Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PJs @ TJ's 2 Super Belated Recap

Don't let the radio silence over here indicate in any way shape or form that I didn't have a great time at round 2 of PJs @ TJ's (see last year's recap here, and TJ's list of other recaps here).  It was just what I needed in life.  The only thing that would be better is if all of these amazing women lived nearby and I didn't have to spend a bajillion dollars to go hang out with them and then be sad that it's over and I'm back to being an overworked hermit.  

My weekend started off lovely - no work, no little people needing things, just me, coffee, and a (admittedly terrible, but included in my PopSugar box therefore kinda sorta free) book.  [I did, in fact, yell SPARKS!!!!, Shalini style, when the stupid plot twist was revealed].

Coffee, book, peace (also TM Shalini)
However, the folks at United were determined to mess up my weekend and de-iced the plane for a freaking hour after it was already super late boarding.  I had to do a full on sprint through the Chicago airport to try to catch my connecting flight, only to be denied from boarding at the gate while the plane was still sitting there.  UGH.  I get that there is a 10 minute rule for a reason, but it really sucks that they wouldn't let me get on the plane when it was THEIR FAULT I was late.  Especially since my running skills were pretty impressive - I was BOOKIN' IT.  The grouchy customer service lady originally told me I wouldn't get in until 11pm (which may or may not have led to some tears, I have no ability to control my emotions anymore), but I got right back in line and waited for the nicest looking customer service agent and talked her into an 8pm arrival (4 hours after I was supposed to get in, but 3 hours better than what the other lady told me).  

Luckily the party was still in full swing and I got to hang out a bit before going to bed.  The party house was amazing!  It was so great to see everyone again and to meet the new people (everyone was lovely, but if I could physically transform myself into any person in the universe right now I'd probably say Superjules - she is so cute!!!)  Most of the conversations from the first night are blurry by now, but I can tell you that bad dating stories were the new bad MIL stories this year.  My roomie Erica and I then stayed up into the wee hours of the night talking.  She probably thinks I'm an idiot because I couldn't figure out the time zone thing.  I wish I could blame it on being tired, but somehow my brain has totally rearranged the configuration of the US and I seriously thought Texas was west of Arizona.  WTF, brain?  I used to be smart, I swear.  

Day 2 involved 2 breakfasts followed by catching up with the other ladies at the party house before breaking off into smaller groups.  But before we left, I GOT TO WATCH KELLY PUT ON MAKEUP AND SNOOP THROUGH HER MAKEUP BAG!  This was obviously very exciting for me for many reasons.  I was WAY less nervous about coming this year, but I still did have some concerns about the fact that it's Kelly's party and we did not magically transform into internet besties over the past year.  It's hard (for me) to work and be a mom and still make enough time to foster internet friendships.  But I can definitely bond over makeup!  I have an in!  Now all I gotta do is get my ass on twitter more often so next year is 100% awkward-free and she is as excited to see me as I always am to see her.  

Breaking into groups is a very important strategy for attending these types of blogger gathering.  Even at a smaller gathering like Kelly's, it gets to be SO OVERWHELMING trying to talk to every single person and it's impossible to have very many meaningful conversations if you attempt it.  I know that sounds horrible, but it's true.  I think it's really important to find your "core" people for the weekend who share your goals for the day.  My people for this weekend were Erica, Megan, Jessica, Jess, and Susie.  I love every single one of these ladies and wish at least ONE of them didn't live across the damn country.  Sigh.  

Our missions for the day involved In-N-Out burgers, pedicures, movies, ice cream, coffee, and shopping.  All stuff we don't get a ton of time to do in real life.  It was just as divine as it sounds.  I enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook immensely - recommend!

And now for the main event...the pajama party!!!  Kelly really outdid herself with the snack wall, Trader Joes inspired smorgasboard, crack dip, and T. Hanks cake.  I also took amusement in making Linnea (who is the sweetest and most fabulous person ever, btw) reenact the Phil pizza moment from last year.  OMG, my stomach is rumbling just thinking about the food amazingness.  If you come for no other reason, come for the crack dip.  
Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack dip.  And other food.
When I wasn't cramming as much crack dip down my gullet as humanly possible, I was hanging out with a collection of totally awesome women.  My absolute favorite part of the night was sitting down with Sarah (who doesn't have a blog but I'm hoping she will get one because I want to stay friends), Deja, and Jessica while Rachael and Megan popped in and out.  [I FEEL LIKE THERE IS SOMEONE ELSE GAHHHHHHHHH SORRY IF I LEFT YOU OUT].  These are some STRONG ladies.  I loved hearing all of their stories.  I also was half in half out of some conversations going on around the room about other people's (often super personal) stories.  I think it's really cool that PJ's is a safe place for everyone to REALLY talk - it's way better than therapy :)  There was also a lot of laughter and light moments.  I'm sure you have all heard about Deja's laugh a million times by now, but I am cube giggling just thinking about it.  
Old roomies, new roomies, old friends, new friends.  I always lol at people on twitter at bloggy gatherings.  And then I tweet about it.  
There was also a lot of nail painting and hair braiding, which, as you can imagine, I fully supported.  

I busted out clay and avocado masks I bought at Sally's earlier that day, because it seemed like the thing to do.  All of the remaining pics are courtesy of Jessica.  

Erica and Megan forgot that you are supposed to look silly in a mask.  HOW CUTE ARE THEY???
This last pic was here to remind me to mention that a) Andie is awesome, I wish she could have stayed longer, and b) I didn't know Kara wasn't coming this year!  Had I known I would have peer-pressured her into coming, since I was looking forward to getting to know her better this year.  Also I really dig Ginger's red hair.  

I again stayed up way too late talking to Erica before it was wakey wakey time and we were on to Day 3.  Last year I left pretty early in the morning, but this year I planned a later flight so I wouldn't be rushed.  And thank goodness for that - I got to have me some Penny time!  You guys, she has the tiniest, cutest voice in the history of all voices.  Playing peekaboo with her was seriously the highlight of my weekend.  SO FLIPPING CUTE!  

Susie, Jess and I all had 4:00ish flights, so we got some Chinese food and some extra hangout time.  I really love these ladies, which was probably not adequately reflected by the fact that I tried to leave without saying goodbye.  I don't know, in my mind we were magically going to run into each other again in the giant ass airport.  I feel like I did the same thing to Lacey after The Blathering.  And I hugged Erica goodbye this year and hugged Kelly goodbye last year, both of whom are non-huggers.  I ruin 100% of all goodbyes, apparently.  

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend.  My only regret is the fact that there were still so many people I didn't get to have enough time with (including Megan, who I adore).  And even with the people I did get to spend time with, it just wasn't enough. These weekends are just too freaking short...which is why I plan to keep going :)