Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Friends Are "Tops"!

Hailey & Jonathan at Mall of America
We returned from Disney on Friday (2/1) and got busy unpacking, catching up on laundry and preparing the house for visitors three days later.  My friends, Kelly (& Kelly's daughter,
Hailey, Kelly, Debbie & me on Rock Bottom Plunge (upside-down roller coaster at MOA)
Hailey) and Debbie came to visit.  I met Kelly and Debbie when I was working in the retail accounting department of Tops Corporate office (a large grocery chain).  It seems like just yesterday that the three of us spent our days nestled in cubicles, but in actuality it has
Me posing on the bull - not sure if this was before or after I completely jumped over the top of the bull in an attempt to get on it.
been about 12 years since we worked together.  During our time together at Tops we shared so many laughs and way too many nights out at Friday night happy hours.  We got our "girl time" to chat during the work week by regular lunches together and well-timed potty breaks. (Yes...*that* is why girls go to the bathroom together, so we can talk!)  After hours we also developed our scrapbooking hobby, which resulted in several scrapbooking afternoons and a few scrap & spa weekends.  Changes in corporate structure caused us to move on from Tops (although Debbie has since returned), however since our time together we continued to experience so much together.  Debbie and I decided to pursue teaching degrees and ended up in the same masters/teaching program together.  We continued to share lunches, scrapbooking getaways, and life's events - weddings, babies, career changes and even relocations.  Through it all we continued to share laughter and make more memories.  And so, you can imagine how excited I was to have these gals come for a visit.

Wii Just Dance marathon
Kelly, Debbie and Hailey arrived Monday night (2/4).  Since Kelly and Debbie put in a full
Jonathan getting into the Just Dance action with Hailey
day prior to their travel we decided to head back to my house to allow them to settle in and allow us to chit chat and catch up.  This was a good plan which allowed everyone to rest-up for our shopping marathon the next day.

Girls' Night Out - before picture: Kelly, Debbie & me
On Tuesday (2/5) I got Madeline off to school and then Kelly, Hailey, Debbie, Jonathan and I headed over to the Mall of America.  As a high school girl with a number of gift cards in tow,
Girls' Night Out - during picture #1
Hailey was particularly happy about our trip to the mall.  In fact, I am pretty sure Hailey had the mall's map memorized before landing in Minnesota since, prior to their departure and in anticipation of their trip, Hailey spent much time scouring the mall's website.  Shopping and lunching, Jonathan was a trooper hanging with the girls.  He and I did, however, briefly leave Kelly, Hailey and Debbie at the mall so that I could drive back home to get Madeline off of the school bus.  Right after getting off the bus, Madeline and Jonathan  headed back to the mall with me to meet up with the girls and ride some rides.  Madeline was completely in her glory because she was able to ride rides with Hailey.  When David left work, he met us all at the mall in order to take on "kid duty".  This allowed the "big girls" - Kelly, Hailey, Debbie and me, to enjoy a girls' dinner and our own time riding coasters in the mall. We ended up eating at Cadillac Ranch.  Dinner and yep....bull riding!  Let's just say that none of us did a great job on the bull.  I, however, really, really sucked!

Girls' Night Out - during picture #2, On stage and leading the crowd in "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
On Wednesday (2/6) we had a very lazy morning.  Kelly and Debbie were pleased to leave the hectic life of juggling work and kids back in NY and so they were very content to not go back to the mall and just hang out.  What did we do all day?? Stay in our pajamas, and play Just Dance on Wii. Yet in the evening......oh boy, the evening!!!  I ended up making a simple dinner at home, I put the Madeline & Jonathan in bed and Hailey agreed to watch the kids so that the grown-ups could head to Minneapolis' Shout House (a dueling piano bar).  Whoah, whoah whoah....TONS of fun (and a perfect early celebration of Kelly's birthday).  Poor David was our designated driver and was able to watch the madness (us girls) unfold before him.  But to somewhat protect the identities of a girls' night out I think it isn't necessary to disclose *who* crawled across the pianos, *who* kept having to be reminded to not dance on the stage, etc, etc.  No, we each had a certain degree of "Girls Gone Wild" that night. was 80's night and we practiced what Cyndi Lauper sings, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".   No, who did what doesn't matter....what matters is we had a blast and David was there to keep us safe and out of jail (ha!) 

Girls' Night Out - after picture. Yep, notice we are outside!!  How about that!!
Thursday (2/7) came too quickly and the girls had to head back to NY.  I am grateful that we have agreed to a annual get together. might take us that long to recover from the Shout House!  I am just grateful to have such good friends yes, these girls are certainly "Tops".

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