1. I didn't want to. It takes a long time.
2. I'm very busy having a pity party for myself that my best friend is moving away in two weeks. I've spent the last lots-of-days NOT blogging and instead, insisting she hang out with me every single second of every single day. I am holding a monopoly on Jenny right now because she is leaving me. And I really don't think she should. Her husband doesn't need that job in Louisiana. Ugh. Like steady income is sooooo important... Meh. Since when does paying for college tuitions and mortgages outweigh my awesome friendship?? If she really loved me, she'd take my advice and find a married senator here in DC to have a torrid & scandalous affair, then blackmail him for a Georgetown brick-front and a monthly stipend. But since she seems to think that brilliant idea of mine is unethical and immoral and she claims she loves her husband, I guess she is going to actually go through with this moving crap. On that note, no one is allowed near her for the next two weeks unless you don't mind hanging out with me, too -- while I cling desperately to her leg.
And 3. I've fallen head over heels in love with Glennon/Momastery and have been READING her book! I haven't finished the book yet because choosing to read is a luxury for me. When I am sitting and reading, I feel like I really should be writing myself or editing or tackling the three days of dishes chillin' in my sink instead. Reading a book is a big deal. Hence, it needs to be blogged. Just not in this post. Stay tuned. Momastery comes next.
This blog is about Jenny.
You see, since leaving North Carolina for college in Michigan, I have never lived near my family. I can't call my parents or Mike's in the middle of the night to help to watch one child while we run a feverish other child to the ER only to find out that he has a "just a virus". And yeah, there's no free babysitting. Ever. My sitter costs $10/hr and needs advanced notice. And guess what? If there's a Taylor Swift concert in town, you do NOT get to go out on that date you desperately need to escape the stage-five clingers because EVERY. SINGLE. TEENAGE. GIRL goes to that concert. There are no Sunday dinner traditions with our brother or sister and our precious niece and nephews. And mini kid-free vacations on Friday nights so we can drink way too much, make out and sleep in while the children are under the care of trustworthy family? Those don't happen either.
And this lack of close family is all ok. It's what we know. It's how we live. And I think we've made it through so easily and so very happily because we have been lucky enough to have made our own family.
Seven years ago, we pulled into the driveway of our new house in Beaumont, TX and looked directly across the street to see University of Michigan license plates. Turned out there was a family of Michigan alum working for the same company with it's very own redheaded Jennifer right across from us. And for some really amazing reason - my sanity, I believe - God has blessed us to stay neighbors for SEVEN years, five in TX and two here in DC.
Over the last 7 years living as friends and neighbors, Jenny, Brad, Emma & Coopie-doo have been our family. Jenny's kids are my kids. When I take all four of them somewhere or post a picture of them all on FB, I don't differentiate. I just say they're all "my kids". I'm sure it's very confusing to most people... Brad is my husband's best friend. Actually, I don't think guys say "best friend" but if they did, that's what they'd be: kindred hard-working, nerdy engineer BFFs who love beer and
I don't even lump Jenny into a BFF category. You see, Jenny is my sister.
That's a level way above BFF.
Jenny knew I was pregnant with Henry before hubs as I ran screaming over to her house at 8am with a positive pregnancy test. Charlie slept at her house while I gave birth and when he woke up, she was the one who first told him "You're a big brother!!!" I held her youngest on the very first day he came into the world. Our big kids have been friends since they were small enough to both fit in a pink princess corvette power wheels and now they wear abercrombie sweatshirts and discuss their favorite ipod apps.
Watching babies grow into big kids? That's family.
When we have hair/dentist/doctor appointments, Jenny and I are there to watch each other's children and then have a drink afterwards and swear we are going to go home and then just decide to feed the kids because we still had lots to chat about and then, aw heck, let's call the guys and have a big spontaneous family dinner together!
Staying up late on school nights so we can all eat together? That's family.
Every Easter, we eat ham, mrs. schubert's rolls and cheesy potatoes and then we watch Brad fall asleep on the couch and post pictures of it on social media. Seriously. Every Easter he falls asleep on the couch. And every Easter, I shame him publicly.
Holidays? That's family.
Our seven years together have been so full of so many good things. More than I could ever put in one blog - well, I could. But all of you would definitely stop reading.
So, Jenny, Brad - cheers, good friends!! Cheers to all the Easters, 4ths of July, Halloweens, Thanksgivings and Christmases, Michigan Football games and giant boxes from MDen, date nights in little ol' Beaumont, date nights in the big city of DC, beers from each other's fun fridge without ever having to ask, driveway parties, posing for my photoshoots, crazy children who bicker one minute and run hot laps the next, beach vacations, Nutcracker markets, Yacht Rock concerts, crawfish boils, Nats games, fireworks, birthday parties, The Sunflower Core Four and expanded Six Pack, New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Saturday nights in, shared visits with our TX friends, lots and lots and LOTS of shopping, dirty jokes, Christmas prank war, and to all the times we have laughed at each other and with each other. Cheers to our seven years of family.
Allens, you are our people. You are our family. You are who we call in emergencies. You are who we have made traditions with. And if we didn't spend most of our Friday nights going out with you, I'm sure you'd even be willing to watch our kids on a Friday night so Mike and I could make out and sleep in. Right, guys? I know you'd want to do this for us. There's still time. We've got two whole Fridays left. What time should I bring them over?
When I think of the Allens leaving, I feel a bit lost. But, while I'm scared to live without them - I'm going to have to change ALL my emergency contact information, y'all - I can only think of the saying that "it is better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved at all." It seems a bit dramatic - we aren't losing anyone - it's not goodbye, it's see-you-later - but it's true. I'm so sad that there will be a break in our lives together but I am so very grateful for the time we have been given. I wouldn't trade these past seven years for anything.
Let the ugly cry begin.