September 27, 2012

Clara Goes to Indy

I've written before about some of my dearest girlfriends (here and here and here) and how grateful I am at thirty-one to have some really really deep intimate and meaningful relationships with other women whom I love, respect and admire.  I know it's a rare thing and something I never take for granted.  What's amazing to me is that so many of these folks came into my life in such seemingly random ways: a freshman (required) french class, a roommate debacle leaving me stuck with a "stranger", an internet "friendship" turned real..... It's really nothing short of incredible to look back at the people who have come to mean so much to me and wonder how easily I might have just missed them altogether.  And how deeply deeply thankful I am that I didn't. 

Another of my nearest and dearest is the same way.  As a Wake Forest freshman you don't get to pick your roommates or your building or your hall.  Everyone is totally potluck and you are stuck wherever the residence life or admissions or whoever is in charge of your fate puts you.  Well, Collins 3C was the place to be in August of 1999 and Sarah (then Jones) somehow ended up in the room right across the hall from me.  We went through all that freshman "stuff" together and as is the nature of living with someone, you get to know the good the bad and the ugly in a big hurry.  Sarah was smarter than me a more natural student than me, and didn't spend quite the same hours studying that I did.  But while I sat at my built-in desk, typing away on my university-issued thinkpad, she sat right behind me, curled up in the corner of my bed watching Golden Girls and knitting.  I knew right then that this was the good stuff.  And it was.  

We went through a lot of great memories in those four years and we lived together in our first "grown up apartment" after we graduated.  I spent part of a summer at her family's lake cottage in Michigan, and my mama became like Sarah's second mother since hers was far away.  After Sarah got married, she and Will moved back to her hometown to be closer to her family.  I can't blame her; there's nothing quite like living near your mama, especially once you have kids.  But boy oh boy do I miss her.  This woman has a heart of gold and would lie down in front of a truck for me, I swear.  Loyalty like this can't be bought or won.  There has never been a more generous spirit or loving heart as this dear friend.  I'm so very thankful that although many a mile separates us now, and sometimes weeks and months go by between phone conversations, when we are together it is just like old times again.  Might as well turn Golden Girls back on and grab your knitting needles.  All is right in the world.  

Lucky for me, Will has family in Athens (GA), so we get to see them almost always at least once a year when they come down south.  I had made a couple of trips up to Indy to see them in their new home - when Sarah was pregnant and I dragged her 8.5 month belly all over Chicago one weekend and again when her first girl, Anna, was only a couple months old.  Sarah had her second baby girl last March though and I had yet to meet her.  So, Clara and I embarked on her first plane ride in order to get our Wingfield fix.  

The weekend flew by way too fast, and I soaked up every moment of it.  The beautiful chaos of all three of our girls together made my heart feel like it could explode.  Really, there is no way my brain could have even comprehended such a wondrous sight thirteen years ago.  We are so blessed.

Here are the photos that only kind of capture all the fun that was had.  I can't wait until we do it again.  Sarah, I love you (and that husband and those sweet sweet girls)!  Thanks for being such a big part of my heart.  Here's to the next ten years and many more sweet memories ahead of us!


The airline gods smiled down on us and despite the fact that we were flying out of Charlotte the day after the DNC ended, there was miraculously an empty seat available so that Clara was not totally confined to my lap for our first in-flight experience.  She did great!  Even though our flight schedule meant missing her nap altogether, she was a total trooper and stayed happy and cooperative the whole day.  

I love the wonder in her eyes here as she's checking out her surroundings. 

Everyone suggested a lollipop to help her ears clear on the way up.  I should have known that Clara would not grasp the concept of how to eat a lollipop.  She simply tried biting it with all her might.  I thought a chipped tooth would not be the best event to start our trip, so the lollipop was quickly replaced with raisins.  Her ears didn't seem to bother her a bit.

It helped that there was a 9 or 10 year old little girl sitting in the seat right in front of us.  She played peek-a-boo with Clara for most of the flight.  I should have tipped her for her services.  In spare lollipops.

The first morning we were there, we visited the downtown Carmel farmer's market.  I love love love this kind of thing.  We had a great time just strolling around and soaking up the sights and smells.

                          Clara and Anna                                  sweet sleeping Julia

The girls enjoyed some farm fresh honey out of these cool honey straws.  

 And we picked out some pretty flowers for Anna to give her mama.  I love this second shot.

After naps, we headed to Conner Prairie, which is an interactive history park - kind of like Old Salem or Williamsburg.  In the fall, they have an apple store where they sell apples and apple products for a fundraiser.  We went to partake of apple cider slushies.  Yum yum.

Catch your breath.  I know.  That might have been the sweetest thing you've seen all day.

                   the three girls                                          the Wingfield family of four

And after our snacks, the girls had fun just hanging out in the grass and playing....

Have you ever seen anything as cute as this?

Then it was back to the backyard for some fun and playing together.  The girls spent lots of time just running around and being together.  My heart was so full.

After we sufficiently wore them out, we put the kids to bed and left Will in charge watching the UGA game while Sarah and I went out to dinner for just a girls' date!  These moments become so rare and precious!  I was thankful for the time with her all to myself.

Here are some shots of the girls the next morning.  When Julia woke up, Clara wanted in the crib with her.  I cannot count the number of times in three days that Clara said, "baby!"  Julia was a big big hit.

I love this moment when Clara is putting Julia's paci in her mouth for her.  She'll be a great big sister.....someday. (Don't go jumping to any conclusions, folks.  No time soon.)

Then it was time to get everyone dressed and out the door because we were headed to the Indy zoo!!!  It has been so fun to watch Clara watching all the animals we've seen lately.  Here are a few collages of the ones we spotted at this zoo.  It was awesome!   We also got to see a dolphin show, but it was too dark for the lens I'd brought and I didn't get any good photos of that.
And here are the girls, focused and intent.


Be. Still. My. Heart.

Anna leaning in for a kiss.

Clara is not a fan of holding grownups' hands.  But Anna's hand, she was more than willing to hold....

 A little Julia love too....

Towards the end of our visit, we hit a playground.  Everyone was getting a little tired....

 I love this family:

And of course, we have some bath shots.  Anna was a gracious and loving and forgiving friend to Clara (must take after her mama) because Clara pooped in the tub every single night.  We must have a discussion about bathtub etiquette.

Here are the girls, reading some stories in their matching "slumber party PJs"

And Anna giving Clara goodnight hug.

Our last morning we tried to visit the Indy children's museum, but unfortunately they were closed!  We hit a playground instead.  I told Sarah.... we have to save something for our next trip!

The flight home did not have an extra seat, but I managed to get through it with a wiggly wiggly toddler in my lap.  She was happy and quiet and I thankfully received no death stares from other passengers.  We have no travel plans on the horizon, so I'm sure the next time we fly it will be after Clara is two and we'll have to buy a seat for her anyways.  {Sidenote: if your child drinks milk from a straw sippy cup that has a spill proof valve that causes the cup to be pressurized, beware.  If you open said cup while in flight, milk will in fact SPEW out of the straw and soak the person(s) holding the cup and potentially nearby passengers.  It is impossible to pack too many baby wipes on a flight with a child.}

I'm not sure we could have had any more fun if we'd tried!  I hope these three girls grow up knowing and loving each other as much as their mamas do.  I can think of nothing sweeter.  

Thanks be to God.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...