Yep, that's me with the fabulous Kasey of Lola B's! Excuse the no-make-up, hat wearing look. We took NO pictures of us together the night of the soiree, yes, you heard me, NONE! So I guess I deserve to show you me without make-up and looking a bit exhausted.
And while I am posting some pictures I took while at Kasey's home within this post, I would urge you to visit Kasey's blog to see how a real photographer "saw" the evening. Kim of Mimi Charmante did a beautiful job capturing the evening.
Also, while I had planned on giving you all the details of the evening, I prefer to share some reflections I had while driving home from my wonderful weekend (all SIX hours!).
You see, when I left Minnesota last Friday it was with a heavy heart, and frustration, and hurt, and lots of anger.
I have an 11 year old, 5th grade daughter. Her name is Emma. Emma has always been a very outgoing, sweet, innocent and dare I say spunky girl. But Emma had not been herself for the last few weeks. She seemed agitated, was easy to tears. I chalked it up to hormones and typical "changes" that I was anticipating.
However, I learned last week - on Thursday the day before I left to go to Kasey's that Emma and her friends had been being "bullied" on the playground and in school. And by "bullied", I mean the crappy (yes, I am using that word) girl kind of bullying - calling eachother mean names and getting other girls who you thought were your friends to now decide they were not going to be your friends. And by mean names, I mean REALLY mean names - the kind I had to explain their meaning to my 11 year old sweet girl way before she should know what those words mean.
My mama bear claws came out - big time!
I spent the first hour of my drive talking to one of the bullying girls' mother. Yep, I made the call. I know this woman and know she does not approve of this kind of behavior. I needed to know that she was aware of the kind of words her daughter was throwing around on the playground.
I was proud of myself. I am not generally confrontational - and I wasn't but I did feel the need to stand up for my daughter because weren't we all once that girl? Didn't it feel terrible? Didn't it start later than 5th grade? Why can't girls be nice to one another, celebrate their differences, respect one another's dreams and ambitions, generally just stick together?
And then I drove to Kasey's - (and locked my keys in my car while getting gas....ugh!)
I arrived at Kasey's beautiful home and was greeted by friends - new friends to be exact. You see, I met Kasey for the first time - only briefly at The Farm Chicks Antiques Show in Spokane last year. And Kim, well we spent some time together at the Oronoco Antiques Show in Minnesota this last summer but that's it. It is because of this blog that I call these women friends.
That is refreshing.
I started my trip, thinking of the troubles my daughter was experiencing, knowing that it was just the beginning for her.... Thinking of my own journey as a girl and then as a woman with friendships, the good and the bad.
It is hard.
But this weekend it wasn't.
I learned that with like minded women it doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, what your age, race, history. It matters where you are now, in this journey.
And we celebrated that.
I know that my daughter's friendship journey is just beginning and will not be without pain. But by finding joy in my friendships both old and new I will show both my daughters that women can come together in a supportive and respectful way - a fun and crazy way where you are free to be who you are meant to be.
A BIG thanks and hug to Kasey for her hospitality, generosity and friendship. Thank you to Kim, Martha, Christina, NC and all the other fabulous women who helped me gain some valuable perspective this weekend.