-Erika Ray

Sorry, I have no pictures.  This week has been hectic.  I was on the road, we’ve got houses lined up, a current house to constantly keep clean, a Labor Day weekend event to prepare for and a family to look after.  Taking a picture wasn’t going to happen.  I think you understand.

Funny thing is, there isn’t a picture that’s really appropriate for this post.  I don’t have one to do it justice because I don’t have a picture of all the O+U “ladies” and that’s who I’m loving today.  I had planned a post with some links, but I’d be a douche if I didn’t spend a couple of words waxing on about my love for these ladies.

When we aren’t blogging here, we’re brainstorming or life-sharing in our FB group.  We created the FB group to discuss our future meet-up, but it quickly became a safe haven for us.  It became a place to spew topics not safe for regular FB and a place to ask questions without judgment.  Believe it or not, there are some things that grown women might not know and need a good quality answer.  Some nights the FB group is crickets.  We’re out living our lives, whipping butts, and traveling this planet.  And other nights it’s a virtual chat-fest.  I know Carmen and Joelynne are in Canada laughing at something Jessica typed from Atlanta.  I know wherever the hell Tiffani is in the world, she checks in to rub our faces in it (not really, but we do get a shout out from paradise when she’s there).  And while Suzanne decided to take a break from blogging her on O+U, she pops up on the FB group with an editing question and we all get to give advice.  Laura spills good news and we all toast with photos.  Kristin shows up with her lovely sunny side that she rocks better than most optimists, but I love when her badassry is on fire in the FB group.  Becky recently used the group to ask “Should I be worried?” and Moms came to the rescue.  And I love when Jill tells me that my BIL throws her odd looks while she’s cracking up at her laptop.

These women are fantastic when someone shares good news.  We become the type of supportive cheerleading Women you thought only existed in Hallmark movies.  There’s tons of Atta-Girls in the comments.  Someone gives a virtual smooch.  There’s always some Fuck Yeahs sprinkled in.  But these women are in the zone when one of us has had a rough day.  If you were watching from the outside, you’d be frightened.  But when you’re the one who types in the bad news, you feel protected by the most fierce women the world has seen.  “Fuck him.”  “I would punch him in the mutherfuckin’ nose and then slam a beer down.”  “I will hop a flight and cut her for you.”  And then as quickly as attack mode began, compassion mode kicks in.  “You’ll be good.  I know it.  Have a good cry, a couple drinks, and get back out there.”  “We’re always here for you.”

The majority of these women live thousands of miles from me.  But Facebook allows me to have them with me in a Michigan hotel room.  It’s like all the women are smooshed into the back of my car patting my back or rubbing my shoulder.  Whenever I need them, they’ve got me.  I’m supported by the best.  I hope you all have the same type of net.  Maybe your net doesn’t cuss, drink, hoop as much as mine, but I’m guessing it’s just as strong.

Birches, I love you.



Post a comment
  1. Laura Yurs #
    August 30, 2012

    And now I’m standing in the Target parking lot crying….damn woman! Huge amounts of love for all of you! XO…feel exactly the same!

    • September 6, 2012

      Crying at Target is always a good thing. OXOXO.

  2. August 30, 2012

    Just finished chowing down breakfast at IKEA and trying to keep my shit together in this crazy cafeteria. Our little band of misfits inspires, renews and enlightens me constantly. So happy to have you birches in my life!

    • September 6, 2012

      I hope you were chowing on meatballs. OXOXO

  3. August 30, 2012

    Wow, it sounds like you all have a good thing going. There’s nothing better than the arms around you support of women friends.

  4. August 30, 2012

    f-ing love you right back birch… xo ~ “little miss sunshine”

    • September 6, 2012

      Fuck yeah, ms. sunshine!

  5. August 30, 2012

    damn it, you ladies are the best.

    • September 6, 2012

      Back at ya. Thanks for your help yesterday. It was huge.

  6. Erin #
    August 30, 2012


  7. September 11, 2012

    so, i read this on my phone and was crying. then i didn’t want to type out a reply with my pudgy fingers on the phone through blurry eyes. now, i’m here to reply and i’m all teary eyed again. booked my flight and am so excited to see you all again. i just wish it could be more often. fuck yeah birches like crazy good, kick ass birches.
    love you all!

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