[Get it? The reference to Wizard of Oz? Because I was in Kansas this weekend? Sit back and get ready for a mega post my friends. If you don't have time to read now, come back later.]
One of my favorite quotes is "Home is where your heart is" and I am at home when I'm with my friends. Don't get me wrong---I missed my boys dearly while I was away, but there is no denying the happiness felt when I'm around my girls. Be it in Kansas or Missouri or wherever the wind has scattered us, I always breathe a sigh of relief when surrounded by girlfriends.
Keri and Allison are two girls in particular that are 'those friends.' You know the ones---no matter how long it's been since we've seen each other in person, we pick up right where we left off. And it's never awkward or tense because we have been through too much together to drift apart. In fact, I'd even say that we've seen the good, bad, and ugly sides of each other:) The inevitable sadness felt when we part ways totally sucks and it makes me want to plan another trip a.s.a.p. But for now I can relive the weekend in pictures and you are welcome to join.
Keri is doing well. I know that is the first question everyone has. She is still Keri which sets my mind at ease more than you'll know. Sure she moves a little slower, seems a little more uncomfortable, is a little thinner, and requires many more naps----but she's still Keri [thank God!]. And damn, she's a little fighter--her first round of chemo was tough but she made it through with flying colors. Seeing her life in person and all it involves put things into perspective for me and I feel grateful for our visit. I just wish I could give her about 100 big fat hugs.....gentle ones, of course.....because I know she needs them.
First: THE WIGS. Totally fabulous. And they make for really fun pictures, if I do say so myself. Here is Keri with her blonde wig with Allison [and her real hair.]
Me and Keri with both of her wigs:
And all three of us [again, Allison with her real hair.] For those of you that know my mom please tell me this is the creepiest picture you've ever seen. I look so much like mom it freaks me out! Not that it's a bad thing but I don't think I'll be going blonde any time soon. Doesn't Keri in a short brown bob look fab?
Now for Allison with the brown bob.......and the blonde one. Again, I don't think she'll be dying her hair either.
Then Matt, Keri's boyfriend, had to get in on the action. What a trooper!Not to be outdone, I posed with the brown bob [eerily similar to my real hair, except with cute bangs]:
Friday night after we arrived we caught up on life. We also ordered pizza and watched 27 dresses which spells F-U-N in my world.
Saturday was the big fundraiser planned by Keri's Emporia friends. It was a Zumbathon, which in laymens terms means two hours of non-stop Latin dance aerobics. Why didn't anyone inform me that we'd be exercising for two hours without a break? Not just any old exercise but gyrating hips and jiggling boobies. It was quite entertaining and now I have sore muscles in places I haven't felt in years. I think I threw out my back trying to imitate Beyonce. I'm getting too old for these events. But look at the turn out! Over 100 girls made fools of themselves with us.
Here are a few of Keri's good buddies in Kansas.
Fabulous banners always win my praises.
So here is me with my Latina dance partner, Allison. This is us before we knew what we were getting into.
And this is us after. Why are we still smiling? Because I know I could barely stand at this point.Ah yes, and the during picture. Showing off our assets, if you will.
The three of us before the zumbathon:
And after. Keri was a fabulous spectator and got an eyeful of wobbly flesh in her name:)
Some action shots? You want some action shots? Okay.I'm pretty sure this is the point where my back started throbbing in protest to the booty shake. There may have been an audible pop as well. But I ignored my aching bones and completed the aerobic journey. All for Keri, I might add:)
"I don't think you're ready for this jelly"
The Zumbathon was a massive success. Massive. It is obvious how much Keri means to her whole town and I am so glad we got to be a part of her big day.
Speaking of her town, it's really really tiny. Typical small town in the middle of Kansas. To prove the point, this is Allison putting a PENNY into a parking meter!
Can you read this? One penny buys you 12 minutes in this town! I'm sure we looked like total city slickers taking these pictures but I couldn't believe my eyes.
And I love the public service announcement. I suppose some people might leave their keys in their unlocked car in this town . Totally awesome!
Never to forget a birthday, Keri seriously provided gifts for both Allison and myself. Totally not needed but much appreciated. And lookie at what I got! A new PaPaYa picture! I love it.
Back to the weekend events. Saturday after the Zumbathon [and after a much needed nap] we went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Then rented Juno and watched that while vegging out on the couch [our favorite pass time].
Check out Allison's neck in this picture. This can't be comfortable!
And here we are doing what we do best---relaxing on the couch!
Sunday we got up and did some organizing. I made Keri a medicine chart because apparently chemo requires a butt load of confusing meds. You know I loved this task, right? Color coded and all:)We then ran some errands, ate at Olive Garden, and posed for one last picture.
It was time to say goodbye and head to the airport. So many emotions: happiness, relief, sadness, anxiety, you name it. I didn't want this weekend to end. And I hate that we all live so far apart but I swear we'll get out to Kansas again soon. Life is too short to put off visits with friends. If I've learned anything from this, I've learned to live life to it's fullest.
At least I had the famous Midwest Airlines cookies to console me on my flight home:
Goodbye cornfields of Kansas....
...and hello Lake Michigan. Like I said, there's no place like home. And even though I'm happy to be back with my boys I miss my girls. But the trip was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed. I love you girls, thanks for the memorable weekend!
And now back to my boring life. The real world calls:)