Well, friends, something magical happened this past weekend. My sweet friend EM mentioned that she wanted to visit her bestie in Nashville and I told her that I had been dreaming of trekking out that way this summer and the next thing I knew we were in the car, with FFC in tow, heading west on the 40.
And then I had one of my most favorite weekends ever. I feel a tinge of guilt saying that because it was spent without Justin, but sometimes you just have to go all Independent Woman for yourself and do something that is equal parts scary / challenging / exciting. Maybe spending the weekend exploring a random city solo + baby in tow doesn't conjure up the same Hangover-esque images as your more adventurous nights out, but this was big for me and I proved to myself that I could handle a situation beautifully that used to be completely out-of-the-question intimidating.
Finnegan and I spent our weekend away landing at my husband's cousin's home at night, but the rest of the day was spent going going going. Thanks to my charming / hospitable / thoughtfulthoughtfulthoughtful / beautiful friend JJJ, we had a list of things to do, places to see, food to eat while we were in town and we basically just went down the list at whichever pace we chose, darting back and forth across town by side street taking in the glory and wonder that is Nashville. I fell completely head over heels for this city. In between Finn's naps in the car (and my exploration of breathtaking neighborhoods), we experienced: Hatch Show Print, Pepperfire Hot Chicken, Cheekwood Botanical Garden, Belle Meade Plantation, a self-lead walking tour of downtown, Franklin Farmers Market & Ellie's Old Fashioned Doughnuts, Nashville Folk + Free Skool's garden (if you a Nashville local and you don't get involved with this lovely group then you are stupid.), Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, Burger Up, and Calypso Cafe with some family in their incredible home, which they are selling (I know that you probably aren't in the market for a home in Nashville, but this place is a dream worth drooling over and was designed by a very talented cousin!), and Frothy Monkey. All. In. Two. Days.
It was truly remarkable. Not only did I love every single thing we did, I found myself enjoying Finnegan's company in a way I never had before. Without responsibilities hanging over my head, I just enjoyed taking in the sites with my boy at a pace that made us happy. It was the first time that I really felt we were able to spend quality time together. I feel like I know him better now, not because is able to hold himself back in some way, but because he flourished in this Finnegan-paced couple of days and I watched his every move with uninterrupted delight. I will cherish this time we had together and look forward to more weekend trips together, just the two of us.
I also felt my confidence as a mother grow leaps and bounds. Taking care of my baby single handedly for a couple of days that were sandwiched between two ten hour drives was like I was taking back a bit of myself that felt depleted by my new role. I am so proud of myself and so in love with my son.