Weekend before last I escaped reality for a weekend away with friends!   I was excited for the weekend as it was time away with friends that I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.   We live 1.5 to 2 hours away from each other and with the busy days of life as our children grow it becomes harder and harder to schedule time for visits.  So we decided a few months ago that we would make the time for a girls weekend.  Best Decision Ever.   We went to Lancaster, PA.   Nothing big, just a weekend of relaxing, nice dinners, some shopping, and a winery visit.

Friday we shared wine, went to a nice dinner, and spent time just catching up!  We were awake by 7 and out of bed (because that’s what moms do even when they have a quiet hotel to sleep in) on Saturday morning and decided to go for a run in downtown Lancaster prior to shopping at the farmers market.    These 3 girls are all part of a group running the Diva half marathon with me in September in memory of Nate and we thought it was fitting to get a training run in together.  We all run at different paces and are all at different points in our training progress but Saturday morning we headed out for a run that couldn’t have gone better.  We went out with the mentality of getting at least 2 miles in but to see where it went.  The run was going well and around mile 3.5 we lost track of where we were while running in a city we didn’t know.  After a quick laugh, a moment of panic, and the help of a cell phone GPS we found our way back to the street we parked on!    At the point where we lost track we were about a mile and a half away from our starting location so by the time we got back to that parking lot we were pushing the 5 mile mark.  While we had only anticipated an easy 2 mile morning run at 5 miles we decided to push through 1 more mile to hit 6 and made another loop around a few block radius.   That last mile was meant to be…  while running that last mile I hung back a few paces to admire the three stunning women ahead of me.  Admiring their love for me, their love for Nate and my family, their love for their friends and their family, and admiring what wonderful women they are.    I thought about the training and the race we were embarking on and of course, I thought about the reason we were doing it too.  For Nate.    It was a bittersweet moment as I was lost in thought as one friend turned to me and said “Look at that little boy…  those are just like Nate’s shoes.”   Sure enough as I looked over I saw this cute little boy crossing the street with his father wearing the same shoes at Nate had.   Nate had picked out new shoes for Kindergarten that were black with bright yellow soles.  Reebok Zigs…. he was so proud of those shoes.   Being our 2nd boy he often wore Drew’s hand me downs but when he picked those “Pittsburgh Steeler” brand new shoes he wore them proudly.   He couldn’t even wait till we got home and had insisted on wearing them out of the mall that afternoon.  As we walked through the mall Nate walked by the sports store where a huge inflatable Ravens player stood.  He looked at that Ravens man and punched him right in the side.  The whole thing fell over and I so badly wanted to crack up laughing as I thought about the irony of Nate in his new Steeler colored shoes knocking out the Ravens guy.  But in shock, I was so worried he broke the display that I’d end up having to buy and I’d be coming home with a broken Ravens inflatable football player, that I literally just stood and watched it deflate wondering if anyone else had seen the incident.   Luckily as quickly as it deflated it started to re-inflate again.   After I saw the display was okay, I looked at Nate and busted out laughing as I tried to explain that it was inappropriate to have done that.  He didn’t seem to care and I’m sure my giggles didn’t help.  He thought of himself as hysterical and was just so proud to be sporting his new kicks.  When I saw that little boy in those shoes I was reminded of Nate and his shoes.   Just as that bittersweet moment touches me now with pride and tears as I write it touched me the same on Saturday morning as I finished a 6.5 mile run with some really awesome girls.  Girls that, I know, will walk beside each other through this life no matter what shoe we are to walking in.

During the weekend I found time to re-kindle relationships and found lots of time to just be silly and laugh.   There were lots of silly faces, laughter, old jokes, and new memories.    Thank you girls for a great weekend away and for the time to relax!



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