|(And also that adorable little bag that Kait gave Sarah for her birthday.)|
And lots of screaming and jumping ensued. And then they all waltzed right into my house, and (after I stopped the screaming) I managed to feed everyone the "leftovers". And we drank wine. And I loved on Floyd. And they loved on Pierre. And then the boys went down to watch football. And the dogs napped. And we sat and drank wine and talked about nonsense until we couldn't hold our eyes open any longer.
Can we back up for a second and talk about how this was the first time that I had physically laid eyes on Kait and Dane in person? Oh, and the fact that Dane (our own Captain America) just got home from a deployment to Afghanistan less than two weeks ago? And he chose to spend his early days back home with us AT OUR HOUSE?
Oh, and then there's the fact that they descended upon my house bearing gifts and bags and coolers of food and wine. Because they thought that they would overwhelm me by showing up and that I would feel unprepared - are they true girlfriends or what? And cooked ME dinner on New Year's Eve? In my own home? With all 8 of us buzzing around the kitchen like we all lived under one roof every day? Dream world, I tell you. It was like Christmas came and just kept on going through the new year for me!
And my HUSBAND, my darling husband, has been 100%, wholeheartedly in on this for the past two and a half months and the fact that not a word has slipped is nothing short of a miracle.
Someone please explain to me how I came to deserve these wonderful, wonderful people that I get to do life with.
Sarah even chose to spend her birthday with us on New Year's Eve, which was so so so incredibly special. We started out the day with breakfast at Bojangles in our leggings-as-pants (only the best), and spent the remainder of the day wearing our grownup friendship bracelets (thanks Kait!) and shopping and snacking and chatting and wining and visiting with another blog friend. I'm lucky enough to actually live in the same city as Alexa, but having her stop by on NYE to visit with all of us at once was SUCH a treat. We all just acted like this was a normal day, like we get to do this every single weekend. (Dreams.) It was the. best.
Of course, after dinner, we sang and decorated and made Sarah blow out presents and open gifts - the whole shebang. Isn't she gorgeous? Birthdays are a good look on her!
We spent the rest of New Year's Eve like a big family - sitting around my dining room table. There was chatting and laughing and wine and Hypnotiq (yep!) and Cards Against Humanity and teasing and wrangling Pierre and jumping up to keep Floyd off the kitchen counter.
|"There is no evidence to support the above statement."|
And then we rang in 2014 the next morning like a big family too - everyone huddled in the kitchen over a cup of coffee, more chatting, more teasing, me on the floor with Floyd, and Pierre on the kitchen couch with Sarah's husband. If you're ever looking for him, Pierre is ALWAYS with Mister. Always.
And then, just like family after the holidays, we all had to go back to our own lives. And I cried. Because it just really stinks sometimes that our normal lives have to be so far away from each other. But as we all have said in our own ways, everything happens for a reason. Each of these sweet, sweet people (and bassets!) make my life better on the day to day. Somewhere along the way (and I don't know where - somewhere in the midst of the free therapy we call "group texts"), these "blog friends" turned into "real life friends."
And those of you who know me will not be surprised that I felt super guilty at first that these people sacrificed 8 hours of driving on a holiday/birthday to drive down to see me and STILL provided all sorts of food and wine and goodness for ME in my OWN HOME so that I wouldn't feel overwhelmed by the surprise. But then I got my act together and just said thank you. And truly appreciated every single last drop of their efforts and the awesome people that they are.
In a world where social media can easily become the enemy and online comparisons can rob us of daily joy, I'm so thankful for all of the HAPPY and the PEOPLE and the RELATIONSHIPS that have come out of blogging for me. And to the four people and the basset on the right up there in that photo, THANK YOU. For everything. You are truly the very best.