Last year, on the morning of January 1st, I called Lisa D. and asked her if we could spend next New Year’s Eve with her and her family in BC. The plans took 8-10 months to sort out while we waited to confirm details but I never backed down from the plan. It was where I wanted to be. Though, with us splitting the trip in two in two different parts of the province, it was logistically more complicated than I anticipated.
But then, like magic, it all started coming together. And it was perfect.
Just being there, with Lis and her family was enough, but to have them celebrate my girl’s birthday was my favourite part. As always, we started the day off with a cupcake. Vanilla bean. For my bean.
This tradition has become one of our favourites. Especially for the kid not celebrating a birthday who loves that he/she gets a sweet treat in the morning as well…and this year, the other three kids got to join in on the song and the treat.
Afterwards, it was time for a special scavenger hunt. The grown ups, laaaaate the night before, did their best to find hiding spots for the clues that all rhymed (ok, that was Lisa and I. The dads were shaking their heads and yawning by that point). We made it so Pearl and Leo could do most of the detective work and could show Jaia where to go next. We had them running all over the house. Tricky mamas…
Until the final clue that led her to her new snowboard. Mind=blown. She loved it.
The weather was phenomenal that day and so we took a two family hike up to the prettiest look out I may have ever seen.
And of course, stopped for pictures along the way…Sometimes, in odd places.
There’s something magical about seeing your littles get to play with the littles of the friends you once played with. These two hit it off right away and were inseperable until we pulled out of the driveway to be on our way.
At the top, and after a well deserved snack, we stopped and breathed this view in for a few minutes. This is literally in their backyard. It was right then that I started working on my master plan to move out West one day. It’ll happen. You watch…
Jaia’s day ended up at the bowling alley up at the ski hill where I (yes, me) won the game (by a lot) before heading out tubing and then to watch a seriously impressive fireworks show. The day, by all accounts, couldn’t have been better. 4 children fell asleep for the night tucked in with smiles on their faces. And just in time too for the grown ups to welcome new friends over for a rowdy game of Cards Against Humanity.
The rest of our visit sped by. Lisa and Willie showed us a grand time. We soaked up our time together and talked very little about how soon we’d be leaving. Focus on the good, right?
This girl has been a constant in my life since I met her almost 30 years ago. She is one of the most genuine, honest and lovely people I have ever known and someone I am honoured to call a best friend. We have now lived apart longer now than we ever lived in the same city, but we’ve never ever let that stand in the way.
It took me far too long to make my way to her part of the world, but I’m so glad I finally did. Seeing where she lives, where she has made a life for herself, where her kids go to school, and meeting the new best friends she’s made had me realize how we can live so very far from the people we love, but it only make us appreciate them more when we find ourselves close by.
Lisa, we are sending a huge thank you to you and your family for welcoming us with open arms into your home for those few days. Each one flew by way to quickly for my liking but the memories of our visit will last me a lifetime. I still get misty-eyed thinking about having to say goodbye but I’m already looking forward to our next visit.
Until we meet again, my friend. Sending big love your way… XOXO
Melissa - We would love nothing more then to have you guys out west just saying…. Looking fwd to seeing you this summer.
Mrs D - You have a gift for writing, Shannen!!