October 24, 2011


I think I need a vacation to recover from my recent vacations!  If there is a such thing as having too much fun, then the long weekend I spent with my girlfriends would be it.  Last year about this time, I was drowning in post adoption depression, struggling with a son who would not attach and pretty much just hating life in general.  Out of that, my desire to build a community was born and I created the MRG's (Mom's Retreat Girls).  Finding good friends as a grown up is hard work!  So I rented a cabin in Cincinnati, put out an all call on this blog for the first 14 women that paid a deposit and we all went on a little vacation together.  Truly- it blows that theory that all the people you meet off the Internet are serial killer right out of the water. 

So last year, 14 of us, mostly strangers, descended on Cincinnati with hopes of making new buddies and finding a support group.  What we found there, though, was magical.  Our group is so varied.  The only thing that we all have in common is that we are all moms.  Some are biological moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, moms who pop out babies left right and center and some who are struggling to become moms again.  Some are moms of special needs kids.  Some are working moms and others are stay at homers.  Some are single moms.  Some are going through relationship struggles and some are riding the wave of a great marriage.  We are all at different stages in our lives, but somehow it just works.  In this group, there is none of that silly one up manship that sometimes groups of women do.  We are all there to support one another through everything.  And over the last year, we've all become the best of friends.  These are the girls I call when I don't think I'm going to make it another minute.  And they do the same.  They are the ones who bring over dinner or have pizza delivered when my kids are sick.  They are the ones who text me a lifeline when I'm drowning.  They are also the group that talks endlessly about sex and make me giggle like a school girl until I wet my pants.  It's not a party with these girls until someone wets their pants and usually that somebody is me.

Michele, Me, and Liz- right before I wet my pants. 
Last weekend was our second annual retreat.  We lost a few girls this year due to distance and new babies and finances, but they were all there in spirit and can hopefully rejoin us next year!  We also added in a few new people to round us out.  We all headed deep into the mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee for what was a spectacular weekend.  Last year, the cabin that we rented in Cincy was the residence of a really old woman who never left the back bedroom (seriously- and that was NOT disclosed to us when we rented the cabin!)  So this year, as I was doing the booking, my first question to the cabin owners was, "Do any old, dying people live in the house."  When they would give me a weird little, "No", I'd respond by saying, "It's not a dumb question.  It's happened before and it freaked me all the way out!" 

our awesome cabin in the woods
We ended up with the most fantastic cottage ever- with a hot tub and huge living room, a game room, tons of beautiful trees, and NO moaning old ladies locked in a back bedroom.  We unloaded all of our stuff and claimed beds and then settled in for tons of talking and laughing and eating.  I don't think I've ever eaten so many carbs in my whole life.  When you have a huge group of women all bringing food to share, somehow you end up with a giant conglomerate of the most delicious baked goods ever.  And lots of wine to wash it down with.  It's kind of like if you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk.  But more like, if you give a tired mom a bowl of homemade caramel corn and a slice of pumpkin cake, she's going to NEED a glass of wine (or two) to wash it down.

All piling into one bedroom to watch a movie together.  Bridesmaids+a giant group of gal pals=nonstop hilarity
Along with all the laughing, there were some tears.  Tough stories came out and we were all there to hug and love on each other through the rough spots.  My favorite part of this group is that there are no judgements.  If you want to say that some days you just want to run away, the rest of us smile and nod and love you through it.  If you say that once on spring break you kissed a girl in public and charged admission, well, no judgements there either.  If you need to take a nap- you do it.  If you need to take a walk, you do it.  The whole point of the weekend is that you go home to your regular life and feel like you can keep doing it a little while longer until the next time we all get together.  To date, I think that putting this little group together is one of the best things I've done with my adult life.

There is not one of these girls that I wouldn't pick up and leave at a moment's notice to go and help and I know that they would do the same for me.  I used to watch chick flicks and envy those groups of college girls that stayed in touch and spent a week at the lake every summer until they were old and gray.  Or those groups of girls who would mail their jeans back and forth to each other to stay connected.  Now, I feel so fortunate that I've found that in my life.  Not that we share jeans because, come on! What real life group of friends all has the same size butt anyway? It's that we are there for each other and we are bonded in a way that is unexplainable.

The original MRG's. ( severly missing Sandy, Glenna, Amanda, Carrie, Birgit and Jamey)
To the MRG's- you bring so much happiness and meaning to my life!  I love each of you like the sisters that I never had.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  You make it so wonderful!

The whole gang: Michele, Renee, Megan W., Liz, Stori, Jenny, Molly, Crystal, Cami, Natalie and Ellen

 Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art...
It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. - C. S. Lewis

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