trip

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I spent the weekend with a few friends that I’ve known a long time, and I wanted to share a bit of our adventure in my spring break post, then I decided it needed it’s own little spot. I thought I’d take you down memory lane along with me…because I like to tell stories.

friends walking

These gals and I have been through things.  I’ve been grateful for both of their friendships throughout the years I’ve known them.

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When I moved to Texas 12 years ago, we had a good handful of men from church  help us move our belongings up 3 flights of apartment stairs to our new home. I vowed to always send my husband to help when I heard others were moving in. A year later, he went to help someone move in, and I stopped by to visit at the end. I met Candida that day, and we became fast friends. She had 3 little ones, and I had 2.  We both had Louisiana roots, eventually we ran together, and quite often we laughed together. Always looking for a “good deal” we found some vintage wedding dresses and were the Runaway Brides in the Keep Austin Weird 5k in 2004. We also went to an outdoor Tim McGraw concert in the pouring rain. Oh, the memories. She brought out the crazy in me, and I loved it.

Keep Austin Weird 5k

{Kreutz Photography Image}

{There were others dressed “weird” just can’t see them in this pic}

In 2006, there was another move-in at church, and Candida and I went to greet the new family with a plate of cookies. Turns out, the husband was there unloading with the guys, but the rest of the family hadn’t come yet. We introduced ourselves to the neighbors, and came back for a visit once the family arrived. A few days later, we met Michele, and I knew from the beginning that she was a friend that I could connect with easily. She, like me, grew up with just 3 brothers. No sisters.

In 2007, the 3 of us (plus another friend, Chrissta) took our first big road trip to Houston for Time Out for Women. We stayed at my parents house, had a grand ole time, laughed and laughed til it hurt.

time out for women

 

However, at some point along the way, there were mis-understandings, feelings were hurt, and there was a time with each of them for different reasons, we just didn’t spend time much with each other.

It broke my heart into a million pieces, but I never gave up. Not fully.

We may have all had some rocks in our figurative backpacks. Over time, we took them out, no longer carrying that weight.

We had babies, moved to different houses, and eventually mended our rifts. I was content with mending, even if it wasn’t the same again.
Because of our history, our friendship foundation, we each knew that we could count on each other, when in need.

I share that part, because I think it’s an even better story of friendship, knowing it hasn’t always been smooth. I’ve always had a lot of love for these ladies.

friends getaway

{dirty window}

Last year, Michele and her family moved 3 hours away. We’ve kept in touch, she’s visited, I stayed at her house last summer on my way to Tennessee.

Candida and I have become more close in the past year, as she shared a personal story with me, and I’ve loved going along her journey with her. I’m so grateful to have been a sounding board to her.

Michele lost a family member tragically in January, and has been heartsick.

We decided we just needed to all 3 get together, if only for half a weekend, to energize each other.  We needed to re-connect, and buoy each other up.

It’s hard to find a date that fits for 3 families! In early February, we locked in March 21st, and planned to meet half way between our home towns, in Hillsboro, TX. Candida was concerned that there wasn’t much to do there, and I said that all we need is a place to eat and place to talk, that’s all we needed! When we checked in at the little hotel and told the lady at the front desk that we were there for a girls weekend, she gave us a blank stare and said, “Why? There’s diddly squat to do here.” Little did she know, it wouldn’t take much for us. We were pretty happy just to be on an adventure together.

bubbles

Before the gathering, I suggested to the girls that we do a little Favorite Things gift exchange. I thought it would be fun, and I’m so glad that they did, too. We were all pretty giddy at the idea of presents!

We had a nice little hotel suite with a fold out couch, which made it easy to chat, along with a rolling chair. We excitedly opened our Favorite Things.

Favorite Things gifts

Here is what I got my friends: Cherry Chocolate Chip Lara Bar, Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter, collapsable funnel, EOS lip balm, globe necklace, Milk chocolate seat salt covered cashews}

What they got me: Simple Green stone polish, Sprayway Glass cleaner, Yes to Grapefruit face wipes, Raw Honey Butter, izze grapefruit soda,  Burt’s bee’s lip balm, OPI gold nail polish, Tea Tree Therapy (heals scars/wounds)

We walked to the Outlet Mall, which was mostly abandoned, found some steals at the Gap and Carters Outlet.

We went to a Mexican restaurant and ate some amazing Queso and quesadilla’s, roamed Wal-Mart to get me a swimsuit, so we could go in the hot tub at the hotel.

The conversation just flowed from one stop to the next.

hotel chat

One minute crying our eyeballs out, the next, laughing ’til our stomachs hurt.laughing til it hurts

After a late, late night, we woke in time to get the hotel waffles, and head to a local church building so we could partake of the Sacrament, and fill our spiritual cup for the week. It was the cutest little building, just right for the cutest little town. We enjoyed stories in church from a cute elderly couple that just returned from a mission.

mormon church building

We had to hurry back to check out of our hotel, then we continued our conversation in the lobby, it felt just like our living room, not one really walks through in the middle of the day! I love that Candida captures the moment, probably more than me!

hotel lobby

We don’t have a lot of pretenses with each other, we are free to open up. We know each others parents, know each others kids.

I always loved this quote that I heard years ago, that I keep with me when people are not nice, or rude or insensitive. “Every person you meet has a story that will bring you to tears.”

I think the 3 of us girls, we all try to be positive, happy, to live with joy. On the outside, to others, we may appear to “have it all together.” But we don’t. We all have something.

Mormon LDS church in Hillsboro TexasAs we each shared stories of our own personal struggles, the other two would offer council, support, suggestions, a shoulder to cry on. These ladies, like me, aim to live faithfully, with Christ as our foundation, so we all come from the same perspective. We cheered each other on, and that’s what friendship is about, isn’t it? Man, I’ve had some frustrations with friendships in the past few years, but I’ve also had really great people come into my life at the same time. I’m grateful for the highs and lows. I’ve tasted the bitter, and the sweet, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m uber sensitive, and also hyper aware, and that burns me way too often!  Friends mean a lot to me, and so does forgiveness.

It was just 24 hours that we spent with each other, then back to our families and real life. I’m grateful for my husband who knows I need connections like this, and supports me in going, and for my kids that run and hug me when I come back. Grateful for friends that get me, and though I may struggle internally with my place in some friends lives, I’m grateful for times like this that remind me, I have been blessed beyond measure for ladies like this.