Friday, May 23, 2008

Birmingham~ Just the Two of Us

***Finally edited to add party pictures***
Since I've posted some cute pictures of the girls recently, I'll back track now and explain my blogging absence for almost a full week... I'm going to blame it on traveling for the weekend and regrouping at home once again. This is going to be a long post and mostly just written so I'll be able to remember the events, so don't read if you are only interested in hearing about the girls.

On Friday last week I felt like a caged bird. The feeling was overwhelming. I was just about to explode with the grumpiness, fussies, and disgusting incidents (I'll tell about that one later) that were taking place here, and I just generally needed to get out of my everyday life for a little break.

Friday afternoon I was finally in the car headed south to meet Scott who had been working for his Reserve unit all week long. The girls were in very capable hands, and best of all I was on my way for a weekend long siesta during which I was only responsible for myself.... not concerned with who stole which toy, why so and so was crying, what was for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the little gals, etc.

Scott and I went back to the city we previously called home for a weekend getaway. Birmingham was just as wonderful as we remembered it. All the great restaurants, parks, shopping, things to do, and last but certainly not least the FRIENDS we had left behind made us wonder why we ever left... and then we remembered the four little blessings who were home with an entire crew of people who are blessing us daily with their assistance, and we know we made a good choice... not to mention all our friends here at home. It was nice, however, to visit Birmingham and our old buddies again even for just a short while.

Once we got into town on Friday night we headed to Taziki's for some excellent Greek food- a pleasant meal... just the two of us. Then we went out to our friend's parents' cabin by the lake where we were all set to stay. It was just after dark, but the cabin is off in the woods so it was very dark going in. I should also mention that their entire family enjoys hunting, and there were animal skins/furs all over the cabin. Otherwise, it was a very charming, old, wooden barn with a tin roof that had been completely remodeled on the inside to include a bathroom, small kitchen, living area, and a loft bedroom. After checking out the downstairs, we trekked upstairs to put our bags in the bedroom, and that is when I heard it.... er, them! It sounded like an entire herd of mice or something was moving between the ceiling and the tin roof. I think I would have been okay if they had been running scared because of the noise of us intruders, but they didn't stop moving around for what felt like forever- obviously they were not scared! When our friend Jimbo stopped by to make sure we were settled in and had found everything, I begged asked if it would be all the same to him if we just stayed at his nice, not out in the woods, in-town home. For a bachelor, he keeps a very clean pad and even had clean sheets on the guest bed, and blessedly didn't mind our last minute change of plans. As it turns out, all the noise at the cabin was flying squirrels, but I would likely have not slept one wink out there and am so glad we opted to stay at Jimbo's instead.

On Saturday morning we slept late and then went into downtown Birmingham. We were headed to an old bookstore that we used to spend hours in (pre- children) when we talked with one of the guys Scott taught while he was giving flight instruction. Jody and his wife met us at the Pepper Place Market. It was very neat and something that we'd never done while living there. Every Saturday morning from late spring through the summer they hold an out door market where local farmers bring the goodies from their crops to sell to the public. There are also little gourmet food tents, jewelry and art tents, and home made ice cream and lemonade, and live music. It was delightful, and I found myself wondering how much fun it would be to bring the girls back sometime to enjoy it! Afterwards we did spend a few hours in the bookstore... I read while Scott scoured the place.

After we'd had all the bookstore browsing time we wanted, we went to visit with a couple of friends from our old Sunday school class and supper club. Chip and Beverly, along with their girls Evan and RaeNi, entertained us for the better part of the afternoon. Beverly said Evan was very excited when she heard we were stopping by until she discovered that we didn't bring the girls with us. It was so nice to catch up with them and spend some time relaxing by their pool, but we had to promise to bring Ella, Maggie, Kate, and Sarah with us next time... or else!

We got in a little exercise around some old concrete ponds in a professional park where we used to walk our dog Bandit late in the afternoon. It was nice to walk along the same paths and reminisce. It feels like 100 years have passed since we moved back home instead of the 26 months actual time, but a lot has happened in those 26 months.

Finally, Saturday evening we attended a party for Todd and Leslie hosted by Jimbo and his parents. The fabulous 70's party that was the excuse we used to get away the reason for our trip was a pre-wedding bash like no other. We were in awesome costumes found and purchased by Scott specifically for the evening.... though part of his costume has been around since our Ft. Campbell, KY days right after we first got married. Edited to add: When I rambled on and on earlier about our costumes, I forgot that I had already changed from my outlandish 70's dress to my back-up outfit due to cool weather by the time this picture of the two of us was taken. This is the best I can do for one of Scott and I.

I waited to post this specific weekend recount in hopes that someone would send me some pictures of the two of us from the evening, but I've decided my chances are not too good for that to happen. If I come upon any pictures I'll be sure to edit this post and add them. I failed to bring my camera, but I really wish I hadn't because Jimbo's parent's place is extraordinary! They have an elephant head mounted in their kitchen, among other things.

Jimbo, the Bear, and Scott (with wig)

Scott and Todd wandered around with a camera for a while in between jeopardy rounds with the DJ, so like I mentioned already, hopefully I'll get my hands on some photos!

**Random Side note: Ella took her first steps at Todd's house on New Year's Eve when she was 9 months old. She only took about 8 wobbly steps at the time. I'm sure she would have taken more, but Todd was so excited that he scooped her right up after only a few!**

The lovely couple
Todd and Leslie are a beautiful couple, and I'm happy that we were able to help them celebrate just a little before the wedding in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, we won't be making another trip to B-ham for the wedding. Sigh...

On Sunday we got up bright and early and had breakfast before going to Leeds First United Methodist Church. Our welcome there was as warm and familiar as ever. We have so missed seeing all the faces of our friends and church family there over the last two years. Of course, the first thing everyone wanted to know was "Where are the girls?!?" After promising again and again to bring them back sometime for a visit, I guess we'll have to put that on our calendar for sometime in the up coming months. I would have loved for everyone there to meet Maggie, Kate, and Sarah, and see how much Ella has grown and changed, but really Scott and I needed the break for ourselves. So, I promise, next trip they'll be with us you guys.

Afterward, we had a great lunch with friends Mandy and Garland and then got on the road to home. Our whirlwind weekend was over, and the time spent, invested rather, in ourselves and our marriage was incredibly worth it. All the way home we talked about how much fun it was going to be to spend time with the girls in the coming days, and that is pretty much what we have been up to.

I guess the moral of this very long, rambling, recap of events is that while getting away is both necessary and enjoyable, we are continually blessed by the little ones we get to come home and love.... and we need to take them to meet all our old friends someday soon!


Denise Wheeler said...

MB, it sounds like you guys had a wonderful weekend. It is nice to hear that you were able to get away, just the two of you. I would love to see pics of you and the hubby in your costumes, so, work hard on getting your hands on some! Ha~

JMT said...

I love Birmingham and enjoyed my time at UAB. I took Amelia to the last homecoming football game at Legion Field. I am glad you got to have a "couples only" weekend. Jen and I have planned a one night getaway in June (if she can leave the girls).

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

What a wonderful weekend ... I'm envious ... and motivated to do the same!!

Christie said...

I'm glad you guys were able to get away for a while. Sounds like you and Scott had a great time will all your old friends.

Cadi, Lance and our 4 miracles. said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun. I could really use a weekend like that. We've all been sick over here and it's all I can do to keep moving.

I want to see the photos too. Maybe they'll read the blog and get the hint.