Thursday, May 20, 2010

bosom buddies

Brace yourself! There are LOTS of photos for this blog entry!

I am so proud of myself for not completely spilling the beans by letting Ivy in on her birthday surprise!! Since I kept fairly quiet, I'll fill in any missing pieces so no one's out of the loop.
First of all, Ivy is my dear, dear friend from Washington. We were roomies for a mere four months out in Cannon Beach, Oregon in 2006. [Craziness!] When I look back on all the memories with Ivy, I feel like she's family... it's really amazing to see how special our friendship/sister-bond is knowing how very different we are as individuals AND taking into consideration the short amount of time we roomed together. Well, Ivy's out in the beautiful Pacific Northwest while I've been my little nomad self. She's married to the greatest guy. Kevin and Ivy definitely compliment each other; their marriage is certainly one to look up to. Kevin wanted to bless Ivy and give her a gift that would really blow her out of the water. It had been 20 months since Ivy and I had seen each other... (too long!!!, in case you were wondering!) Way back in February, Kevin came up with the idea to fly me out to the PNW for her birthday... clearly, I was game. He planned and organized and made everything come together like a beautifully crafted jigsaw puzzle... flawless!!  

On my way out to Portland, I was truly blessed with a three hour layover in Denver! Woo hooo!! Here I am, catching up with my wonderful Hannah. (The hardest part of our little reunion was knowing that this is where I'll be in a few weeks and not being able to plan and dream about a all those adventures!) But, as always, it was such an encouragement to spend some quality time unreserved, just relaxed with the girl who knows how to coax me back into that restful state of life. (Did I mention I'm a little excited to room with her again?!)

After that it was just a short flight from Denver to PDX (yet another perk of Denver!!) I arrived safely and just as planned Miss Kasey came to collect me and show me around Battle Ground for a bit before surprising Ivy at her birthday party. Let me tell you, this whole past weekend was much needed. Ha. It was SO good to see her. Therapeutic even. It was pretty incredible how everything came together. While I was in Europe I was really hard to get a hold of. With no phone or internet, it's pretty tricky to keep up with the outside world! So, you can see, Kevin really did have his work cut out for him! He went out on a limb and bought a ticket for a three day trip -- it was either that or nine. ;) I am really surprised to look back and see all we packed into three days. One of my favorite things about spending time with Ivy, is how it's always as if NO time has passed. Every time! And it boggles my mind because we're such different people. We're also in very different stages in life, and yet, it's still as if we're two crazy young girls packed into a dorm room working on the beach for the summer... ha. Friendship is such a beautiful gift.

After the birthday dinner, people gathered back at Ivy and Kev's house for birthday cake. :) Here's a sweet shot of Kevin presenting the cake to the birthday girl... I hope she made a good wish! Just as expected, Ivy and I had our little slumber party that first night and caught up with all the crazy changes life's brought our ways. Ivy walked me through, let me think.... oh yeah, every step of Hallie's little life! Haha. It was wonderful. It's really hard being far away for such milestones. These are the moments I'm sincerely thankful for blogs and Facebook!

Little Miss Hallie Jean. :)

At 5 1/2 months she's nearly crawling!

Sunday was a treat with church in the morning, the market in the afternoon, and then I got to catch up with Nikki, my long, lost sister in the evening (unfortunately, I forgot my camera for this outing!) Here are Kevin and Ivy being the lovebirds that they are in the park at Saturday (really Sunday) Market. (Let me just throw  in the fact that hanging out with two wonderful people who are absolutely perfect for each other is a little difficult for a hopeless romantic like myself! Just ask Ivy!)

Gosh, four years ago there were four young women in this crazy dorm room in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Somehow each young woman was from a different place in this great country with very different families and backgrounds... unfortunately, since those wonderful days four years ago, these girls have only been reunited ONCE. ONCE! *sigh* However, we all do see each other as often as we can make it happen, it's only been all four of us one single, solitary time since we roomed together in beautiful Cannon Beach. Anywho, although there was a sad, sad hole in our crew with Michelle in Kansas, we did our best at reuniting and headed up to Seattle, Monday, to visit and catch up with Emily. 
Of course, while in Seattle, we had to make it to Pikes Place Market. We saw beautiful flowers, handmade hats and jewelry, and lots of great fish and food. Hallie discovered pirosky for the first time -- she loved it. We had so much fun with her... little fingers, little toes protected by her wonderful Robeez (if you've got little ones, check into these! They're perfect for little feet that don't stay in shoes very well!)  

As you can see, we didn't hold back on photo taking (or much of anything for that matter! it was so good to be together again!) Do you have friends you can just let loose with and escape the craziness of everyday life? Ah, that's one of the many things I love so much about these girls, it's like a retreat, well, literally for me, but even when I'm living out there, just spending time and really connecting with them is always so refreshing and fun. 
We found a really cute little shop called, Boston St. O man, incredible. You know what your little one likes and dislikes. For instance, Aidan, my nephew, really enjoys Bob Marley. Well, should I ever be employed again, I can purchase a shirt that actually fits him and he can tell the whole world how he's a mini-Buffalo Soldier. ;) I'm telling you, this store was truly a gem. On our way over to Post Alley, I caught a shot of Ivy and baby Hal, doesn't she look just like a model? What should we advertise for here?

After poking around at the market, our dogs were barking a bit, so we settled down for a little R&R by the waterfront. The view down there is amazing. You're slightly lower than where the market is and you can see all of Elliot Bay and over to Bainbridge Island. We were super blessed to have a warm, sunny afternoon to enjoy all the area has to offer! While we were situated here, we maybe took a few photos of Little Miss Hal Bug. It was perfect. Smiley baby. Green grass. Sunshine. Honestly, when considering photos... what more can you ask for?

For dinner we caught up with our great friend, Kasey, (she helped with the big surprise -- she's one of a kind wonderful!) We headed to the birthday girls' favorite seafood restaurant, The Crab Pot. We all had more than enough of the deliciousness. Fish 'n chips, clam chowder, shrimp salad... some delicacies you don't really want to find here in Iowa. ;) Next time, I'm hoping to find something on the menu where they bring a bib out with the meal...  Ah, looking back on all the fun we had, I have to be honest, I feel bad for some boys... as for you men who do have those bossom buddy friends, CHERISH THEM!! I love when guys have close friends. I'm so extremely thankful God created me relational and interested in other peoples lives. I know how incredibly blessed I am to have these incredible people in my life and even more blessed to be able to call them dear, dear friends. Thanks for blessing me more than you know, loveys! 
Until next time.

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