Great friends are much needed in life. They hold us accountable, they laugh with us, they cry with us, and at this stage in our lives, we watch our kids all become friends.
Friends are treasured in our book.
And this weekend we've been surrounded by great friends, and, let me go ahead and tell you, in a world that has been littered with snotty kids, packing boxes, trying to stay on top of normal everyday tasks, and moving type logistics, I needed the weekend to 'slack off' and enjoy a bit. (And I've been working hard enough on all the other through the week, I could actually slack off and enjoy and not feel guilty about it!)
So Saturday night we went with two close couple friends and laughed harder than probably all of us had in a long time. It was a 30th birthday celebration that consisted of great food, miniature golf and olde time photos (that you just have to see!)... and it was a night away from children.
And it was good. Laughing until our sides and our cheeks hurt were good. The waitress spilling sweet tea in the lap of one of our male friends, well, that was great. More laughter. More goodness.
A large Indian maniquin occupying a bathtub in a room marked 'restrooms' - priceless.
I'm not sure why people have to get drunk to enjoy themselves - we had more fun than ever last night, and I remember all of it today!
(I'll save the best pic for last!)
And today - well today we got to have an early celebration for Bryton's birthday (which really isn't until November.) We really wanted Bryton to have another opportunity for a party with the people who know and love him best at this point in life, especially grandparents who will still be hurting for their grandbabies at that point in time.
So - at the skating rink that Aaron once owned - we celebrated the third birthday party with all of the people who have loved and cherished our Bryton. It was great fun - we are so very blessed.
Throughout this entire week I've been trying to mentally prepare for our transition ahead. Everyone I've ever known lives here. Every friend I've ever really had. Every memory. And it's a time in our lives when we get to start making new ones, as a family.
A side note to where I'm headed with this - Jill and Bryan (pictured in the middle above) have two kids, Kelby and Gannyn. When they ask Kelby, who is about Bryton's age, if she wants another baby brother or sister, she says, "No, I want to keep Gannyn." Like she can't have him and gain another. And we've laughed about it for a long time.
And - admittedly - there's a piece of me that says, "But I don't want to make new friends, I want to keep the ones I have! And when I look at my response to Kelby's response... they are both equally as ridiculous. I can have one and have the other. So for the past week I really believe God's been playing through my head the old girl scout song we learned, "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold."
And so - we will most certainly be back to visit and reminisce, and we expect our current friends to plan many vacations to our new home to make many new memories, make many skype calls, and expect that our kids, though many, many miles apart, will always have a great pen pal who they'll get to visit often, have great friendships they can rely upon, and you know, their parents can as well.
And also - we expect many more fun pictures... like this one:
(And may I mention, these pictures were almost impossible because we were all laughing so hard we were crying. For real!)