First of all, let me say just how blessed I feel to have spent so much time with all of you this vacation. Our time together is precious, especially as our lives expand with new families, new responsibilities, new challenges.
This year, we did Christmas Eve Eve a little differently- no potluck, no boys, and a secret santa gift exchange.
The evening started with a mini coffee date at Peet’s (formerly Caribou) between me, Abby, and Lindsay. Lindsay caught us up on her life post-wedding, her amazing honeymoon (I’ll let her dig into that one later, if she so chooses), and some new challenges facing her and her family. Abby shared some new plans and thoughts on her bachelorette(s) and wedding. I was happy just to listen.
From Peet’s, we went to Lindsay’s house to visit her fantastic parents- who have graciously hosted us each of the last 11 years- and exchange gifts.
The evening was bittersweet for a few reasons, and I know I wasn’t the only one struggling to find a way to celebrate amidst some sadness. However, as the night went on I was only further reassured that if there is a group who can always be happy when they are together, it’s ours. Lindsay’s mom echoed this during our visit, telling us what a special group of girls we are, for the many gifts we each bring to the table, but mostly because of our devotion to each other. It was an emotional moment for all of us, I think, memories from the last 11 years floating through our minds (back to Lindsay’s first uncertainty of how to gift us in the years ahead).
From there, we went to Sunflower- a regular dinner haunt for our group for some time- followed by Kat’s house. Ending the night in the Hausler’s home, where we had all spent so many years, felt comfortable and so right…I’m not sure there could have been a better way to end the evening. With everyone’s lives changing so rapidly, it made my heart happy to end with something that felt so old school and nostalgic.
Fast forward 4 days to Abby’s local bachelorette party! Abby is having her official bachelorette on a cruise to the Bahamas next month, but wanted something local to share with those who couldn’t attend. We spent a night in Baltimore, starting at Abby’s apartment (which Lindsay decorated beautifully) for drinks, dinner, and Abby stories. Included in those stories was a touching re-purposed maid of honor toast by yours truly, punctuated by a few crowd comments regarding my outfit of choice for the evening. Lesson learned- emotions are for the wedding weekend only!
We then went out to the bars in Federal Hill. I’ll let Abby delve into the details of her night, although I’ll foreshadow with a few of my favorite and funniest moments-
Piano man at the last bar, Sasha sticking song requests down his shirt, Sasha shoving various items in her mouth, Abby posing with a very sad looking santa…
The night left me feeling so excited for the cruise with most of those girls next month!!
Now, as I sit on the bus home to NYC, I am sad my vacation is coming to an end but am SO excited for the months ahead. A bachelorette, various work trips, a bridal shower, a wedding, and a half marathon. I look at all of these things and again…I feel so blessed to be experiencing all of it alongside you girls. Miss you all already, but I know I’ll see you soon!