I fell back into reality this morning with a loud thump on my bedroom floor after my body refused to rise on it's own. It's not our first day back after a week alone without the kids (alone, without the kids...can I get a hallelujah?!) but it was the first day I was making a solid attempt at a full day's work. I tried yesterday but after a good start and a noon trip back to the gym I passed out in bed where I spent the rest of the afternoon semi-sleeping.
Life is tough but returning to life after a blissful week of alone/girls'/husband time? Near impossible. Thankfully my children are cherubs in a dress rehearsal for heaven so they had me missing them and hugging the living daylights out of them the moment I hopped out of the taxi! ;)
Two amazing things happened on this trip:
one. two old, dear girlfriends flew out from their new homes in California and hung out with me for a full day while I was in Vegas. Bosom buddies, these are girls that will be dear hearts for life and they made this old lady feel like the richest woman on the strip with an entourage who had their hearts set more on catching up than on site seeing. Together we toured the street, taking in the Eiffel Tour and a Dutch garden, drawing in quick breaths before launching in to the next laugh or stuffing our faces full of rich treats. I love these girls, friends you can invite up to your hotel room and swap clothing and accessories with comfort, even with your husband bearing witness to it all! Mon and Kat, you are part of my story and I cannot wait to see what adventures are still being birthed in our tales together!
two. I had my husband's undivided attention for 3 whole, beautiful days (not an easy feat for any man when in the city of sin!). Never since our courtship days (for two virgins, the honeymoon is really only about one thing, c'mon!) have we had such fun exploring and discovering more of our world and each other. Over long, leisurely dinners we talked without pause. We walked hand in hand, proudly displaying our commitment and affection for each other; reminiscing about the past days, longing for those yet coming. In a world of so many, many billions, to have found one who not only loves you, but continually chooses you day after day even with distraction and temptation all around, that is a gift. No phone calls, no emails, no child whose need is pressing. Just us. Grocery shopping for our suite, hiking dusty trails, sneaking into a Vegas show, conspiring in shopping for secret souvenirs for the kids, finally letting loose in faux profanity high atop the Hoover Dam (not usually a potty mouth but I had to use the dam bathrooms!), drinking in the beauty of nature and the goodness and grace of my Jesus to have brought us here together to these moments...every bit of it a gift.
Not that every day was perfect. I managed to not speak for almost an entire day, an exercise in restraint modeled often by my husband, as a lesson to the same that I.need.resolution. and quick goodnight kisses are not adequate band-aids to what oft plagues this woman's heart. But when I did finally speak? I failed that model of manly restraint and let loose in an effort of forced resolution on my terms. (And yes, I may have used dam in that conversation even though we were no longer above Hoover.Dam!)
Above photos, drinking it all in through my iPhone: O'Hare airport, always lovely; me, waiting for my trip in the clouds; is there anything more beautiful than our world?!; no, really. is there?; snow-topped mountains; our mugs in the elevator; my buddies; traveling to France together; now we're back in Holland; for real, see that beautiful bike and tulips??; Monet, come.to.life!; our afternoon at the Mirage pool; Vegas at dusk; where the fancy schmancy vacation while in Vegas; Nike: "Erect no artificial walls that might limit potential, stifle creativity, or shackle innovation."; inspiration for my garden; Sirens at TI; Louis Vuitton colorful product staging; Paul Frank store; the strip from a distance; New York New York; old mining town for kids' play; gorgeous!; hike up to the Emerald Pools in Zion National Park; Zion from a distance; Zion up closer; Dam I'm high up!; best chocolate factory @ Bellagio; in Venice; sneaking into Dancing with the Stars; maybe the highlight of the trip: getting m&ms personalized with the kids' names!; most of the high-priced stores held little appeal for me but Stella McCartney could be my bestie any day!; Lady Liberty, in jellybeans.