Friday, February 27, 2015

Party in Eden

Looking back, it's fair to say that our weekend away began well before any of us kissed our families goodbye. It was a dreadful Friday afternoon. You know the type. Time seemed to slowly crawl by despite the flurry of energy associated with trip preparations. A group of Moms, eager to make that next step in our relationship, kept our cell phones in close proximity; keeping a vigil over a most entertaining stream of text messages. What began as a correspondence to finalize details evolved into sharing snapshots of our disheveled homes in an effort to "keep things real." Wit and humor colored the commentary and there may have even been an occasional selfie attached with personal declarations of love for naughty beverages (read: dirty diet cokes). 
The countdown was on. And while there were certainly items waiting to be checked off of our personal "to-do" lists, the feelings of impatience and eagerness wouldn't subside. At last, dinner time came and went at the Flegal household. A list of reminders for my family was lovingly taped the refrigerator door. And finally,  the personal pile of "stuff" I had accumulated was neatly placed by the door; the sight of which made it appear that I was heading to Europe for a month.

Finally, after one last kiss goodbye, my kind husband dropped me off at Maren's house! Let the party begin (but first Maren and I played tetris with our luggage as we tried to arrange it into her car. Like me, she was bringing  a lot of crap stuff)!! Picking up our third musketeer, Alyssa, we made our way to downtown Ogden where we met up with rest of the crew at Blue Lemon, a restaurant new to the Junction.  And, it must be said, that downtown Ogden is a sublime place to spend a night out. I mean it. My love and affection for Ogden is genuine.
Dinner was both delicious and delightful, even if we had the most confused (that's a polite way of saying inept) restaurant staff attending us. Dinner was a warm up for the marathon chat fest that would take place that weekend. Looking back, I am left to wonder, didn't we all earn a medal? I would really appreciate a medal. 
"Hey guys!" I offer. "How about we ask that friendly stranger to snap a photo of us?" Instead they introduced me to a "selfie stick."  It can be a tricky trick to master, but Erica and Kalie rocked it.

A good while later, Kalie suggests, 

"How about we jump in our cars and make our way to the house? I'm excited to see it!" And that's when it hit me. Our night out wasn't over! I didn't have to go home. And while I'd miss my kids, I was really thrilled, to learn all over again, that this was just the beginning! 

We made the quick drive up to Eden and quickly began bringing in our supplies. 
 "The supplies."

The tour of the house blew us away. It's hard to imagine people living in such luxury, but truly those who let us use their cabin are among the most generous and down to earth families. My admiration for the lady of the house, even though I've never met her, grew more and more each day as I observed the way in which she organized her home. It was so brilliant and inspiring.
 Despite the multiple bedrooms, we all thought it would be awesome (and less scary) to share a room that had three bunk beds. Some ladies would be sharing the bottom bunk that was full sized. More on that later. 
After having our fill of "bedtime snacks" we retired to the theater room in the basement and participated in a "favorite thing" exchange. I have never done one of these before but ended up really loving it; especially since I scored hemp lotion, a snickers almond bar and new chap stick! YES! 
Bedtime happened around 2:00 a.m. Because I'm a crazy person, I had a difficult time falling asleep. I was nervous that my tossing and turning would keep my bunk mates awake. So I laid still. I tried to sleep but failed in a big way. Around 6:00 a.m., having only cat napped, I made my escape for another room and found myself on a big couch. Minutes later another friend emerged. It was Maren! And I scared the daylights out of her when I said "Hello!" as it was totally dark. We visited for a bit and then decided to "sleep" which attempt lasted a solid 3 minutes. Soon after that try failed, Erica joined us followed by Kalie (and no, they claim we didn't wake them up. If we did, than i apologize.)

I was okay with the exhaustion as I knew that I didn't have small children to care for that day. But I did feel hindered in my ability to communicate (but I pressed on, don't you worry) and think clearly. Many of us succeeded when we tried for a nap, thank goodness. I point this out because there is a giant misconception that continually tricks me. On a girls weekend, you assume their will be sleep because their won't be any children there. WRONG! This is wrong. Why am I so quick to forget how women operate? We talk and talk and talk and talk! Nobody has time to sleep!

It was a cozy scene as we lounged on those couches, wrapped in red blankets, watching the sun rise. The scenery was exquisite. Later that day, there would be a steady snow fall. With the fire place lit, we visited, read and rested; drinking in the peaceful atmosphere.
The Eden house

 Chelsea and Kalie (who is modeling one such, cozy red blanket)

The kitchen table was another favorite gathering place. Thoughtful, delicious meals were enjoyed there. We ate like Queens (and Kings... because we truly ate and ate!). 
Well, Hello baby Beau! 
Being the youngest of the bunch, Beau still needed sometime with his Mama.
He was such a gentleman while he was with us.
He is madly in love with his sweet mama, Maren!

Saturday afternoon we gathered to discuss our latest article. It spoke me to me. Add to what I just wrote a thousand other cliche sentences to illustrate how touched I was by this article. I was a tearful mess. Don't worry, friends. I didn't cry alone. We were blurbing and sharing testimony and you, dear reader, are probably wanting to stab a fork in your eye just hearing about it. These articles have moved our friendship along as it has forced us out of comfort zones to places of real vulnerability. That's when we bond most. Also, when Kalie decides to give you a foot rub out of the blue BECAUSE SHE'S JUST AWESOME LIKE THAT, you bond some more. Don't worry. I returned the favor. This is my favorite photo from the weekend because you can tell that I am talking (SHOCKER, my poor friends) and getting a foot rub; at the same time.
Don't worry Mom. 
I tried my best to be a good listener and interrupt less. 
I need to do better, but I am trying. 
Dinner at Luis in Huntsville.
I was introduced to the best guacamole ever. 
It's the one photo of the entire group as a few ladies 
had to come and go at different times.
Sunday morning.

Cleaning and straightening was a breeze as there were many hands to help and no children to undo our efforts. We said our goodbyes and promised to do this again real soon. And then texted one another all Sunday night... withdrawals are rough.

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