Bacon & Belvoir

Everyone has those friends that you can pick up where you left off each time you see each other no matter how long it has been. You know, the ones that make you laugh until you go completely silent trying to catch air…The ones who know everything about you but love you anyway.

July just happened to be the month that I got a chance to hang with three of them.

Most moms can relate to the paradox of having good friends that aren’t going down the motherhood road just yet. Fortunately, my old college roommate and once-inseparable friend has a little girl close to Binz’s age. Only living a few hours away, they came and shacked up with us last weekend.

We took the little fish to the pool and then had a “girls night out” at Brucemore’s children’s theatre. I was completely surprised by the cleverness of the play and the whimsical atmosphere of spreading out a blanket on the grass to watch. As we were walking back to the car after the performance, Cay (who had skipped dinner) yelled out “Can I have bacon?!” How cool is this little kid? She’s such a sweetheart too with a firecracker personality just like her mom.

We ran by the store after the show to pick up said bacon and some other essentials. It was while we were standing in the liquor section with our girls trying to find our favorite cherry vodka that the hilarity of our experience as college friends and now moms came to a head. Finding the humor in this, I thought it would be necessary to capture the moment on camera. As I tried to perfectly pose the girls in front of the isle of bottles for the shot, someone calls Binz’s name. How awesome of a parent am I trying to take a picture of kids in front of vodka bottles only to be spotted doing so by one of Binz’s former daycare teachers … you know, someone who has cared for her well being?  Did I also mention the little turkeys had gotten crazy and ditched their shoes at this point? Seriously. Mom. Of. The. Year. Nominee. Right. Here.

Binz and Cay

In true mom fashion I didn’t get a single picture of us together all weekend. …then again, we have plenty of us running around without shoes on from years ago ;)

To keep this blog true with real-world honesty, I am embarrassed to say that she and I had lost close touch due to some pettiness over the last few years and, unfortunately, it took her losing her husband for us to reconcile and drop past issues recently. Our girls (and us) clearly have some time to make up for but we were happy to see them act like they have been friends since diapers.

It’s not my place to talk about how these two lives’ have changed. But I will ask you to consider this—Can you imagine laying your head on your husband’s chest and having it feel weird because it is not rising up and down? Have you ever had to wish that your toddler daughter retains just one of her own memories of her dad instead of having to live it through other’s stories?  These thoughts shake you to your core. These two are very strong souls who we all can learn a lot from. I know this will shape who they are but it won’t define them. She is considering writing a book about the experience (putting that Drake journalism degree to full use) and I really hope she does.

In all, it was rejuvenating to throw back a couple of drinks, relax, and talk on the deck until sunrise (literally) like we hadn’t done in years.

A few weeks ago I also made a long overdue trip to Philadelphia to see another good friend from college days at Drake. My best friend from growing up in Omaha came in from her place in Brooklyn, NY too. It’s a great mix because those two have become better friends being on the East coast together. For me, it’s a chance to combine an old friend with an even older friend (old as is length of friendship … but if we’re counting “older” IS also the closest to claiming social security :-P). All girls should be this lucky to have worlds of friendship collide.

We made sure to get our culture on by strolling through the halls of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This piece (pictured below) would look fabulous in my house but decided I just didn’t have anywhere to put it. That, and it would never fit in my carry-on. We then immersed ourselves in a bit of genuine and completely accurate history at the Bastille Day celebration at Eastern State Penitentiary. Unfortunately, TSA confiscated my pitchfork but I made sure to cheer on the beheading (er, be-watermellon-ing?). The whole experience was quite authentic, really. Marie Antoinette even threw tastykakes over the prison wall to let the peasants “eat cake” exactly like the beginning of the revolution in 1789. At least, I think that’s how my history professor told the story.

Philadelphia Museum Bastille Days

And keeping with the theme of good friends and vodka, I am also hooked on Elderflower Presse as a mixer after my Philly trip. To everyone in the U.S.A.: can we agree to start carrying this stuff in more traditional stores? The way I see it, it’s much more enjoyable than oil so let’s stop buying gas and start importing this regularly instead. Deal? Great.

Thanks ladies for reminding me that life is about living and enjoying every moment. …And for all of the laughing because it has got to be good for my abs.