For all of April, and most of May, I was in full blown "moving mode," which meant that I spent every spare second I had packing or cleaning. This left very little time for any fun, and add to that the terrible rainy weather we were having, it made it even harder to get out of the house. Because of this, once we were moved out and the house was sold, we were finally free to have fun with friends, and have fun we did.
We got together with friends to eat and to play games, we met at the park for fun a few different times, we had breakfast/lunch in small groups and big groups, we had going away parties, final book club meetings, etc, etc, etc.
One of the first activities we did, was go to the zoo with a big group of friends. Our zoo pass was about to expire, and I am so glad we took advantage of it one last time, as the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of my very favorite zoos.
It was a gorgeous day, and most of the animals were out and active. The lion was especially awesome. He kept roaring really loud, and later on, we could hear him still roaring on the other side of the zoo.
Here is a little video I captured of it.
The only sad thing about the zoo that day, was that the giraffe enclosure was being repaired, and so we had to visit and feed the giraffes inside their building instead. Not nearly as cool, but oh well.
The zoo is always fun, but it is so much more fun with good friends. My good friends Judi, Raina, and Leigh came, and we had a great time.
Arthur was in heaven getting to see all of the animals, and Lily and Derek loved getting to hang out with friends and see the animals. We got to see three Lynx babies, as well as the new Bald Eagle exhibit - so cool! Arthur especially loved the Orangoutangs :). It was a great day!
Three of my good friends, Natalie, Vickie, and Elizabeth offered to throw me a going away party, which is awesome. As they were planning, they realized that there were four other good friends of ours that were moving right around the same time, and so we had a party for everyone. It was such blast - lots of talking, laughing, and eating delicious food. And miraculously, we got a picture of most of the people who came to the party. I sure am going to miss all of these fantastic ladies!!!!
I definitely wasn't the only one who had to say goodbye to friends. My poor kids had to say goodbye as well, and one of the hardest friends for Lily to say goodbye to, was her new friend Emily. They met each other when our ward boundaries changed, and they were instant friends - two peas in a pod. We made sure to let them get together a bunch before we moved. They even look like sisters :).
Another wonderful friend of Lily's, was her friend Derek. They have been fantastic friends since the second grade, and they are so much fun to listen to when they talk. He is on the same wavelength as Lily, and they just get each other. His mother, Wyndie, is one of my close friends, and I am going to miss her tons too!!
While we had our "moving away lunch," the kids played some Just Dance. It was so hilarious to watch, and so I had to video it. And the best part was Arthur trying to dance along and mess up the Kinect sensor :).
A few days before I left, some of my closest friends and I got together for one last lunch. Although a few people couldn't come, we had a wonderful group of ladies there (Natalie, Judi, Bonnie, Shantell, and Raina). Judy hosted it at her house, and it brought back so many memories of amazing times we have had at there house. I am so incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful friends, and I am going to miss them so much!!
One of the hardest parts of moving, is trying to find new amazing teachers for your kids. We are moving away from Morgan, the kids' fantastic swim teacher, which is so sad. But even worse than that, we are leaving their piano teacher, Ashli. Not only is she one of my closest friends, but she has been their teacher for four of the five years we have lived here, and she is amazing. I don't know how we will ever replace her. Too sad.
A few of my friends weren't able to make it to any of the get-togethers, and so I made sure to go see them to say goodbye. My friend Gina was one of those. I wish I had snapped a picture of me with her - I sure am going to miss her!! I did remember to get a few pictures of Arthur with Lydia, Gina's little girl. They are three weeks apart, and I am hoping he will marry her someday ;).
The day before we left, in between packing and dentist appointments, we snuck in one last trip to the park with my friend, Leigh, and her kids. Logan and Derek are good friends from Cubscouts and school, and Lily and Brendan have been in classes with each other over the years, and have gotten to be really good friends. It was another super sad goodbye.
Our last night in Colorado, we met up with my friend Morgan, and her daughter, Lily's friend, Jenna. Morgan is one of our wonderful neighbors, and has been in love with Arthur since he was an itty bitty newborn. We supported each other through deployments, love going out to lunch and chatting for hours, and have just been there for each other for the past two years. Arthur is especially going to miss his "Momo."
But the hardest goodbye of all, we saved for when we were driving out of town. To say that the Gowen family has been a part of our lives the past five years is putting it lightly. They were family. Lily and Derek have spent countless hours playing with Sam and Ian over the years, and truly love each other. And Arthur loves getting to play with his buddies, Max and James. I still remember when Max and James were born. I love those boys!
But most of all, I am desperately going to miss my best friend, Natalie. She was a gift from Heavenly Father, and without her love and support, I don't know how I would have survived two deployments, not getting pregnant, pregnancy, having a baby again after 7 years, and all the surgeries our family went through last year. Not only has she been my rock during the hard times, but we have had so many fun times over the years, I couldn't list them all if I tried. What will I do without her living five minutes away??
And so, yes, there have been lots of goodbyes over the past few weeks. It has been so bittersweet. Thank goodness I get to take the most important people with me as I go - Kevin, Lily, Derek and Arthur. Although we will miss our friends so much, we will have each other for the new adventures that await us.