18 April 2013

STL adventures: MPLS!

Say, remember last summer when Mr. P and I seemed to be traveling nonstop? The five weddings, the job interviews, the moving to a new state? Hopefully we won’t have a repeat of those exact events this year (no more moving or job interviews, thanks!), but... the traveling. It’s happening again. After this weekend, Mr. P and I will have been traveling for four out of the last five weekends. We’re each registered for a faraway conference, and we just got a save-the-date for our third wedding this year.

It’s both exhausting and exhilarating to think about.

Needless to say, it’s hard to write about my home when I’m not spending a lot of time in it. Fortunately, this blog isn’t limited to my house projects – so instead, some time may be spent (continuing) to cross off those items on my 30 by 30 list, visiting my friends and new cities!

Last weekend, I was able to accomplish both, by visiting my darling childhood friend in Minneapolis. We haven’t gotten to hang out for longer than a lunch since this day:

She’s the stunner on the right. But that was nearly three years ago! Nowadays she’s looking a little different...

... as she’s expecting a baby girl next month!

That’s right, I took the opportunity to visit my dear friend and her husband (also a longtime friend!) in their new-ish city before their little one arrives. It was perhaps not the best weekend for my first visit ever to Minnesota, as it snowed practically the whole. dang. time. (I left the 70-degree temps in St. Louis for that!) But at least the Minnesotans themselves seemed perturbed... and I can say I got the full experience!

Anyway, as you can guess from the photo above, the occasion for my visit was a baby shower hosted by some of her awesome friends there. And when I say awesome, I’m not joking – that’s not even the whole spread in the photo above! Plus, take a closer look at these:

BABY RATTLE CUPCAKES. I mean. Adorbs. They admitted they got the idea from Pinterest, but there’s no way that the Pinterest version was cuter than those. Bonus: the hostess remembered that my friend ordered a peanut butter pie at a recent outing together, so she made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. How sweet is that?!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a shower without showering the mommy-to-be with presents! There was much oohing and ahhing over the weensy baby accouterments.

As well as this weensy baby herself, the darling daughter of the shower hostess. Check out that mop top – she’s only twelve weeks old!

I’d be remiss, too, if I didn’t mention the shower hostess’s other baby. That would be Hamlet the Mini Pig, of Goes Down the Stairs fame. Also of Colbert and 30 Rock fame, which is pretty serious fame, I think.

Honestly I missed the Hamlet craze way back when, so I didn’t realize I was in the presence of an internet celebrity, nor did I snap a photo. It’s just as well, I suppose... don’t want to shatter any illusions that he’s still so ridiculously mini. But I’m still claiming my brush with fame for all it’s worth!

Besides baby showering and mini pigs, I got to spend some quality time with my lifelong friend. We made a pie in their brand-new mixer...

... and drove past the Mall of America. But only drove past. This is as close as I got:

That’s okay, though, because we were headed to... IKEA.. Yes. And it was totally her idea, promise. Nesting instincts require storage bins! As for me, that’s two visits to IKEA in under a month. New PR!

But mostly, it was just wonderful to get to hang out with my friend, visit with her husband, check out their gorgeous new (literally, NEW) house, meet her friends, attend their church, help decorate the new nursery, and generally see the city they call home. I learned this lesson when I visited Lil’ C last year: while sometimes planning the visit is stressful, while maybe travel is anxiety-inducing... all of that is negated from the joy of visiting a friend and the comfort and closeness of seeing their life in action.

See, it’s a blessing to have a friend like this. We shared a hotel bed during elementary school field trips, we sat next to each other in middle school band, we stayed up all night talking in high school, we went on double-dates, we literally held each other when we needed to cry, we sat on the stage together at our high school graduation so we could deliver our salutatory and valedictory addresses, we shared a dorm room in college, we were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings... and so, so much more. In the grand scheme of things, our friendship is worth a lot more than an hour of my time spent sitting on the tarmac while my plane was being de-iced.

Indeed, I’m blessed to have her as a friend, and I’m blessed to be able to count this among my travels this year. And hopefully soon, I’ll get meet my newest little lady friend after her arrival next month!


Rachel C said...

Visiting life-long best friends is the best, especially far-flung friends that you don't see often. :-)

And congrats to H. She was my RA freshman year, so I know she'll make a great Mom.

Rachel said...

You and H were always an inspiration to me as far as friendships go. Of course, her sister and I share many of those same experiences together!

Tina said...

I'm so happy you and Heather have stayed close and pray it continues on forever... she is a precious person and I love you both!
Oh, and Doug is pretty special, too. ;-)

Tina said...

P.S. I've just about whiled away this morning looking at Hamlet the Mini Pig YouTube videos - there's about 90 of them... some feature Baby Mop Top, too - so cute!