Holy Weekend

July 24, 2014


Last weekend my college friends and I celebrated the holiest holy day of the year – girls’ weekend.  Sort of like Christmas and Easter all wrapped up into one except no one gives birth in a stable or is tortured, murdered, and miraculously resurrected.

What began as a simple annual camping trip our first few summers after college has evolved to a weekend so critical to maintaining life as we know it that the countdown literally begins the day we return.  Come hell or high water, the third weekend in July a mini van packed with eight of the most desperate women you’ll ever meet is on the road in search of fun and twenty uninterrupted minutes of bathroom privacy.

It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

These trips are fun not so much because of the hilarious antics, the carefree days basking in the sun or the catching up with old friends, but more for the fact that Nick is reminded of the pain that comes with being a stay at home mom to three little kids and his appreciation for me and terror of what might happen if I were to ever leave him is cheerfully refreshed.  Sometimes I like to call him riiiight in the middle of lunch time and ask why he’s so stressed out.  This comes in super handy for the rest of the year when I feel like he is taking me for granted.  All I have to do is say, “Remember that time when I went on my girls’ trip to Chicago and you were with the girls all day by yourself?”  He immediately tenses up and his eye starts to twitch.  Flowers usually arrive the following day.

Our trip always starts out with a fast food run.  This may be the most important part of the entire weekend because I love to walk into the restaurant to soak in the hoards of parents fighting with their crazy kids.  Sorry, but nothing is better than seeing other parents struggle with their kids when I am without mine.  It reminds me of why I needed this vacation so badly in the first place, lest I’ve forgotten in the 20 minutes I’ve already been away from them.

Despite the fact that I’m balancing a chicken sandwich and mountain of french fries on my knees squished in between two people in the back of a mini van, no meal has ever tasted so good.  Mainly because I am actually able to chew and swallow instead of inhale or snort.  One day I’m just going to get smart and take all food in IV form.

This year we decided to stay relatively close to home and go to the Lake of the Ozarks, though the location is the least important factor in our weekend.  We could have fun in a boiler room.  As long as there is a pool, a pontoon boat, wine, beer, perfect weather, a wide variety of shopping options, 4-star restaurants and a dance club.

We’re simple girls, really.

Saturday we rented a boat, though unlike years past opted not to go to party cove.  For those unfamiliar with party cove, it is a spot at the Lake of the Ozarks where you go to be photographed, have the photograph uploaded to social media and then promptly fired when you arrive at your job on Monday.  Also rumor has it that biologists have done some testing there and apparently you can get pregnant if submerge your butt in the water.

So we did it low key pontoon-style, tooled around the lake and saw the house my grandparents used to own, anchored in remote coves, and reenacted the movie Titanic from beginning to end.




That night we went to a club to show all of the college kids how old and white we are.  The band played Jump Around, and, forgetting I was wearing a strapless bra, my boobs turned the song into Flop Around.  Mid-way through my friends grabbed my arm and I was informed that they had found someone for me to have a dance contest with.  I was neither sober enough or interested enough to have a dance contest, so I accepted.  And, judging by the cheers/horrified gasps from the crowd when my friend held my feet and we did The Wheelbarrow across the dance floor, I was the clear winner.

Sunday morning came with the pain of 1,000 play dates.  I awoke to my friend’s retching in the bathroom.  Everyone sat silent around the kitchen table.  After about an hour someone suggested we start packing up.  They were then beaten and thrown into the lake.

I know what will happen when I get home.  Nick will expect me to take care of our children.  He has been “working” and I’ve had three days of relaxing.  I call and explain how tired I am.  How much work it is to have fun.  He is completely unsympathetic.  In fact, he seems a little medicated.

Reluctantly, we load up and start for home.  One last trip to the fast food restaurant, though this time it only a painful reminder of what awaits us in two short hours.

“How lucky are we to have a girls weekend every year?”  I say to everyone, praying our van crashes into a pylon on the freeway.






My Pool Noodle Will Go On


Please notice that the initial reaction of my BEST FRIENDS, the people who are supposed to cherish and protect me, was to goose me with a pool noodle as I was about to go overboard. I think our relationship reached a whole new level of admiration.

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The Seven Stages of Frozen


Stage 1 – Ignorance Experienced Frozen for the first time with my eldest daughter and it was magical.  Mother/daughter bonding of epic proportions; the stuff pre-kid dreams are made of. “I love you Mom,”  She said as we exited the theater. “I love you too.” We walk hand in hand through the magical flurries of snow. Stage 2 – The Honeymoon Phase I can’t recall the exact tune of the movie’s songs; download a few onto my iPod.  “Let It Go” becomes our official family mantra. The song is played on repeat at all times in the van; continually sung around the house and free time is spent brainstorming 4-person choreography. My husband disapproves.  I begin to lose my trust in him. Stage 3 -Dependence Rent Frozen On Demand for the kids as a special treat and watch it together as a family for the first time.  Just as magical as it was in the theater.  The girls proceed to watch it 11 more times over the course of the next 48 hours.  I don’t question their shallow breathing or corpse-like vacant stares as I perform household chores* in peace. Have my first dream about Frozen.  I was punching Elsa in the face.  I wake up in a cold sweat.  Question everything. *Words With Friends games Stage 4 – Self-Doubt Still slightly haunted by the […]

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Fireworks and Beer (And An Awesome Budweiser Give-A-Way)


 This bit of tasty summer refreshment brought to you by the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten I’ve always been a little skittish around fireworks, probably because when I was a kid my cousins lit bottle rockets and shot them at my face.  My only defense was to hide in the bushes, however, they quickly caught on and tried to flush me out by shooting roman candles directly into the shrubs. To this day any loud noise that catches me by surprise makes me pee my pants a little.   An unexpected crack of thunder, or Nick’s farts when he sleeps, for example. As our family illegally sneaked onto the country club fairway for a close-up view of the fireworks Friday night, I wondered if my kids would have the same panicked and incontinent reaction I do when I hear things blow up.  Fortunately they were mesmerized and I was properly self-medicated so all went well. Numbing the paralyzing terror of fireworks aside, there is something about this time of year that makes beer taste especially glorious.  Maybe because it is really really hot, or maybe because my kids are out of school and have nothing better to do than fight over the pink paper plate holder and the idea of a nice frosty one at the end of the day is the only thing keeping me from picking up […]

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Five Kids’ Shows That Make Me Want To Karate Chop The TV (and one that doesn’t)


1.  Sid.  DUDE.  You’re killing me.  Can you please do parents everywhere a solid and cool it with the keep asking lots and lots of questions bit?  I don’t know what sort of biology/chemistry/astrophysics education you think I have, but let me start by telling you that I answer 99% of my kids’ science-related questions with “Jesus”, “magic” or “nocturnal”. How does electricity work?  Jesus.  What makes the wind blow?  Magic.  Why do we eat fast food when you know it is bad for me?  Nocturnal. With every episode you are forcing me to feed my children more and more lies as I descend into a rabbit hole of maintaining the illusion that I know everything.  How about you teach them some practical life skills, like not killing each other in the grocery store or knocking before they barge through a closed bedroom door? I love how cheerful and optimistic you are, but I also sort of want you to burst into flames.   2.  George is a good little monkey, and always very curious. Wrong.  George is a straight up dick.  Digging up the front yard until he hits a sewer line because he wanted a pool?  Spewing cake batter all over the kitchen, then coming up with the ingenious solution of parading in a bunch of stray neighborhood dogs to lick it up? […]

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The Next Best Thing To Surgery


This summer style inspiration is brought to you by Ross Dress For Less I don’t know a lot about “fashion”, or “dressing in a way that doesn’t look like I’m on my way to a costume party”, which is why I post so many changing room pics on my Facebook page.  Most of my stay-at-home mom days call for a simple t-shirt and shorts, but some days I need to get fancy so I’ll wear my ponytail holder with the sparkly flecks. I’ve purchased about 15 maxi dresses, all without trying them on.  I see women wearing them all the time and think, “Wow – I need to buy a maxi dress so I can be 5’9 and 120 pounds and 19 too.”  Then I will get home and put it on.  In my mind I look just like those girls who have never had a baby or eaten a meal so large they thought their stomach might tear.  But as I reveal myself to myself in the mirror my meat apron is always there to greet me, loud and proud.  It’s like wearing a gigantic tent that still manages to emphasize the aftermath of each pregnancy. Anyhoo, enter the maxi skirt, my new boyfriend (sorry Jon Hamm).  Casual and fun like the maxi dress, comfy like my pjs.  And all without the accompanying, “is […]

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The Scream


The screaming began approximately seven minutes after I put her in the bathtub. Which, if you have little kids, you’ll agree is always somewhat reassuring.  A scream means everyone is alive and able to get air into and out of their lungs.  Prolonged silence is what makes a parent’s blood run cold.  The moment you sit down and actually start to relax on your back patio you suddenly realize you can’t remember the last scream you heard and spring to your feet in a panic, certain some creepy neighbor has lured them into their tool shed for a game of good touch bad touch. So, like always, when I heard the blood curdling terrified scream I continued wiping down the kitchen counter top, relieved everything was A-okay. My nephew ran into the kitchen, panting and sweaty. “Hers… hers… HERS P-P-POOPED IN THE TUB!” We were visiting my sister and brother-in-law at their cattle farm for my nephew’s birthday for the weekend, which is the equivalent of letting my kids run amok through a field of buried land mines.  Her 4-year-old son knows to stay away from the electric fence and if you drink the pond water you’re most likely going to get tape worm.  My girls do not know these things, so I spend most of the day chasing them around knocking poison ivy bouquets […]

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