What a privilege it is to know my dear friend, Kari. You know you have a great friendship going when nearly twenty years have passed, and it still feels like just yesterday that you were freshmen in highschool. Only older. And wiser. And married. With kids. You get the point.
We got together this weekend for some focused "girl time" and we had such a great time. We came into the weekend with no firm plans, except to go into Chicago on Sunday. Otherwise, we just decided to "wing it" and simply BE.
When we arrived in town, we headed to my mom's studio to say hello real quick. Then I took her out to my mom and dad's house where we talked and talked....
We did lots of that this weekend.
We went to lunch, talked some more, and then headed to my older sister's house to catch up with her for a little while. My nieces kept asking where the boys were (my sister Kari often refers to my boys as "rock stars"), and I told them this weekend was just for the girls.
A highlight for me personally was getting to see my two sisters "perform" at church. I hate using the word perform when it's really ministry. They did a song called, "I'm free." My sister Kari signed while my sister Darci danced. It was so beautiful. I don't believe there were any dry eyes in our row. The two of them had a light around them up there...it was almost angelic...and impossible to describe unless you were there. I thought I should take a picture of them but figured that could be a wee bit distracting. Suffice it to say they touched hearts and God used them greatly in that service, I am sure of it! I jokingly told them that the only thing that would have made it better was if I was able to sing with them. : )
On Sunday, Kari and I headed into the city (by train, which she'd never experienced before), and we walked Michigan Avenue for a while. We ate a fantastic lunch at one of my favorite places. I can't begin tell you how good the food was, but perhaps you can gain some understanding from this photo (this was seriously the best strawberry shortcake I've ever had in my LIFE):
We also got to see "Wicked." It was her first time seeing a real stage production, but my third time seeing this particular one. She loved it, and I so enjoyed seeing her reaction to this wonderful show. The music is great and she tolerated my singing along when I just couldn't HELP myself! It was the perfect show for the weekend. The friendship theme is unmistakable!
I knew I needed a break...a time to get away and just be by myself for a little while...when on Friday, I freaked out over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich dropping on the floor that got quickly got gobbled up by the dog. Did I mention the sandwich belonged to a hungry, screaming toddler (who shall remain nameless), the floors had just been cleaned, and this mama was nearly at her breaking point?
I know. You're wondering why I'm mentioning the sandwich episode.
It's merely to say that I desperately needed a break. When my boys greeted me at the door upon my arrival home, we were all smiles. We kissed, hugged, and cuddled, and this mama felt refreshed. I was ready to tackle whatever came next. I was reminded that I need to take care of myself sometimes...to take a break away. Not because I don't love being a mom, but because I need to take care of her.
To my dear friend Kari of nearly twenty years, I thank you. Thanks for making the trip, for taking the time, and for just being you. I can't wait until next year! (We are SO totally making this an annual tradition!)