So at 8 months pregnant, I've definitely slowed down, but I recognize how precious these last few weeks where it's just Jason and myself are. So when he asked me sometime during the week if I wanted to go to Athens on Saturday and hang out with a friend of his who recently moved down there from Gainesville for school, I thought "heck yes I do!" I kept asking about the plan, because I wanted to dress appropriately and I didn't want to slow the boys down, and did his friend really invite him down, and want ME to come too? Things were a little vague, but they sometimes are with boy-plans, and I was just so happy to be going! We printed out directions to the Mellow Mushroom where we were meeting for lunch, and I navigated through town (neither of us ever having spent any significant time in Athens), and there was the perfect parking spot, right when we pulled up. We were just paying the meter and getting out when there was an exuberant "hey!" coming from a few cars over--only it didn't sound like Jason's friend at all... I looked over, and there stood one of my most treasured childhood/current friends, one of my "golden girls"--none other than Deana Leigh Keathley!
I have to admit, I was so confused. And to be honest, my first thoughts were "what in the world is she doing here, and what an incredible coincidence to run into her in ATHENS!!! And wait a minute, it's not like she hangs out here anymore, this is a long way from North Carolina. And wait a minute, if she's here just hanging out, then where are her husband and baby?" Like I said, confused! And so I looked to Jason, who didn't seem confused or surprised at all, and after a few minutes, I finally became convinced that we weren't meeting Jason's friend at all, this had all been conspired for ME to get to see my dear friend DEANA!
I'm sure I walked around a bit dazed for a few minutes before I recovered my senses, but I sure hope they both knew it was genuine surprise!!! We DID still eat at Mellow Mushroom (yum!!), and had a WONDERFUL time being GIRLIE and catching up and enjoying each other, and wouldn't you know it, Jason just joined in with Deana and I the way I'd been anticipating joining in with he and his friend, and just let us sit and visit for as long as we wanted! What a great husband! The UGA game started about halfway through our lunch, and the restaurant turned into a bar with hollering fans, but we lingered over our table just long enough to lavish in the fact that we had a table but the football fans didn't, when we decided to walk around Athens a bit before Deana DID have to get back to her dear husband and sweet baby. So, we gave the table to the fans after a small stalemate. :)
It wasn't nearly long enough of a visit, but it was such a special thing for Deana and Jason to arrange, and a one-time-shot for Deana, since she just happened to be visiting her parents in Augusta, and had one window of time she was able to get away, and it just felt wonderful to be spent upon that way. They both spent of their time and effort and love to create such a fabulous treat for me!
When Deana and I first met, we were each members of the "I hate Beth Club", and the "I hate Deana club" respectively, but after one weekend at a youth group retreat, our forever friendship was forged, and she has remained such a source of joy and acceptance and fun in my life. What a fabulous surprise from none other than 2 of my favorite people in the world!
So here are a few pics--me with Jason's beer glass being silly, and puttering around town after we scarfed down our fabulous TACO pizza! (Sigh--how many of my favorite things can you fit into one afternoon??)