One of the first treats of our trip this past week was getting to see old friends again.
We left Monticello right after church and made it to Southaven in time to get checked into our hotel and then have dinner with our friend Conor before church. Conor was Doug's first supervisor at UPS. They became friends, and eventually he became a family friend as well. You can tell the girls weren't at all excited to see him! :-) It was such a nice visit!
After we left dinner we headed to Carriage Hills Baptist Church, the church we attended between our time in Joiner and our move to Monticello. I don't know if I can even put into words the welcome we received when we got there. We were only there for three months, but by the welcome, you would have thought we'd been born and raised there and were coming home! We definitely felt immensely loved.
It didn't take long for the girls to find their beloved friend Katy. Even Steven had been asking to get to see Katy all week long. "Mommy, are we going to Katy's house? Are we going to Katy's church? Mommy, when do we get to see Katy?" They were excited to see her little brother, too, but Katy was definitely the one they were most excited about seeing! After church we headed to Burger King with Katy's family so Doug and I could visit a bit with our dear friends Tim and Amanda while the kids played. Once again, it was so wonderful to be able to be with old friends and have nice visits. There's just something about God-given friendships that is so precious!
I'm realizing now as I go through pictures that I don't have pictures to post of all of the friends we got to see, but I can still write about them!
Monday morning we got up bright and early and headed to Mother's Day Out on our way out of town. It was such a precious blessing to get to see Mrs. Glenda, Rene, Susan, and Steffeny - the ladies I worked so closely with in the MDO office. They are and will always be precious friends to me. We also got to see Mrs. Helen who lovingly cared for my sweeties each work day before and after the normal MDO activities of the day. As we were getting ready to leave, many of the teachers were beginning to show up for the work day, so we were able to say hi to them as well.
After leaving MDO, we began the long trek north to Louisville. After a relatively smooth trip, we arrived, checked into the hotel, and then headed out to meet yet another friend for dinner! Carrie is a friend from Ouachita days, and we hadn't seen each other since graduation eleven years ago! There are some friendships that are for a season, and when the common ground changes the friendship moves on. Those friendships are still such a blessing, but God just moves us on. With other friendships, though, God allows us to find new common ground. That's the way the evening with Carrie went - although our old common grounds had changed, we found that we flowed smoothly into new territory and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. What a treat!
Then, finally, Tuesday morning came and the convention began. After we dropped the kids off in their classes and toured the exhibits a bit, we ran into Matt and Beth. They were the one family we missed seeing when we went to Carriage Hills because they had already left to head to the convention themselves! It was such a blessing to see them again as well. I wish I had pictures of the girls and their reunion - Angela was so delighted to find that Lydia was in the group right next to her own, and made sure to let me know at the end of each day all the things that Lydia had been up to through the course of the day! As we headed out together after one of the sessions, it was hard for the girls to pull themselves away from each other!
It was definitely such an amazing blessing to be able to visit with these sweet friends this week. God is good to us to give us such sweet fellowship.