Jordan and I spent this past weekend hanging out with friends in a small Pennsylvania town called Bernville — all as part of keeping up an annual tradition that started over five years ago. The tradition goes like this: every year, on the first weekend of February, six married couples rent a house somewhere and get together to catch up on life and share a lot of laughs.The house we rented was a little over a two-hour drive from NYC and sits on a 30-acre estate with a huge wrap around lake and a ton of space in the house for lounging. The open concept kitchen outfitted with a huge marble countertop island was everything my dreams are made of. There was even a bowling lane in the basement!These trips aren’t complicated — while we ventured out one morning for brunch, the remainder of the trip centered on low-key activities. Things like cooking and eating, napping, listening to music, putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle, playing pool, and catching up. There’s also a ton of amusing/insightful conversations that run the gamut of what you’d do with $10 million, the best way to educate a three-year-old, crazy things we did in high school, setting up family budgets, the latest viral videos, and racial identity in America vs. other places around the world.
(And yes, if you’re counting the number of people in the photo above, we were down two couples this year, due to this nasty flu season and responsibilities with a new baby.)As cold as it was, Jordan and I also found time to get outside and explore some of the grounds around the house. I’m sure the place is incredible in the summer and fall, but with the lake mostly frozen, it made for its own special kind of beauty. In addition to the mossy covered boat house, we found a little area enclosed by pine trees, which felt like a cool little hideaway — or a creepy setting for a séance, depending on how dark your mind tends to go. I’ll just say, as a city girl, I was happy to be exploring it during daylight hours. While exploring, Jordan was good enough to gather sticks for roasting marshmallows later that evening. And roast we did!
Sitting around the fire pit was one of the highlights of the trip, because we went each shared our highs and lows from the past year, along with the things we’re most looking forward to in 2018.
There was certainly a common thread of highs related to our children. While we were all incredibly grateful for the weekend away from our kids, there’s no denying that those little people add a tremendous amount of joy, perspective, focus and ambition to our lives. It’s a pretty heart-warming thing to see people who I’ve known for the past 15+ years come into their own as parents. Watching them constantly informs how I piece together my own parenting style and try to figure this crazy journey out.
Our laughing is way too loud to not wake up somebody’s sleeping child.