Friday, December 21, 2012

onto the next chapter with the panters!

holly and i became friends YEARS ago through our blogs. she lived in nebraska. i lived in virginia. and we had a mutual "real life" friend (that we both knew when we were kids! hi jody!)

proof that "blog friends" exist...
{picture taken this past summer. we have so few pictures of us! boo!}
when the panters got assigned to the dc area 2 1/2 years ago (right, holly? my brain is fried at the moment, ha!) i was so so so excited!!!!!

it's been SO fun having them close by. we didn't see each other NEARLY enough (we actually live close to 45 minutes it wasn't super easy) but the times we DID see them were precious! and we had some of the funnest and randomest times together: easter party at the panters, holly and i met and ran together a couple times, and sat outside and ate frozen yogurt and talked for HOURS (that was one of my favorites!) she was here to help (and help and help! and she had moved here like the day before!) with our BIG yard sale! holly always makes me laugh, encourages me, challenges me with GOOD questions, and just makes me feel normal (even if i'm not!)

holly and jake have 4 amazing girls. and this was the reaction the day i told bailey they were moving:
it wasn't pretty. wow. i knew she'd be sad...but it was really pretty amazing how sad she was.

so...since holly had (has!) a LOT to do before they move out in a few weeks...and we wanted to spend some time with them, we had them spend 2 days and 1 night with us! i picked them up wed morning...and took them back home last night at bedtime.

it was such a precious time. i'm not going to lie. i was NERVOUS about having 10 kids for 2 days! but, i covered it in prayer and God answered bigtime! i don't mean to be dramatic (wonder where bailey gets it from ;-)) but i TRULY felt like my home was being held in His hand the past 2 days. there was little to no arguing (how is that possible?!?), i was able to be consistent with my own kids amidst it all (a HUGE concern of mine whenever there's something "different" going on), and the overall tone of the whole time was just fun and peaceful (yes! peaceful!!) and precious.

i got to know holly's girls SO much more and now i'm even MORE sad that they are leaving.

BUT...between growing up in the military myself (and knowing when they moved here that we had a short time) AND the fact that holly and i were close BEFORE we'd ever laid eyes on each other...i'm ok. i'm going to miss knowing they are close by, for SURE! but we are just moving onto chapter 3 (as holly says) and i can't wait to see what's next for the panter/cassada relationship! 

here are a few (ha!) pictures from our time together...
i let rebekah and bailey "skip school" for 2 days! i know that these are memories they will have for the rest of their lives...and they can make up what they missed in school...
they watched a movie each afternoon. i needed a little break ;-)

joshua and sophie have always had this little "connection" whenever we've gotten the kids together. he was at school and this was about 5 minutes after he got home the first cute ;-)

we decorated a LOT of sugar cookies!!!

all 6 girls slept in 1 room. and they were all asleep by 9 pm!

see?? lifetime memories, for sure!
day 2 was more fun...lots of "playing family"...dressing up...giggling...making jewelry (they used every wire and bead in the house!)
we made snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and beads. got the idea here.

i sat down at one point in the basement for about 10 minutes (ahh! it felt so good to sit!) and took these funny how the picture changed so many times in that short of a time!

i had to attempt to take a picture of them all, right? this was while i was checking my lighting. i told them they didn't have to smile...yet...this one is just funny! :)
and the "real one."
all the girls...
we ate dinner, and took baths and showers...and had a few precious minutes left to play...

and then i drove them home. and hugged holly's neck HARD. and am excited to see where our friendship goes from here!!!

feeding 10 kids was the hardest part. and that wasn't even that hard...just a LOT of food!

i thought i felt fine...until this morning. i was SO tired. i might have put a show on for sawyer and levi and slept for 20 minutes at 9 am. but i had (have!) SO much to do to get my house ready for a shepherd group party tonight. did the BIGGEST grocery shopping trip of the year this morning. baked and cleaned all afternoon. now going to try to pick up the house and make myself look presentable in the next hour or so. oh, and feed my kids dinner...


Holly said...

I. want. to. be. you.

Liza said...

This is amazing, Courtney. I love how you and Holly both said - the Lord totally blessed this weekend/I covered it in prayer. What a blessing you are to EACH OTHER! Makes me feel better about how all of our friendships and connections will endure wherever we live in the future. Your friendship is rooted in something deeper than geography - CHRIST! - and those kind of bonds do not break. They just stretch to California :) I am blessed to know and love you both.

Leighann said...

bailey's face made me ball my eyes out. i'm not kidding. what a sweet heart she has. she must've gotten it from her mother.

Katy said...

What a gift. All of that. Your friendship and its special beginning. the fact that her girls and yours are so close. The fact that you were willing to bless her like this. nd gidt your own children the gift of this time together!!! Awesome.

Amy said...

You know... Kansas is right in the middle of California and the DC area. Just a thought. :)