I know my usual focus is on makeup, fashion or Indie shopping...and, of course, Etsy Love!
I'd like to pause for a minute to talk about a great group of ladies whom I have had the pleasure of knowing since 2003. One night when I was pregnant with Nick and couldn't sleep due to another green olive craving, I was sitting at the computer around midnight with my bowl of olives and stumbled upon the message boards at American Baby.
I was pregnant and full of questions. I met some other ladies from all different backgrounds and geographical locations. To this day, many of us still speak online daily. We moved from one board to the next, beginning at the Expectant Moms board. Soon we were on New Moms, Raising Babies, then Raising Toddlers...then we decided we were too cool for the drama on Raising Toddlers, so we were rebels and started haging out on Raising Preschoolers even though many of us didn't yet have preschoolers.
The boards at American Baby merged with another, so I started up a private message board and we have stuck together. We're a unique bunch. We have a mom in England, transplanted from Texas. We have a Navy mom in Japan. We've got a Dutch lady who lives in California and homeschools her remarkable little boys. We have teachers, a talented graphic designer, those in executive type positions, and plenty of stay at home moms.
We all have our little "role" in the bunch. We've got a beautiful woman in Michigan who should be a professional party planner to the stars or else have a hit show on HGTV. We have a go-getter who is soon going to be a bazillionaire with her Avon sales, which are near the best in her state, if not the entire country. We have moms who also make their own creations. There's so much talent in our bunch. Angie paints picture frames and mirrors and she makes adorable hair bow holders for little girls. Beth is a whiz with a needle, thread and some fabric--not to mention a great photographer. In fact, we have a couple of very talented photographers on board.
We have liberal moms spouting off why Obama should be president (yes, I may be one of them) while our conservative friends share passionately their reasons for backing McCain. Normally women can be catty and take differences of opinion personally or get "huffy" about things. What is unique about our great bunch (about 3 dozen of us total) is that we all share a common ground. We respect one another even if we don't agree with one another. We have no "bad seeds" in the bunch, which is unique. While we may have many differences, we share more similarities. We're like a bunch of odd ingredients thrown together that meld perfectly into one beautiful gourmet dish.
We are true friends. We have seen each other through so many of life's most joyful and most traumatic events. We've shared the excitement of pregnancy announcements, job promotions, milestones in our children's lives and are all truly happy for one another. We share pictures of our kids and home improvement projects. We build each other up and encourage one another.
We've shared sadness. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer and given 3 months to live, I had their support and outpouring of love--just as they shared my happiness of announcing I was pregnant with Benjamin a couple days later. Others have lost parents...grandparents, a sister. One of our dear friends is dealing bravely with her dad's Alzheimer's Disease. We truly are there for one another.
We've shared so much throughout the years with our children's struggles and triumphs as well--premature arrivals (like Nick and others), a brave little girl's heart surgery, another baby's long stay in the NICU, surgeries, stitches, broken bones, and more. We have truly helped support one another.
We're a funny group as well. I tell you, they put up with my sarcasm--I'm lucky! Seriously, though, we know each other. You've read on this blog about how I think Beth and I can roll our eyes at the same time...it is truly like that. We all have our unique and strong personalities and that keeps it fresh, yet like a comfortable old slipper each day. We can express our feelings about anything without being judged. We are like sisters across the miles.
I think we're a cool bunch. We love to talk about food, so last year we all submitted our favorite recipes and Beth, our talented graphic designer, made a cookbook with all of our recipes for each of us to have in our kitchens! We throw each other "virtual showers". In fact we have showers in the next couple of weeks from our 3 pregnant Texans. We do card exchanges, Secret Santa, Mother's Day gift exchanges, etc. We encourage each other to pursue our dreams and hold each other accountable to be the strong women we're capable of being.
Some of the moms have been lucky enough to meet each other. In a few months, we plan to have a big meet up, possibly in Las Vegas. I am so looking forward to this!
Anyway, if we have one or two women in our lives we can call true friends, I think that is a blessing. To have so many women whom I can call "friend" is a gift. A true gift.