Friday, August 10, 2012

{Friendship Friday} From blog friends to IRL friends - part 2

Warning - this post is a lot longer than I planned. Best you go get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and settle in :)

Three things before I get into today's post:

1. I'm feeling amazingly better. It is so great to feel NORMAL - my body's not aching, I can think clearly, life is 95% wonderful again.
2. I had two missed calls from my boss this morning while sleeping (3 hours!) so I phoned her later. I'm getting a very good bonus relative to that crappy PA. Yay to money :)
3. This was post number 1300 - I always miss the milestone posts - that's a lot of yakkety-yak over the last 6 years.

So the minute I decided to fly to the USA and would be going into and out of New York, Heather said she was definitely coming to meet up with me. And then later, Tom would be joining her too. I was stoked, especially when D eventually decided to come too.

And after a few missed communications through FB, Pufferfish (who I will just call D) and I eventually got it together. She offered to have us come over to see how 4 people live in a one-bed apartment in NYC and I was ALL over it. The best thing for me in the world is to see how people really live. I can't be the only one???

1. Pufferfish (D)

Well, we were so late to get to her place mostly from leaving late but also walking in NYC in the heat when you're used to driving everywhere in Jhb is hectic.

Her directions were great and we got there easily; we only got slightly lost looking for her particular building. Which is OUTSTANDING for directionally-challenged me.

I loved seeing their place - they've made it work SO well with zones for everything. They really try to live "light" and organised which warms my little heart :)

I knew that we'd get on from reading her blog - when I first found her blog (she commented on a travel post and I went to check her out and found her to be a kindred spirit but 1000 times more passionate about travel than I am), I actually went back and read the whole thing. I was fascinated by her story and all they went through to have the boys.

D's warm, hospitable, authentic and a fantastic parent. When I wrote that parenting superpower post, she commented and said her superpower is her consistency and after seeing her in action, I 100% agree. I can add another superpower - flexibility. She has clear boundaries but flows beautifully with the boys so they don't feel like they have a power struggle with her. Loved watching it.

I picked up some other tips from her already which is introducing a timer when they both want the same toy (the pram) and am working up the courage to let mine drink from real glasses, without straws! And of course, the firm, calm voice was amazing to see in action.

this is D's "oh my word, I can't believe we're really meeting" face.

The hours flew by and I honestly didn't want to leave but we had to get to our next thing and the boys started getting cranky as they all do when they need food.

D, hope to see you guys in South Africa in the next two years!

I have some beautiful pics of her boys which I'll have to do a Wordless Wed on - there are too many to add to this post.

2. Susannah Conway

And then Susannah Conway released her first book. I happened to read about the launches on two blogs I follow. Blog 1 went in and out of my ear but when Blog 2 mentioned it, I thought, "hey I should check her out" so I did, was hooked and am duly subscribed.

I then passed many happy hours browsing her archives and so when she was doing a book signing in NYC when I'd be there, I signed myself up thinking, "how often does this happen?" and again, courage.... but thought at the very least, it would be a blog-worthy experience :) so I went.

The event was held at the Brooklyn Winery and again, I was late!

Susannah was exactly the same as she is on her blog, only much more British ;) but then again, she does leave her life wide open :)

Someone asked a question about what she doesn't blog about and she had a list of 3 things but she said she can only write her story so even when she's writing about others, she writes her story. Very interesting.

I waited til nearly the end and then confessed to her that I didn't have a book but I still wanted a pic since I'd come all the way from South Africa!

Bonus - I met a really lovely girl (fellow coach) there and we've already exchanged emails.

click here to see a pic of me at the event.

3. Heather

(click the link to read Heather's account of our meet-up)

And then note how Mandy talks about me in the comments - I laughed so loud when I read that :)

Where do I start with Heather?

Infertility, IVFs and pregnant together, twins in NICU born verrrrry early even for twins, the whole working mom thing, the whole ESTJ thing. I honestly could write a series on Heather.

But don't worry, I won't!

We even joked that we're matchmaking Kendra with either Tommy or Liam so we can be MILs :)

Heather and I are very much alike but with enough quirkiness amongst us to keep it interesting.

I was walking back to the hotel and I kept thinking, "I can't believe I'm finally going to meet Heather" and when I went into the reception area, there they were - Heather and Tom.

She's gorgeous inside and out and he's handsome so they make a very striking couple. Heather even cried a little bit which was very sweet!

We went to our room to chat for a bit while waiting for D (we'd split up for an hour so we could both see things the other didn't want to see) to arrive and then after we changed into slightly nicer clothes, went walking, taxi-ing, drinks and then supper.

I must tell you, Heather, that walk was such a gift to me. When we took the Manhattan tour it was the one place I wanted to get out and take some pics but it wasn't a place the tour stopped so to walk that stretch with you guys was PRECIOUS to me. I loved every minute and have all the pics to prove it. This was the first pic I took of Heather and is my favourite.

While we were together, Heather told me about a job she applied for (and since got! clearly her company is about a million times quicker than mine is) and I was impressed at how "balls to the wall" she is, going after things she wants. It was very inspiring talking career stuff with her. There are no excuses about kids or twins or anything like busyness - she just goes for it.

Mandy, please note this is what you get when you're not bossy enough with the server :) At least we all look decent?

Afterwards D and I had the "friend debrief" (you have those too, right? the "so what did you think of Heather and Tom?") and I said Heather's much more ambitious than I am to which............ D LAUGHED! He laughed! Apparently I just think I'm not as ambitious but D did say what I can take from Heather is the letting go. Heather's not scared to let go and move forward. So I take that as inspiration and am moving forward!

And yes, the husbands got on well too! Always a relief. I also really, really liked Tom. But more than that, I loved their marriage. They are so good together and that was inspiration number 2 for me. Their marriage is clearly a priority to both of them, above the kids even, which is exactly as it should be.

On a touristy note, I'd been feeling frustrated getting lost all the time in NYC because everyone kept saying there's no way you can get lost in Manhattan because of the the grid blah blah blah except (of course!) I managed exactly that. I took two subways the wrong way and got lost in the streets 2 - 3 times too. Then Heather said that she also still gets lost in NYC and she's been there a ton of times.

And you know how people say you have to do these 3 things, and someone says you have to do those 3 things in NYC. We had our lists and really just scratched the surface. Again, being with Heather just made me enjoy that "living in the moment in NYC feel" because she also said you'll never get to do everything even in a couple of trips. So that was comforting.

They took us to supper at a lovely little Italian restaurant on the upper East side and it was all lovely.

Do you know we spent 8 hours together and it didn't even feel like it?! But it was the best way to round off our NYC trip.

D and I loved our time with Tom and Heather, and we can't wait to see them again...

So let's talk about the spousal debrief.

D and I love this part of the evening. I think it helps us to process it all :)
Do you debrief? Have you ever disagreed radically on your views of a friend?


  1. I love all the pictures! How cool that you got to visit D at her house. I can only imagine how much you enjoyed that.

    And what a fantastic day with Heather and her hubby! Among other things, I'm so glad you got to relax and experience NYC in a more relaxed fashion that day.

    And I'm laughing at your comment about bossing the server...and at Mandy's comment on Heather's blog, too. HA! That poor girl in Charlotte didn't know what she was in for! We were otherwise undemanding, though, and I left her a nice tip. I'm sure she's over it by now. Hahaha!

  2. Lovely picture of Heather and I like the second one of you and D (with her "oh my word face")

    I'm happy your 'meet-ups' all went as. planned.

    I'm certain most spouses (if not all) debrief. My hubby and I agree most of the times with the occasional disagreement. Though I have to admit my hubby is usually the better judge of character than I am and that's usually the cause of disagreement :)

    Not sure why I can't view your "bossy" picture... Also which picture are you in the link from Susannah's book launch?

    PS: this was an interesting account and was worth waiting the week for it ;)

  3. LOL! I love it! Glad I could bring a smile. Do you know how much I want to come to SA?! As in pack a bag and move!

    The picture isn't horrible, although Tom looks as though he might pass from heat stroke. It was oh so hot that week! But I do love your bossiness!! The last picture, your first, of heather is gorgeous! That's one that she would love! Such a flattering angle and great smile.

    Of course we debrief. Although in my case, it's more of me foaming at the mouth and DH says "Yes, yes, sure, uh huh, yes, of course, do you want dessert tonight?" You should work up a post on friend's spouses/partners. I loved Mandy's husband, I could easily get lost in conversation with him! I'd probably even make my husband jealous LOL!

  4. Love reading your posts about blogger meet-ups. We do debrief. It usually makes for VERY interesting conversations. Sometimes the debrief goes on for a couple of days! We have never had serious differences of opinions about someone.

  5. D and I debrief after every get together we have - sort of like "did X look off to you?" or "Did you see y and z weren't talking" - its my favourite part :)))

    D and I have VERY differing opinions on friends - lol - it's cause for MUCH discussion!!

  6. I loved this!!! Thank you!!! I went around telling Tom, "She gets me! She really gets me!" I really loved the "balls to the wall" comment. That is so me. No excuses! But it is reminding me that sometimes I do need to take time for me. I'm thinking I need to go for a massage and maybe do it more often. And I loved that you understand how Tom and I are about each other. After all these almost 18 years, we still really love each other and plan to keep that fire alive forever.


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