Last Friday afternoon Mycie and I packed up and headed on down the road toward Santa Rosa, by way of Sacramento, where we met up with Heather and piled into her car. It was a big surprise 40th birthday weekend for Missa that her husband Lucas had meticulously planned and organized (and that went off without a hitch).
I'll let Missa give you all the details when she recovers from a weekend chock full of utter surprises and gets around to blogging about it. But the short story is: Milla arrived first on Friday afternoon after flying down from Washington. As Missa was settling into that surprise Heather, Mycie, and I knocked on her door. She made a joke about the entire blogosphere showing up at her house. Which came even more true the next day when Nicky and Anne pulled up to the curb. Heather and I headed back home that afternoon, but everyone else stuck around for the last of Missa's surprises- a huge party with a live band, a clothing rack of thrifted goodies, and plenty of friends and family (I can't wait to read all about it!).
But let's take it back to Friday evening. While Lucas watched Clover and Mycie, the four of us headed to a local Mexican place for dinner. It was so nice to be alone together and catch up. It's been a year since our last- and first- gathering (which I blogged about in Circle of Sisters Bound By Blood and Vintage Drink Beer and Sing Old Earth Songs to the Full Moon).
Back at the house, Heather had gift packages for all of our Aquarian birthdays.
And we all, of course, had our cameras out and clicking away. The entire time we were together. It was really nice for all of us to be around other people who are as focused on documenting everything that happens as we all are :-)
Clover received a new prairie dress from Heather, and Mycie was shyly happy about her new sailor dress.
New books for Mycie. You may have seen Heather's post about Opal, which inspired me to read and fall in love with her book as well. The language in it is so sweet and charming, and I am happy to get to share that with Mycie now in a childrens' book.
Missa's kitty Zephyr was the star of the weekend, to be sure.
Good thing we all check out the book sections at thrift stores as much as the dress sections; there were some pretty neat old books floating around the room.
How happy was I about this dress?
How cute did I think Heather's new scarf from Missa was?
Don't you agree?
My books from Heather.
This Cooking With Flowers book is the sweetest thing I have ever seen.
Missa gave Heather one of my favorite childrens' books, Ten Little Rabbits, which inspired a conversation between Milla and I about how childrens' books are one of the best parts about parenting. I can't wait to watch Heather fall in love with more of them after her baby comes.
I'd have to say that, when it comes to gift getting, people who read your blog are probably in a better position than anyone else to find you the perfect things. We all know each others' interests and obsessions inside & out. And since we all thrift so often, the chances that we'll find some obscure item related to said obsessions are pretty high.
Heather's recent post about the awesomeness of stretch pants (especially for pregnancy), inspired this gift from Missa and one from Anne the next day as well.
Milla tried on her new calico dress, and I sidled off to join a sleeping Mycie in Clover's room...
The next morning we all woke up sleepy-eyed but happy.
Missa and Lucas kind of live in every girl's dream house. Every part of it is functional and makes sense for their family, and it's all decorated in the cutest, vintage-y way. Their yard spaces are amazing too, and seemed to be even more lush and verdant after the light mist that fell that morning.
Lucas found this little creature eating at the roots of some of their greens.
The chickens were happy to eat both the leaves and the bugs.
I remembered reading about these solar powered pendulums years ago in Missa's post Sun Days.
One of the loveliest moments of the weekend was when Lucas' mother Oosa stopped by. We've all admired her from afar on Missa's blog, and it was so great to get to meet her in person. She took this photo of us.
Clover and Mycie played kitties a great majority of our time there, and Clover wore this hat and a kitty tail as we all set off for the Farmer's Market.
Mycie was as attached to Milla this year as she was last year.
The produce was pretty unbelievable, considering that we are in what many traditional North American cultures referred to as Hunger Month. I suppose the exceptionally warm NorCal weather we've been having contributed to this year's bounty. During our time at the market the drizzle ceased and a hot sun began shining down upon us.
God bless the small mushroom farmers of the world.
"Can I just have one more teeny piece of honeycomb?" The rad couple who had the honey and other bee products at their stand flattered me completely by asking if Milla and I were sisters :-)
I noticed that we were getting quite a few lingering looks as we strolled around the market. While Clover's costume may have had something to do with it, I finally realized that we were all dressed in ways that not everyone dresses. Looking at this photo taken in Missa's backyard later I realized I was all gussied up in romantic red velvet and lace, Heather looked like a Southwestern hippie mama circa 1986, Milla was a prairie darling in her skirt and moccasins and pigtails, and Missa's outfit was a perfect carefree-but-girly pastel grunge look.
Recreating the pensively-look-at-the-ground pose we've all been known to do in our outfit posts.
On the front porch I modeled my new dress from Heather and this spectacular new shrug that I traded with my girl Lucia for a vintage blouse at our last photo shoot. I am so in love with it, and it worked perfectly with this gown.
As the girls started snapping photos, I grew more and more nervously talkative.
And, apparently, disgusted.
I was telling them how hard it is during a photo shoot when your model keeps talking instead of posing.
And somehow didn't realize, until I saw these photos, that I was doing that very thing.
A few moments later Anne and Nicky showed up! Yet another happy surprise for Missa. Anne had sweet baby Marianne in tow.
They made the 8 hour drive up from Southern California with their husbands, and we were all so thrilled to get to meet them.
And there were more gifts! Anne, having just had her 4th darling baby, had some very sweet maternity clothes for Heather.
Lucas (totally incredible multi-tasking man that he is) watched Mycie and Clover yet again (while juggling all the last minute details for that night's surprise party) while us girls headed into town to do some shopping.
We hit up two thrift stores, an antiques store, and two vintage shops. At one thrift store the ladies behind the counter asked about who we all were and what we were doing. They seemed charmed by our explanation, remembering when they were young and wore fun clothes and still had that air of natural youthful loveliness about them. Oosa expressed similar sentiments, and it reminded me to be grateful for where I'm at in my life right now and for the people I've been blessed to have in it.
Really? I would think that, as the antiques store owner, I'd rather sacrifice the $3 I'd make from this lock of hair than have to stand face to face ringing up the weirdo who buys it.
A huge Bakelite case.
We all fell pretty hard in love with Skirt Chaser Vintage. It's worth a road trip to Santa Rosa, if you're somewhat nearby.
The owner asked if we'd been at the Farmer's Market that morning, and said she'd peeked in and seen us and she drove past and hoped we'd all come into her shop later!
The dressing room was papered in old advertisements, and this one sure did capture my attention.
We took advantage of one final photo op before Heather and I headed home. I am very much looking forward to watching the other girls' posts trickle in, hearing other perspectives on the weekend, and seeing more about how Saturday's big party went!