Even though Joe is not in the Marine Corps anymore, we still live in a military heavy community, which means that families come and go, whether they are active duty, veterans, retired and/or any way involved with defense contracts. My point is a lot of people are not from here and many of them don't stay. This is part of the reason why I don't always find myself with a lot of friends, because 1) I don't make new friends easily and 2) some of the friends I do make inevitably end up moving.
One of my more longtime friends is Solinda. We first met when Jake and her middle child Sam played t-ball together at age 4 and as they became best friends, enjoying swim lessons, kindergarten and soccer together, I too grew closer to Solinda. When we moved two cities over from 29 Palms to Yucca Valley, not being closer to their family was my ONE single regret about moving but I tried to console myself that we would still see each other. We are after all only 30 minutes away from each other. And I have to say, that 3 years later, although it is sometimes hard to coordinate our schedules, we do still see each other and talk often and I value her friendship VERY much.
I can't believe that when we met, Solinda's youngest child, Sariah was an infant. Over time I have had the pleasure and honor of watching her go through toddlerhood and especially in the last year or so, become a playmate and friend for Jadyn, even with their 2 1/2 year age difference. Sariah, no longer a baby, has become a little girl.
So it was Sariah's 4th birthday this last weekend and she had the most adorable and fun princess party, complete with all the girls dressing like princess and getting their nails and hair done. Jadyn declared it the best birthday party ever. It was really super cute and sweet. Here is a picture of Princess Jadyn and Princess Sariah together:
Okay, so now that I have surely made one friend cry (happy tears I hope), let's keep my streak going.....
Over the last 2+ years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know our neighbors, the Guerreros. For the majority of the time they have lived next to us, it has just been Shami and her 10-year old daugther Adriana while dad was deployed out of the area for work. Both being the wives of former Marines and current contractors, Shami and I connected on several levels. I could come to her to talk through a problem, borrow a cup of sugar or ask her to check on the pets while we were gone. We bonded over our triumphs and struggles to be the best wives and moms we could be while still doing things for ourselves. We shopped, ate out and enjoyed midnight movies when we needed a break. We have had many a discussion as to what we want in the next stages of our lives. She has made me laugh and feel much less alone during some tough times, and I think and hope I have been able to do the same for her in return. Adriana is an example of how I want my kids to be as they get older - smart, well-mannered, thoughtful and sweet. I simply adore her.
Jadyn and Adriana passing out candy this past Halloween:
And Shami and I after the Color Run in November. Such fun memories!:
So it is with great sadness, that they have decided to move back to their hometown in Texas and much sooner than we originally thought. As a matter fact, we scrambled to put together a going away dinner for them Saturday night after the birthday party we attended so they could have a proper send off with some of our other friends. I know we will stay in contact and maybe even see each other again but it just won't be the same not having them right next door to us. I wish them the very best in the next stage of their family's adventure and know that this decision was made in that best interest. However, it doesn't make me any less sad to see them leave. I am not good at good-byes.