The highlight of traveling to El Paso for me occurred yesterday when I finally met my best friend face to face.
Our friendship began over seven and a half years ago.
My husband, Keith, was living at Ft. Campbell, KY preparing for his first deployment and I was in South Carolina taking care of our premature twin babies.
During that time I joined a message board hosted by TWINS Magazine. I needed conversation with adults. I needed to hear from others who understood the unique needs of twins. I needed community and interaction. Joining that message board was one of the best things I did for myself during my husband’s first deployment. I have several friendships that I continue to maintain with other twin mommies I met through the message board.
One day I received a private message from someone saying it sounded like we had a lot in common. I wrote her back and we did! With each PM or e-mail we sent we discovered more and more ways in which we were alike. At first it was things like our twins being born at 30 weeks because we had HELLP and our birthdays being within days of each other. Then as we talked more, it was things like our faith and personalities, our decision to homeschool and a host of parenting concerns.
Shanna has been my friend through both of my husband’s deployments, the birth of two additional children to our family, and numerous moves. She has put up with me when I let life’s busyness take control of our correspondence. She stood by her phone as I called with updates when my husband’s brother was in cancer surgery. She was the first person I called (after my husband) when my Grandaddy unexpectedly passed away.
Just like any friendship, we’ve experienced ups and downs. We’ve hurt one another and extended forgiveness. We have grown closer through the years as our friendship has matured.
When I found out that we were moving to Ft. Bliss and I mapped it out the drive from South Carolina to El Paso, Texas on Google maps, I discovered that our trip would take us right through Shanna’s city. We excitedly began making plans finally meet one another face to face.
We also did something that we had been talking about doing with out girls for years. We paired them up with one another as pen pals. They began writing one another a couple of months ago.
As we planned our trip out west, everyone began to look at our visit with Shanna and her family as the highlight of our travel time.
Last Thursday morning, the day that we began our drive, I told EA that it was a BIG day…she said, yes, but Friday would be even better because she would finally meet her pen pal. She told me on Friday that she had been waiting to meet her pen pan for so long…ever since I they began writing. I told her to stand in line because I have been waiting to meet her pen pal’s mom for over seven years!
We met at Chick-fil-a for lunch yesterday and after the kids had some playground time, we drove to Shanna’s house to visit.
The kids had a grand time playing with one another and really hit it off with one another.
These two gave one another so many sweet hugs!!!
Shanna’s girls decorated one of their rooms with a welcome banner for EA and MC. It was adorable!
Shanna’s husband patiently taught my girls how to ride the electric scooter one of their girls received for Christmas this year.
They also had an American Girl tea party and played restaurant, including Will and Jenny in their play.
We enjoyed a reprieve from eating out as Shanna prepared a delicious home cooked meal for my family…I can’t tell you how nice that was in the middle of a five day drive!
And Jenny completely stole everyone’s hearts as she always does. She helped in the kitchen and even set the table for dinner.
I was sad to say goodbye after spending the day with my friend, but the best thing about our friendship is that it’s not based on location.
Finally meeting Shanna face to face was an incredible blessing as is her friendship.
I am so thankful that I have a friend who will always be there, no matter where the Army takes our family!