PJs@TJ's Recap (Because My Title Cleverness Escapes Me Today)

I've been back for a week now and I haven't yet been able to write a decent wrap-up of PJs@TJ's. Part of this is because I have restarted WeightWatchers in full force, including twice weekly (early morning) yoga "classes" with Sister-In-Law (I put classes in quotes because what we're really doing is moving my furniture to the edges of my living room, popping in a DVD, and trying not too sweat too much on the hardwood). Also, on Thursday night, I started reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which meant I spent the entire weekend alternating between consuming the trilogy as fast as I could and huddling in my bed wondering if they were going to give me nightmares. It doesn't help that Sister is out of town until March, so I'm alone in the house, sleeping in an unfamiliar room, and trying not to die by cat suffocation.

But really? The main reason I haven't written a recap of PJs@TJ's? Because it is so hard to put into words just how much fun I had. Or, at least, few enough words (as you'll sense by the length of this post). The weekend schedule was pretty simple, as promised. We mostly sat around TJ's living room, eating good food and trying to have six conversations at once. And when I write it like that, it doesn't sound that interesting. And that is just plain NOT TRUE. Because it was AMAZING.

My weekend started out on an interesting note. I had spent the entire week previous at Roommate's house in the Bay Area (I have all kinds of plans to recap that as well, along with some fun pictures. But I'll get to that later), so Roommate dropped me off at the San Jose airport. The airport which was FILLED WITH BIRDS. I'm not a real big fan of birds... I mean, it's not like I watched Hitchcock's famous movie and suddenly had the FEAR of birds. I just don't really love them. They're kind of dirty and always seem to be watching me. Plus, the whole "poop on your head with no remorse, even though it is almost impossible that it wasn't intentional" thing. Ick. I do like to watch them from a great distance, like eagles soaring and such the like. But a half-dozen swallow-looking things racing each other through the concourse four feet above my head? Not so wild about that.

The plane ride was uneventful, except for the fact that I got an exit row (my six-foot-tall frame thanks you mightily, Southwest) with two really nice gentlemen. But then I landed in Phoenix and I will admit to a small amount of panic. I sent this text to Sister:

I got my bag and waited for Brooke, of Building a Kingston Castle, to pick me up. And I sent this text to Sister:

But then Brooke drove up and was exactly who she claimed to be on her blog and was incredibly nice and I got over my fear. We met up with a few others and descended on TJ's house. Well, if you can count "driving through gate guarded by servicemen and women who are carrying very large, very lethal-looking guns who take your driver's license away for fifteen minutes and I'm sure put you in some kind of database or search for you in other kinds of databases and then kindly, but sternly warn you about the dangers of breaking the speed limit on base" as descending on TJ's house, then yes. That is what we did.

Now, I have to tell you, there is nothing quite so wonderful as walking into a room full of people you have never met before who spontaneously yell things like, "BAGELS! I'm so glad you came!!" That was pretty incredible (thanks, Linnea!). I told them my real name, though I think that may have just confused the process. And by the way, if you want to know my real name or where I'm from, all you have to do is invite me to your home and feed me. If you let me hold your baby, you might even get to learn Sister's name...

We spent the rest of the evening getting to know each other in person. And I think one of the coolest things was realizing that everyone was exactly who they were on their blogs--their voices and speaking patterns matched what I heard in my head when I read their stuff. And now, after knowing them in person, their blogs are even more alive with their voices.

Then we went back to our hotels. By the way, the Holiday In Express in Glendale, Arizona? Pretty nice. And even though it was already late, I talked WAY too much to my awesome (and patient) roommate, Kammah, and kept her up for quite a while. She was nice about it though, which tells me she's pretty cool.

Saturday was spent much the same way as Friday, gathering for breakfast and snacks, chatting and playing with babies, eating more than I should have but loving every second of it. Then TJ kicked us out to set up the house for the pajama party, so a lot of us when and got our nails done. Since Roommate and I had done mani/pedis three days before, I just sat and got to know as many of these awesome women as I could.

When we got back to the house, TJ did something so revolutionary and yet so simple, I'm not sure why someone has not thought of it before. She put a bed in the living room! I know. It sounds so simple, right? And yet? REVOLUTIONARY. All of us in attendance were pretty sure it would be a moment for the history books--in about fifteen years, children will ask their mothers, "What did people DO before they had beds in their living rooms?" And their mothers will answer, "They sat on couches, dear." And the children will look at them in amazement and wonder how people ever had comfort before the Living Room Bed.

So we all piled on the bed or the near-by couches and told stories (mostly of the Awful In-Law variety). Playing in the background, to give ambiance, was Dirty Dancing. When that was over, they put on Big with Tom Hanks. TJ explained her Tom Hanks Method of weeding out bad friends, which you really should ask her about yourself (I think it's somewhere in her archives). At some point, I was able to lull a sick Penny to sleep on my shoulder. And by "lull to sleep" I mean "practically bounce into oblivion while singing a monotone song we call Yayayayayayayaya-Uh-Yayayayayaya which she sang much better than I did." After than, we fulfilled TJ's goal of staying up past 11:00 pm with other adults, something that is actually a rarity with me (I know I complain about my slight insomnia, but that is always ALONE and never fun...).

Those of us with later fligths made it back to the house on Sunday morning to grab donuts and, wait for iiiiiiiiiiit, BAGELS! And also to say good-bye before we all rushed to the airport and the END of an amazing weekend that was not nearly long enough and yet so incredibly worth it.

And now that I've realized that this is the LONGEST POST EVER, I congratulate all of you who made it this far, especially those of you who WERE THERE AND THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR YOU. I'll just take one last second to say that TJ did a spectacular job preparing for twenty women and babies, dealing with the stresses that come with hosting that many people in a small home ON A MILITARY BASE, and still being able to enjoy herself and all of us. Despite the fact that her Pop Up Toasties have me craving things that are not PointsPlus friendly, I want to thank her very much for everything and hope she considers doing this again in the future (and allowing me to attend again).

Oh, and if you want to read other people's accounts of the weekend (which are more than likely MUCH better than this one), click here.


  1. I am so glad I got to meet you! You were a delight! I hope she does it again and I hope you bring yourself back to the next one. Oh and when I was in Italy right after high school? I got pooped on my a bird TWICE. Once at the Vatican, sitting under some saints, where I then had to wash my hair out in one of the fountains of St. Peter's Square and then another time at the train station in Pisa. Good luck, my ass. You are right to be concerned with the birds and the pooping.

  2. Oh my gosh! That's awful. One time at a previous job, I decided to eat my lunch outside. It was a gorgeous day and there was a shaded area with picnic tables. I sat and ate my lunch and read my book. UNTIL. Some dumbass raven pooped on my head. I used my napkin to clean up and moved to a different table a few yards away. The raven FOLLOWED ME and pooped on me AGAIN! I was so disgusted. I stood up to go inside and it got me a THIRD TIME. There is NO WAY this was accidental. I'm pretty sure I hate birds...

  3. Ha! I don't know if you read it on my blog, but when I was in Austin for the Blathering a bird stole my food. While it was on it's way to my mouth. (It was sushi.)

  4. It was really great to meet you! It did make me rather confused when you introduced yourself by your real name. I still can't think of you that way - you're Elise!

  5. Sarah Pearson2/22/12, 3:27 PM

    See, now I'm even more narked that I live on the other side of a stupid stretch of water that I can't swim across. Still, if you're ever in England, I'll feed you :-)

  6. I had to laugh when you talked about matching our blogs and our voices, because it made me realize I was subconsciously reading this post in YOUR voice! I loved meeting you, looking forward to stalking your archives now that things are less crazy.

  7. I kept thinking of you of Elise/[real name] all weekend. I think I'll stick with Elise (in my head). It was great to meet you :)