Saturday, March 8, 2014

One Kitchen, Many Hearts: All Together in One, Real Kitchen

A few weeks ago, the OKMH gang, after months and months and MONTHS of planning, got together in Texas for a weekend of eating, shopping, and nonstop talking.
It was glorious.
I truly can't even put into words the amount of joy the weekend brought me. These women have become some of my closest friends in the past couple of years, and to be in the same room with all of them at the same time was just…perfect.
In all honesty, I didn't take many photos. There were several moments that slipped through my fingers because I chose to leave my camera in my bag and just enjoy the moment rather than try to record it. That being said, there were some moments that just needed to be cataloged. You can see some of them already by checking out my Instagram feed or searching #OKMHHOU for all the IG pics the girls took over the weekend.
Friday was spent sweating it out in Phoenix as I waited for my flight to Denver, where I met up with Beka and Megan to head to Houston. All flights in and out of Denver were at a ground stop for a while, and I literally got off my plane, met Beka, and sprinted to the other gate, where Megan was waiting to hold the plane if necessary. After that stressful non-layover, I didn't stop shaking until we were back in the air, finally en route. Kat and Mads met us at the gate, having actually landed on time, before the five of us headed to Jeanne's house, where Kirsten had arrived some hours earlier. When we all made it, there was a fiesta laid out and ready, replete with tamales (5 kinds), carne asada, homemade horchata (OMFG), and a donkey piƱata, whom we promptly named Kevin; he became our mascot for the weekend and went everywhere we did. Then we descended upon the feast like vultures; I am not sure that I even used utensils.

Picture courtesy Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic
At some point in the evening, we exchanged gifts, although I'm not sure how we managed to stay awake so late. Our gift boxes were a bit more haphazard, as they had to make the trip with us. I gave some goodies to Beka, so you can head over there to see her take on the weekend. Megan brought me goodies from Washington, but most of them were actually for HRH, in a peace offering for taking Mom away for the weekend. HRH scored - a Doc McStuffins water bottle (immediately christened the Very Important "during ballet" bottle), pink nail polish, pink sparkly hair ties, and more. I am happy to report that HRH was thrilled with all of them.
And while we all attempted to give Jeanne some sort of hostess gift, she outdid herself, making each of us our own - personalized - pillow case. She also made HRH an apron, which she's already worn twice helping me make noms like Kirsten's baked packzi.
Obviously, HRH is already one of the OKMH gang; she just isn't old enough to be our designated driver yet, so she had to stay home with Dad.
The next day, after a breakfast of soft fried eggs and tamales and enjoying the sun (while it was a bit cool for me, the northern contingent of the gang couldn't get enough of it), we piled into the van, and Mads chauffeured us to Brenham, home of Blue Bell Ice Cream (Mads is a great van driver, y'all). While we didn't tour the factory, the town is filled with other fun shops where we bought jewelry, jewelry, and more jewelry (and some other stuff, too). Katie joined us to make a merry band of 8, and we had more pie than is probably decent at a place aptly called Must be Heaven.

Photo courtesy Jeanne at Inside NanaBreads Head

While the other girls were in shorts, I had my leg warmers on in the morning.
Photo courtesy Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic
Kat and I went on two runs together during the weekend, too, but that needs to be another post.
On Sunday, we got to pet some miniature donkeys after doing a bit more antiquing. They were so dang adorable, I can see why Kirsten wants to steal them.

We luuuuuurved the donkeys!
Photo collage courtesy Jeanne at Inside NanaBread's Head
In between, we ate - brisket and more horchata and marshmallows and tamales and French toast waffles and 10 pounds of bacon (true story)… I think I came back ten pounds heavier.
And we talked. Oh, lord, did we talk. A huge shout out to Jeanne's husband, The Complete Package (or TCP for short) for putting up with SEVEN women clucking from dawn till dusk (and then some) for three days straight. He even cooked for us like it was his job.
And then, all too soon, the weekend was over, and we had to head home.
It wasn't easy for any of us.
Kevin took it especially hard.

We all lead busy lives, and it's easy to forget to slow down to enjoy life, so a girls' weekend offered all of us an opportunity to pause and recharge our batteries, all while strengthening a friendship with these wonderful women.
This is only one part of the story. To see all the sides and perspectives, check out the rest of the ladies' posts:
Our darling hostess, Jeanne (Inside NanaBread's Head)
Beka (Kvetchin' Kitchen)
Kat (Tenaciously Yours,)
Kirsten (Comfortably Domestic)
Mads (La Petite Pancake)
Megan (Wanna Be a Country Cleaver)
and check out Katie's post about our day in Brenham (The Hill Country Cook)!


  1. I think TCP must be imported for all future gatherings. That man is an amazing cook! I'm still cracking up at you wearing legwarmers because it was only 70 degrees, while we non-desert dwelling Northerners were shedding clothes like crazy.

    1. It was darn near freezing at 68! And yes; he puts our husbands to shame. I mean, Husband made Beka and me breakfast in October, but we had already started the process, so it's not like he initiated it. TCP needs to host a workshop on How to Host (and Survive) the OKMH Ladies.

  2. Snapshots in my mind from my weekend with you:
    1. leg warmers on the back porch
    2. real grill talk with TCP
    3. your face in the jerky aisle at Buc-ee's
    4. the slide in Brenham
    5. meat sweats

    Our weekend went by waaaaay too quickly. I want to do it again, as soon as possible, and for at least a week. I mean, we didn't even get to do each other's nails or braid hair or watch chick flicks while wearing facial masks. More time is clearly needed. Please thank The Hubs & HRH for letting go of you for a few days.

    1. I totally wish you'd taken a snap of my face at Buc-ee's. LOL! I keep saying: Meat Sweats are real, and it's a way of life. HRH is glad to have me back; I think all the loot helped assuage her feelings.