This summer has been awesome. We have been able to connect and re-connect with so many grear and amazing people.
With the warmer weather, we have found ourselves at the park a lot more, which means new friends! Yay! And though that makes my heart all excited inside, nothing quite makes my heart sing the way it does when I get to see good, long time friends. We have moved a lot, you know. It has been hard getting all settled, only to root up and start over. I hate leaving behind friendships, and yet I'm learning those are the kind of things you get to take with you!
O have found myself on my knees multiple times this summer, thanking Heavenly Father for my friends.
I'm going to attempt to document all the ones I have gotten to see over the last month or so...we'll see how I do! haha.
First- my old college roommate and chum, Lisa Jo Lines came to visit! I still remember meeting her the first week of our Freshman year, I loved her right away and convinced her to room with us for the Fall. She was so much fun and we had a blast together. Well, flash forward 11 years later- BAM, here with are with eight kids between the two of us and it feels like nothing has changed in so many ways! It was fun to watch our kids play together and our husbands talk about guns and other husband things.
I just love her and am so grateful she carved out time for me!
And on that note, AnneMarie planned a groupchat with me, Lisa and Kristin and it was so fun to see everyone again, and watch the dynamics continue much like they did when we were all roommates. So fun.
Here we are with our kids (minus Matthew):
Next, I got to see Ellen! Ellen is one of my kindred spirits. We met in Moscow and I am so glad we have kept in touch despite living on opposite sides of the state. During our internships, Ellen was my lifeline and pen pal, and I just love her. She gets me. She had to come to Idaho Falls for work and heck yes, I wanted to meet up with her for a quick dinner! It was so good to spend time together in person. It was good for my soul and I don't remember the details about the day, but I do remember it being a hard one, but after an hour with her, the cloud lifted and I just couldn't stop smiling. So glad I got to see her.
In this same thread, at the end of April, Eliza and Jakob Browning came up to Rexburg with Jade (pictured above) and we were able to see them for a too-short thirty minutes. It's hard to put into words how good it felt to see them. I love Eliza and am so flattered that she is willing to be my friend, haha. I love our conversations because she likes to dissect topics in the same way I do. In one conversation I will change the subject three or four times before I come full circle and I don't lose Eliza once. Her and I are alike in ways I usually don't find common among other people. And once a sister missionary said we looked like sisters and I about lost my mind because hello, ELIZA!
The weekend before the fourth, we went down to Ogden. While we were there, we were able to see Brittany (John's sister) (Duh, we saw her.) But I feel like I need to include her despite the fact I see her all the time, because I feel like this summer we have been able to have a lot of late night to the early morning chats that have just meant the world to me. Brittany and I met 10 years ago in the Summer of 2006 and she has been my most consistent friends ever since. I am so glad I married her brother because she has been a rock of a friend for me and I look forward to visiting the Brassell's home because I know I get to see my girl, Brit.
(And Brittany- for the record I wrote this the day BEFORE the facebook notification!)
During our trip, we drove down to say a hello to Jon and Ashlee Barker and their boy, Wyatt. Jon was John's best man at our wedding. When we were newlyweds, Jon was like our best friend and he would drive up to Rexburg and sleep on the floor of our studio and we would stay up and talk and play mexican train. Oh it was good times, and we just love Ashlee. It was so good to see them and catch up while we watched the fireworks over the valley.
On our way home we stopped in Idaho Falls to visit Whitney and Jordan Stott who were in town. Jordan was John's study buddy and Whitney was my fellow law widow as we lived in the school's family housing. (I'm tellin' ya, those Moscow friends!) It was sooooo good to see them. Here is an older picture of Whitney right after Carter was born:
We stayed and talked with them for quite awhile and it was seriously so good for my soul. While the boys talked about guns, politics, and law stuff- seriously- law stuff...they are so boring sometimes....anyway, while they did that- Whitney and I had a heart to heart about mothering that I needed so desperately! When we first met, I only had Caity and Johnny, and since then Whitney had Addi and Carter (who is the happiest baby ever), not to mention my two additions...life has changed for us both so much and it has been nice to have someone to walk with through the ups and downs. That Sunday afternoon, it was just someone to lean on for support and to just connect with. Gah, I love the Stotts. I especially appreciate all the memes Jordan sends John about guns and politics. haha.
Once we got home, we were able to have Adrianne and Kendon Jensen and their kids over to visit. We met them in Boise (another dear time in my life) and I always call her my sister...and I just don't know how to expound on that, "sister" seems to do the trick. Kendon worked nights and John studied late, so Adrianne and I spent seriously every night keeping eachother company while our kids loved and fought eachother. We have an unspoken agreement that we can just be ourselves with eachother, and I really do feel at home when I am around her. She is so selfless and aware and supportive and strong. They came to our place for dinner and so we could meet their sweet new addition, Lincoln- he was everything and set of chunky cheeks. As soon as they walked through the door, no time passed and we all picked up where we left off, it was great.
Next to come into town was the Wilcox family! We met the Wilcox family as newly weds when I was pregnant with Caity. John and Cameron bonded over their love of Dodge trucks and fishing and Kassandra and I over BBC Jane Austen movies! We had such a fun group of friends at Park Place apartments during that time with camping trips, game nights, paint ball, RISK tournaments and group dinners....oh, the good ole days. Cameron has remained one of John's closest friends and when Cameron called to go fishing, John was stoked!
Here is a picture when I picked up John. It was so good for John, he was in the best mood after they hung out- fishing is good for that husband of mine. I loved seeing how grown up those Wilcox children are now! Karys was just a baby when we moved away from eachother and now she is in first grade!
Next to pull into town was Emily Johnson and Lauren Whoolley. I haven't seen either of these ladies in five years and they both just happened (unbeknownst to eachother) to be in town at the same time! It was so great to see them.
First I got to see Emily. Emily was my neighbor when I lived in Peterson Pointe. She is a saint. I remember most about her was how much she was going through at the time and yet she was always reaching out and concerned for others. She was such a fun and creative mom, and would plan a story time with other moms where we would all take turns. Years later, she is someone I think of often and try to emulate. In so many ways it felt like no time passed at all, and even though our busy lives haven't allowed us to to keep in close contact, it is like we have been living parrallel lives in raising our kids. I especially love talking"books" with her.
I have become park friends with Emily's old roommate, Sarah Riley- who I love, so it was fun for all of our kids (12 between the three of us) play together after lunches at the park the few days Emily was in town.
William being social (for like, the first time ever.)
At one point Jackson came up to Caity and said, "You're in love with Lincoln." to which Caity responded, "What? No I'm not, I just met him, besides I'm only seven. I don't know that much about love."
And here are Caity and Lincoln (Emily's son.) They were best friends when they were 18 months old and it was so crazy to see them 6 and half years later all grown up.
I feel like they were so similar, and it was kind of a cool experience to see.
And for the sake of it, here is a picture of the two of them way back when:
Later that day I got to see Lauren and her family. It was so good! Even though it has been over five years since we lived close, we have kept in touch through blogs and social media and I love watching her parent from a far, she is a mom I admire so much and she inspires me to try harder and appreciate the stage I am in more fully. The moment I saw her, you could just see the light she radiated. She always has, and she is always a person that I have looked up to for being a sunshine in others' lives. It was so good to finally meet her kids in real life. It was fun reminising. I still remember Lauren's summer goal was to try all the Snoasis flavors, haha! She was so fun and was such a special friend to Caity, it was a treat to see her as a mom now.
Not to mention- Emily came and we all got to be together for a brief moment!