We are officially IN our new house, which means it is HIGH time i start introducing you to it. And get some posts rolling about our new adventures. BUT, I can't leave the SGB series behind without one more post. About neighbors.
When we first started talking to the kids about moving, Cbug asked "But who will our neighbors be?" Which should tell you A LOT about why it was hard to leave our street. We had the BEST neighbors.
One of those sweet neighbors lived two doors down from us. "Ms Carolyn". Her last name is actually the same as baby C's middle name. And she loved us well. Which is funny because when she first moved in, RRL and I thought it might be our CALLING to take care of her. Well she PROVED that other than the occasional lifting something heavy, there wasn't much she couldn't do for herself...and instead put herself to work taking care of US. She planted flowers in our flower beds, brought our kids presents, lent us books about parenting, encouraged us and reminded us we were doing a good job. She even offered to help me take all SIX of these crazies to McDs for Happy Meals. Making her their best friend. And my hero. Ms Carolyn was hard to leave behind.
Shortly after we explained to Cbug, and his siblings, that we would have new neighbors they nodded understanding. Cbug then added "Ok, but which new house will be James and Katie's?" In other words, I'm fine with new neighbors, as long as our favorite across the street neighbors are coming with us!
And I agree with him. Even though we only moved a mile away and will still see them often, it was so sad to leave the convenience, the stability, the LOVE of having some of our best friends right across the street.
When we bought our house eight years ago, Katie was single. She came over to run with me in the park one weekend and we laughingly noticed that the house across the street was for sale. She put an offer on it that same week! She lived there with other roommates for a while.
BUT THEN she married James. In our living room.
No really, they had a pseudo ceremony right in our living room before they went out of the country for the real wedding. How many of you can say you've had a wedding in your living room? We were so thankful for James and the blessing it was to add him to our "neighbor-hood".
And over time, a fun friendship between four neighbors became an even MORE fun friendship between TEN neighbors.
There were playdates and walks to the park. Borrowing eggs and a cup of sugar. Talking in the front yards while the kids played up and down the sidewalks of our street.
But the best times happened around the table. It was around that table that the four of us met to pray every Friday morning when RRL and I were going through a tough job transition. And around that table that our whole families (at one time as many as 12 of us) met for dinner. About the time we each were pregnant with our first daughters, we started having Monday night dinners together. EVERY WEEK.
And that's one of the things I'll miss most about the house. The giggles that filled it every Monday night from these four friends.
Which is why it is all the more fitting that those giggles were some of the last memories made in an empty house. While the adults choked back tears over things like giving back house keys, the kids played. The games of duck-duck-goose and wrestle-mr-james that were tons of fun in the rooms without furniture were perfect finales to our time together on this street.
But most of all, as I tucked those memories away in my heart, I loved knowing that these neighbors will love my children forever. No matter where we live. That's a gift I wouldn't trade for the world. Thanks, friends!