Close to six years ago, Jeff came home from work and said that he invited the new guy at work to come over for dinner with his family. Jeff said that it would be nice of us to welcome them to California, they just moved from D.C. and didn't know anyone here and they had a little girl and it would just be nice if we had them over. Okay. No big deal. Then, Jeff mentioned that they were Hawaiian and "wouldn't it be cool if we made a bunch of cool Hawaiian food for them?" Not cool, Jeff. It became annoying. So, we did. Jeff helped a lot. I'm kind of a social misfit so I worried that there would be awkward silence and what on earth would we talk about? But, we had a common thread - we are members of the same church. That always makes things slightly easier, because for some reason it's nice knowing that we have a similar belief system so I at least have something to talk about...because sometimes I can't find things to talk about. I didn't think much about making friends because I figured I wouldn't see them very much afterwards - why would we? So, they walked into our home, took their shoes off and stayed.
The Tanigawa's have been like family ever since. I love that family and have loved watching it go from 3 to 4 to 5! We've been so fortunate to have them around for intense game nights, last minute babysitting, Halloween crashing, 2009 pregnancies, IKEA, Thanksgiving cheese balls, beach Saturdays, 2010 Census, many many tears over a toy, etc. As our families came together I instantly loved Sheena. She is cool, gorgeous, patient, generous, kind, outgoing, laid back, funny, and just really easy to be friends with. My life was kind of frazzled when they came to our home for the first time and I didn't realize how much she was an answer to my prayers. I needed her to be in my life and even though it kind of stinks that they aren't a short drive away, I am grateful that we had these awesome 6 years. When my oldest, Veronica, asked me why I was sad about Sheena moving away I simply replied, "Because it's hard for grown-up moms to meet people and make friends." Kids have a way of making friends with simpleness, it's just declared - we're going to be friends and it is so. I didn't declare it then, but I am declaring it now, we are going to be friends forever! It's been a blessing for my family to have this cool family to play with and share big life events with and I'm hoping, though there is distance, that we can always remember our awesome friends. My heart is heavy but happy. Aloha and Mahalo to our amazing Tanigawa Ohana!
The next two pictures are of the first Halloween we spent together and the very last Halloween we spent together. Violet isn't in the last picture because she was busy spilling water or chili or both and Sheena was still pregnant with little Eva - but not for much longer! Halloween 2007 - 3 kids. Halloween 2012 - 6 kids and one in the tummy, so 7!