So hard with my girls not around me…

Ahhh here it is… Sunday afternoon and the DLO* has departed.  I am trying hard not to be sad though, because we had such a wonderful visit, and we will all be together again in just three short weeks – yay!

Lindsey and Mary Ann came to Charlotte for a “bachelorette weekend” to celebrate Mary Ann’s last few weeks before the wedding!  Here is the full recap with pictures, or at least the parts I can tell you about, muhahaha…

The girls arrived Friday night within about an hour of each other.  I spent my Friday afternoon staring out the window waiting for them and cleaning the house like a maniac.  Mary Ann arrived first, and I hugged her for about 20 minutes – I hadn’t seen her since my wedding in May!  We set up shop in the kitchen, catching up and diving into the snack platters I had put together.  Not much later, Lindsey arrived and the DLO was finally together again.  Casey hung out with us while we talked a mile a minute about the important things in life – facebook, real housewives, shopping needs, wedding details, and more.  We stayed up until 1am chatting, and then headed to bed to rest up for the full day ahead.  (Sorry, I was too busy soaking up every minute of the girls to take pictures!)

Saturday morning we got up early with athletic intentions.  We were all a little tired though and it was raining, so our run became a walk, and we took Indy along for protection.  I got to show the girls where I run, and took them back to the greenway trail.  After four miles of walking in a light drizzle, we were home and all ready for OATMEAL – yum!  We showered and got changed and headed to South Park for a big day of shopping.

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The tasks at hand: find sashes for the bridesmaid dresses, find bridesmaid shoes, find Mary Ann’s wedding shoes, and heavily abuse Mary Ann’s employee discount at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.  I am happy to say we accomplished all but one (no shoes for the bride, boo).

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Lindsey and I got these amaaaazing heels from Baker shoes, which were a direct knockoff of a pair of Stuart Weitzman’s we had seen at Nieman Marcus – score!  We also found these fabulous rosette sashes at J.Crew, which were perfect with the dresses, and will definitely be worn again.  With our bridesmaids outfits complete, we headed to Urban and Anthro for lots of employee discount shopping – thank you Mary Ann (who is the Anthro store manager down in Jacksonville – awesome!).

After a successful and long mall trip, we headed back to the house to clean up and get ready for our night on the town.  We had made reservations at Cantina 1511, a yummy Mexican restaurant in Charlotte’s cutest neighborhood, Dilworth (aka where I wish I lived). 

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We scored a great seat out on the patio, and ate waaaay too much delicious Mexican food.  Two thumbs up to the vegetarian goat cheese burrito!  Casey joined us for dinner too, and then headed back home when the girls headed out for bachelorette fun.

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Three best friends in three new dresses.  Off to the Epicenter for a night of fun!  (THANK YOU Whitney and Jeannie!)

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We were a little worried MA would be upset about covering up her new adorable dress with tacky accessories.  Her response, “you two know there is nothing I love more than drawing attention to myself.”  Hahahaa:) 

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Our “first” stop was at Whiskey River, a country bar with cheap drinks, bull riding, and a huge dance floor.  The music was a fabulous mix of country and pop, and we got there pretty early before it got crowded (we are old).  MA was an adorable bachelorette, dancing the electric side, and posing with weirdos (above!).  Since I don’t drink, this was my first bar outing in Charlotte, and I realiz
ed how long it has been since I’ve really gone OUT like that!  I was happy to discover that even without drinking, I had so much fun going out and dancing with these girls. 

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The bar was really smoky, which was rough, and since we are old we had to take a couple of dance floor breaks to rest our stiletto-ed feet.  (Look at Lindsey’s cute new bangs!)

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Quick side note:  being my first night out in a while, I was slightly horrified to see this wild bar scene through sober eyes.  While my friends were fine and fabulous as usual, some of the people there were sooo drunk it was scary.  We saw multiple girls being carried out of the bar by security, not even able to walk on their own.  You don’t realize or really process what is happening around you when you are drinking, but you definitely see it when you are sober! 

We had planned to hit a few different bars in the area, but we ended up having so much fun at this one that we never left.  Highlights of the night – hitting the dance floor with my two favorites and screaming every world to Callin’ Baton Rouge, Toxic, and the new Miley obsession, Party in the USA.  I haven’t laughed as hard as I did Saturday night in a really long time, and I forgot how much I love to go out dancing…

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“So I put my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, and the butterflies fly away, noddin’ my head like yeah, moving my hips like yeah, I got my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, and I know I’m gonna be okay…” – Miley :)

We left the bar and got home around 2am, soooo late for this old lady!  We headed to bed and slept in the next morning.  Once we were all up I started preparing the Bridal Brunch!

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Yummy fruit salad made with the few fruits I could find available in October (strawberries, grapes, and apples), and english muffins with sugar-free preserves. 

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Lindsey brought pretty wedding-themed plates and napkins, and we hung lots of wedding bell decorations to help us get festive.

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I also made a delicious (80% egg-white) frittata with spinach, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and feta cheese.  Yuuuuuum!

Since Lindsey and I weren’t able to be at Mary Ann’s bridal shower, we wanted to give her the total pre-wedding bridal weekend.  Bachelorette night out – check.  Day of shopping – check.  Yummy bridal brunch – check.  All that was left was girly pampering!

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We headed to Myers Park to an adorable little nail salon called Polished for manicures, pedicures, and comfy massage chairs. 

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Mine are the obnoxious purple ones, while Mary Ann and Lindsey got the much more fall-appropriate pumpkin color.

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Lindsey and Mary Ann got pretty colors (LOVE that purple!), but I just got my nails trimmed and buffed, since I’m not allowed to have any length or polish on them in culinary school.  It was worth it for the hand and arm massage alone!

Once we got home, we demanded Casey take the picture we had been saying we needed all weekend long…

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Nissan: official sponsor of the DLO!  The Sentra, for the single-girl on the go, the Murano, as a family/dog car, and the (massive) Titan, for hauling surf boards and beach chairs. 

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Seriously, anyone from Nissan want to feature us in a commercial or print ad?  Call me!  :)

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I have tried to figure out how to write this multiple times, but keep thinking that my words don’t capture what I really want to say.  It is very rare that you can find best friends who can make a group of three work so well.  There is something so special and indescribable between the three of us, and I am reminded of it every time we are together.  Lindsey and Mary Ann – thank you both for coming all the way to Charlotte, and laughing with me all weekend long.  You both make my life so much brighter.

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Sadly, by Sunday afternoon it was time to say our goodbyes.  Casey and the dogs were total champs all weekend – surrounded by three loud ladies who never take a breath.  Casey is the first boyfriend/husband to ever really survive the three of us.  And he’s done so much more than survive – he loves those two as much as I do and looks forward to their visits, and I know he loves how much fun I have when I am with them.  He was also a good sport as DLO photographer all weekend:)

The girls hit the road, and I hit the keyboard, ready to recap a weekend I will surely never forget.  The best part is, we will all be together again in just THREE short weeks for Mary Ann’s WEDDING weekend!  The countdown starts today…


*The DLO is a ridiculous acronym that we called ourselves in college.  While it used to mean something, it really doesn’t anymore – we just been doing it way too long to give it up!  :)