Every couple of years or so we manage to get together with friends from our past. Sometimes friends from growing up, sometimes college friends, sometimes friends from earlier stages of our marriage.
We have moved four times since getting married so there is no shortage of friends from these various life stages.
One of the first couples that we made friends with when we were first married was Gwynn and Chuck. We were living in Cookeville, TN at the time and had joined a small group at our church. All of the couples in our group were older than us and most had started to have their first round of babies.
We were newly married and looking for friendship, and also people who were slightly ahead of us in the marriage game that we could look up to.
We felt an instant connection to Gwynn and Chuck and enjoyed many coffee dates, hikes, and camping trips as we shared similar interests.
As most good things, our time in Cookeville came to an end and we moved on to Charlotte, NC where we started over in another small group where most of the couples were starting their families and we were not. Thank goodness we have been welcomed into small groups regardless of whether or not we were parents!
We are grateful that over the last 13+ years we have managed to squeeze in periodic visits with our old friends from our early years in Cookeville.
One year we met up in Gatlinburg (I think for breakfast) before heading into the Smokies for an overnight backpacking trip.
A few years after that, they came to see us in Hollywood, AL. I was pregnant with our first child and they had three little ones running around. It was a blessing to reconnect and get some solid advice and encouragement as we were on the brink of finally becoming parents.
And another time we went to their home in Goodletsville, TN and spent hours visiting and introducing them to our two kids. Years may pass between visits, but we always pick right back up as if no time has passed.
A week ago their youngest was playing in a local soccer tournament and it worked out for them to come stay with us for the weekend. During the days it was all soccer but we still a managed to fit in a great visit when we could.
Even though their kids are older, all five children seemed to enjoy being together. By the end of the weekend Jack thought they were his cousins!
Saturday night we had a campfire and enjoyed S'mores with the Moores, then Sunday afternoon we took a hike to a local waterfall. It was such a lovely weekend, I don't think any of us wanted it to end.
After a weekend of kids (and adults) staying up way too late, we all crashed (Jack completely fell apart before dinner). This meant early bedtimes for our crew. Thankfully both kids slept in until 9am the next morning.
We feel so thankful to have so many wonderful friends in our lives who have been a blessing to us at different stages of our lives.
Moving semi-regularly is hard, but we have been truly blessed to find good people who have loved us in each place we have lived.
I hope that our kids grow up to find friendships that will last a lifetime, regardless of how often or how far they move.