I am sure you are all decking your hall, roasting chestnuts, and mulling cider while I am over here baking the sh** out of some seriously awesome cookies. Yep, it’s another baking day for me. Not that I mind. The sweet smell of vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter lingering in the air makes me go to my happy place. If only baking required less focus. Especially because my mind seems to always ignore the sound of the timer buzzer. I blame that on my children. It seems as though since I have had kids I have put up a mental block for any annoying sounds. You know, singing airplanes, talking dogs, toy truck sirens… you know the type. I can easily block those out of my head, but with those annoying sounds also goes alarm clocks, timers, and repeated toilet flushes (that is a subject we will avoid all together). Either way, my home smells good!

This weekend aside from some serious baking has also brought some fun with my friends. I got to have a day when my folks were able to watch the kiddos so I could visit with a friend of mine. It was so nice. Not only did I enjoy having a little time sans kiddos, but I had a great time catching up with my friend. You never realize how much you miss your friends until you have the “catch up” visit. I swear just visiting her home was like a breath of fresh air. I remember in high school when we would talk about when we finally had our own place. It seemed like we would be so old or grown up by the time that happened. Even now as I oogle her bedding set I felt like… “I can’t believe we are finally here.” It’s like we grew up. Life smacks you in the face hard sometimes, other times it’s much more gentle and allows you to ease into those “grown-up” moments, and then times like I had with her on Saturday… those times it just sneaks up on you and whispers, “surprise”. The day was filled with looking over wedding pictures, exchanging stories of our family and spouses. If I didn’t have to drive I am sure alcohol would have been involved at some point too. We even got to explore her amazing view of the water a top this small hill no more than 100 yards from her home. Maybe I didn’t need that drink, because I was able to drink in all that was our visit and that was enough. It was just a very much needed enjoyable afternoon.

After my visit with my high school best friend, I went back another half a decade and visited with my elementary school best friend and her kids. This visit was a kids zone. Last time we saw each other I think was at my wedding when I didn’t have any kiddos yet and she had her two oldest. Since then add 3 kiddos and about 750 mile move and we are sitting next to each other in her mom’s living room. I remember this house. I remember these people. Factors and lives have grown and changed, but the people are the same. The sounds are the same. The smells even are the same. It was nostalgic to say the very least. It took me back to when I was in 8th grade and we would come celebrate her birthday with inventive games her mom would host and the movie that made good ol’ Marky-Mark (Wahlberg) the creepiest guy on the block, “Fear”.

It was her birthday tradition. Every birthday came with fun and FEAR. LOL! Photo courtesy of IMDb.

It was a few hours of me telling the Toddler to not touch this, don’t climb on that, etc. but also catching up with her. You never realize how much time has really lapsed. I remember her kids being my kids age. Crawling, walking, getting out just a few words here and there… now they are 6 and 8, talking, full of personality. They reminded me of the girl I went to school with so long ago.

My elementary school friend left me wanting to visit for longer. Ask a million questions. Things felt like they changed so drastically for her, but she stayed the same. She was the responsible mother with a guiding hand, more mature than I could have ever imagined we would ever be. She smiled and held my son. My mind quickly popped up an old memory of her coming out of her delivery with her middle child. I was the first person allowed to see her in recovery. She was obviously exhausted and barely awake from the medication. I could see her shiver beneath what I could only describe as a mountain of those super thin hospital blankets. She had a smile on her face as I talked to her. In the moment I thought about what an experience it would be when she would be able to come see me after I had my children. Although, due to life and unexpected moves that wasn’t an opportunity available to us, but now… watching her hold and talk to my now almost 9 month old son… the time has come.

But, our visit ended with a few photos, hugs, and a promise to text and talk soon. On my drive home I felt like today was one of those days you thought would be just another day. Just another visit. Just more friends to see. Today was different though. It made me realize those days of middle school and high school shenanigans were far over and we grew up. Our times of talking and giggling over school drama while drinking Boone’s Farm wine in the passenger seat of my friends car were over.

I think this was even the flavor of wine we sat and drank in the car. Good times! Photo courtesy of The Party Source.

Birthday celebrations involving water balloon boobs and games of searching for buttons in a bowl of flour (without hands) were long gone. Today I sat across from my friends… we smiled, laughed, and reminisced as women. No longer the adolescents we once were.

This weekend was the weekend I needed. I needed to be reminded that life, although wonderful to experience and live in every moment, you also need to remember those close to you. With Christmas right around the corner, I hope you send out at least a text to those friends that mean the world to you, because despite the time between visits, these people are the people who love you and have shared some of life’s greatest memories with you.

To my friends who I visited, and you know who you are, thank you for making the time to visit with me and thank you for being my friend.

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