55 In Life

My Weekend was so GOOD!


First, Erika’s right, I am very geriatric. There is no way around it, I’m just going to have to embrace it. My weekend away has completely thrown me for a loop. It’s taken me nearly 5 days to recover. My husband is wondering what has happened to me; I can’t keep my eyes opened past 8:30 pm. But it was so worth a week of geriatric-ness!!

A few months ago Ashley Eiler {bottom right in picture above} emailed me about attending a girls getaway weekend in Birmingham; a weekend away with other moms for fun and R&R! It sounded right up my alley untilย  I hit the outskirts of Birmingham on Friday evening, which is when I started sweating, panicking, thinking: what on earth am I doing, what if all these women know each other, or worse what if they’re total WEIRDOS from outer space!? But after I had driven 3+ hours to get there I knew there would be no backing out, no turning around, so I put on more deodorant and got out of the car! And… I had NOTHING at all to be worried about! I was greeted by the most precious, fun, hilarious, and sweet Christian women and I’m SO glad I went! {And they didn’t all know each other either! Whew!}

Just fyi: Ashley owns Blessed Be the Name {trunk show} & Favorite Laundry {wholesale} children’s clothing lines and is a sponsor on the side bar but more important than all of that she is a friend and someone I’ve wanted to meet for a LONG time!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  This was a fun weekend she put together for some of her reps/employees,ย  her friends, and some of her blog friends… just a group of women that she thought would enjoy being together! She was very right and I’m so glad she included me! She is such a hard worker, her store is amazing, her clothing lines are beautiful, but more important than all of that is her sweet and humble spirit… oh and giving spirit. Wait ’til you see how well she treated us! At some point in the weekend my motherly role kicked in and I couldn’t help but tell her how proud I was of her. If you see the Blessed Be the Name “back room”, see the quality of her clothes, feel the softness and quality of her tees and see how many people across the country are ordering her clothes… you, too, would be proud of her! And she handles all of this with such humility and class!

We started our weekend off by meeting up at dinner in Mt. Laurel at A Stone’s Throw {which used to be Standard Bistro} on Friday night. It was absolutely delicious and despite threatening storms we had some time on the patio before we had to move inside! I loved running into a sorority sister. Hello, Brooke! So fun to see you! We made our way back to Ashley’s house that night so our weekend slumber party could begin. I loved her house,ย  especially her kitchen…


And these funky chairs in the sitting room off of the kitchen…


Before bed Friday night, she handed each of us one of these…


I think my response was, “Are you serious?” And she was. After fresh fruit, bagels and homemade granola, we headed out bright and early to Greenhouse Day Spa for a morning and early afternoon of pampering and luxury! And LUNCH!

This was my first spa experience… and it was even better than I thought it would be, especially since I am always the one doing the painting of toes, the washing of the faces, and the brushing of the hair & teeth. My little Raiger is high maintenance and needs a color change at least once a day!


You can imagine how nice it was to sit in that chair and be pampered! From the spa we headed home to regroup and retrieve our cameras because our next stop was Susanne King’s photography studio for a photography lecture and photography session with ALL of us {she shot us together & individually– bless her patient soul!}. Susanne teaches photography at Samford and it was such a treat to glean from her, she is very talented!

While she worked her magic in the back with Paige, I coveted her camera



The rest of us stayed out front and played our roles of the Mom-togs that we are.


Susanne kindly served us some bubbly so we could celebrate our time together and loosen up a touch; it seemed to work quite well… Lindsay was CONVINCED that Ashley could fit into that tutu!


Saturday night the fun and fellowship continued over a delicious meal at Ashley’s home. I only took a few photos… so this is about all I have to offer.


Sunday morning, we miraculously made it to the early service at The Church at Brook Hills. We could be easily spotted in our pink t-shirts! ๐Ÿ™‚


I interrupt this blog post to share that I was so incredibly encouraged by the service. This is a church that is truly living out the Gospel and it was evident to me that they are the hands and feet of Jesus to their community. I left the service so encouraged and couldn’t decide which I wanted to do first, be a foster parent or adopt.ย  This church is making a major impact in their community and have single-handedlyย  taken care of almost all the children in the foster care system in their county. If I had to sum up what I felt about the church I could do so through the words of the song “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love”. I loved everything about the service, except for the fact that I didn’t get to meet Haley. ๐Ÿ™‚

After church we headed back to Ashley’s store in Mt. Laurel.





And in the backroom the walls are lined with Blessed Be the Name clothes that are ready to ship and no doubt make some people very happy when they arrive!


After picking out a few things for the kids I said my “good byes” to my new friends, thanked Ashley again for inviting me and treating me to such a wonderful weekend… and made my way to downtown Birmingham to meet up with friends for the Magic City Art Festival.

Abby blogged about it here, and since I left my camera in the car, what pictures I have from our time at the art fair/chef sampling/wine tasting/dinner are all hers that I stole without permission! The weather was perfect and I was so thankful that Justin graciously allowed me extend my stay an extra day for a little more “girl time”.

The art fair was so fun and we had a few hilarious and somewhat awkward moments none of which can necessarily be blogged about but trust me, we laughed a lot. From the art fair we moved over to the chef sampling and wine tasting. It was called Corks & Chefs but because I am slightly geriatric every time I said the name I would botch it and call it Corks & Forks…ย  which just naturally rolls off my tongue.ย  I admit that I know very little about wine and have been known to choose based on the label, so this one appealed to me.


Jeremiah {Abby’s husband} kindly kept their children so we could continue our evening at Jinsei in Homewood for sushi! Abby, Ashley and I pretended like we hadn’t just been to a chef sampling and met up with Berkley and ate all over again! The food was delicious and the company even better. We sat outside in great weather, toasted to a girls night out, and devoured delicious food… including this appetizer that took us a matter of seconds to finish off. I don’t even remember what it was called but it involved a fried rice patty, spicy tuna and avocados and it tasted as good as it looked!


Abby, Taylor {her sister}, and Ashley {her sister-in-law} are going through P90x every morning at 5:30 am. So, bright and early Monday morning, with hot coffee in hand, I made my way to Abby’s basement to be a spectator in the sport of “P90x yoga”. First of all, I am not athletic and second of all, I am not flexible. But, for whatever reason I thought some of the positions looked a little intriguing and I wondered if I could do them, I could not, but I tried and this is why my obliques have just now recovered 5 days later.

I loved my time Monday morning {post-P90} with Abby’s precious little girls. By this time my heart was aching to see my little ones and it was such a treat to see these little sleepy heads.

I had Mary Aplin to my left.


And Pace to my right.


As the girls ate their oatmeal I wondered if I’d be able to walk that week.


I made my way home Monday morning and enjoyed being reunited with my little Rovers & Justin. My sweet and selfless husband was so gracious to tend to all their needs while I was gone and I’m so grateful that he was willing to so that I could have some time alone! I had an absolutely fabulous weekend thanks to him!

But I sure missed my little Yanomamo warrior…

little warrior

and his silly sisters {who might just have expected mommy to bring them a toy or candy not cute clothes! ๐Ÿ™‚ }!


Before I wrap up… I want to introduce you to these wonderful women & their blogs:


Top row left to right:
Ashley Eiler {Birmingham}, Amelia {Birmingham works with Ashley}, Paige {Atlanta}, Shelly {Birmingham works with Ashley}, Lindsay {Birmingham– sells precious tutus}, & Melissa {Atlanta}

Bottom row:
Andrea {Florence, AL}, Mandi {Macon, GA}, Sarah {Knoxville, TN soon to be Charlotte, NC}, and me

I loved meeting y’all and spending the weekend with you! Thank you Ashley, what a blessing you are to me!! And thank you, Abby for letting the fun continue a while longer!

You Might Also Like

  • paige
    April 30, 2010 at 8:16 am

    i’m sure you find it no suprise that blogstalkerpaige commented first!!

    you silly girl…to think you were worried about meeting everyone, yet we were all somewhat star struck when YOU arrived!!
    i agree….what an amazing weekend & what an amazing ashley!

    it was so much fun meeting you & hanging out with you, even if you wouldn’t let raiger ( paige #1) do my ( paige #2) profile pic for ashley:)

    so glad i can call you friend

  • natalie @ this old southern house
    April 30, 2010 at 8:18 am

    can i just tell you how jealous i am? seriously! what an amazing weekend!

  • Nealy
    April 30, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Looks like a great weekend! I love your blog and all of your great photos. My blog is very inspired by your great ideas! ๐Ÿ™‚

    In Christ,

  • Cheryl
    April 30, 2010 at 8:32 am

    hi, first time commenting on your blog. I found you through Ohdeedoh and your bathroom makeover. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I’m glad you had a great time.

    I had to post today…my youngest daughter is name Darby. She was named after Darby and Joan – the poem about the elderly couple.

    I am going to have to check out Ashley’s clothes.

  • Rhonda
    April 30, 2010 at 8:55 am

    That sounds Fabulous!! So Glad that you had a wonderful weekend! I am sure that you *all* deserved it! I will definitely have to check out the clothing line now!

    I am headed to Brook Hills tonight for Secret Church…I have heard wonderful things about that congregation. Although I don’t know if this tired mommy can stay up till midnight (just call me geriatric, too)

    Ashley sounds like a lovely person…so glad that you have a wonderful (blog) and RL friend!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Its always great to hear about the good side of women friendships…you hear soo much bad!

    …although I must confess to being a tad bit jealous of the photo lessons…;)

  • Sara
    April 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I miss Brook Hills! We moved to NY in August. What an amazing place and I am so encouraged by the work being done through that body of believers. Can’t wait visit when we make it back to Bham this summer!
    Great pics…looks like you all had a blast!

  • Samma
    April 30, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Darby, this is so random, but here it goes. I was glancing at Sarah’s blog because I live in Knoxville too. I recognize a little girl in a party picture as one of the kids in my Sunday school class. Here’s the bizarre part- I was just telling her mom that she should read your blog because she went to Auburn, and her husband is an archaeologist, too! How weird is that? Such a small world!

  • Katie
    April 30, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Sounds like so much fun – I thoroughly enjoyed reading about y’all’s weekend! And the warrior pic is my fave yet….BLESS HIS HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Melissa
    April 30, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Looks like so much fun!! Love the photo of the little Missy all sad about clothes not toys!

  • angela
    April 30, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Hi!!! I’m so happy to finally see one of ya’ll blog about the weekend!! And I’m still so sad that I couldn’t be there to represent Mississippi!! and of course meet and share time with all of you wonderful women. I’m glad too though that ya’ll did this and it looks like it was an awesome time! angela

  • Ashley
    April 30, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Darby- It was a pleasure to meet you and I am so excited you got to experience our church. Haley died when she found out you were there and she is going to die even more after you mention her! I am so glad I “know” you now.

  • Kasie
    April 30, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Dying to know where she got the Chocolat print in her kitchen!

  • Ashley Buchanan
    April 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

    you were in my neck of the woods, I live in Vincent which is about 15-20 mins. from Mt. Laurel. I would have loved to meet you! Glad you had a great time!

  • beki
    April 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Oh Darby, that sounds like so much fun! I would so, so love to do something like that one day. You’re a lucky girl!

  • Lauren
    April 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

    So glad you had a good weekend! You deserved it!

  • Meredith
    April 30, 2010 at 10:37 am

    What an amazing weekend!! I think everyone needs an “Ashley” in their lives!!

  • Cousin
    April 30, 2010 at 10:48 am

    What a wonderful weekend! Looks like such a great time! The Rover picture melts my heart. I love that face! The haircut is just an added bonus:) Love you!!

  • Rachel Ridd
    April 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    So nice that you were able to get away for the weekend! Also, I love that kitchen … something about it looks so warm and inviting.

  • allison
    April 30, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Superficial blog stalker here (thanks for previous info on your duvet, paint colors, rug etc:) Where oh where did Ashley find that awesome print in her kitchen…LOVE! The snippet of the kitchen does look fab…would love further details…and more pics:)

    So glad you had a good weekend:)


  • Heather (Ohly) Heaton
    April 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    so fun! loved hearing all about it from Paige. funny texting her … and talking about BG with you guys. Adriane and I got a kick outta that.
    glad you had a ball….


  • Haley
    April 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I MISSED SEEING DARBY AT MY OWN CHURCH?!?! I seriously could not believe it when I heard you were there! And now I have threatened to photoshop my head onto Ashley’s body in the picture of you and her.
    I am glad you had such a great weekend! And thanks for the shout-out about missing me. Made my day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Susan
    April 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    How fun!!! Thanks for sharing your weekend, Darby! It’s nice to get away for some girlfriend time. I want to go back and check out the church website too. And…Yanomamo’s (spelling????) picture was just precious!!

  • stephanie
    April 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Darby-
    It looks like you had so much fun!
    That is the BEST kitchen i have EVER seen. Do you think that you could find out the paint color for me…and everyone else who is going to want to know:) I thought of looking up the # and calling her store to ask her…that seemed a little extreme and stalkerish:)

  • Sarah
    April 30, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Glad to hear it takes other people days to recover from a weekend away. I always feel like such a nerd that I’m so wiped out. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was in college and actually had some kind of life;) Glad you had a nice time!

  • Ashley
    April 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Oh Darby! What a FUN weekend! Although I am jealous of every part of it, I think I would have LOVED to join yall at Brook Hills! My hubs and I are huge David Platt fans and love listening to him via pod cast! We are very lucky to usually get to hear him once a year at our church here in Memphis. Thanks for sharing your oh so fun weekend with us!:)

  • Cat Moore
    April 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I love getting to hear about your trip!!! Great post!

  • alison g. (brazil)
    April 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    What a wonderful weekend! And isn’t it blissful how being away makes you want to get home that much sooner? Perfect!

  • Tracy
    April 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    i’ve been following your blog for awhile and love it. you are too funny. this post left me in awe with how open you are with your faith. it’s beautiful to see. it inspires me to do better.

  • Sarah
    April 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I wish I lived in Birmingham so I could go to Brook Hills! I LOVE David Platt. He was our camp pastor at Student Life a few years ago, and he was such an encouragement. It was right around the time they adopted their little boy from Kazakhstan (which was funny because Borat had just come out in theaters). Glad you had such a great weekend. Love the blog!

  • Laura
    April 30, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Everyone has cute camera straps! Where do you buy them?

  • abby maddox
    April 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Love the pictures of the girls and actually cackled when I remembered you snuggling with you coffee mug in the basement and randomly being inspired to throw a yoga position. Maybe we can make corks and forks a tradition. That last picture ofJM is priceless!

  • kendall boggs
    May 1, 2010 at 6:23 am

    WHAT a fun, fun weekend!!! Loved this blog! and loved the pics of Pace and Mary Aplin. Sweet little girls!

  • Paula
    May 1, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Glad you had a good time & wonderful of your husband to watch the kids.
    Regarding the lens envy; that’s a HEAVY LENS! That *should* be on a tripod for studio. But hey, if she drops it, it’s her problem. I’m over the camera envy here. It’s not the camera..it’s the photographer. fwiw

  • Shireen
    May 1, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Glad you had such a fun weekend, and I’m so proud of you for gettin’ out a town for so long! Wow!! Kudos to Justin, and I pray you continue to recover thru this weekend. I know I sometimes need a vacation to ‘get over’ a vacation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Shannon
    May 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    What fun times! I am an alumni of Samford University and went to the Church at Brook Hills! Just listening to your B’ham adventures brought back such sweet memories! I sure do miss that place.

  • Allison McLendon
    May 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Love. Love. Love. So glad y’all had a wonderful weekend:) I know my sis (Amelia) had a blast! I am sure it was good for the soul! I have been to their church and it is AWESOME:) Love the pink shirts! I also love my nephew, Jackson, who is in one of the pictures of the Favorite Laundry store:)

    P.S. I am geriatric too……”You are not alone, I am here with you.” Michael Jackson:)

  • Talysa
    May 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I’d sure love to get my paws on the name of that paint color in her kitchen! Love it!

  • Jenny Beth
    May 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm


    i must say the bbtn clothes are precious!!! Will surely be ordering an outfit or two for my little one. I showed my mom your blog for the first time last week when you posted about your sewing shop. Well my sweet mother is now determined to make a trip down to alabama and pick up everyone of these patterns you mentioned, i have had the frannie pattern for the past few months and am just now finding the time to whip something up.!! precious!!

  • shelly powers
    May 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    darby it was certainly a blast spending the weekend with you so glad we all got a nice little weekend away from the “rovers”… hope you have recovered… it took me a few days too recover myself! take care!

  • Sherrie
    May 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Sounds like a perfect female bonding weekend!

  • the domestic fringe
    May 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Wow. Everything about your weekend sounds amazing! Glad you enjoyed yourself.

  • Micah
    May 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Hey Darby~
    I have heard of the program at Brook Hills and I am so thankful for a body of believers willing to live out their faith! It is so NECESSARY for the CHURCH to stand in the gap for children in foster care!
    And just so your readers know- BIGHOUSE GOT THE GRANT FROM PEPSI!
    Thanks to everyone who voted!
    James 1:27

  • Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality
    May 3, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Oh, what a fun girls weekend ya’ll had! I live in B’ham too, so it was fun to hear you talk about places I know and love. I’m not too far from Mr. Laurel & love those houses (and esp. their yardsales!).

    And I go to Brook Hills & know of which you speak. We have an awesome pastor who really preaches the Word. I did not, however, see you girls in your pink shirts at the early service last weekend and I was there. Glad you enjoyed it so much, we get fed every week.

  • Meredith
    May 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Love those funky floral chairs! Where did she get those????!!!

  • Courtney Walsh
    May 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Beyond fun! You guys look like you had a blast! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing all about it!!

  • Lindsey
    May 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Glad that you had such a great trip!! Great to see you last week, just wish it had been longer and that we could’ve actually gotten a chance to talk! Maybe next time we should sit over a good cup of coffee {or margarita :)} instead of chasing all of our sweaty kids all over the park! Love you!

  • Eiler & Company Blog» Blog Archive » 23. . . in no specific order. . .
    May 4, 2010 at 7:00 am

    […] quirky and serious…..about not having a “normal” …”headshot”…. yup…she is quirky too…**** P.s. stickler…this cancels your theory that you are geriatric… […]

  • Marcus
    May 4, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Hello Darby,

    We love reading your blog over here in England. My wife wanted to ask whether you knew or could ask your friend Ashley where she aquired her French print (chocolat d’aiguebelle) that is in her kitchen featured in your April 30th post? – as she is obsessed with all things French.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  • Beki - TheRustedChain
    May 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Okay it’s official… I’m going to go all Single White Female and take over your life.

    What a fun weekend!!!

  • Kelly@TearingUpHouses
    May 4, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Looks like SO much fun! Good for you for taking some time out.

    I was so inspired to hear that the church you went to cares for nearly all of the foster children in their county. WOW. Just wow. That’s beyond wonderful.


  • Melanie Gore
    May 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Glad that you had a great time!

  • Christie
    May 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Looks like a really fun weekend! It is always good to get away and have a little fun without the chillens — but it is always great to get back, too!

  • Stefanie
    May 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    What an amazing weekend! It sounds (and looks) like so much fun. What a blessing to be in the company of so many wonderful women. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • paula
    May 9, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    oh what fun! you were not too far from me.

  • robyn
    May 13, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    i want a weekend like this! sounds like perfection ๐Ÿ™‚