Me, Missy, Amy
Every year for the past six years a couple of my best girlfriends and I have been guests at my Aunt & Uncle’s beautiful home on Anna Maria Island in Florida. We look forward to this long weekend every year. . .the first year we all flew down together because we all lived in the same city. . .since then we have flown or driven in from different states. . .all to have these precious days together.
This year Amy and Missy came from Ohio, I came from my home in Tennessee, and Jill (Missy’s sister) drove four hours from her home in Florida. (Aren't these two the cutest sisters ever????? Missy is on the left, Jill on the right)
Honestly, we don’t do ANTYHING while we are there except eat really, really well (my aunt is a FABULOUS cook), sleep in, sun, and talk. This is a picture of my gorgeous (on the inside and out) aunt and a not-so-glamorous one of me. . .she was dressed to go out. . .I wasn't :)
My Dayton friends were delayed on Friday due to snow but we all eventually arrived at the airport and got to Anna Maria Island safely about 1:30 a.m. It had been a long day for all of us (we went to our respective airports straight from work) so we slept in on Saturday.
The weather wasn’t the best, (do you see the winter jackets with the Gulf in the background?!?) but the company more than made up for it.
Jill arrived around noon that day and except for a short walk around the neighborhood, we didn’t leave the house until 5:30 that evening. We had a wonderful meal on the island and then saw the movie Valentine’s Day.
Sunday we didn’t leave the house AT ALL. Not once! The sun was out and we sat on the patio all day long soaking in some much-needed vitamin D. Jill had to leave in the early afternoon to get back to her family and that evening my Aunt and Uncle had some friends over that we have now become close to too. After dinner we soaked in the hot tub, then watched a movie and stayed up late into the night talking.
(Yes, Jill was gone with the camera -- I pulled this pic of us from last year -- ha!)
When I spoke to my husband earlier Sunday he asked if I was out of words yet. As if. . .!
Monday dawned bright and sun-shine-y too. We stayed out on the patio (which is right on the canal so the scenery is exceptional) soaking up more sun until it was time to head out and buy a few souvenirs for our kids and husbands. . .we left a total of 11 children and three husbands behind for our weekend away!! My aunt took us to a favorite seafood restaurant for a late lunch
(another picture pulled from last year -- this time me with my uncle) and then it was off to the airport. As she dropped us off we all felt as if we had spent a week. . .we felt so “filled up” and refreshed being together and away from the hustle of our everyday lives.
I am so thankful for this opportunity afforded us each year. Our husbands and extended families are so accommodating to make this happen (remember, we left many children and responsibilities behind). Money and schedules sometimes seem like a hurdle set too high but somehow we always jump it. My aunt and uncle welcome my friends like they are part of our family too. . .they both have an incredible gift of hospitality. This year they left a car at the airport so when we did land we had a vehicle all ready to go. . .no rental lines or cab lines for us, thanks to them! So, for one weekend each year I have a chance to not be Mom, not be a cook, student, laundress, employee, or housekeeper. . .I get to just be “Jenni” and it is refreshing. And as I write these words in the air on the way home, I can’t wait to get back to those roles. . .my life would be empty otherwise.
These memories, these girls, my family, our Lord. . .they all sustain me.