Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Weekend I Introduced My Boyfriend to My Long-Distance Boyfriend, Or In Other Words, Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving I went home!  To my New York City, that is.  It was awesome.  Danny and I drove up Wednesday, as he was spending Thanksgiving with family in New Jersey, and had a great day, culminating in his introduction to Levain Bakery, of course. 

Look at the love forming on that face. #newrelationship

As we drove closer to the city and could see the skyline, I just couldn't stop smiling.  I was so happy! 

Definitely woke up to this on Thanksgiving from that boy. :-)

Thursday I had to start out with a run in Central Park, of course.  To burn some calories, you know.  And...Central Park in the fall.  #nobrainer


Oh, how I miss this view.  Be still, my heart.




(Full disclosure: the above amazing fall pics are from the weekend as a whole, not just my run.  I didn't stop THAT many times.  But seriously.  Could you blame me if I did?)

 Danny was with his family in Jersey, and in the meantime,  I had all 5 million of my best friends for Thanksgiving dinner at Rachel Perkins' apartment! (She's a brave woman, that Rachel).



Maybe not 5 million, and truthfully, I didn't know ALL of them.  But I knew most of them, and could confidently say I spent Thanksgiving with my people. (Minus Danny.  Have to give that shout-out).


Rachel, our amazing host, needing a minute...

And finally eating...
Danny came into the city on Friday, and we spent the day kicking around the NYC.  He's been there before, but I got to show him things that I loved as a local, not the touristy stuff.  It was awesome.  



Brook and I let Danny be in our usual selfie.  You're welcome, Babe.



I took him to Jacob's Pickle for breakfast, then we explored St. John The Divine Cathedral.  We both love churches.  We then went up to Inwood to Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters, and enjoyed the medieval religious art in a gorgeous setting. 



There was a quick stop at the High Line, a failed attempt at the Hamilton lottery, and dinner at a diner near Union Square.  By the end of the day, we were so exhausted!  But the day was fantastic, with lovely weather. 

Little bit of sunset on the High Line, you know.

Saturday I had lunch with Brenden and Deb, and saw her baby bump.  She is going to make an adorable mom.  



Saturday night was a low-key night eating leftovers and watching a movie.


Sunday I visited my old Harlem ward before heading back out to Jersey to meet Danny for the drive back to Virginia.  It was a great weekend, and total confirmation that this place still has my heart, but Virginia is for lovers, so they say.  Hmmm....#foreshadowing ;-)


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Girls Camp 2.0

This is my dear friend Beth.  She's amazing. 


And this is Garrett Rustand, my dear friend Beth's husband.  He kind of wins the best husband of 2015 award, and I'll tell you why.

Last spring, I got an email from Garrett.  It was addressed to me, Katie Bogner Hill, Kristi Barney Christiansen, and Jen Cardall Jacobsen.  It was an email inviting the four of us to Tuscan, AZ in November to surprise Beth for her birthday.  Garrett would provide the flights and hotel, and we would provide the throwback sisterhood.  I couldn't believe it.  And my answer was... I'll think about it.



So in mid-November, the four of us gathered at a Mexican restaurant with bags on our heads, so she would have to walk in and guess who was under the bags. 


Luckily, she did me first, so I could watch her guess everyone else!  We were all dying, especially Beth.  We all haven't seen each other for a few years, some of us about 6 years, like Jen and I.



Dinner included a mariachi band that came, and of course I was up dancing. 


Naturally.  To be truthful, I was a little reluctant, but once up there figured myself out and let it happen.  

With a little old waitress who came and danced with me.  We bonded. And Weekend Girls Camp 2.0 was off to a great start.


Garrett reserved these amazing hotel rooms that joined together by a huge living room with a fireplace.  We stayed up till maybe 4am?  I don't even remember.  We could not stop talking, laughing, some crying, and laughing again.  There was so much catching up to do.  LIFE had happened for all of us, and there needed to be some serious debriefing, besides all the reminiscing.  I couldn't have been happier.

Kristi- pretty sure that is laughter...

Katie, in a rare moment of not holding the camera.  Photo cred: Jen

Saturday we went to breakfast, on a hike, and swimming, with a detour to the grocery store for treats.  Of course.  


And a few energy drinks, because, let's be honest.  We aren't 20 anymore. 


We spent time at the gorgeous pool at the hotel, went down the water slide a million times, then went to dinner.  The whole day, nonstop talking.  





About everything under the sun.  And more laughter, and more tears.  And more laughter.  


We talked families, the gospel, faith or lack of, marriage, divorce, kids, birth, death, our childhoods, high school.  I'm telling you. Everything.


As I listened to some of my dearest friends that I have known forever, I just marveled at the women they are now.  


What they have been through, the triumphs and heartaches, and so many things I never actually knew, that I wish I had, to be honest.  I could have helped.  We are all complex, human women.  With our strengths, weaknesses, beautiful and ugly, trials and triumphs, all those things that make us who we are.  We are real.  


I don't remember what Jen was saying, but it was really good.
That whole weekend, there was no pretense, no pretending our lives were perfect.  But there was also the knowledge that we are blessed to know each other, and blessed in our lives.  

Life is so hard, sometimes.  And we have all seen that side by now.  But it is so good, too.  And we have all seen that side as well.

Saturday night we fought the good fight to stay up late again, but didn't make it nearly as far.  Are we getting old?


Sunday we went to church, spent some time with Beth's family, and said goodbye to Jen and Katie. Still talking the whole time.  Nonstop.

 It was a hard departure.  





Kristi and I stayed over till Monday because flying east would take the whole day.  So we got to spend some more quality time with the Rustand family. It was awesome and hysterical.  I would expect nothing less from Beth and Garrett's kids.

I'm telling you.  I haven't had a weekend that was so good for my soul in a long time.  In that unique way that only good, old friends can accomplish. 


Photo credit goes to the amazing Katie and her skills, and my apparently longer-than-everyone-else's arms.