Friday, September 9, 2011

Pink Shirts, Barbie Bows, Bedazzled Pimp Cups, & my Best Friend...

What do these things have in common?  They were partners in an elaborate surprise constructed by my two best friends from high school, one of my best "navy wife" friends, my sister, and my sister in law.  I posted a little bit about the half marathon earlier this week but it barely scraped the surface of the unbelievable effort my friends made.  I mean, they took out glue guns and glitter!  And my sister, who gets hives at the sight of hot pink, wore a gigantic pink barbie-bow for 13.1 miles.  This was big, people!

At about this time last week I was upstairs changing Connor's diaper when I heard creaking on the stairs.  I thought it was my babysitter who I was expecting shortly and thought nothing of it.  But when she didn't respond, I sprang into action quietly walked into the hallway to peer down the stairs.  Standing on my stairs with a big old smile on her face was BECKY!  Surprise #1.  Becky, my best friend from high school, lives in San Diego.  She is active duty Navy and is generally an extremely busy person.  If you had asked me who the last person I would have expected to be standing on my stairs in Virginia on a random Friday morning it would probably be her.  But there she was!

Along with her was my other best friend from high school, Melissa (who actually went to high school with my husband, but that is a long story) and her husband, Jeff.  Melissa and Jeff had fought DC rush hour traffic on Thursday evening to drive to Norfolk, got a hotel, and picked Becky up from the airport at about midnight.  They had talked to my local friend Julie who had called my babysitter and told her that she had to pretend she was coming on Friday morning but was not to show up.  My poor sweet babysitter got wrapped up in this craziness but was a total champ about it, promising to contact Julie if I had decided to change times for her arrival (in which case Mel, Becky, and Jeff would have changed their arrival time).  Whew.  I get tired just thinking about all of this scheming.

To say I was surprised was an understatement.  And for a few hours I could only think two things:  1.  Damn, I'm so lucky.  2.  Damn, I really need to run this stupid 1/2 Marathon now.

You see, training had been derailed by an upper respiratory infection, a fall down the stairs, and the simple fact that I am the mother of two small kids with a deployed husband (excuses excuses, right?).  I seriously hadn't done a long run in over a month.  And I hadn't done ANY runs over about 6 miles.  I had pretty much decided that the 1/2 Marathon weekend was going to be more of a "family and friends" weekend where I would just enjoy some company and cheer my sister and sister-in-law on.  Ummm... Then they showed me the shirts...

Surprise #2 was bright pink shirts with my freakin' name on them.  How on earth can there be "Team Jill" when Jill is sitting on the sidelines eating an ice cream cone?  There can't be.  So when those t-shirts made their appearance I realized that I had to run even if I had to be dragged (drug?) across the finish line.  Becky tried to calm my nerves by telling me we would have "so much fun" and that we would just "leisurely jog" 13.1 miles.  Okay...  Psycho.

But the surprises didn't stop.  Surprise #3 was a bedazzled "pimp cup" that I was supposed to keep full of beverage (preferably alcoholic) for the weekend.  Surprise #4 were homemade bows that were at least 6 inches wide that we were instructed to wear with our pink shirts.  Mel is a lifetime cheerleader (literally, she has been a cheerleader or cheerleading coach pretty much since she could walk) so to her, "go big or go home" applies to pretty much everything, including hair bows.  Insert dirty joke here.

At the end of the day, the biggest surprise (for me at least) was that I actually ran that whole 1/2 Marathon.  I learned a lot from the weekend.  I learned I have wonderful friends.  I learned that my body, even in the wake of infertility treatments, back to back high risk pregnancies, and motherhood is very strong and resilient.  I learned that the loneliness of deployment can be overshadowed by the thoughtful nature of friends. 

Thank you so much Melissa, Jeff, Julie, JoJo, Julia, Jimmy, and Becky!  You have no idea how much your efforts warmed my heart and gave me a second wind.  I don't know what I would do without you guys.


Melissa said...

<3 you always! Oh and thanks for the dirty joke reference... Jeff probably won't let that go for a while and I just know he and Ashley will have a field day teasing me about it, but it's all worth it! Love you!

Michelle and Gary said...

Sounds like you have some AWESOME friends and family!! Way to go on the half!!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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