Finding friendship.....at a soiree!

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.


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15 comments on "Finding friendship.....at a soiree!"
  1. Nicely said Jill! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip and got in some great girl time! :)

  2. Lovely post, Jill. Of course I remember being bullied in grade school (and standing up for myself in such a way that we ALL got in trouble!) And when my own daughter's friends became enemies, it broke my heart because it broke hers. Perhaps the process is necessary so that those of us who choose to steer clear of unecessary drama learn to recognize the bullies as they come along later in life. And, at the same time, we learn to see and appreciate the real friends we find. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend... and found some great friends. And good for you for talking to the other mom. I've had that conversation too... so not fun... but it lets people know (in the most polite way, of course) that you're paying attention and not to be messed with. It really stinks when you're in the middle of this nonsense, but I have no doubt that, with you on her side, your daughter will be just fine.

  3. What a well said post.

    I missed the big event at Kasey's and I've been hear-broken about it. I would have loved to have met you.

    As the mother of a 15 year old girl, I can tell you that it's difficult.

    It sounds like you have a good handle on your daughter's situation - she's a blessed young lady.

  4. I am SO happy to call you my friend dear Jill!
    You are the most beautiful heartwarming girl i know.
    I am so glad that you and i were able to hang for a full weekend.

  5. I totally understand. I have my mama claws out right now. I got up at 5 am with my 3 kids to send my hubby off to Afghanistan then took them all to school sad and tired. Only to come home and have the high school call me to say that because my son saw some kids lighting up TAG spray with lighters and left the locker room so to not be involved - that he did not go and tattle and tell the teacher he was not showing that he was a good citizen thus he was being given in school suspension. What - who tattles in high school- who wants to get beat up. I thought it was best to keep out of it. So, now he is sad and being punished for doing nothing.
    I don't get it.
    Thanks for letting me vent. I just didn't need this today.

  6. What a wonderful, meaningful post my friend. Isn't it amazing that we start out with immature friendships between girls that are difficult and often hurtful, and then we grow into women who support and build each other up. I too loved this weekend and the inspiration that the evening provided, on so many levels!

  7. I have 3 things to say :):
    1) Even without makeup and wearing hats, you two are SO stinkin' hip & cute that I'm just a *wee* bit jealous!
    2) Loved seeing the photos of her house!
    3) Being a young girl is tough at times. It's unfortunate, but true. At least your daughter will learn from this how to be a TRUE friend, and she'll end up being a girl that everyone will eventually like and respect for it! It's not easy when your kids are hurting, and hopefully your daughter knows she'll always have a lifelong friend in you! That's a bond that can't be broken! :)

  8. Jill,
    What a fabulous soiree! That looks like it was soooo much fun...as for your daughter's situation, I'm so sorry, wish I knew why some girls are so mean!
    Jealousy maybe? It's definitely one of life's hard lessons to learn. I'm so glad you called that mom, however, if she's a decent person she'll deal with this problem. I know I would want to crawl under a rock if another mom called me and told me my dd was acting this way! Good for you for standing up for your daughter......she's lucky to have such a great mom.

  9. What a great post! I was your daughter more than a couple times going through school. I guess these expierences is what makes us who we are.
    I too have made some fantastic friends while attending The Farm Chicks shows. It's an amazing weekend.
    Great post!
    Happy Holidays

  10. jill...
    what a beautiful post. i grew up a vagabond lifestyle, attending nine schools in my childhood and as a result never could seem to bond with the "local girls". the beautiful thing about life is that we build strength and character through difficult experiences. as hard as this must be to sit back and watch... think of it as a journey your daughter is embarking on to becoming a strong, beautiful woman. and when it matters most... the real friends will find her and embrace her and love her for all that she is.

    it was such a joy to meet you this past weekend and i feel so blessed to have shared in kasey's magical evening.

    hugs - christina

  11. Hi Jill! When are you coming West to share the love with us??

  12. Jill,
    This is my first visit to your awesome blog & I love it. About your sweet girl. I have a four year old daughter and I swear to you, I live in fear of those days. I wonder all of the time how I will handle situations like that when they come up...and they will. Even at this age feelings get hurt. Her best friend in pre-k told her last week that she didn't want to play with her anymore. I want my daughter to be confident & secure and I hope I can find the words to get her there. I applaud you for taking charge of the situation. Glad the weekend got better. Lisa

  13. Hi Jill - thanks for sharing your story. My daughter also came home in tears this week. She has been bravely wearing this adorable Santa hat with black fur. Some nasty girls started to call her "goth" Santa and it broke her heart. We talked at length about not letting them under her skin, and I was proud when she wore the hat again the next day with her head held high. Our girls will be stronger for it - but I wish we could spare them the pain.

  14. I teach fifth grade, and sadly the mean girl thing begins way back in fourth, sometimes in third. I'm glad you called the mom out on her daughter's behavior. I hope the end result is that it stops.

  15. Okay now I'm blog stalking you:) I had to search for a picture of you because it was killing me and then I stumbled on to this old post. Isn't blogging a small world?? Kasey and Kim are friends with some of my friends. I just love their blogs. Talk about living vicariously. Paris...wow! Anyway...small world indeed:)


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