Girls Weekend

This Site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

When my friend Heather convinced me to have a 40th birthday celebration, I had this idea.  This crazy idea.  And when I told my husband about it, he was worried I was setting myself up for failure. It all revolved around a girls weekend.

I wondered, what if I sent out an invitation to some of my closest friends who live far away inviting them to come for a for a fun girls weekend? Then cap off the weekend with a 40th birthday party.

I had a weekend planned with my college roommates already in May, so as much as I would have loved to have them join in the fun, it was just a month later, and I felt like it was best to just keep that separate. I also got together with a bunch of my blogger friends in March here in Austin, and I love seeing them, but didn’t necessarily want to reach out to them to come to my town again either, “nope, keep that separate, too”, I thought. PLUS, there is that added element of…”I can’t just bring people together that know nothing about each other, and have them spend a girls weekend together, that would be weird, they have to sort-of know each other, right?”

What to do at a Girls Weekend

Planning a Girls Weekend

So I got to work and with the help of my friend Shelley, we sent out a REAL paper invitation to a handful of friends.  And I kept thinking that if NO ONE came, at least I made the effort. If I didn’t invite any of them to come, then ZERO of them would come, right? But, as I told my husband, “What if I just go with the hope that maybe SOME of them came into town?  Even if only ONE of them could come, then it would have been worth it.”

He was just worried I’d be let down and take it personally. As I mentioned previously, the challenge of adult friendships run deep with me.  I tend to get my hopes up, and he’s seen the ramifications of that.  I told him, honestly, that if none of them could come to this girls weekend, I would be totally ok.  Because

  1. It costs money to get here
  2. time away from family is tough
  3. hectic arrangements of schedule
  4. some of these gals have young ones that takes a lot more effort when mama is gone
  5. Family reunions and travel were already planned for the summer

I sent this out in March, and told all of them in the invite that if they could get themselves here to Austin, I was going to take care of everything else. Spoiling people I love is one of my favorite things.  And I wanted to make it worth their efforts.

Some of these friends I hadn’t talked to in a long time, some are family, some I talk to fairly regularly, and some…even though we don’t talk often, we can jump right in as if we do.

There were 5 that couldn’t make it, but 6 that did! Exceeded my expectations.

Girls Trip

{Below is a video with some clips I shared on Instagram plus a few extra}

Our girls trip began with me picking up Jen from the airport Thursday night. She came with me on Friday morning to check off another item off of my 40th bucket list, which was to test drive a JEEP Wrangler!

Jeep Wrangler Dream Car

It’s my newly realized dream car, and though I know if I were to ever get one, it wouldn’t be for at least 3 years…maybe just when my two girls are at home. It isn’t practical for a mother with 4 kids at home. Not like we can have a luxurious extra car just sitting there!

test driving a Jeep

driving a jeep

We grabbed some Round Rock donuts and kolaches (my FAVE) and then the next 3 girls drove in from Houston. They live there and in Tennessee/St. Louis, but drove up from H-town together. Then came Natalie from Kansas and we had most of our group!

My awesome friend Alysha lives in my neighborhood and was out of town this weekend, and was kind enough to let us stay at her home, which was SOOOO nice to have a place (close to my house) where we could have some uninterrupted quiet time. We headed over to her house to freshen up and chat for a bit, then got ready for a night out on the town.

ladies with luggage

talking on the couch

I had prepared a little welcome gift for all of them with a few of my favorite snacks and some fun new pink pinstriped pajamas–we’d be matching for the weekend!

gifts for friends

Do you want to see what’s inside???

my favorite things

Yes, matching PJ’s with my girls– a dream come TRUE!

 

What to do in Austin Texas

I wanted to take my girls to some of my favorite spots in Austin.  But I couldn’t decide between a fancy restaurant or hopping around to a few food trucks. I had a $100 I had tucked away for a special occasion and I wanted to pay for the dinner for everyone.  Ultimately, the food trucks were a cheaper option! I found a few online, and it was actually pretty fun to hop around! The hardest part was parking, but I got to show off my city, so it was worth the effort!

walking with girlfriends

Here are the spots we stopped to eat:

downtown Austin food

We enjoyed the downtown nightlife, and felt super-cool to be roaming amidst the 20-somethings.

We headed back to the house, slipped into the matching pink pinstripe pajamas, then sat on the couch to chat until the early morning hours. My favorite part about a girls weekend–TALKING! One of the things we did is record a podcast episode! I was pretty excited about the idea, but I was met with reluctance from the group, at first. Not everyone is as forthcoming about details in life as I am! I assured them that the questions would be round robin style, and easy to answer, no incriminating words to be afraid of. It was pretty fun, if you ask me, I hope you get a chance to listen! It’s episode #25 on the Beyond Good Intentions Parenting podcast (also on iTunes).

Pink Pajama Podcast

In the morning, we slept in a bit, enjoyed some delicious fruit.

bowl full of fruit

fruit for breakfast

After breakfast, we then had a face mask application party.

applying face masks

blue face mask

I had some unrealized dreams of pictures in matching pink pajamas with face masks, on, and these girls obliged! We had fun thinking of random pose ideas, I was grateful they were willing to play along!

Pajama Party

Pink Pajama Pyramid

What To Do for a Girls Weekend

It was just too much fun!

We then got dressed, and went out to lunch at one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants, Chuy’s!  Their creamy jalapeño sauce is drinkable, but I prefer to just add lime juice and salt to the chips, and dunk them in. I couldn’t decide between my favorite Mexi Cobb Salad or my new favorite appetizer, the panchos.  I ultimately got the panchos, but we also got some delicious queso as well. Even though we were stuffed, I had to grab some Tres Leches for dessert, it’s my favorite! We ended up taking it home and ate it a few hours later.

Though Chuy’s originated in Austin, Texas, it’s now across the US! See if there is one near you.

Chuys locations

Chuys Tex Mex

We sat at the table for a long time. (see the video) Enjoying food and conversation. My sweet friend Natalie announced to the table that she wanted each of them to go around and say something they love about me. Oh, the stress! So thoughtful, but it filled me with a little anxiety. Of course, it’s nice to hear such kind words from loved ones, but it felt undeserving, I felt emotional. Oh, they know my heart, and that’s what brings me joy.

When we arrived back at the house, the last traveler was there, my friend Nicole.

I gathered some items to make vision boards, but we didn’t get a chance to do that. I wanted to make some goals, and thought it would be fun to do together, but I’ll have to do it another time.

After a little bit of downtime, it was time to get dressed for the party.

I had one more idea, so we got ready and left at 6pm, then headed to my favorite outdoor photo backdrop, that has beautiful light all day long no matter what, and we did a little fun friend photo shoot! See more of the pictures and my thoughts on the challenge of adult friendships on that link.

Girls Weekend Getaway

After we left, we headed for the party, I was trying to be prompt at 7pm, but we got there about 7:07, ha! No big deal, except the party activities were starting at 7:15, and the time was emphasized again and again (at my request)! To read about my 40th birthday celebration, click on that link.

40th birthday party

We left the party around 11pm. It was a spectacular evening, filled with women whose hearts have touched mine in my life, and a night I will treasure. As we headed back to the house, I was delighted to have one more late night chat with my girls. We added a few extras, my SIL Kriste in from Dallas area and Candida from Houston. We snacked around the kitchen, then talked on the couch ’til 3am…well, some of us! Some fell asleep, hard to do two late nights in a row at our age!

Conversation is my favorite, and what I look for with a girls weekend.

Sunday morning, there were a few early flights out, and long drives ahead, so we said our farewells. Jen stayed for another day.  And Candida joined us back at my house, so it was a lovely relaxed day.

I’m so grateful I took the plunge, got ambitious, and sent out the invite to some dear friends.

They came! They showed up for me, and that screams a thousand words to me that they care, they truly care.

Join The Discussion

*

Comments

  1. Alysha A Paulsen says:

    Looks like an amazing time! Wish I could have been there, but glad my house was available!! Lol!! ❤️❤️

    • Kristen Duke says:

      You’re the BEST, my friend! I’m so grateful for you, and amazed that you saw this published so quickly, I didn’t even announce it anywhere! Love you!

  2. I’m glad you’re embracing it. I had a small dinner party and invited everyone that was special to me around the Houston area to a Mexican restaurant. I knew everyone from somewhere different in my life (work, gym, church, college, high school, family) but everyone seemed to mingle well and we had great conversations. My mom even made my favorite chocolate cake!

  3. Marissa King says:

    Looks like so much fun!