We have some good friends. They are the Wilsons. Our relationship has been through lots of difficult seasons in each of our lives, and through lots of joyous ones. Paul met Cory and Jasmine when he was living in West Africa. They met there too. : ) While we were talking and "dating" between Thailand and West Africa, they were doing the same there. We all returned to the states within a year of each other. Paul and I got married in November 2003, they got married two weeks after us. We went to their wedding on our honeymoon. : ) Their first son was born the end of July, ours was born the beginning of September, just about 6 weeks apart. Luke and Malachi spent a lot of time together their first year while their daddies were in graduate school together. We lived in the same town and went through two pregnancies with each other: our daughters were born the same week! Kiryn's first outing in a car was to go see Karis in the hospital, three days after Kiryn was born. : )
It's always such a joy and blessing to get to spend time with the Wilsons. They are the kind of friends that are kindred spirits, hearts are joined, and you can just pick up where you left off. Maybe it's common experiences of life overseas, parenting, faith... or maybe it's just a good gift from a loving Father. Whatever it is, friends are good and good friends are great!
We were so blessed that the Wilsons made the trek from Ohio to Alabama to see us (and attend a wedding). :) They had another trip to the area just another week later for our Marense Team Reunion, which will be my next post! : ) So, we took advantage of the opportunity and began what I hope will be a tradition: The Great Kid Swap of 2012. Malachi stayed with us for a week, while we sent Kiryn to stay with Karis in Ohio for the week. It was so exciting getting ready for it and planning everything. I admit though, I was a bit nervous to send my little Kiryn off on a cross-country road trip with me. She did great, though, and really enjoyed her time with Karis. All four kids bonded and made great memories, and we hope to foster their friendship from the other side of the world through Skype, and more kid swaps in the future. : )
Four became eleven. : ) We didn't have enough swings.
The boys got to go bowling together!
Chi got a turkey!
Girls at the park!
Girls: after getting into my eyeliner and actually doing something cute and constructive with it. : )
One of my favorite pictures of Kiryn of all time.
Tree house time...
Ok, now where are moms and dads gonna sit???
Girls on a hot chocolate and cookie date. This looks like SO much fun....
They look so grown up....
Here's to friends for life! :)