Taken the weekend before we left America. Hannah and I were both about 17 weeks pregnant.
My big brother, how I love and miss him!!
Familyfriends are people who are your family but who are also your friends. It's been eight months since I last hugged these two. It feels like forever. I so miss the sweet friendship we shared for the years we were close by each other. It started before we left for Mexico, the first time Brad brought Hannah out to lunch with our family after church one Sunday. After that, the four of us clicked. Sometimes I still look at photos of them and can't believe they are really married but I'm so glad they are. Do you know what it is like to have familyfriends?
When we were kids, I remember my brother getting so excited about going to Six Flags as a family. So much so, actually, that he'd make himself sick with excitement. (He's not going to be happy about me announcing that to the world.) That's just about how he was the day Hannah was flying into Mexico to join us for a month in May of 2010. He was giddy! And so was I because I knew a proposal was coming soon thereafter.
Us at our favorite place to eat in Cancun, California Pizza Kitchen.... How 'bout some caramel pecan cheesecake, Hannah??
....And the other side of the table.
We had her completely fooled and she was shocked when he popped the question. A year later, they were married and the rest is history. But for the sake of memories, I'm recounting history to illustrate how much I miss them. After they married, they moved to Charleston which was a lovely weekend destination for us. We'd pack up every couple of months and go hang out with them for the weekend in their cute little studio apartment. Our lazy weekends consisted of fake poker, basketball, sweets, beach, food, sleep, sweets, shopping and did I mention food? It was heaven.
At our favorite place to eat in Charleston, Kickin' Chicken, with our other brother, Eric. ;)
And cheesecake to go!
We like cheesecake.
Lazy weekend snuggles
Kyle's first dip in the ocean
Then they moved to Columbia and were even closer. We went up there even more regularly to hang out, especially when Jono needed to use the library at CIU for his seminary papers. Often times my other brother, Ryan, would join us, also. Hannah always greeted us with something wonderful for dinner. Then we'd go to Nestle Tollhouse every time we were together to demolish giant cookies with loads of icing between them. Makes me want some right now. I'll have to make some... soon. We always had a big breakfast on Saturday morning before hitting the pool or mall or just sitting around in the living room.
The last time we went to visit, I was still so sick with Ellee. I called my brother and told him I hoped he'd clean the toilets and he said he already had just for me. Jonathan had to spend a whole day at the library and we hung out at their apartment. We did venture out for lunch at our favorite, Jimmy Johns, but I only made it through about a fourth of my sub. It was so very bittersweet knowing it would be ages before we'd be able to hang out like that again. Hannah and I laid on the couch, both pregnant with itty bitty bellies, talking about babies and life.
Kyle preferred ice cream to cookies but he just didn't know any better at the time. We'll teach him.
Cookies and coffee
It's memories like the sweet ones I have of spending time with our familyfriends that make it easier to be so far away. But what wouldn't I give to be with them this weekend, trying to beat the ever lucky Hannah in poker or devouring a giant Double Trouble cookie after a delightful supper? Or sitting with my feet in my brother's lap as he rubbed them on and off as his focus alternated from rubbing to football back to rubbing? It is so hard sometimes to be on the other side of the world.
Now we both have new babies and can't wait for them to meet! Since we are planning to go back to the US for missions conferences next spring, we are looking forward to crashing their new town home with our now family of four for old times sake. You can bet we'll eat cookies and try to steal each others poker chips and visit long into the night after the cousins have gone to bed.
I love you both so much and can't wait to squeeze your necks again!