Thursday, August 12, 2010


I'd like to tell you a little about my summer vacation.  We rented a motorhome and headed out around Alberta.  We were lucky enough to get to connect with some great people.  The first were our dear friends, Doug and Tara.  We know Doug and Tara from college.  We all knew each other separately first before any dating or marrying went on.  And then we left school, got married and didn't talk to each other again until a couple years ago when we reconnected on Facebook.

Two friends, beat down (just a bit) by life and motherhood.  Enjoying some downtime.  And some joke or something.  I think, personally, that Tara's just laughing at my obnoxious laugh.

We've been amazed a few times by how similarly our families seem to be developing.  Their oldest, Aiden, has been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD.  They have issues at school similar to the issues we have at school with Will, who is also being looked at for Aspergers (even though the boys are pretty opposite in personality and interests) and they're just a couple months apart in age.  We have lovable, clever middle boys who we're terrified to lose between the cracks.  We have 3 year old blond daughters, both as stubborn as the day is long (just like their moms, I'm thinking).

The 6 kids.  Front Row: Finleigh, Olivia, Aiden, Nate. Back Row: Owen, Willem.

Because anyone that knows us would never, ever think that either Tara or I are stubborn.  Nope.  Not us.  Not ever.  

Or sarcastic.  For sure not sarcastic.

But I digress.

Us families met up and went camping for a few days in the mountains.  Picture it, we haven't seen each other in 12 or so years and then all of a sudden we are camping together at a campsite with no running water.  Which means no showers.  That's gotta mean we're good friends, right?

The men.

We got to meet each other's kids, who I felt like I already knew anyways.  And the kids played together, for the most part, with very little trouble.

The girls, hanging around.  Checking stuff out.  See the height difference?  Finn's only 2 months younger than Olivia.

The girls, playing along side each other in the girly toy tent.

Boys + DS = quiet.

To be fair, the boys did a lot of other stuff together besides play on their DS's, but I didn't get pictures of that.  They spent a lot of time in the Lego tent too.  And bike riding.  And exploring.

We also got to see another couple from college.  Glen and Colleen.  We hadn't seen them in years and years.   We met their 3 girls.  It was nice to catch up.  They've always been a great couple.

It almost felt like we took over the campground.  Here we are, one big happy group.  I've adopted Aiden by this point.

Doug playing frisbee with Finleigh.

Tara is very open about her struggles as a mother and pastor's wife on her blog.  People appreciate her openness and honesty and willingness to let people in without concerning herself with her image.  Which sometimes opens her up to criticism and judgement.  When I knew them in college 15 years ago, they had strong characters.  Now seeing them again, they still have strong characters.  Beyond that, they are great parents and I thought they handled their kids beautifully.  Their children are lucky to have them as parents.  I count myself lucky to have them as friends too.

Come on.  SO adorable.

There is something special about being with friends that you've known for so long.  College was different for me.  I made friends there at a quality and depth that I've not quite been able to duplicate since.  We could sit and be quiet and comfortable and that was okay.  Except it wasn't because we wanted to jam in as much conversation as we could before they left to go back to their home on the OTHER SIDE of the country.  And Canada is a big country, my friends, a very big country.

Me and Tara... with the girls... cuz they didn't want to be put down.
And since we've been through such similar things as parents, we were able to relax and not worry about being judged about how we were parenting.  Because we knew each other understood.  

One of my favorite pictures of this family.  Doug behind the camera, of course.  Poor Aiden is so upset.  

It was a bit of a tearful goodbye.  I wasn't pleased to see them pull away.  It was especially hard to say goodbye to Aiden because goodbyes are hard for Aiden and I'd felt like we'd bonded just a little.  He's a sweet, sweet boy and I understand why Doug and Tara fight so hard for him.  All three of those little towheaded kids are sweet.  Good kids.  We enjoyed our time a lot. 

And that, in a moderately large nutshell, was our first stop on our trip.  More to come because we saw more family and friends along the way.  But that is for another day.


  1. so nice to see pictures of you all together! Love you all.

  2. It looks like you had an amazing time with your friends. I am glad you got this chance to be with them again, and that you had such a good time. Thanks for sharing!

  3. For the real version of the group pictures look here.

  4. oh mercy, here I sit weeping pathetically... I loved our time with you guys. I hate that we live so far away.

    thanks for saying such nice things about us.

    And I think you have a fabulous laugh :)

    Must stop crying now.

    sniff sniff.

  5. Real friends are exactly that kind you can pick up with even after so many years! Glad to hear all the kids got along so well

  6. I was wiping a few tears as I read this also! We just went camping with our dear friends that we met a few years ago and we are all friends, not just the wives or the kids, but all of us. It's so very hard to say goodbye at the end, regardless of the fun along the way.

  7. Oh I just love both of you! What great pictures!!

  8. oh that so looks like a trip that i would have enjoyed! i'm sure it was great to catch up.