I have been thinking a lot lately about how blessed we are to live in the community that we do. After this past week in particular, I decided to devote a blog post to some (but not all!) of our favorite friends.
Some friends are new but feel old!
Meet Peyton, the daughter of our college friends Rhonda and Scott (Peyton's older brothers, Taylor and Spencer, were at the museum with grandpa that day but we met up with them at a park days later and they are equally charming!). She is the first child (Robbie doesn't count, he's the brother) to ever attempt to hold Ellie, and she wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. Surprise! Ellie LOVED her! It's too bad they live in Montana, because our kids got along so well and we loved catching up with Rhonda after almost 8 years! (Her hubby was back in Montana... yes, she drove all the way with the kids by herself. She's amazing like that.)
Ellie wasn't the only one captivated by Peyton... Robbie actually SAT STILL, and dare I say POSED, for this picture with her?! There's a first time for everything.
Sweet Rhonda reading to the kids just before they had to leave.
Some friends are old and dear...
Charlotte was Robbie's first friend in this world, born just 10 days after him (they switched due dates - Robbie was early and Charlotte was overdue!). They have always been buddies - their baby books are full of love letters and crayon drawings that have been sent across the miles to one another for the last 2 years. It's a long distance relationship but it's a close one. Charlotte's parents (Jeff and Becky) are 2 of our closest friends and we are so thankful for them.
This was taken on the day of Charlotte's 2nd birthday party... couldn't you just eat her up in that tutu!?
Up to no good, together (and nakies!) of course.
Some friends are older than us.
You know Aunt Megan-an from other appearances she has made on our blog, but in case you forgot... she is our dear friend (also a TU grad) and now one of Robbie and Ellie's favorite people, so close to our hearts that she is one of their Aunties! Aunt Megan-an (as Robbie calls her) was there when Rob and I got married, has worked in the same office as Rob for several years, and has now seen us through the birth of 2 babies. She was our first visitor when Ellie came home from the hospital - we chatted on the phone as we drove home from the hospital, and I told her to take the next train out from the city and spend the afternoon with us. What else were we going to do that day with a 4-day-old baby and 15 1/2 month old!? Haha.
She came out on Good Friday so that we could celebrate her birthday together, and we are thankful for the awesome things God is doing in her life and through her as she seeks to serve Him wherever she is. She is a huge blessing and encouragement, and I'm so thankful that we get to see her every week when she comes out to go to bible study with me on Tuesdays!
Some friends will always be there for you, no matter how long you've known them.
Riley is one of those friends! We have been hanging out with Riley since she and Robbie were about 8 months old. Riley's parents (Mike and Heather) are the kind of people you always have a good time with, and you never worry about the small things with (like have I taken a shower today, and is my house clean enough to have them over for a playdate? Do I have food in my teeth!?). They are loyal and faithful friends. Riley no doubt has inherited these awesome traits from her parents and is always happy to see Robbie, even if he's being crabby pants. She is happy to stroll around Target jammed in the cart with Robbie, sharing an apple, taking an elbow to the forehead every now and then as he gets situated in the shared space. She loves him even as he teases her by running away on the playground, and relishes the moments he holds still enough for her to smooch him. :)
It is a unique and unexpected friendship we have with the Greens, and we are SO thankful that they moved to Wheaton back when they did!! I can't imagine life without these dear friends. And it makes me sad to think about life without pictures like this (good thing I don't have to!):
Some friends are just as busy as we are!
Annie is just a few months younger than Robbie, but she has an older brother who just turned 3 and a younger sister who's under a year old... so it's been nearly impossible up until recently to find a time during the day that one of our 5 kids wasn't napping! Even though we haven't gotten together as often as we would have liked, we are looking forward to a summer FULL of Jack, Annie and Molly Roth! They just became members at the Arboretum (our home away from home) so we're going to show them around and let the boys get out their energy together while the moms catch up. Annie's mom, Kris, is a close friend of mine, and we went to junior high and high school together! We are thankful that we ended up in the same town after college and that our kids know each other.
(Annie giving Robbie a Thomas train and track for his birthday! Robbie is thinking: Jackpot!!)
And some friends are brand new and oh-so-cute.
Calla and Kelsey just moved from Pennsylvania last year to the area, and we met them at church. We are loving getting to know them, and Kelsey is Ellie's main inspiration to get moving. Kelsey has been crawling and cruising furniture for a while now, and seems to be on the cusp of walking (big sis Calla was an early walker)! Kelsey shows Ellie that walking around the stroller can be fun...
...while Calla sweetly lets Ellie put her fingers in her mouth! What a great big sister, right!? Their mom, Carly, inspires me to be a more patient, soft-spoken mom to Robbie and Ellie. She is so sweet and gentle with her girls and I am always taking mental notes when we spend time together.
I'm looking forward to this summer, spending more time with the friends we already have but also making new ones. What is better?!