AfterAbigail and Devin arrived, we put some steaks on the grill and asparagus in the oven. I finished up the mashed potatoes while Ryan grilled the steaks. We sat down and had a fun dinner just catching up with our friends we've had for the past 11-12 years. It was WONDERFUL being able to talk over dinner without being interrupted or having to beg Noah to take another bite of his food!! After dinner, we played a game of Word on the Street and then Ticket to Ride. I hadn't played games FOREVER - it was so fun! Devin ended up winning Ticket to Ride and taking our game home. We figured it will be awhile until we can play games like that again. :) The rest of the night we spent laughing at You Tube videos and talking about all sorts of stuff. It was a great night! Crazy to think that the next time we see them, we will be a family of four.
The next morning, I quickly got ready for my surprise morning! We rushed out the door at 8:45 a.m. and started heading north. Next thing I know, we were pulling into my friend Dalia's neighborhood. As we pulled into her driveway, I saw all the girls (Dalia, Patty, Natalie, and Kerri) in my Bible study group there, too! They started honking their horn at me and told me to jump in their car. So this was my surprise!! I hopped in the car and off we went toward downtown Indy.
|Patty, Dalia, me, Kerri, and Natalie|
Our first stop was at Cafe Patachou, one of my very favorite places to have breakfast! I can't even remember the last time I got together with girlfriends for breakfast - maybe never. It was so fun! I ordered their croissant French toast with fresh fruit, a side of eggs, and a hazelnut steamer, which was especially delicious on that chilly rainy morning. Again, it was so nice to just have some time with these women without kids, husbands, or other distractions. So relaxing!
|The girl giving me my pedicure was coincidentally someone Ryan knew from high school! She is also a strong, Christian woman, which made the morning even more fun to know that God had orchestrated even that time together!|
After breakfast, they had another surprise for me - pedicures at a spa downtown! This has always been my dream - to go to a spa with a group of women and all get spoiled together. I've just never made it happen, and I love that Dalia organized it without even knowing how extra special that experience would be for me. They only had three pedicure stations, so Natalie, Kerri, and I went first, and then Dalia and Patty went second. We all chose pretty different colors. I was feeling a shimmery purple color, while Kerri took a change on a fun coral/orange color, which is what I typically pick this time of year. Dalia chose a very glittery pink, while Patty and Natalie picked shades of red. We had a great time just chatting away! I think men would be amazed at the number of subjects and conversations that women can have in a short time together. The morning was full of smiles and laughing, delicious food, and spa treatment. I couldn't have dreamed of a better surprise with the girls! They also gave me two free house cleaning sessions, which I will surely take advantage of by the end of May. Thanks again for such a wonderful gift and experience, friends! I am so grateful for all that you did to make our time together so special!
|Natalie and me|
Patty and I also met during Bourbon Chase and survived 200 miles across Kentucky together in the same van! For those of you who have endured those conditions in a major race, you can understand the accomplishment! :) Our friendship has grown through the course of our Bible study group, and I love the way she strives to be a strong, Christian woman. This especially is evident in her awesome marriage! Her passion for everything - her work as a photographer, her marriage, her faith, her friends - is something that I easily connect with and love to see in her!
Natalie and I met in December 2009 through Dalia, and when we joined their Bible study group, our friendship began to grow. From the day we met, I have always loved being around her contagious happiness and genuine sweetness. Natalie shows so much determination in her job and her role as a mother/wife, striving to be the best that she can be. I admire the steps she takes to improve the life of her family. It really pushes me to look at my own life and take the necessary steps I need to accomplish in order to better relationships and situations around me!
Kerri and her husband are the newest couple to join our group (October 2010), and from the first meeting, I knew that they were the couple that would make our group complete. Kerri is easily one of the sweetest, warmest people I know. Although in many ways I am still getting to know her, I feel like I've known her soul for decades. Does that make sense? I think sometimes when you meet a sister in Christ, you have this automatic connection with one another, not just because you have your faith in common, but because it is a tie that truly binds you to one another. I admire Kerri's eagerness for growth and look forward to seeing God continue His work in her life!
All in all, it was a perfect weekend with friends! Ryan and I didn't pick up Noah until about 5 p.m. on Saturday. We have never been in town and had him be away for so long. It felt strange being home without him, but Ryan and I had a great time both when we were together and when we were apart. Pretty soon our lives will change in ways we can't predict as this next chapter begins. I will treasure this past weekend for months and years to come!