Summer Surprise

Sunday, July 27, 2014

We’ve been plotting for months.  And Ive been teasing her for nearly as long.

Before school starts, I have a big surprise for you“.

We made a paper chain and she took off a link every day counting down to the day her big surprise would be unveiled.  She had her own assumptions of what it might be.  Love her imaginatively!

(Check out this cute Movie)

The big mystery was that one of my dearest friends and fellow heart-momma Faith, was bringing her daughter Maggie (Evies best buddy) to Thailand for a visit!  Bravely venturing overseas (she doesn’t love flying as much as I do) and leaving her other precious 3 kids in the care of her mom and husband for nearly two weeks was such a blessing to my heart.  Feel so loved that people would give up family vacation time and such resources to come!

The big day dawned early.  I woke Evie at dark-thirty in the morning and hailed a cab to the airport telling her someone was bringing her present to hand off to us.  (not entirely a lie).

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early morning anticipation!!!

Good thing I know my child and anticipated what her reaction would be (and warned Faith to prepare Maggie) or her best friend might have misinterpreted her response.   Evie had that “deer in the headlights” response and was completely disarmed to see Maggie run up and throw her arms around her.  It was such an “out of context” experience and it took Evie a few moments to regain her composure.  Evie told me later that she didn’t know it was Maggie for sure until a couple minutes later.  Poor kid, dragged out of bed at 4:30 and expected to have her wits about her 🙂

Five minutes later, the two were arm-in-arm and spent the next 10 days pretty inseparable.

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Its rare, but a few times in life, God blesses you with a friendship that defies the boundaries of space and time and distance.  I love that Evie and Maggie have found that kindred spirit in each other at such a young age.  Their special hearts uniquely bond them, but its so much more that makes their precious girlhood friendship a once-in-a-lifetime gift!   These girls….whether in the backwoods of the Carolinas….or the suburbs of Missouri…..or city-slicking it in Bangkok….they are happiest when they are together!

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Maggie was a total trooper taking the humidity and heat in stride and embracing our way of life.  Lots of polluted city air bouncing around in open tuk-tuks and lots and lots of walking!  By about day 5 when asked what she wanted to do she said “anything that doesn’t mean we have to do stairs or smells or traffic or waiting

Welcome to Bangkok darlin’!

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And Faith got her own education of transportation in Thai culture!

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Thats how we roll!

Our days were full…..and fun……and cultural…..and exhausting…….and crammed with memories.  Faith and I agreed that some memories might be better than the experience themselves.  For example, cramming 9 people into a taxi for an excursion.  We clocked some hours sitting in traffic but managed outings to the zoo, to the legendary Chatachak market, and even a boat trip with 6 girls to the temples…..without loosing anyone!

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The Grand Palace

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When in Asia, do as the Asians

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Princesses at the Palace

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Wat Pho

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Tired legs hitching a ride

The girls had little bags.  Every night the “camp fairy” would come and deposit something in their bags.  A matching outfit….a bauble or nail polish….or a paper invitation to something like…………..

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…..high tea at a fancy hotel…..

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…..or an excursion to Mr Jones Orphanage (our favorite bakery/milkshake joint)

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Love this girl like one of my own!

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….or a girly afternoon at a spa getting manicures…..

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They played hard…..

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And slept even harder……

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Sleeping beauties!

Maggie even got to take a “trial class” with Evie at her dance school.  Can I just tell you, there was something about seeing our “blue babies” dancing together all decked out in pink that got to their melancholy mommas!!

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It wouldn’t be a proper visit unless crazy momma got out her camera for a little photoshoot of the cute matching outfits Faith made for the girls.  This is a little sneak peek….you can see more from our rooftop session on my photography page.

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C was a great sport to give Faith and I some mommy-time too.  We stole away a night or two for foot massages and a fun ladies night on a rooftop overlooking the sparkling city!   How blessed I am to have this woman in my life.   Its been unlikely circumstances that have knit our hearts together…..the special hearts of our daughters.  Its the “club” we would never have chosen, but the blessing of friendship God has woven into this tapestry of pain is redeeming and beautiful!

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One of their last nights, we treated the girls to a late night outing and dinner at sunset overlooking the river.  The girls bravely tried some Thai food (and then needed ice cream an hour later to top off the empty space).  We shopped the Asiatique craft market and took the girls for a ride on the giant ferris wheel spinning high above the towering skyscrapers and city nightscape.

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And Maggie was even here to help us welcome home big brother Tristan after his 5 weeks away.  Just another one of the sisters!!

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It was a tearful goodbye when we bid our friends farewell.  Faith and I feel the gravity of the distance between us and I think there is always an unspoken notion when we see these two together that there will be more hard bridges to cross in their futures and we don’t know what might transpire before they are again carefree and playing together.  I pray their friendship will be for a lifetime and that God will continue to use their stories, their zeal for life and their overcoming by His grace alone to continue to let their little lights shine!

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