Making more time for my friends is on my ME list for this year. For those of you who don't know me that well, I can be one moody woman. No, really. I have days where I just curl up on my couch in front of the tv or computer and become antisocial. I manage to get the day to day chores done, but sometimes I honestly just ignore the phone and can't be bothered to make the effort to go out and "make nice". This is when my making time for friends really needs to be addressed. Really how hard is it to throw on some makeup and run out the door for a meal, shopping trip or cup of coffee?

I am proud to say I have started the year off right. My DD gave me her lovely cold for Christmas. I cleaned house, helped prepare meals, and hosted lots of family for the holidays. After everyone was gone I disassembled our 3 (yes 3) Christmas trees and got my house back. I forced myself to stay up until midnight with my lovely children (who have no idea what sleeping in is, even after being up until midnight) to see in 2008! New Year's Day I managed to drag my sick and coughing self to an event called ICE! at the Gaylord Palms Hotel (google it, I don't know how to hyper-link yet) and ice skated with my family while it was 80 degrees outside. After all this I finally had a few days where the girls and I had NOTHING to do, not a darn thing on the calendar (for 3 days to be exact) while daddy was at work. Oh and it was freezing here in Sunny Florida Wed. and Thurs. too. Perfect for jammie days! (Do others do this too?)

What does this have to do with making an effort to see my friends you ask? Well, Friday around 2:00pm (as I was still in my jammies) I got a phone call from an old friend. How old you ask? Well, since you asked, the call was from my 5th and 6th grade reading teacher MK, which doesn't make him as old as it sounds. He was a young teacher. (Someday I'll blog about inspiring teachers and he will be at the top of the list) Anyway... his kids were here with family at the House of the Mouse and he and his wife were on their way from South Florida to pick them up. Now I say we live in Mouse Land, but we actually live on the opposite side of town, about a 45 min. drive (on a good day). In the past I would've made some excuse about being sick, Friday night traffic, and not having a sitter for my girls and gotten out of meeting up with them. But I didn't, I immediately made plans to meet up when they got to town for drinks and dinner (My suggestion. His reply: yes and yes). Note to all: this is an old trick question of mine and my friend TS. If the answer is an enthusiastic yes to drinks you know the night won't be a total disaster.

I showered, put on real clothes, dropped my oldest off at her BFFs for a sleepover, strapped Brooke in the van and took off. We met up with my hubby on the way, as he works 1/2 way to the Mouse. Around 6:30pm we met up with MK and his wife KK at the bar. Now I have emailed MK on and off (how did people find each other before the internet?) and we exchange Christmas Cards (you can read about my brown nose in an earlier post). But drinks and dinner with virtual strangers, their family and my small child (out way past her bedtime) were an unknown combination. So how did it go? Really want to know? Keep reading...

It was a great night! We had so much fun. Brooke was cute and talkative, not whiny at all. MK and KK (even though their children are older now) were especially mindful of Brooke being out late. She had an endless supply of Shirley Temples and they even went out of their way to order her a pizza at the bar while we were waiting for a table (8:45 pm was the earliest opening for our large group of 12) for dinner. We talked about all the kids I went to school with that he taught, and about raising our own kids, very surreal. The food was tasty, the wine delicious and the evening unforgettable.

Footnote: Sometimes we take our kids with us because we have no alternative, sometimes we think they are cute and want to show them off, and we've been known to end up regretting the decision to bring them with us. That night Brooke was so good, (she eventually just climbed up on my lap after I finished eating and fell asleep as we all sat and talked) we were busting at the seams proud of her.

(MK and KK if you are reading this, a HUGE Thank You for such a wonderful evening. I hope we can do it again!)


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