Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roomie Camp

A gift. Amazing. Still can't believe it all came together. The details weaved in and out through three months of summer "reply all" emails, and several weekends ago my college roommates and our families spent Labor day weekend at a hill country ranch in west Austin. All together in one house - eight adults with eleven children between the ages of 4 and 10.

We've attempted this before, but newborn babies and nap schedules and ferocious viruses put a dent in our well-thought-out plans. But somehow, this time it went without a hitch.
Of the adults, seven of us navigated Baylor together, and in fact a few dated each others' spouses before it was all said and done. Eric, the lone non-bear in the group, worked with several of us at Kanakuk throughout college, so the relational lines blur pretty well.
And once you've shared a few simple experiences like snowskiing for the first time (ridiculous),
hiking the Napali Coast barefoot, rummaging for bargains on Rodeo drive, hosing down a throw-up filled van (!!!), standing in each others' weddings, visiting each other in hospitals with newborn babes, and then more recently supporting each other at a parent's funeral, the old memories mesh with newer ones pretty seamlessly.

A few memories from our weekend -
- Walking into the brightly-lit backyard of the Hanson's incredible hill country ranch home Friday night with a velvet backdrop of Texas stars. "All hat, no cattle," this ranch house and its grounds is beyond description. My goodness. 
- Laughing so hard our mouths ached that first night, watching the VHS of Eric and Brandon as 1999 Luau champions. Corbin and Todd remain horrified that they would have ever volunteered to get on stage in the first place. Mahalo, party people! 
- Watching the boys - all eight of them - cream each other in football. Mason scored a touchdown in his first ever football game, and TB and Bran trash talked their way through the plays.

- BRRRR... even with chilly water at Barton Springs pool, it made for a fun outing. Someone decided it was time to go when all the goose-bumped kids huddled in towels while Jessica and I sat and solved the world's problems on a sunny stone... how were we to know where the kids were, anyway?!
- Bright red cups strewn across the patio from fishing for minnows in the pond, crisp white art paper and markers spread out on the coffee table, Kristin trying gently yet firmly to get a pill down Marley, canoeing on Town Lake (an optimistic TJ with phone AND camera aboard), kids taking turns on the outside swing, girls playing house in the bunk room, tucking all eleven kids in at night and continuing the conversation downstairs...
- A sneak preview of Brandon's film, Sironia, wow wow wow. The two-hour recap afterwards with director's notes was almost as good as the film. Will be shipped to Sundance in the next week...

No question, the best part of the weekend was the easy, refreshing interaction between all four families. It's dreamlike for us girls especially to see the longevity of these relationships continue as our husbands have become each others' confidants and our kiddos form important friendships.
As Kristin's uncle said it best, "So there are new support groups being formed and older ones being reinforced."
So, so thankful for you, dear friends!