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.