Nichole, Leslie and her littlest, Carla, Becky, and Me at the zoo
Carla, Kathy, Becky, Kathy's Friend Michelle, Nichole, and me at dinner on Friday night
Nichole - roommate, chaffeur extraordinaire, and birthday girl (I won't say of how many years, but it's more than me, haha ;-P)
Being a parent to a pre-teen girl is exhausting! I'm sure all of you older, wiser, more experienced parents are going "well duh!" LOL. I definitely needed a get-away, and that's exactly what I got. I met up in Chicago with a group of six friends that I've known for years on a discussion board for large families. This is the first time in my life that I've done something like that, and it was exciting! One thing I've discovered about myself as I get older is that I'm more independent than I thought. I think I could have been one of those single-forever women if God hadn't intervened and sent me James (and six kids). Now, I'm not all the way there, certainly, as I was stressed out about navigating the whole airport-to-hotel thing, but luckily one of my friends went out of her way to make sure that she could pick me up and drop me off at O'Hare. It felt so good to be in the company of an amazing, inspirational bunch of women. The kind who lift you up instead of tear you down. That can be hard to find, I think. We ate good food, talked (and talked and talked), visited the Brookfield Zoo, and even ventured to the hotel hot tub for a very brief stint (when there's security in the pool area, it's probably a bit raucous for a bunch of old women like us LOL). Best of all, everything was in perfect order when I arrived back home two days later. In fact, it was much neater than when I left! I feel renewed and recharged, although I must say that I hope I can do this type of thing again soon.