Monday, June 24, 2013

the washington surprise :: part 1

back in May (maybe late April?), my bestie's husband called us and asked if i would like to come visit his wifey up in washington state. um, yes! of course! after all, it had only been ten years since we had seen each other.
(Leslie's garden)

we had met in the fall of 2001 when we were both started working part-time for the holidays at Toys R Us. She was pregnant with her fourth baby, i was still barely married. nonetheless, we became instant friends. we even got together for New Years Eve, and we were, once again, instant family friends. both of our husbands were military. and we had one of those friendships that just worked. i loved her dearly and i adored her babies. she even got me going to church where i rededicated my life, and later got baptized with my love. in many ways, i feel like i owe her my life, because, without her asking me to go to church with her, my life would not be what it is today. I would not know my Savior as i do. God is the Great Orchestrator and made all these things work together, blended our lives in such a way that our paths crossed at just the right moment. she was even the first person i called when i found out i was pregnant with my first born the next fall (sorry, honey, you were at work, and i had to tell someone right away so i could tell you face to face. you know me).
(exploring my bestie's back yard)

my first son was born the next May, then at some point, her husband got orders and they were to move to South Dakota. so in January, they were packed up, we said our goodbyes and they took off to their new base. i'm pretty sure i cried so much after she left. we have kept in touch all these years but funds and timing has never allowed us to visit each other. so when her husband called to see if i wanted to fly out, there was no way i could say no. her birthday was in June, just several days after mine. it was his gift to her, a surprise visit from me. and a very hard surprise to keep! every time she said something on my facebook page, or emailed me, i so wanted to shout in capital letters, HEY, GUESS WHAT?! I'LL BE SEEING YOU SOON! but i didn't. i was a good friend and kept quiet.
we decided on the date based on when we were making our trip to Oklahoma. we spent close to two and a half weeks visiting family, which was amazing, such a great trip (my momma got married!!). so the flight was booked for 8am on Tuesday, the 11th. we left Oklahoma Monday around midnight to drop Greyson and me off at the airport. my three in between kids stayed in Oklahoma with family, my oldest came home with Dad so he could go to camp with the church. peeps, Dallas airport is a beast to navigate. we had the hardest time actually getting to the terminal. once there, it was a piece of cake, but just getting to a place to drop me off? geez, a pain. but anyways... it was our first time flying, and Grey did pretty well, considering. he fussed a little because he was tired and didn't have a bed to lay in, but eventually passed out for the end of the flight. and thankfully, i sat beside a sweet lady.
y'all, i was so nervous once we landed and her husband started driving us to their house. ner.vous. for real, i had butterflies. i mean, it had been ten years, and she had no idea. and i heard she doesn't like surprises. but really, i kept thinking, there's no way this can be a bad surprise, no way at all. still, i was nervous, especially once we pulled up and i started walking up the stairs to her living room. i could tell she was surprised her husband was home that time of day. he said that he had picked someone up, and i made my way to the top and she came around and saw me. you guys, that was the best thing ever. best! she was so surprised, and probably going through a little bit of shock. we hugged so big and soon started crying. it was so overwhelmingly amazing. i think we were both so happy to see each other after so long. it was an emotion meeting in so many ways. partly, i think we both just needed this in our own way. we needed time together, we needed this friendship we have to happen in person once again. i know for sure that i needed it, all of it. it just isn't very often in life that you meet someone that is an instant friend, that you make an instant connection with, that you know will be your friend for life, no matter the circumstances. she is that for me. we just work.
i only had one baby when they moved, so it was fun that she got to meet my fifth baby. i think he adored her as much as she adored him. and you guys, when i saw their family last, her babies were still babies! the youngest was around one, i think. now they are so BIG! oh my goodness, and so handsome and beautiful. it was amazing seeing them again after all this time. and my dear friend looks just as i remember, she has not aged a day at all, still just as beautiful and vibrant as the day i met her.
(view from her backyard. amazing)

i had been up for nearly 24 hours by the time i saw her, but i did not want to go nap and miss a second after so long, so i stuck it out and chatted and just hung out with them. it was so amazing. i am so grateful we had this time together. i was so grateful to be in her house, with her and her family, while she fed me good food, and we chatted the day away.

the next day (i think), we went out and i taught her how to use her camera. eek! that was so fun! i couldn't believe i taught someone, and she actually understood me and my gibberish ways! so these are my photos from when we were outside chatting camera. seriously, it was amazing. who wants to learn manual mode, next?? i kid, i kid. sorta. but for real. who's next?
(once upon a time, in a far away decade, we watched The Simpsons. meet Maggie)

(apparently, dirt tastes good. and Greyson makes funny faces)

it was an amazing first couple of days. the whole trip was amazing, really. and i'm probably going to say amazing a lot, so i apologize in advance if you get sick of it. but it was so so awesome, and best surprise/birthday gift i have ever been part of. Leslie, i love you to pieces! and i am so thankful we were able to see each other in person again.


  1. It sounds amazing!! :)
    I teared up thinking about that first hug.
    So glad you got to do this.

    1. it was totally amazing. and i teared up trying to write it out!

  2. So happy you had this opportunity :)
    Want to come to the Hoosier state and teach me how to shoot manual? ;)

    1. thank you :) i would so love to! one day, right?

  3. Can't wait to hear more! You and she both deserved this soooo much! So happy for you!

  4. You know what? I've been so good and haven't tried...much, in a few days and now the tears are streaming again. Thanks! ;) You got it right: I don't like surprises. But seriously, who could do anything else but *LOVE* this one? I had no idea how wounded my heart was until I had you here to patch it up again, and I don't even think you know that you did it. It wasn't the intent behind the visit, but our God knew what I needed, and in His ever faithful way He met my needs in ways I didn't expect and healed brokenness I didn't even know existed. And that was what happened behind the scenes, in the depths of my heart. Add to it all the fun, laughter, chatting, hugs, and photography was a week in heaven. In paradise! In blissful joy that I will cherish always. I love you my dear friend. And as has become our says: it won't be another 10 years, promise!

  5. And that "tried" should read "cried". ;) Too bad there isn't an edit option for comments.


I am so happy you are here. Your words make my heart so happy.


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