A couple of weeks ago we drove to Denton, Texas, so that C could attend the 10th Annual Iaido Embukai (iaido = a Japanese sword art; embu = demonstration; kai = group), and while he was participating in that, LO and I could meet up with some friends who live not too far from the area. We left an hour later than we'd planned, it rained heavily almost the entire drive there, I pulled my usual stunt of packing things we didn't need (e.g., fifty tubes of lipstick) and forgetting things we did need (e.g., LO's toothbrush and toothpaste, my contact lenses),and LO got uncharacteristically homesick... but we still had a great time!
We drove down on a Friday. The next day, LO and I met up with three friends (with their kids) I have known since our elementary school days in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Collinsville, Oklahoma - one of them I've continued to keep in touch with over the years, the other two I have Facebook to thank for reconnecting us! Mish suggested we meet at a kid-friendly place called Going Bonkers. I'd never been before, and the website looked nice - a place where we could all chat while our kids played safely. People, a warning: NEVER go to this place on a Saturday, ever. DO NOT be fooled by the photos on their website. On a Saturday, it is fifty times more crowded and overwhelming than those photos lead you to believe! Seriously, when we walked in, this place smacked me in the face with the dizzying heat of wall-to-wall people - those who know me well know that being stuck in hot, crowded places is my FAVORITE, ugh. That, and trying to keep up with a three-year-old in the padded, netted, rat-maze insanity they call an indoor playground had me really wishing I had sprayed myself head-to-toe with Secret. BUT, despite the craziness, it was so awesome to see everyone, and I hope to do it again in the not-too-distant future at a venue that won't have me ripping my hair out.
The following day, I got to meet up with Chalna! She and I got to know each other through an online moms' group whose common bond is our July 2007 due dates - which means that we were all going through similar things with our pregnancies - and subsequently, our kids - at the same time... I think that really made more of a difference than any other demographic in common could have. There are a small handful of ladies in the group that I clicked with, and even fewer who I can honestly say have helped keep me sane - Chalna is definitely one of them! We had attempted to get four of us from the group together in the Dallas area for a get-together this fall, but unfortunately with busy schedules, we couldn't make it happen. Luckily, Chalna and her family were still able to meet up with LO and me for a couple of hours on Sunday before we headed home, and of course she was just as lovely in person as I'd anticipated. And I was so excited to finally meet her sweet boy Colin! It took a few minutes of warming up to each other, but soon Colin and LO were having a great time together. For days afterward, LO was still telling me one of Colin's jokes. And, may I just express my gratitude over Chalna and her husband not even batting an eye when at lunchtime LO decided to fill his mouth full of milk and then let it run out all over his shirt (a little reminiscent of my meetup with another great mom from the group, April this past summer, when LO decided to grab a handful of food - I should mention that the food in question was QUESO). My only complaint is that the afternoon ended too quickly. Another meetup is surely in our future. :-) (And by the way, Chalna, LO totally asked just a few days ago if he could have one of those cookies that "Aleisha" made (Oops - he met so many people that weekend and was getting the names all mixed up - but clarified himself by explaining that he was talking about "Colin's mommy". ;-))
The boys sharing laughs over a couple of sopapillas
Lastly, I should mention that if it weren't for our Garmin GPS, I don't think I could've braved driving around that little patch of north Texas to meet up with my friends without my hubby! I feel like Garmin made that GPS just for me! Yay for the Garmin - you changed my life, ha!!