It is hard for me to put into words the amount of love I have felt lately. I returned home last night to my husband waiting for me in the driveway. After the kids gushed over their exciting weekend with daddy, I tucked my girls into bed. Ryan had the best time hanging out with his friends and their kiddos and his parents. I let Ryan peruse the pictures as I explained the weekend. As we went to sleep I started crying, I felt so undeserving of these amazing people in my life. These woman are some of the most giving, loving and spiritually beautiful people I have ever met and they wanted to spend an entire weekend with me, celebrating my new baby. It was almost too much to handle. Not to mention I returned home to my amazing husband who had a warm dinner, hot tea and bathed children waiting on me.
Johnson City is a small town west of Austin that is home to the very popular Perdenales Falls State Park. Our plans were to arrive Friday evening, eat dinner out and hike the state park the next day. Plans do not always work out. My dog of fifteen years, Zoey, had to put down the day before we left. I was not even sure I would proceed with going out of town. Ryan could not get off early as planned on Friday since he came home to be with us for Zoey the day before. I am still a bit in shock even though her death was something we talked about recently. More on that another day.
I decided to leave later and my sweet friend, Molly stayed behind to ride with me. It was such a nice drive, chatting and laughing about all things. We arrived nearly the same time as the other ladies. They shopped on the way and took a little longer because of sweet babies needing breaks. The group ahead decided to forgo dinner and just meet us at the house. Jenn M. had a yummy homemade spinach dip waiting on us which was exactly what Molly was wanting. We stayed up chatting and planned to head out after breakfast. We had a delicious brunch of biscuits, bacon, eggs and mimosas.
When we arrived to Perdenales Park we had discovered that the park was closed to visitors because they had reached their capacity. We were a bit upset. We decided to head back to a park close to our rental and found a little River access on the way.
It was meant to be, we found that the Lyndon B. Johnson Historical settlement was a five minute walk from the house. It was a gorgeous day with the sweetest friends. We enjoyed exploring the old farm houses, walking the trails and a little picnic on a porch.
After a few hours we decided to walk back through downtown and check out the sites. We passed through a few antique stores, checked out a vendor market and spotted a restaurant with outdoor seating. The Proof and Cooper had live music playing. Most of us enjoyed a cocktail and appetizers before while listening to familiar country songs including one of my favorites “King of the Road” by Roger Miller.
We headed back to the house where the ladies insisted that I go lay down and relax in the room. Of course I complied as if I didn’t know what was going on. They decorated the room and prepared dinner. I could hear them saying they were hungry as I quickly pulled my pants back on to join them. They must have been afraid to wake me, but I was already on my way after hearing laughter and excitement outside my door. Too worried about missing out, I emerged from the To room and took in the view. There were streamers draped from the stairs and windows. I had learned that Linda had fired Molly from streamer duty, which explains the laughter. We had taco bowls for dinner, prepared my Jenn’s chef husband. I opened presents and we ended the evening with desserts, Irish coffee and a movie. These ladies are more than I deserve, they fed me more than I needed and filled me up in so many ways.
We all needed some time away. Collectively we have twenty-two, almost twenty-three children. Of course most of our conversations were about our kids and husbands which made us miss and appreciate our families. I’ve always wanted this. I knew I needed it. A group of friends that you can laugh, cry and pray with. I am so thankful God has provided me with these amazing relationships.
We headed back home and planned a few stops to eat lunch and attend Mass. Linda found the perfect park in Bastrop. We enjoyed lunch, the sites on the river and live music. About twenty yess away there was a man playing an acoustic guitar and singing. Most of the music I wasn’t able to make out but as we wrapped up our picnic I heard Corey Asbury’s ‘Reckless Love of God.’ It explained the weekend perfectly: “I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it. The Overwhelming, Never ending, Reckless love of God.”