Monday, October 19, 2009

A BFF's Birthday Tribute

This is my best friend Randi from Sierra Vista, AZ. Her husband is Brent and her darling little girl is Brennalyn. Aren't they the cutest little family you've ever seen?

Well, Randi's birthday was on October 13. As you notice it's now the 19th. I promise I started this post on the 12th. But I've had a really hard time finishing it. I don't know why. It may be that I miss her so much that I haven't been emotionally prepared to be shown point blank how much I miss her. Or maybe it's that I don't think I can even do justice to her by capturing everything about her that I love. There's just not enough words for her. So, I'm not even going to try. I'm going to just do the best I can by reminiscing about a few memories I have about her. Happy Birthday Randi! I love you!

So, here goes...

Would it surprise you to know that we only met a little over a year ago in August of 2008. We were put into the same Visiting Teaching Group so we saw each other every month, but didn't really become friends right away. She didn't come right away at the beginning cuz she and Brent had just moved into town and she was newly pregnant. So... very sick and not very happy. I had just had Spencer so was sort of involved with him too. It wasn't until about November that we really started hanging out, talking about babies and playing games with one of the other couples from our Group. One of those times they stayed until 2:00 a.m. I thought, "Okay, these are people of my own heart. They want to play 'Hand and Foot' til 2:00 a.m., pregnant and all." haha.

This is our Visiting Teaching Group at Hana Tokyo last year saying goodbye to Shawna (the one on the right)

Randi and I slowly started realizing what kindred spirits we were. It was so fun to have someone that I didn't even have to worry about impressing. She loved me for who I was and I the same with her. It was like having a sister since I was living so far from home. She would just come hang at my house. It didn't matter if it was a wreck or if I didn't have my "stuff" together. And I didn't feel embarrassed having her see it either. I loved that when she was over I could just go on with life and not feel like I had to entertain her. She was just a part of the house.

I loved that she would also come over to learn how to sew, make quilts and blankets, as well as help finish all of my unfinished sewing projects (of which she is mastering sewing faster than I could even imagine. She's already moved onto baby dresses. She's just so talented!).

In March, Randi gave birth to a beautiful tiny baby girl named Brennalyn. She and Spencer, much to our delight, have become best of friends and kindred spirits too. They both are so similar in so many ways...loving material to chew on, taking a long time to roll over and do things, although they analyze and observe much more than many other babies. So they both are doing things in a different way, not according to the books. They're already changing the status quo!

Here's Randi opening presents at the baby shower we threw for her.

This is Brennalyn Paige. Isn't she darling!?

Brent and Randi have been the funnest friends ever. I know this might sound weird, but one of our favorite things to do is play Hand and Foot. Wanna know why it's so fun? Not only is the banter and wit GREAT, but check out the poker table we play on? Brent found this baby for $10 and pulls it out every chance he gets! And I THOROUGHLY love it.

We have stayed up so late playing cards before and sometimes get caught in fits of laughter that we are crying.
And check out the random Hand and Foot treats. Randi and I started Weight Watchers together (well actually she started and then I rode her coattails with her encouragement). She has been so good about it and has lost so much weight. I have totally fallen off the wagon now that she's not around to inspire, encourage, and downright kick my butt for me to do it!

Randi has the funniest sense of humor. I LOVE hearing her stories about all her kindergartners and first graders (last year's class) and all the crazy things they say and do. She is such a spunky girl and sometimes doesn't care what others think of her, especially when she delayed school pictures and had other classes lined up in the hallways, all because she kept making the photographer re-take pictures of the ones she didn't like. Everyone was so mad at her, but she was like, "Look, I know these kids can look better than that! And these pictures are expensive, especially for these families. So, they can all wait a few minutes so these kids can get the best pictures of themselves!" Haha. And she taught me the term "Nunya" which means "Nunya Bizness"...which she ALSO got from one of her 5th graders.

The rest of the things I want to say about Randi all falls into one category...Randi has such a huge heart. Randi is constantly doing things for other people, but most especially my family. She was such a great help when we were moving, even though she was totally not thrilled about it. She gave us all these things for us to live in our house when all our stuff was packed up. She made sure we had air mattresses, blankets, food, a whole box of dishware, etc., etc. She even made us dinners every night.

But mostly, her heart is like the BIGGEST size heart I've ever seen. It's like she has so much room for all these people in there to love. Where I would been so annoyed with certain types of kids if I was a teacher in her class, she loves those children like her own. She is constantly giving of herself in so many ways that I can't even express.

And of course, I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of much of it. Randi's heart loved my family like her own and I get very touched and teary-eyed thinking of it.

For the girls, she treated them like they were her own girls. When they were gone to their dad's house and were really feeling homesick, she had me go to the store with her to pick out a bunch of stuff and put care packages together to send them. Duh! I've sent care packages to so many missionaries, college students and loved ones. With all the times the girls have been at their dad's, how come I didn't think of that?

One time, recently before we left, Xanthe had picked out a kids' size Maxi dress of which Xoe was very jealous but they didn't have any more. So Randi shows up at our house one night bearing a Maxi dress from a totally different store for Xoe. That almost brought tears to my eyes.

She and Brent were the girls' Sunday School church teachers and they are one of the only teachers that the girls actually ran to class for. And of course, in true Xoe and Xanthe style, they invited themselves over a couple of times to spend Sunday with them. They use the excuse that "My mom and Brian need to relax without us in their hair." Haha. What devious little girls, trying to use "caring" as an excuse. They knew we couldn't get mad at them if they used that tactic. And one of the times Randi totally taught the girls how to cook real German food and then invited me (since Brian was already in Germany) over for dinner. You can read about their German food here.

And with Spencer. How do I explain how much she doted on Spencer? She bought clothes for him, played with him and truly treated her like her own. She would call him handsome, and would teach him new tricks. She would take pictures of him when he was over at her house just to email me and show me how cute he was being (below is one of the pictures she took). She loves seeing all the new things he does, and is truly proud of him when he excels. I sometimes felt like, "Wow, I don't even do those kinds of things for my own child. I think she might love my child more than me." haha.

Here are Randi and Spencer attending Xoe & Xanthe's Activities Day dinner. Ya, of course, she came! Amazing.

Like I said, I'm having a really hard time putting this all into words. You just really have to know Randi. She truly is one to be friends with. I know I will truly miss her and hope that we can really stay friends even though I'm living so far away.

Happy Birthday Randi! I miss you and hope you had a great time going home to visit your family for your birthday! Love you!


Randi said...

I LOVE that I got a birthday tribute. I have so much to say about all of the fun things we did together but my comment would be as long as your post. Thank you so much for doing this for me. I am so thankful to have you in my life...even though you are far away. You are the best ever.

catesclub said...

I feel kindof weird commenting on a total strangers blog... I was searching for some history on Schwetzingen Castle and your blog was the first site that came up on google. I enjoyed your post and realized you live in Mannheim too. Then... after reading a bit more I got the impression you were also LDS??? Am I right? Anyway, it's weird because we just moved here almost 8 months ago. We live outside Mannheim and are also LDS. We go to the German ward though because we are not military. Anyway, just thought I'd say hi. I have a blog too if you ever want to check it out so you know I'm not some crazy person stalking you. ha ha!

Randi said...

You should write to her. Her blog looks cool and she seems nice! What a fun thing to have happen.