Girls’ Beach Weekend

October is a crazy busy month of traveling. In between trips, I’m stocking up on jam and scheduling holiday craft shows for November and December. My blog posts may or may not be directly related to jam. I think it’s more fun if you read it and you’re surprised. Also, since I have so many photos I’m going to sprinkle them in a sort of order. And another thing, it’s really hard to finish a blog post while holding my new baby nephew S dressed in a Superman onesie.

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Four years ago, my friend Terra invited me to Ladies’ Craft Night at her friend Teresa’s house. Unfortunately, Terra couldn’t make it the next month’s gathering and asked if I wanted to go by myself. Desperate for some girlfriends, I agreed. I showed up at Teresa’s house on a dark and rainy Friday evening, craft in hand. I took the craft part of the evening very seriously. I whipped out a fleece Seahawks pillow for my brother in law Scott.

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After that first Friday, I just kept showing up. The thing about these ladies is that, well, I don’t want anyone to feel bad, but these women are awesome! For reals. They are moms with multiple kids who somehow manage to find time for a Friday evening once a month with girlfriends. And they stay up so late! If we were talking about drinking rather than staying up, I would say they could drink me under the table. My sister Heather says they’re all so sleep deprived that they’ve forgotten to feel tired and just relish a little free time.

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They have a lot more going for them than their kids and ability to stay up late. These women have traveled all over the world on missions trips. They have a wide variety of college degrees from counseling to accounting. They can sew, crochet, cross stitch, knit and scrapbook. They are fantastic cooks and we usually have enough food for several weeks every Friday we get together. And they all love Jesus. They are kind and strong and compassionate. They are also willing to kick my butt a little when I’m being dumb then turn around and give me a big hug and tell me they love me.

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When Teresa turned 40, we planned a weekend at her sister’s “cabin” at the beach. The “cabin” is gorgeous and sleeps at least 15. Although it’s lovely, we go to spend time together and relax and rest. The first trip turned into an annual girls’ beach weekend at the beginning of October. We always have a little one join us. This year baby, Eden graced us with her contagious smile and incredible planking skills (shown with blond Faux Aunt Cheryl and flying assistant Mommy Sarah).

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We always have at least one crafter. This year, Brenda crocheted an adorable little pumpkin. And we always visit Tipton’s for their Christmas section and salted caramel milk chocolate candies and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. And I always bring an appetizer to get the weekend started. One of my first jam experiments was my Spiced Currant and Cherry Sauce. I first asked these ladies to sample it. We didn’t exactly elbow each other out of the way, but I know my greedy heart thought about it. Spiced Currant and Cherry Sauce in between a sandwich of melted Brie and covered in a golden blanket of warm puff pastry is now my favorite appetizer of all time.

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If all the above isn’t fabulous enough, we also go to EVOO each year. More on our incredible dining experience soon. The grand finale is my friend Dana doing the splits because “they’re a real crowd pleaser”! I hope you enjoy her contagious enthusiasm as much as I do.

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