Everyone needs a break. Even moms. No, especially moms. Last weekend I got my first big break from Ava since she was born.
One of my best friends in the world, Emily Ricks, is an extremely talented pianist/singer/composer/arranger. We met while both of our husbands were in IUPUI graduate programs and quickly realized that we had matching souls and that our voices blend really well (like, really. We pretty much sound like one person when we sing unison.). One musical number and a relief society lesson spent holding her sleeping baby later, I realized that she was going to be what I missed most about Indy when we finally finished school and both moved away. Now that we have moved away, I can say with certainty that she is what I miss most about Indianapolis.
ANYHOODLE, she was asked by the north stake in Indy to arrange a piece for their youth choir to sing at their stake conference (a big church meeting) and she flew to Indy (from Colorado) to go to the performance. Naturally, I drove down to see her and all my other fun friends. She, without her kids, and I, without my kid, had so. much. fun.
We had a big ole' shindig at another good friend's house with previously mentioned fun friends on Saturday night. We ate too much and we laughed WAY too hard and we stayed up too late and it felt soooo good. Women totally need other women. We need to know that it is normal to feel as much as we do and to be as imperfect as we are (even though we're so much closer to perfection than men. WINK.). We need to laugh so hard our stomachs hurt and have our own youtube moments (have you put that up yet, Em?).
Emily and I went to stake conference the next morning and it was beautiful. I felt like this stake was really neat somehow and Em pointed out that when a stake gets a temple, it changes them. We could feel that change happening as we sat there. The choir was beautiful and strong and pure. Emily's music probably would have brought tears to my eyes anyway (as usual) but to hear these teenagers singing the songs of the pioneers and about being true to their faith?? It was so sweet. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place (as they say) and I felt so blessed that I got to sit next to the woman who worked through the spirit to create such a beautiful experience for everyone there. As if THAT WASN'T ENOUGH, the talks were fabulous as well. To be sitting in a stake 2 hours away from my own and to be hearing everything I needed to hear anyway just reiterated, to me, that Heavenly Father is so aware of what I need and when I need it and that He loves me.
Sometimes I get this picture in my mind of various bottles, necks protruding out of the sand on a beach, caked in dried seawater and mud. Each bottle has a label; spiritual sensitivity, marital attitudes, self-improvement, relationship with Christ, academic learning, being a good mother, being a woman, etc. Every so often I am able to dig a bottle out of the sand, wash off all the grime, and see that there is a message inside, that there are things to be learned and valued about that facet of me. It is so rejuvenating and exciting.
I dug so many bottles out of the sand this past weekend.
Hopefully the sand won't suck them back down again so quickly.