Friends keep me sane.
On this incredibly challenging and crazy fun journey of life, friends are just the best.
Throughout all of the different places I've lived and in all my different seasons of life, I've been fortunate to have so many great friends.
One of the perks of getting older is that most of my closest friends I've known for over a decade. And there is just nothing greater than those who know the real you.....the good, bad, and ugly. Any friend that endured through my four pregnancies deserves all of the treasures because those were some rough years ifyouknowwhatimean. Let's just say I don't do pregnancy well.
There are so many friends I could write about....
- my precious childhood friends, who made growing up the best
- my best friends from college, with whom I spent countless hours dreaming about our futures and boys
- my friends from Kanakuk, who are some of my most treasured peeps (and where I met my mentor and one of my most favorite friends)
- my wonderful friends in Kansas, who were there during the toughest years of my life and taught me how to be a friend and mom
- my sweet Boca friends who are the village raising my children (including our awesome gym friends)
- my teenage friends that make me feel much younger than I am (including Rosa who I couldn't do life without)
- my two BFF's that I pour out my heart and soul to on a regular basis
I have the greatest friends in the world, and I am so undeserving. Being a good friend isn't something that comes naturally to me, but good friends are so important to me....so I've tried to learn to be the friend that my friends are to me.
One group of friends that is so special to me is who I refer to as my "Ft. Lauderdale friends". I've known these sweet girls for four years....Nicole and Mallika were two of the first people I met when I moved to Florida. We sat at the same table at MOPS and became instant friends. That year, none of us had kids in school, so we hung out all of the time. Mallika and Teresa have known each other for years, but Nicole and I met Teresa a few months after meeting each other.
I don't even know how it started (maybe for Mallika's birthday?), but two years ago, we went out for dinner together, the four of us. By that time, Mallika was in Miami, I was in Boca, Nicole was in Plantation, and Teresa was in Ft. Lauderdale (which means nothing to those outside of South Florida....but basically, we live really far apart).
We talked at dinner how we wished we saw each other more often and didn't live so far apart. Somehow we came up with the idea to meet once a month. I think we threw around the idea of including kids but that was quickly dismissed because we are such great moms.
Moms are busy, so coordinating a monthly dinner with four moms whose husbands ALL work weird hours (seriously, none of them have a 9-5 job) would be no small feat.
I honestly thought it would probably fizzle out quickly, as most things do with moms (it's just part of this season of life).
But it hasn't. For two years, we've met every month. We might have missed one month at some point, but we've all made it a priority. Which is saying a lot because during the two years, two of us delivered babies and all four of us had a nursing infant, at some point.
Our time together is so life giving. We eat dinner and talk about everything.
The cool part is that we get along so well, even though we do life differently. There is a sweet harmony that I am so grateful for.
Two of us had home births. Two of us scheduled c-sections.
Two of us vaccinate. Two of us don't.
Two of us homeschool. Two of us do traditional school.
Two of us are native Floridians. Two of us aren't.
Two of us have 3 kids. Two of us have 4 kids.
These differences unite us, rather than divide us. And I think that's really special. We support each other and laugh together. We share our trials and our joys. What I am saying is that they're just the best.
But our time together as a group of 4 is coming to an end. Our sweet Mallika is moving away this week. While I am very excited for her, it is just a huge bummer for us. I know we will continue on (and joke that we are taking applications for her position), but we will miss her precious spirit and kind heart. Though I've had a lot of great friends in my life, I have found that no one is ever replaceable. New friends add to my life in awesome ways, but it's never quite the same (especially in a group dynamic). That's the tension and beauty of life. Seasons change. (I am walking down an emotional trail that I am not prepared to handle, so I will rein it back in).
Mallika and I
In the two year we've met, we've taken pictures only twice....once about a year ago (I don't think the picture turned out) and then last night at our farewell (for now) dinner.
A group of 30-somethings taking a selfie had to be the funniest experience I've had in a long time.
We actually had one that turned out.
Awww....aren't my friends so beautiful??
But the process to get there was hilariously entertaining.
Oh no, where did Teresa go??
And, of course, I had to start talking in the middle of the pic
Mallika is realllly close to the camera LOLOL
Mallika, we will miss you so very much. But this isn't goodbye. Just see you next year :).