Friendship

My Heart Is Broken a Little Bit, Mommy

chloe-mc-micah

Chloe, Myli Cate, and Micah the day before we moved

It took Micah some time to realize that we weren't just visiting Gran and Pop. That this is permanent. That we left our old house behind, and we're never ever moving back into it.

But when she finally understood what moving is all about, she got very, very sad.

She talks about her old friends all the time. How she misses playing with them and seeing them. Then she hangs her head and says, "I'll never see them again."

The other day, on the way into town, we were talking about how she would be starting preschool at a brand new school in just a couple of months. That's when her little face crumpled and she said, "My heart is broken a little bit, Mommy. I want to go back to our old house."

And that broke my heart a little bit.

I'm so sad for her. One of the things that tears me up the most about this move is that she won't get to grow up with Myli Cate and Chloe. Myli Cate and Chloe will be lifelong friends. They'll go to school together and play in the park together and go to prom together, and Micah won't be a part of it. My heart aches for the loss of that life.

I hope that the three of them will be lifelong friends - that they will keep in touch and that we'll plan girl trips together and make an effort to maintain their friendship, but I know that they won't be nearly as close as they could have been if we had stayed.

And that's tough.

We went back to visit a couple of weeks ago, and Micah was on cloud nine. We stayed at Myli Cate's house, and the girls played nonstop from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. As I was watching them play one afternoon, it suddenly dawned on me that my sweet little girl hadn't played with a friend since we moved.

That made me want to cry.

One of the hardest things about parenting is finding the right words to say when your little one is hurting. I can't fix this one with a kiss and a princess BandAid. God will have to stitch up that little broken heart, and I know He will, but it will take time.

While the tears welled up in the backseat, I said the only thing I could think of at the moment.

"It's OK to be sad, sweetie, but we can't stay sad forever. So take a few minutes to miss your friends, then let's sing a silly song to cheer up."

And so, we did.

Until next time, grace and peace.

On Moving On

moving-trailer

A few months ago (nearly four, to be exact), my family and I packed up, left our home in Iuka, drove five hours, and moved in with Dennis' parents on the farm. It was a move that we had been planning for quite some time, but that somehow came all of a sudden. For years we had been talking about moving "back home," but we didn't think it would become a reality so soon. And then a job opportunity opened up, and before we knew it, we were packing boxes and putting a sign up in our yard.

Life changes fast, y'all.

I haven't said much, or anything really, about it because it took me a while to process. In case you don't know, I don't handle change very gracefully. It takes time for new things to sink in with me and for me to adjust to the newness of it all.

That said, I'm so glad that we moved. Of course, I miss our friends. Very much, in fact. I miss being a short three hours away from my parents. I miss having lunch with my two best friends and their little girls. I miss spending afternoons at the park watching Micah play with her best friends. I miss pouring into "my girls" at church. I miss our home. I miss our church family. I miss all sorts of things about Iuka. It's never easy to leave behind people and places that you love. Our life in Iuka changed me. The people there are very dear to me, even still. They won't be forgotten.

But I'm very excited to be here. Micah and Kendall have been loved and doted on excessively since we moved here - both from Dennis' parents and from my aunts and uncles. I've enjoyed spending time with family that I only got to see once or twice a year when we were in Iuka. It's fun to know that my girls are making memories with some of my very favorite people in the world.

It's also fun to know that my girls will grow up in the same place that I did. Interesting tidbit about Dennis and me: we grew up right down the road from each other and only met when we were in college. Our lives criscrossed more than once when we were kids. We have mutual friends and acquaintances. We participated in the same countywide quiz bowl tournaments. He went to prom with one of my softball teammates. Our world, it seems, is very small indeed. We moved to Franklin just before I started eighth grade, and I thought that was the end of my life in Brandon. I never would have guessed that I would move back 17 years later. And yet, here I am :)

This week, I'm (hopefully) going to lunch with one of my friends from middle school. We will (maybe) go look at a house. We have a (tentative) playdate with a little girl from church. Micah is signed up for preschool in the fall, and Dennis is really happy at his new job. In short, we're moving on.

At least, we're trying :)

Until next time, grace and peace.

A Picnic on the Drill Field

The other day, Micah and I set out to the park for a picnic and playtime with a couple of our best buddies. We had a wonderful time, but on the way home, I kept having flashbacks to another picnic with another bestie. And I thought I'd share my memories with you. Before you continue reading, you should know that this story has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It is completely random. Let's start with an introduction. This is me with my fabulous friend Haley, circa 2004. This picture is from our senior year at Mississippi State, and no, I didn't regularly wear pigtails. We were at the BSU Barn Party, a phenomenon which merits its own post.

haley-and-me-barn-party-2004

We were roommates for two years at State, and we shared lots of common loves, including a love for pretty paper and entertaining. You can shop Haley's stationery line in her etsy shop, and you can enlist her party planning expertise via localMINT events if you live in or around Nashville. She's a great friend to have. I bet you wish she was your friend, too.

Haley and I were communication majors at State together, which meant that we took a little class called Small Group Communication from the one and only Hank Flick. Hank is a, how shall I say it, different kind of professor. His personality, and assignments, are notorious at Mississippi State. Particularly an assignment for his Small Group students.

Every semester, Hank required his students to intentionally violate the norms of society and then write a paper describing what you did that was so out of the ordinary and how people reacted. When it came time for Haley's norm violation project, she decided on a picnic. In the middle of the Drill Field (basically the middle of campus). With stuffed animals.

Haley was not interested in performing the norm violation alone, so she somehow enlisted coerced me to join her and her stuffed animals for a tea party in the middle of campus.

It was hot.

We were embarrassed.

And NO ONE paid us any attention.

The norm violation flopped because so many people were used to communication majors doing crazy things for Hank's class. Essentially, we violated the norms so much that it became normal to see communication majors doing weird things.

And that's the end of the story. Haley has pictures. She refuses to share them with me.

Sometime I'll tell you about MY norm violation project. It involved a bridesmaid's dress, tennis shoes, and a basketball court.

Until next time, grace and peace.