One year ago today, my best friend, K.C., and her family finished their l-o-n-g drive from San Antonio to move in with us. They are a military family and instead of purchasing a home online or finding a temporary rental while they waited on the on-post housing list, we offered for them to stay with us. We had done it once {well, twice, actually} before and it worked out just fine. Ryan's best friend's family of four lived with us for seven months while they figured out where to go next {down the street, fortunately!}.

We knew when we purchased our house that the Lord had plans for us. It was a MUCH bigger house than our previous one and we felt beyond fortunate to be able to move into such a space. We've hosted many parties and events here, and are so thankful that we've been able to help out our very best friends with a temporary place to live. People call us crazy, but when you've been asked by God to use what He's given, there really is no other option.

Anyway, a year ago, we were so full of anticipation for having house guests.

K.C. and I met our freshman year of college and lived together for three of the four years. We went through some ups and downs, but mostly just loved being together ... laughing, studying, staying home, visiting her family in Arizona, and growing in our faiths.

{christmas 1998}

She married Dan, a former Marine, turned Army physical therapist who originally comes from Ecuador and loves to travel. I married my darling husband who happened to be from Washington state just like me. We moved back home after college. She moved to San Antonio,Texas. Then to El Paso. Then to San Antonio again. We were pregnant twice together {only long distance} and our littlest ones were born only 4 days apart. We did a few visits to each other's homes, but mostly just talked on the phone any spare moment we had and kept up by email.
{brady & noe, 5 months old}

{noe & brady, almost 2 years}

{micah & mason, 4 months}

{micah & mason, 2 years}

{the three older sillys}

I don't think either of us ever imagined we would live in the same state as each other, so when Dan found out his next assignment {is that what it is called?} was here in Washington, there was MUCH celebration! And anticipation. So many wonderful adventures we could take together! Our kids could be best friends! Our husbands could be best friends!

So, they pulled up at about 4:00 on New Year's Eve with two cars loaded down with what the military didn't pack. And our household of five became a household of nine.

The original plan was to look for homes near the Army post and get them settled by early spring. We had different plans. I secretly was hoping that once K.C. became friends with my friends and started coming to church with us, they would want to live close to us. Perhaps even in our neighborhood. It was a long shot, but it was my secret desire.

Well, eight months later ... my dream came true. They moved into OUR neighborhood, go to our church and have fit in amazingly with our fabulous group of friends.

Those 8 months of cohabiting were not easy. For either family. There were plenty of times when we both wished we had our own space. Our kids were often times NOT best friends. It was trying and chaotic and a blessing all at once.

But I was just reflecting about what we learned from the experience. For our kids, they learned how to share their things, their space, their time. I hope that we set for them a good example of hospitality and what it means to help others.

For me, I learned A LOT about being a gracious host. I didn't realize it until in the situation how selfish I can be. Perhaps it would be true for everyone. When you have your own home, you want to use the washer anytime you want. Or know that noone will eat the last piece of bread. Or let the house be as clean or dirty as you want it. When you are sharing a home, you have to share the contents of the home as well. With a household of nine {five of them kids, two stay-home moms}, you really can't count on a quiet moment. I was surprised with myself for feeling so greedy. I really thought I was pretty unselfish. Maybe we all have a limit and mine was met!

While I much prefer having our house back to our family and having my best friend just down the street, I will never forget 2009 for being a year of personal growth, family sacrifice, fun memories and the year my best friend moved into the neighborhood.

Here's to 2010 being another year of adventure ...


  1. i feel famous! thanks for sharing your heart em. i too, look back at this year as a year with challenges, adventures, laughter and fun. All that aside, I am so happy God brought us to WA and ... that we chose to live right down the street!