Girls Weekend Hangover

Vacation is exhausting. Well, a weekend of laughing, drinking, eating, and laying in the sun is exhausting. Girls Weekend is one of my favorite events of the year, for ten years I have gone up north with all of the women from my mom’s family to spend four days in the woods being nothing short of crazy.

Emily Laura JodyI thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, for the first time in a long time I wasn’t attached to my cell phone and didn’t feel the need to take a thousand pictures of our experience. I was just immersed in the people around me, catching up with their lives, and enjoying our time together. I don’t have crazy stories to share, because we don’t do that. We keep our experiences to ourselves and secretly trade them back and forth throughout the year. But for me, girls weekend was:

  • Making music videos in the car to Janet Jackson with my mom
  • Eating the family recipe coffee cake…too much coffee cake
  • Sleeping until noon so we can stay up until 2am
  • Selfies
  • Talking about butts, boobs, poop, and the like
  • Scavenger hunts around the lake
  • Laughing until your entire body hurts
  • Beer, margaritas, and sangria slushies
  • Serious life conversations while floating in the lake
  • Water shooter fights…in my clothes
  • Moms making sex jokes to their kids just to hear them groan
  • Homemade soft pretzels
  • Running around town in matching, homemade t-shirts
  • Bags of homemade swag and gifts
  • And four days of feeling connected, supported, and loved by a crazy group of women

As you can imagine, I am exhausted. Those four days are so outside of my usual routine that I was exhausted by day 2. It’s a busy work week for me so I was back to the grind yesterday, with a grant proposal to write, mid-year reviews for staff to start, and a million other little projects to do before this week ends, I sequestered myself into a vacant office and pushed through the Girls Weekend Hangover. A lunch of fattoush and hummus, courtesy of my boss didn’t hurt either.

July is an odd month for us, weeks where we are home, we are preparing for our next trip. Both Justin and I were gone for a portion of last week, to come home and spend this week preparing for our vacation in the Upper Peninsula with my parents that starts in just five days. Six days of lounging in a hammock by the lake is just what the doctor ordered.


Throwback Thursday: Alert the Authorities!

You'realwayswith meToday, as I sit here, half awake, sipping my coffee and watching my usual morning news I am filled with anticipation for what has become one of my favorite events of the year.

It’s Girls Weekend!

One weekend, every year, women with suitcases full of crazy supplies, travel toward northern Michigan to spend four days laughing, catching up, being crazy, and relaxing. It is usually the only time of the year that we are all together. We plan for months to celebrate our relationships with each other, it is an import part of our lives.

For this year, in particular, I am in desperate need of this weekend, to spend time with some of my absolute favorite people and let them build me up again. In about four hours I will be getting in the car, driving the four blocks to pick up my mother and we will be hitting the road for our restorative four days in the woods.

So, in honor of my morning of anticipation and packing, let’s throw it back today to TWO posts on previous Girls Weekends. Last year’s post The Parade and 2014’s Hazy, Crazy, Lazy Days of Summer.

Alert the authorities, the ladies are on their way!

High Five for Friday: Grab a Brew!

High Five For FridayInstead of a coffee date, I think I’m in need of a beer. So, in celebration of Friday, these are the silly, trivial, fun, things that I would share with you to round out the week. Sit down, take a load off, and pick out your favorite brew – It’s Friday!

  1. One of my absolute favorite shows is Flipping out with Jeff Lewis on Bravo. On Wednesday the ninth season started. I waited until Thursday to watch both new episodes so I could binge watch them at once. I could totally work in that dysfunctional office!
  2. Believe it or not, July is already half over! This week was one of our “normal” weeks in the midst of traveling and vacations. Justin came back from Texas, we had seven days together before he heads for a vacation with his family. I’ll be heading north, myself for Girls Weekend and then we have another week together before heading up to spend a week with my parents. Busy, Busy July!
  3. Next weekend is my annual Girls Weekend with some of my favorite people! I am so excited to hit the road and spend four days on the lake laughing, drinking, chatting, and relaxing. I’ve got a little crafty project planned for my week on my own that I’m pretty excited to share with my ladies!
  4. For the last few months I have been planning leadership training for the Parent Leadership Team at my organization. Thursday was our second session and I was so impressed with their engagement and excitement around the topics we’ve been discussing. I wasn’t really sure what to expect and went in without a specific agenda so the fact that they are participating in the conversation and really thinking about what it means to be a parent leader is awesome. It’s been a bright spot in some frustrating work days.
  5. I’m working on some structure and upgrades to this here blog. I have so many things that I want to do but consistency and planning are top priority for now. So stay tuned for some construction in this corner of the blogosphere.

EJFP Chapters: Real World Meets Fictional World

EJFP ChaptersTraveling has never been a huge part of my life, especially if it included leaving the state of Michigan. As a kid, I remember taking two trips outside of Michigan as a family, once to Disney World and once to Missouri for my dad’s dream vacation: a week on a houseboat. It seems that I have traveled more as an adult outside of my little Michigan comfort zone, one trip was a little more out of the ordinary than the others.

(May 2011) Shortly after I got married and my sister moved back home my mom decided that she wanted to take the two of us on a trip, considering we didn’t travel much and mom hadn’t been on an airplane in almost 18 years, I was surprised when she said she was taking us to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Mom and Laura did most of the planning, I helped with the more logistical stuff, and before we knew it, May had arrived and it was time for us to fly south!

Having not been on an airplane in so long, my mom did not have an exceptionally great time on our flights. By the time we landed we were all ready to kiss the ground below us. The feeling of walking out of the doors of the airport was so strange to me, the exhaustion from a day of traveling, the blast of humidity and heat, and the anticipation of getting to your destination. It’s a odd thing to be dropped off hundreds of miles away from where you started, completely vulnerable and relying on those around you for directions.

myrtle beach

Our hotel was very nice, the view was pretty amazing, the boardwalk kept going as far as the eye could see on either side of our balcony. The streets were filled with motorcycles for Black Biker Week, all night long you could hear the revving of bikes making their way along the main drag. We settled in, and got ready for five days of relaxing by the ocean.

Our first morning arrived and all I could think about was waking up and heading downstairs to the Starbucks on the main floor of the hotel. Coffee by the ocean just seems like the perfect wake up call. Probably one of the best views I’ve had while sitting at a coffee shop, the air was still cool, the boardwalk was empty and I sat there sipping my delicious coffee just taking in the breeze.

I spent the majority of my time lounging and reading on my new Kindle. It’s amazing how many books you can read when you’ve got an endless internet connection. We packed our days with visiting shops, trying new restaurants, laying on beach chairs, and just enjoying some time to pause. Laura and Mom are much more into the tourist aspect of traveling than I am, they undoubtedly saw much more of the city than I had. By the time our last couple of days came, we were just about spent with everything within a mile radius of our hotel. On the eve of our last full day, we decided to create some spontaneity in our vacation.

Wilmington, North Carolina was only a couple of hours away and the home of our favorite TV show, One Tree Hill. We headed back toward the airport to rent a car and hit the road! I had done research the night before and had a list of filming locations we were going to search for. My favorite, by far, was the Rivercourt on the Cape Fear River. Home to many scenes and characters that we had grown to love. We enjoyed a guided tour of the sound stage they filmed on and even got to walk through some of the sets for the show, I felt like I was in another universe. If only I had photographic evidence of that experience!

The next day we packed up and headed back to the real world, literally after spending a day in our favorite fictional world. We stepped off of our fourth plane in six days and we were back home, that feeling is a little different than when you land somewhere new, but it never fails, everything always feels a little different after returning from a trip away. The world just keeps on spinning while you’re off experiencing a new landscape.

This trip was one that sparked a series of trips that we take together, sometimes including other people, sometimes it’s just the three of us exploring new territory. I look forward to these little breaks from reality that we get, they are opportunities to just exist in a new space, away from the stress that life can bring with people you know will build you up.

I may not be one that likes to travel, the lack of control is a problem for me, but I do like to relax, explore, and soak in all of the time I can with the people that I care about. This summer will bring three breaks from reality and I’m already jonesing to get in the car and drive.