Friends All Over

Last year we lived in Florida for about eight months while Steve was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base for some training. We knew we wouldn’t be there for long, which directly contributed to my lack of effort to settle in. I didn’t anticipate making friends, but by the time we left I was saying goodbye to two fellow military wives I love to death and did not want to leave! Whitney was one of them. We met at a playgroup for toddlers, and hit it off pretty quickly. We bonded over the fact that our husbands had the same job in the military, we were college graduates turned stay-at-home moms, we had red-headed toddlers only a month apart, and were both pregnant with babies that would put us in the “momma of two under two” classification. Mitchell loved their daughter Presley, and you can read more about their adventures here and here. We PCS’d [military moved] ONE day before her due date, but luckily their smiley little Nolan showed up a few days early and I got to meet him in the hospital the night before we left for North Carolina. But since  Julia was born about a month and a half later, they hadn’t met her yet. Leaving friends is one of the biggest downfalls of military life, but reconnecting with them is a pretty good consolation prize. Since we’ve moved, though, she keeps me endlessly entertained with toddler stories that only others with toddler moms can completely sympathize with. When their family was planning a trip that involved a stop in North Carolina, I was beyond thrilled they would be able to stay here for a night! 

Steve, being the supportive husband he is, was equally excited we’d get to host our friends for the weekend. But I know what he was thinking in the back of his mind having two 20ish-monthers and two under 6-monthers under one roof, along with three dogs… He secretly loves the chaos 😉 Whitney and I actually got to drink wine together for the very first time – because we were both pregnant for the entire duration of our friendship when we were in Florida. 

I wish I could just take all of our military friends and put them on one base. Preferably all in the same base housing neighborhood. And preferably on Camp Lejeune in our neighborhood because I really, really like where we are. Our friends from before our move to Florida who are still here came over too! Danika also has a little one – Julia’s little bestie, Olivia. 

I learned throwing dinner parties when you collectively have five children under the age of two pretty much means someone is always going to be up fetching a pacifier or changing a diaper. Three [and a half] people at the table mid-dinner. I’ll take it. Hey Danika – pretend like you’re eating. These are the days we’ll miss someday though, I know it 🙂

Hi there, Olivia. 

Tasty chair.

Uncle Steve with Julia.

Not sure what [Danika’s] Steve [our husbands have matching names, cute I know…] is doing, but Mitchell is unsuccessfully trying to thieve a lunchbox from the cabinets. The boys cleaned up all our dishes!

We put the big kids to bed [Mitchell and Presley] and hung out in the playroom. Not sure why our adult dinner party was primarily spent in the only room downstairs not for adults. We had a few baby races and I bet on my daughter exactly zero times. 

It’s easier if you try it this way Julia, says Olivia. I also called my daughter the wrong name at least 20 times. Julia sounds like Olivia, right? 

Plenty of wine and cheesecake and birth stories later, our husbands were laughing at us and all the babies were ready for bed. I am forever grateful for the relationships we have made with other military friends that can share our experiences. When you live somewhere so far away from family, your friends become a little more like family. Or at least that’s how it feels to me. 

I was so sad for the weekend to end. Since Whitney and her family were only passing through, they could only stay for one night. They had quite a big road trip they planned, and I am so happy they made us a pitstop on their way home! I could seriously get used to having all of our friends in one place. I know with 14 years left until Steve’s retirement, our list of friends scattered around will only grow. We’re so thankful for friends like Whitney and Danika [and their husbands, of course] and the chance for them to make the 13 hour trip to come visit us!

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