Monday, April 27, 2009

Forever Friend

"A friend is always a friend."
Prov. 17:17

A couple weeks ago we had a visit from two very special girls! My friend Victoria and her little girl, Annalise (age 20 months).

Victoria is one of my closest friends and oldest---I met her when my family moved to Bristol, Virginia when I was 14. We were fast friends and I'm so thankful that our friendship has endured and lasted since we were barely teenagers to now that we are both married and live our daily lives as wives and mothers.

I remember the days when the only thing we had to think about was our next social outing or what to wear to church on Wednesday evenings which back then was the "highlight" of our weeks---ha. :)

Victoria and I were both in each others weddings and our friendship has had to reach far over many miles now that I live in Atlanta and she lives in Michigan. Now that my parents no longer live in Bristol I haven't been able to see her in quite awhile. We used to try to connect over holidays and such when we were both in town visiting family, but that hasn't happened in almost 2 years.

So, when Victoria called me a few months ago and told me she was wanting to come visit, I gladly welcomed that news! I excitedly waited for the time of her scheduled visit and we had so much fun while she was here. It is amazing when friendships go back that far, yet you still have much in common (most importantly serving Jesus Christ). The time and the miles fell quickly away and I felt like we were right back to when we lived in the same town and saw each other almost daily.

I've posted quite a few of pictures as I wanted to share about all we did through pictures....enjoy. :)

Victoria arrived at the Atlanta airport on Thursday morning. We mostly chilled that day while she got settled into Mara Kate's room. Friday we were able to go to a playgroup with some of my friends here in Atlanta so Victoria could meet the sweet girls I love here. After the playgroup we were able to meet one of her friends who lives outside of Atlanta for lunch. That evening we went to Michael's together to get supplies to start a little craft project we wanted to do together while she was here.

The finished craft project---door signs for her kid's rooms

On Saturday we decided to drive to meet Heidi and Olivia for lunch and a visit. Because I grew up with Victoria that also means Heidi did too. Since she is only 2.5 hours from me, we figured it would be an easy drive to meet her half-way so Victoria and Heidi could see one another and see their little girls who are about 5 weeks apart in age. Heidi actually had a wedding to go to that Saturday in Rome, GA and since Rome, GA was still only about an hour away we decided to meet there so she could see us and still attend the wedding that evening. The ironic thing is that Kane recently interviewed for a job in Rome, Ga (Shorter College) so there is a good possibility we could end up living in Rome by the end of the Summer. So, while we were there is was fun to drive around town and show Heidi and Victoria the place that could become home for us soon. We also drove up to the Shorter College campus to show them where Kane could have his first job after graduate school.

We met for lunch at this cute little cafe in downtown Rome.

The girls entertaining themselves at lunch---
Annalise and Olivia both had fun sucking on lemons. :)

Heidi and Victoria

Vic and Annalise---Annalise looks like a mini version of her mama!

Another baby girl who greatly resembles her mama! Olivia and Heidi

The little girls---Olivia, Mara Kate and Annalise.
There are two other children in our mix, but the boys weren't present. Jonathan (4) stayed home with his daddy in Michigan and Grant (3) stayed with his daddy for the day to go to a birthday party in Alabama. We missed them both, but it was fun to have an all-girls day!

All the girls!
Me and my beautiful sister! Love you Heidi!

Vic and me!

After lunch we headed over to a great playground in Rome to let the girls run off some energy.

Lots of fun was had by all. It was a special day!

That evening Victoria and I headed over to Atlantic Station so she could see one of Atlanta's neat shopping opportunities. The only thing we ended up shopping for was some ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, but it was so yummy. Since the little girls were at home in bed with Kane supervising we just sat and chatted for quite awhile. It was a very good ending to a rather long day.
Once quick self-portait--(not great of me), but we were having a great time together.

Annalise and Mara Kate eating supper together.

After church on Sunday morning

Mara Kate wanted to take a picture so I had her take it of Annalise and me....thus the reason for the large upward angle of the picture. :)

On the last day of Victoria's visit we had the opportunity to go to a Day Spa for some complimentary relaxation treatments. Two weeks before Victoria came she went on a cruise with her hubby and while in the Southern Caribbean she and her husband met a lady from Atlanta (Joy) who is a massage therapist and owns a day spa. They connected and exchanged information and she told Victoria to get in touch with her when she was here visiting she called her and this sweet, sweet lady invited us to come to a 2 hour private session at her spa for some complimentary relaxation. She even said to just bring our girls! It was an amazing morning and so much fun. We relaxed and visited and even went out to lunch afterward with Joy. Joy and I also made the connection of some mutual friends from my church so we ended up exchanging information too. I was reminded of God's goodness and what a small world we live in!

Heated massage bed. I did a 30 minute treatment in this.

Mara Kate snapped this of me while I was in the middle of my treatment.

Annalise and Mara Kate hanging out in the waiting room. They ran back and forth from the waiting room back to the therapy rooms. I brought stickers, paper, crayons, coloring books and books which they played with a little. But I think they also enjoyed just running around and checking in on Vic and I while we were getting our treatments.

Annalise playing with Victoria's toes during her massage. ha!:)

All relaxed after an hour massage.

Annalise getting a foot treatment. :)

Joy was sweet enough to get the girls involved in the pampering as well!

Mara Kate and I soaking our feet.
This was also after I had a 30 minute detoxification foot bath (very interesting).

Victoria using the "Chi Machine". It jerkes your ankles quickly left and right for 5+ minutes straight. I used it too and when the machine finished it shot tingles quickly up my entire body and out of my head. Very weird, but relaxing sensation.

All done!! So much fun!

Victoria, your visit was so wonderful and uplifted me greatly. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together and so not want to let so much time go between visits next time. Thank you for being a "forever friend".


alley said...

So fun visiting with Ms. Victoria!
All the pictures were so good! Mara Kate is getting to be a good little picture taker! :) I LOVE the pic of all of the little girls together! So sweet!
It must have been so cool to be in a REAL spa! Sweet girl time!
Love you,

The Paulus Family said...

What a sweet post! Loving our time together and missing you girls! I want you to send me your pics as took a few more than I did (can you believe that!?) and have some really cute ones! Love you my forever friend!

Dad said...

I'm glad you got a chance to visit. It's always good to see old friends. Looks like you had a great time!

Betsy said...

What fun at the spa!!!

Heidi said...

So sorry I am just now getting caught up on your blog :( The kids are playing in the bath, so I will come back to the rest....but loved this post! You really captured your visit!! It was great spending time with y'all that afternoon (and getting to see Rome!) Love you too...and MISS YOU! I want to come see you sometime...we have to work it out before Olivia's b-day and all of your big events!