Last Tuesday, Court and I packed up Grace, her menagerie of toys (and our menagerie of pets) and headed to Boise. We got in late that night after a loooong drive. (I swear that drive gets longer and longer!) Luckily, I had Wednesday to recover by getting the second worst hair cut of my life. I don't joke. It is bad. It is so bad I didn't think someone who went through hair cutting school could possibly produce such an atrocity. Leave it to me to find the ONE person on earth that cuts hair to do it. No tears were shed (though they were considered) and it definitely took a little air out of my sails as I was beautifying for our FIRST WEEKEND SANS BABY!!
Yes, folks. We left Grace for a long weekend with Grandma and Grandpa (my parents - thus the long drive to Boise) so that we could head back to Philadelphia for a surprise 30th birthday party for Court's brother, Tygh and our good friend, Chris. I oh-so wanted to blog about this MAJOR event but wasn't sure if Tygh or Chris read the blog (I doubt they do) wherein I would be the jerk who spoils the surprise. (I think my sister-in-law, Sarah, would have hopped on a plane to come kick my ass had I let the cat out of the bag and she works out - a lot! - I would've never had a chance...unless I sat on her...but that is a whole different story...)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, beautifying for the big trip and swallowing down and squashing fear, guilt and anxiety. I don't know what I was worried about. My parents are GREAT with kids and Grace LOVES them! I never imagined that I would be the mother having heart palpitations about leaving my daughter - with her grandparents - for three nights...but I was! I don't think I slept a wink on Wednesday night. Every horrible situation that could happen over the course of my absence went through my mind.
Everything from the usual suspects - What if she missed me SO much that she didn't stop crying for three whole days? What if I missed her so much that I didn't stop crying for three whole days? - to the extreme - What if she swallowed a rubber band and it got lodged in her stomach causing havoc on her digestive system for years and years requiring a myriad of visits to doctors and specialists trying to uncover what was wrong with her stomach only to find out YEARS from now it was nothing but a rubber band in her stomach? (I literally had this thought.)
Our flight out of Boise left at 6 am and being the early birds that we are, planned on arriving to the airport the recommended 1.5 hours ahead of time. We went into Grace's room before leaving - she was sound asleep - and that is when the tears started. What if this was the last time I ever saw her? How unfair for her to grow up without a mother and father just so we can get away for a few nights? (Mind you I am having these thoughts and I haven't left the house yet. Can I be any more over dramatic?!)
I cried THE ENTIRE way to the airport. How could I just leave her? How selfish was I to want to spend time with my husband and friends? I had to fight off the urge to turn that taxi around and head home - to Grace. But the normal, logical, sane side of me told me to carry - on. That she would be fine. That this would be good for Grace, it would be good for me, it would be good for me and Court and it would be good for Grandma and Grandpa. A win-win-win-win if there ever was one!
The bad news about our first trip being away from Grace was that we were heading to Philadelphia - a LOOONG flight across the country. If something did happen we were so far away! The good news was we were going to Philadelphia - a LOOONG flight across the country. I wouldn't be able to call and check-in until Grace and Grandma had spent the entire day together. (Also, I got to watch a movie on the plane! Jackpot!!)
Upon landing, I called to check-in and all was well. Grace and Grandma had had a very successful day of walking, playing, napping and eating. I could tell from my mom's voice that they were ALL having a really good time. That call melted away all my doubts, fears, and anxieties and I was able to settle in for a fabulous weekend.
Thursday night, after arriving in Philadelphia, Court and I hustled to our hotel to change into fancy-schmancy attire for a dinner date at the Four Seasons in honor of our four year anniversary. We figured that since we had the babysitters already lined up, we might as well take advantage and fly out to Philly a day early so that we could celebrate sans baby! It was a long, relaxed, delicious meal. As my waistline clearly indicates that eating is one of my FAVORITE things to do, it was nice to be in such a beautiful restaurant with such delicious food with my amazing husband. Had we flown all the way to Philly to spend just this ONE night together, it would have been worth it!
Lucky for us, the fun was not close to being over!
Friday we woke up to a beautiful, crisp East Coast fall day! It was my kind of weather. We walked around and did a little shopping. Went to a FABULOUS lunch where we kicked off the weekend by sharing a bottle of Savignon Blanc and eating the best bacon cheeseburger and truffle french fries on planet earth. While the meal may have shortened my life by a handful of minutes, it was completely worth it!
After our meal, it was time to meet up with the gang for Operation Surprise Tygh Old School Style. Our plan was to do a little something like this...
We even bought the pantyhose! Unfortunately, Tygh didn't follow orders...I mean, directions...and ended up at a location that would prevent our "kidnap". Instead, his surprise went a little something like this...
Once Tygh and the surprise was a success, I was officially off-duty. I was off-duty as a mom, off-duty as the photographer - an on-duty for F-U-N! (Oh God I am getting old!) I think I single-handedly drank 3/4 of a bottle of champagne before dinner. It was that kind of night!
After dinner, we went to a rooftop bar that had a fireplace. When the deck started spinning, I knew it was time to call it a night. Court walked me home where I promptly passed out on the couch. The rest of the gang hit up some Philly cheese steaks. When they finally made it home later that night, the group was quite loud. Still out-of-it from the champagne, I started shushing everyone thinking the baby was in the next room. Shhh....Shhhh...SHHHHH YOU ARE GOING TO WAKE THE BABY UP! Like I said, I was a bit out of it.
The next morning we did a little more eating and little more shopping. It was also the night where we were all going to get dressed up and try to act classy. I will leave it at this. We all looked the part but...
Me and Court
Jamie, Sarah, Me and Carrie
Sarah & Tygh
Chris, Me, Court
Jamie and Chris
Jud and Chris
Hmm...that's interesting. Jud's drinking water?!
...well you know how these kind of weekends can be!
It was hard to leave on Sunday. Even though we were heading home to our darling baby girl who, while snacking, also got her hair done. (Why isn't this an option for adults?! Seriously?!)
We were curious how Grace would react upon seeing us at the airport. I'd heard horror stories where the baby would cry and cry for days, other babies that would ignore the parents - denying them all smiles, hugs and kisses. I was sure that we were in for it.
As we approached Grace in her stroller, you could see the wheels turning in her head. She knew we were familiar and that she was supposed to be happy...but at the same time she was already happy. She was warm, had a full tummy - what else is there? Then, after a few seconds, a HUGE grin broke out over her face. We took her out of the stroller thinking she would come toddling to us for a hug. She practically ran to us - her walking had improved THAT much in just a few short days - but as she got within arm's distance, she stopped dead in her tracks and BOLTED in the opposite direction laughing hysterically. It stung a little but we couldn't help but laugh.
Happy to report that it was a successful weekend for all. Grace is not holding a grudge against us (yet - sure that day will come) and we had a great weekend. Thanks Mom and Dad for making it a success and for helping us relinquish control - a little bit! :) Until the next adventure...