Growing up we spent every Memorial Day going to the cemetary, cleaning gravestones and planting flowers at my grandparents’ graves. Lillies of the valley were always blooming in my parents backyard and I would pick bunches to take as my contribution. I can’t smell them or see them and not think of my grandparents and their graves (in a completely non-morbid way). Since I no longer live in my home town, things are a little different now. For the past number of years (I have no idea how many), we’ve gotten together with my college friends and their families for a picnic over Memorial Day weekend and for the past 3 or 4 years (I’m exact, I know) we’ve gone to Kara and Andy’s house. They have the best kid-friendly house and after this year, I’m pretty sure none of our kids would want to be anywhere else.
As evidence, I’ll show you this photo of the backyard of fun:
There seriously could not be a more ideal day and/or setting for a get together with friends and their families. Andy built the swingset/sandbox/pirate ship, it is awesome (also a little terrifying when the little kids walk willy nilly by while the big kids are swinging – yesterday I knocked Jack down rather than let him be barreled into by another swinging kid – I win at toddler bowling!).
We had the perfect day filled with the perfect things…
Jack believes in “safety first.” It should also be noted that we had to take him
home in his swim trunks because his clothes, though he didn’t actually get in the pool, were soaked with a
multitude of things (including, but not limited to: pool water, pink fluff, juice and beer).
Tyson had to stop pushing Liam at one point and ask him to get off and pull up his
swim trunks because on every backswing he was getting a face full of crack.
dueling sports teams
We still love Kevin despite his misguided allegiance to U of M.
Until Eleanora came along, Jack had been the youngest of my friends’ kids.
He initiated her into the fold by poking her in the face and making her cry
(though not on Darin’s watch pictured above, that one was all me).
Saying goodbye to friends
This is not a favorite thing, but Jonna and Darin are moving to South Africa (it’s just like living in Michigan, only different) in 11 days so we had to start the tough work of saying goodbye. Simon reminded me that he’s done it all many times with all of his friends being back in Australia, but I reminded him that girls are just different… he readily agreed.
As a small token of our friendship, we gave her this necklace from Lisa Leonard. Thankfully there were children and husbands present, this averted a sobfest. And seeing as how we live in the Internet age, I for one am just pretending that Jonna will still be living 15 minutes away, updating her blog and FB accounts from there. She’ll just be such a slacker for not making it to our get togethers. Jonna introduced me to my hubby so for that alone, I’ll always love her, but she’s also just an awesome, authentic person who has always made me laugh and asked the good questions. It is not goodbye… it’s just see you later, truly. You know we’re all here, praying for you and loving you from across the ocean! It may be cheesy, but friends ARE friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them [sing it, MWS].
This fall I’ll have been friends with these girls (and some who are missing from this photo) for 15 years (!). It hardly seems possible that such a large amount of time has passed, and yet, here we are…