Pinkies out

Jun 29

I’m fresh home from a girls weekend away, which means I’m feeling fantastic.  I’m wind-swept, sun-kissed and love-filled right down to my bones.  It’s pretty epic for eight middle-aged young mamas to escape for more than forty-eight hours, leaving our eight husbands and our combined twenty-two children to make magical daddy-kid memories without us.  We talked endlessly, obviously.  I was one of the six who completed a killer lake-side workout: imagine the six of us going up and down the fifty lake stairs a bunch of times while completing other exercises sharing a yoga mat and set of weights at the top of the stairs.  It was all very iron-sharpens-iron.  I’m also tickled with the two who didn’t do that round of exercise and instead read and filled their brain–more iron-sharpens-iron, just in a different way.  I’m filled up with vigor, perspective and encouragement so I’m tackling my day today with a freshness and sense of renewal that feels wonderful.  My friends are such a gift; they sacrifice much for me.

I got to water-ski for the second time this month and thus am in the pinch-me stage of feeling blessed and privileged.  All the girls tried to ski and if the weather would have been better all would have gotten great runs in.  Exhilaration is so good for the soul.  Family at the lake is joining the bucket list because I’ve realized Maren is old enough to learn.  I’m reliving my childhood through their eyes: fireflies, sing-along loud music, creek walks, new freckles, water-skiing, windows down/open, reading-a-whole-book-in-a-day, mud pies, swimming, bike rides, flower-petal perfume, and melting treats.  Ahhh, summer day are special, and I. Am. Blessed.

Last night I came home to a family who thrived in my absence and a husband who greeted with me with the perfect: I’m so glad you went and I’m so glad you’re home.  He encouraged me (us) to put the next one on the calendar.  Yes, great idea!  I’m a girl well-loved, indeed.  We spent an hour talking and catching up on not only the movements of our respective weekends but what we’re thinking and feeling about it all.  This stage of marriage for us is like that; amongst the hustle and bustle we’re anchored by the soak-him-in moments where we serve each other, converse with each other, and connect to each other.  I’m so grateful for him and the many ways he loves me true.

Waking up this morning to my lovelies was awesome too; it was a great mid-summer getaway to make the summer days with my girls new and fresh again.  Rain means swim team was cancelled and our day — surprisingly — has little planned.  I’m glad it worked out that way.  The girls spent the morning playing together: playing vacation, incidentally.  They know a good thing!  Maren suggested a tea party, and I pulled out the real childhood tea set of their great-great-grandmother Lydia Beatrice.  We spread out quilts on the kitchen floor, and set up dolls in high chairs.  I said yes to real water.  We had a lesson about how to hold the cups and pinkie extension.  We talked about fancy ladies, white gloves, tea parlors, and heirloom toys.  I showed them how to pour the teapot while holding the delicate lid.  They sipped, they giggled, and imagined sitting there with Lydia Beatrice herself.  The history nerd in me is loving the generational thread we’re continuing, and I look for other tenets of “Bea” as she was called in their expressions and whimsy.

I’m all for summer bucket lists, but today’s an unscheduled free day, and I’m loving it.

Cheers (with pinkies out!) to summer, people!


  1. what an invigorating post! I feel refreshed just reading it. My own memories of flower perfume and finding frogs in creeks and general summer nostalgia have been reactivated with your vivid words and stories. Thank you for being such an uplifting part of my life with both your writing and your family. : )

  2. Lisa Smith /

    CHEERS to that! xoxo

  3. Bonnie BJ /

    Ahhhh, takes me back to sitting in the breezeway at my Gramma Elizabeth’s with my sister learning how to make wild flower notecards,eating cream cones in the country at a corner stand at dusk, catching fireflies in jars. … Thank You and so so glad that you were blessed by the lake. … love it threw

  4. Aunt Annie /

    Jen, Sounds like your gal pals’ weekend was mind, body and soul refreshing! Heartwarming to hear Bea’s childhood tea set is being enjoyed by some special ladies with their pinkies out!