Saturday, January 31, 2009


Last January, my best friend moved half-way across the country with her little family, probably never to return to living on the Central Coast of California. I didn't know what I was going to do with myself having her any farther away than a 15 minute drive. There was something very comforting to this introvert about spending my time with someone who knows me better than anyone and who doesn't need constant explanations of what I mean when I say something. Karl and I spent most of our free time with Flo and Josh and we preferred it that way, but we weren't the only ones who felt really sad to see them go. Seth and Skylana had also become quite attached to them and we all did things together a lot of the time. When the time grew closer for Flo and Josh to take off and leave us all behind, we started joking with S & S about hanging out with each other once they were gone. Flo and Josh were definitely our common bond at that point, so it was funny to talk about doing something without them. The first time we hung out with them without Flo and Josh we felt like we were being unfaithful, like we were having a friend affair.

All 6 of us, swapped

After F & J were gone, we started hanging out more and more, and liking it. Skylana and I started hanging out back when I was home all day being a mama. She would come over and we would get to know each other while our kids (who are 6 months apart) would play. Flo was happy that we had found friendship with each other but every time we hung out we would wish Flo was there. All of us started having monthly Sunday brunches at our homes, talking over dinners made for each other, going out to eat, talking about difficult issues, playing with our kids, and the list goes on. One major common bond we have with Seth and Skylana is in our parenting styles. From bedtimes to food choices to discipline, there isn't much we disagree on, so that makes hanging out with our kids pretty easy. All of us believe in healthy bedtimes for kids, so our kids learned to fall asleep at each other's homes at their normal (7pm) bedtimes. There is something so comforting about being understood by other parents on major issues, and with Seth and Skylana we felt right at home. Having our kids be in their beds early in the evening also allowed us the opportunity to have meaningful conversations, which was important to us too. We became fast friends and had more fun than most parents with young children get to.

Before this starts to sound like sunshine and roses all over the place, there were times when we didn't even come close to agreeing on issues. We've shared some tense and brutally honest moments with each other. I have made Skylana cry on more than one occasion and she has made me cry too - and we're not criers. I'm so thankful for that kind of reality in a friendship though. To have someone who will call you out on things and you still know that they will love you no matter what. She has taught me that it's ok not to agree on certain issues, but that it's important to always try to see how someone else can feel the way they do about something.

Friendships can never replace other friendships, and while I have never felt that our friendship with S & S replaced ours with F & J, I feel like it was a sequel to the chapter in our life when we all lived close together. A really good sequel.

So, here I am today, feeling a little blindsided by the fact that they are already gone. We knew it was coming, just not so soon (they didn't either, for the record.) We couldn't be happier for them and the opportunity that awaits them in LA and we are so glad that they are only 3.5 hours away. (We love road trips, especially ones that are close to the length of a nap.) These are "forever friends" and even though it will not be as easy to hang out any more, they will never be out of our lives. We are looking forward to the next chapter for us here, and we're thankful that we have so many other faithful friends still here with us. We'll just really, really miss the Roberts.

And Karl and I love you too. See you soon suckas!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Four is the New Three

Ok, ok. I've been majorly slacking on the blog, but seriously folks, this has been one insane month for me - I know, I always say that. Let's back up a little and go over what's been happening around here, then you'll see...

The day before Thanksgiving, Karl and I got one BIG shocker that we are expecting yet another baby. If you want the honest-to-goodness truth about how we feel about it: we are having a very hard time adjusting our hearts and minds to the thought of another child at this point in our lives. Sorry if that's too honest, but that is how we are feeling. I'm praying that at some point before I go into labor I start feeling an attachment to this little one. I remember feeling apprehension about being pregnant with Soren (since he was not exactly planned either) but I do not remember ever feeling like this. I certainly didn't feel this way with my first pregnancy either, so this is pretty weird for me. I know all of the right answers (and we've heard them from many people already) and have even said them to other people, but it's just going to take time to truly be OK with this plan. Do I wish that I felt differently? Yes. I know that I will fall just as madly in love with this baby as I did with Soren and I believe that children really are a blessing. I just want people to know where my heart is right now and that when people say "How exciting!", I don't exactly concur (yet.)

We had a nice, relaxing Christmas this year with my parents in Paso. Shortly before Christmas, Karl somehow contracted poison oak on the toes of both of his feet, which turned into a massive swollen mess because it reached the deep tissue and then blistered (no doubt one of the grossest things I have seen with my own eyes.) Because of his "affliction", he took some extra time off around Christmas, which was nice for all of us. It doesn't take long for us to get used to a "real life" so it gets difficult for us to adjust back into the craziness after we've been away. It was sooooo nice while it lasted.

The new year met my family with the tragic loss of my cousins' (and dear friends) baby boy, Joash McLain. He was born on New Year's Eve at Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton, CA and died about an hour after he was born. It was totally unexpected and we still don't have any clear answers as to 'why.' I was fortunate enough to live close enough to be at the hospital to offer my support that morning. It was one of the most heart-breaking things I have ever witnessed and it still brings me to tears on a pretty regular basis. My cousins are amazing, and they are handling it as well as possible with the knowledge that their baby is now safe in the arms of God, although everything within them wishes that he was in their arms instead.

There's not much you can do to comfort someone who has lost a child, but our family pulled together and tried to surround them with as much love and support as we could. We had family come in from out of town (and state) to be here and for over 2 weeks, many of my nights (and days) were filled with family get-togethers, which are comforting when you don't know what else to do with yourself. Even under the worst of circumstances, it was a gift to be able to see what a supportive and loving family I am a part of.

As the time with out-of-town family wrapped up, I started preparing for Karl's parents visiting us for a week. Having been a useless housewife with the family gatherings and the pregnancy symptoms, I was a little panicked about my disgusting house. While my cousin was here from LA to attend the memorial picnic for baby Joash, she graciously offered to come to my house and help me do a much needed deep clean to prepare for the in-laws. She has OCD tendencies with housekeeping, I do not. Between the two of us (and some Starbucks to help) we got an incredible amount done in 3 hours and I realized that I never would have been able to do it by myself. We got rewarded with some delicious Chinese food afterwards and then she drove back down south that night. Does anyone else have such incredible cousins? Nope. THANK YOU Bets!!

The day after my family from out of town went home, my in-laws arrived and stayed with us for 6 days. They always come with the understanding that they will live in the midst of chaos, and we never disappoint them. We had school, work, 3 doctors appointments, late nights at school, a teething (non-sleeping) toddler - the whole bit. Despite the obstacles, we were still able to enjoy some long-awaited time with them and they were able to get to know Soren a lot more. I think they were impressed. They flew back home to Colorado on Monday and I'm sure they're glad to have some peace and quiet again. We look forward to the day when we'll able to be better hosts, but for now it's just good to get time whenever we can.

Karl's birthday is coming up (the 25th ya'll) and our closest friends are moving at the end of the month, so there's not much time to slow down until February for us. Although we'll be two sad puppies with our best buds 4 hours away, we're glad that they'll be close enough to make a weekend trip out of visiting them. Woohoo! We have peeps in LA again! We'll miss you S&S, more than you know.

It's OK that I just wrote a gigantic post since I haven't written since December right? If you're still reading, I guess it is. That's usually what you can expect from me though - nothing or too much. Thanks for reading! Until next time...