Way back in June, I took a road trip all the way down to North Carolina. A couple of friends bummed a ride as far as DC, and then it was just me, my latte, and the open road.
After about eight hours, I arrived at the house of my dear, life-long friend Laura. Our parents were friends before I was born, so she seriously has known me my entire life. So many memories of my childhood involve her and her family. We played American Girl dolls, Barbies, and dress-up. We ran around the fort in my front yard and climbed up the scary muddy hill in hers. We giggled about boys and planned our weddings. We were homeschooled buddies, and then community-college-in-high-school classmates. She now has three beautiful children!
Though in June, she only had two: Hannah and Luke.
They called me Miss Jessica and were DARLING. Extremely energetic, engaging, and exhausting. Eight-months pregnant Laura, the kids, and I played several games of Dora the Explorer Candy Land and Thomas the Train Memory Match (I had NO idea there were so many different train characters). We dressed up Hannah's American Girl dolls (one of which was Laura's Samantha when we were little!) and took them on walks to the park.
We played Legos:
Do you see that canal Luke and I were making with the blue Legos? It took a lot of blue Legos.
On our way out to lunch one day, we locked ourselves out of the house. This would not have been a huge deal, as she lives on a military base (her husband is deployed this year) and security said they'd come by in 20-30 minutes, except that it was over 90 degrees, and she was eight months pregnant. Thankfully, we had water bottles with us, and the pool on the deck was full and refreshing, for at least Hannah:
Everyone kept cool and hydrated. We were off to lunch in no time! (After someone changed into dry clothes.)
This place had fantastic shakes and shrimp po-boys:
I had a terrific time catching up with Laura and getting to know her incredibly fast-growing children better. Are we seriously old enough to have seven-year-old kids?? Apparently!! It's sweet to reflect and realize that we've grown up. Our lives are dramatically different, but we're still good friends. :) I hope I get to meet her grandchildren someday!
In late July, Laura had that third baby! I shamelessly stole a picture of adorable Mary Anna from Facebook:
I can't wait to meet HER someday, too!