My girlfriends and I have a long-standing tradition of taking a girl’s weekend instead of Christmas gifts. Once a year (usually right after Christmas) we treat ourselves to spa treatments and a day or two together. Honestly, it’s the best gift. Even more so now that our friend Steph lives in North Carolina. She also happens to be expecting a baby boy in a few short months, so the fact that our trip aligned perfectly with her local baby shower was a sign.

I should mention – this is only the first time the girls and I have spent a weekend away together since before our babies were born. Honestly, I’m not sure how that’s even possible. It’s been almost two years since we were back in NC together. Lindsey was only a few weeks pregnant and still keeping it a secret (ask her sometime what she did with the champagne we all “drank” at the spa). I was also pregnant but didn’t know yet! Needless to say, this trip was a little different. A mini celebration for us moms getting some quality time away with our girlfriends. And dads getting some quality bonding time at home!

Lindsey, Megan and I left the DMV bright and early Saturday morning – coffee in hand, music blasting, and Meg’s famous trail mix  in case we got hungry. Our friend Rose flew down the night before, so we were eager to meet up with the other girls. We made record time, and arrived at Steph’s a few hours before the baby shower began.

The “Baby-Q” was hosted by a few close friends in NC. These people definitely know how to throw a party! There must have been over 15 varieties of craft beer. Let’s just say, these mommas were in beer heaven! Can you tell the excitement on our faces? Doesn’t take much to make our day!

Mocktails for the mommy-to-be, of course.

After we showered the happy couple, we headed to The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Steph and her hubby, Taylor were married there and it’s become our go-to spa destination (as if we visit the spa all the time…). It does happen to feel super self-indulgent and provides a mini retreat away from it all. I highly recommend a visit if you ever find yourself in the Cary, N.C. area.

We met up with some of Steph’s family for drinks in the hotel bar before
ordering takeout and heading up to our rooms. It’s a rare occasion for all of us to be together – and even rarer without little ones – so we had lots to catch up on.

Megan, Lindsey, Lara, Steph, Crystal, and Rose

We talked for hours before heading to bed. Lindsey and I practically collapsed into the pillow-topped mattresses.

The following morning, we headed down to the spa. We enjoyed massages, relaxed in the hot tub, and spent some time in the sauna before getting ready to head home. How perfect are these cucumber towels? They smelled heavenly! Note to self: figure out how to DIY these at home.

It was a quick trip, but was beyond worth it. That time together is priceless. Lindsey, Megan and I were eager to get home to our little ones, even though we knew the Dads were doing an awesome job.

I have to admit, in the early weeks and months, I remember wondering how I’d ever feel comfortable leaving Harper. I panicked thinking I’d never have “normal” weekends with my friends again. It took some time (and some convincing from my husband), but eventually, I began making time for me again. And, when it came time to pack up for this trip, I didn’t have that feeling of dread/guilt/anxiety I once experienced. It’s still never easy, but it’s definitely much easier!

Do you and your girlfriends have any post-baby traditions? I’d love to hear them!

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