Wednesday, May 05, 2010

*bliss in birmingham*

there are times in life
when i feel like the Lord just reaches right on through
the heart & hands of a friend~
a new friend
someone you've never spoken to on the phone
you've never met for lunch or coffee
much less crashed in their home for 3 days
& loves you,
blesses you
& blows you away!

that's what meeting ashley eiler was for me!

a few months ago ashley invited me to come for a weekend, all expenses paid,
at her home
along with 9 other women
many of whom work for her
none of who i had ever met...
& did i already mention , much younger than i....oh boy

look at this girl
everyone needs an ashley in their life!
& i'm so thankful she's in mine!

so i packed up the suburban
my respectable new cell phone
since i was meeting THE darbs and all
i surely couldn't have a flip phone
turns out someone else showed up with a flip phone....& an antenna. but her secrets good with me!}
grabbed my camera
left my insecurity at home
sucked it up
got over myself
stepped way out of my comfort zone
& hit the road
driving the speed limit
being that my fine is due this month for my previous pullover...ugh
see here's proof...70 mph
although this shot taken by said cell phone probably was not the smartest maneuver to attempt with an 18wheeler next to me

ashley has a shop in a super cute (i expected nothing less) development called Mt Laurel
we all met up for dinner at a fabulous restaurant
'a stones throw'
i will forever think of these precious girls each time i order shrimp & grits!

you know how awkward things like this could be
not at all
honestly, i felt instantly like i'd already known all these ladies
each one was beautiful, and so warm and friendly
dang, why do i feel like i might just start to cry?

we then headed back to ashley's beautiful home
is her kitchen the cutest or what?
& anybody who slaps a ginormous monogram on every kitchen towel is AOK by me!

she passed out happies for everyone
beachbags LOADED with more treasures
i'm serious when i tell you that i was blown away by this girl
& the weekend was only just beginning

thank you lindsay for great camera straps!!
i've always wanted one!

one of the things in our beach bag
was these pink tshirts

we all wore them to ashley's church sunday
& speaking of blown away
this church is living their testimonies & convictions in a powerful way
i think about 40sh couples/families are moving into the rougher parts of b'ham to be the hands & feet of jesus, loving on those who need it most
i think approximately 160 families have or are in the process of adopting .... 160 families!
i've never seen a church truly walk it out like they are!

i think its safe to say we were all star struck meeting darby
darby can do it all
cook, sew, entertain, & love on those precious babies like no one's business
she is big fun & truly has a joyful spirit
i love how she shares her faith & inspires me to be a better mom through her writing
{even though she was born the year i started 9th grade....uh ....yeah}

a quick peek into ashley's shop "Favorite Laundry"
ashley is the creator & founder of Blessed Be the Name children's clothing. what a beautiful line, wonderful fabrics, & very well made. the cutest cutest clothes. i highly recommend! sorry i'm all over the lot here
but let me get back to saturday
we were all treated to a morning at the spa
one hour facials
30 minute massage
or was it one hour facials AND one hour massage?
5 minutes or 5 was heaven
then onto fabulous pedicures
later we were fed ceasar salads from california kitchen
while we all sat around in our robes
hungover from the incredible treatments!

we were then treated to a photography workshop
with susanne king....fabulous photographer & an excellent teacher
i will never shoot in automatic again, pinkie promise

did i fail to mention that we were getting pounded with rain
major rain
thus making the treck from the spa to the studio
all gussied up for our shoot a little tricky
but after a few bottles of champagne were opened

there was even more laughter
& proof that ashley is super tiny
cuz here she is sporting a size 2t tutu

a few more shots of the goody bag....i was trying to play around with
drum roll....aperture!

another lens strap, you too can order one from ashley!

i'm sure i'm leaving something out
despite the fact that this post has already reached an epic status
but i just want to say to each of the girls that was there, ya'll are wonderful. beautiful. talented. super moms. who certaily do not wear mom jeans. can rock a photoshoot. & made me feel so welcome & part of the group. i am blessed & honored to call each of you friend!
you are the real deal , girl.
you are true. hip. colorful. generous. crazy. sharp. beautiful. passionate. caring. warm. lover of jesus. fabulous. black toenails. leather bracelets & funky rings. hostess extraordinaire. casual & comfy. creative. artsy.whiteteeth. fun mama. authentic.
you're just awesome
i loved your cute little self the moment i hugged you.
i pray we will be friends forever
thank you for taking a chance on me
& for making me feel special
thank you for everything you did
everything you said
every gift you gave
every detail you tended to
every meal you fed
every splurge you lavished
words aren't enough

{ps--thanks for letting me use some of ya'll pics...darby, ashley, lindsay, & susanne.
they each have fabulous blogs as does Shelly, Sarah & Amelia!}

{pss.i apologize for whacking a couple of you out of the photos...ugh..i'm so sorry. hope to get back on & edit but for now,my washer just i gotta run.

hey, maybe purex will pick up the repair tab since they retweeted my tweet on how fabulously their product took all, ALL, the coffee out of my white slipcovers! snort}


Shelly Powers said...

ahhh paige what a fabulous write up... i just relived it all over again... and for some reason you brought tears to my eyes... i loved meeting you and I am so blessed to call you friend! :)

DustyLu said...

WOW, what a great time! Nothing better than that! Love the T-Shirt. I want Thank you for sharing a wonderful post about our Lord Savior! ~lulu I love it I love it

KK said...

So I LOVE those pjs!!! Are those from Favorite Laundry too? I really need some bridesmaids gifts!!!

Jo Jo said...

Looks like a ton of girly fun!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Holy cow Paige I had to read through it a couple of times. All expenses paid...professional photographer, gift bags, spa day...whaa??? That sounds like heaven on earth...and making new fabulous friends is just the icing on the cake. So happy you had that once in a lifetime experience:) You all looked BEAUTIFUL BTW!

Jboo said...

Wow -- what a fun time -- sounds so special! You really met some amazing women, didn't you! Of course, you also are pretty amazing!


Courtney Walsh said...

awww, paige, this looks like the perfect, perfect weekend!! I am so glad you all (I'm in Illinois, I can't get away with saying ya'll) had fun! :)

What a blast!

Darby said...

I love everything but my stomach showing you know I wear TANKINIs... geriatric ones and no one is allowed to see my stomach and now all your stalkers see it.... and my face is red! :)

I loved your entire recap. So very dead on!! So glad I got to meet you... you are a beautiful and sweet and humble soul and what a wonderful time I had getting to know you!!

And I will pay you $5 to take that picture down! :)

xo D

Martha said...

Oh Paige...what a fun, fun weekend!!! I am so glad you had a blast...but you know can anyone NOT love your sweet, loving, and beautiful self...I even know that just from blogland...LOVE those pictures of you all...
so glad YOU got pampered and had so much fun!

Raining Pearls said...

What a beautiful weekend for you (inside and out)... I pray for friends like this. I think I may need to move to the South, you girlie's love The Lord and you friends so much. Loved this post!

Alee said...

Sounds like so much fun! Thanks so much for sharing!

melissa said...

Oh Paige!! What a wonderful weekend ... the perfect get away with lovely, creative, christian women!!
Fabulous photos (such beautiful gals!), love the goody bags and all included in them, and a spa day too?? Fun, fun, fun!!

The Flying Bee said...

Paige...what a beautiful blessing! It sounds like it was an amazing weekend. You look beautiful! I love those shirts, too!


Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

So much fun to read about "THE weekend" from your perspective! Sounds like big fun.

Lissa said...

I'm totally blown away. that kitchen is amazing! Those camera straps are too! Your guy's photo shoot is stunning! Was it really all inclusive- even the spa! shoot! that's just amazing- truly! wow! and i would so love to visit that church! that sounds amazing too. I would say that is a weekend of a lifetime to be sure!

Amber said...

SOOOO jealous!! You girls need to come to North Alabama so I can meet you all! After all, I'm only 2 hours north of B'ham!! Looks like a great time. What a wonderful bunch of ladies to spend a weekend with. I'm sure they are memories you will hold forever :)

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

That sounds like so much fun!!! Glad you all had a wonderful time!
(And you, my dear, are one rockin' lady yourself...what a cutie!!)

hometown girl said...

what a wonderful weekend! sounds like a great group of women, how nice that you were able to all get together and have your faith in common. hope you have a beautfiful day!! hugs, susan

Anne Marie said...

Hi!! what an awesome experience! God's graces come to us so unexpected......and she's a blessing to have - all from Him
~btw; that sign that burned - we took out of our fire...from the barn burning (didn't know if that was so clear on my post)
have a great day!!

Love Being a Nonny said...

WOW! What a fabulous weekend! WOW! You are blessed. I agree, Darby is a rock star in my eyes!

Jen Kershner said...

Paige, how wonderful to have had this experience. I'm so happy for you. And proud of you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone! I know they felt blessed to get to spend that time with you as well.

Kristin said...

Just so tickled that you had a
good time
a blessed time
a God time amongst amazing women
a smile time
a restful time
a making friendship time.

So glad you felt blessed and treated and I am certain you were a blessing right back. Just
love this for you.

that was my prayer the whole weekend for you.

LuLu said...

awwwww what a beautiful time you had!!! thank you for sharing a wonderful weekend that will be with you a lifetime,

Tina said...

How fabulous that you had such a wonderful weekend Paige! Gorgeous pics of you too may I say!! Looks like so much fun and what a generous new friend you have!! Wishing you a wonderful weekend ~ Tina xx

Iphigenia said...

You look bright, happy and cheerful...keep it on!!! ::))

3 Peanuts said...

I read about this yesterday on Darby's blog and saw you in the pics. I was so happy you beautiful woman got to relax and learn and share your hearts ans you faith with one another. How beautiful!

I did find myself secretly wishing I was there with y'all too:)

have a beautiful weekend Paige!

Kristin said...!! it looks like you girls had an absolutely fabulous time!! I *love* the photos!!

Melanie said...

Paige.. your post just oozes happiness and joy. What a wonderful celebration of friendship and love for our Lord!! :-))))

Have a beautiful Mother's Day!

Tracey said...

WOW Paige how unbelievably super cool for you!!! What fun!!! You look beautiful BTW!!!

I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day!

Hugs ~

:) T

Jenn said...

Incredible blessings this blog world can bring! I am constantly blown away at the amazing women overflowing Jesus' love!! Wow! God is SO good!
I can't stop smiling and it wasn't even "my" experience! I love stories like these~ =)