Friday, September 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Friend Series: Happy Birthday My Tam!

In 2002, we took our son Conner to an AWANA program at a neighborhood church.  He was four years old and loved it, taking him to that program led us to many life long friendships. He started coming home and talking about a little girl named Olivia. He had made friends with her and just loved talking about her. Finally one week, I went to pick him up and asked who the little girls parents were and that led me to my dear Tam.

Tammy is Olivia's mom, we started talking about the kids sweet little friendship and making friendly conversation each week. The same time Marty was in the police academy, her husband Matt was in a similar academy. Both these jobs were life changing for our families, very much needed, so we started praying for each other weekly.

Conner, Olivia and Elizabeth circa 2005

At the same time in 2004, we were both facing really difficult extended family situations. Tam and I, both have wonderful husband's and children. We both were struggling with different extended family issues but could understand the trial each faced. We formed a bond and we helped each other through some really difficult times over the phone. Weekly we would have hour long phone conversations talking it out and praying each other through. I truly can say, without a doubt Tammy helped me change my life and survive some really difficult times and choices.

We both made it through and God blessed both our families with answered prayers numerous times over. Both our husband's got jobs working at different agencies right next door to each other. The carpooled together, we all went to church together and we even vacationed together once. Conner adored their son Zach and Olivia, Elizabeth did too.

Conner, E and Liv at Disneyland

Family vacation Disneyland 2005

When my friends from around the world would come to visit, we would take them to meet Matt and Tam. Last summer, they made a new friend from France in my friend Fanette. They had us over for their annual fourth of July and invited her along. How amazing to have my friends meet up and not only that, now they are friends too!

The day we found out Marty was sick was an AWANA night. Matt and Tammy anxiously awaited the news with us. They went through the really dark, hard things nobody else saw. They were at the hospital when Marty would pass out and be taken by ambulance. Matt watched Marty at work, Tam talked to me for hours on end listening ad nauseam to my struggles. The day we got the call, they were the first phone call we made and they rejoiced with us. They drove up to see us at Stanford and bring us that needed piece of home. In turn, we have been through many crisises with them and a few health scares, I loved being able to have Zach and Liv come stay with me and be like a crazy aunt to them.

Oscar loves Liv

Max loves Zach

They live on a beautiful little ranch, Tammy is amazing at taking things and turning them into treasure. She has one of the most elegantly decorated homes of anyone I know. God blessed her to live in her grandparents home and make it her own. One of our many answered prayers throughout the years. They host lovely parties and bbq's for friends and family. We love going out  to their little piece of heaven and enjoying the tranquility of their home.

Together, our families have really experienced it all. Matt and Tam have been our rocks, they have seen us through better, worse, sickness and health. Truly one of the hardest choices we made in moving was leaving this family behind.  We wanted to bring them with us! We had made our own little extended family but life has taken us on different journeys and now we are apart. I know it has been so hard for Tam and right now, she hasn't been wanting to talk to me. I understand Tam and I know in time, you will want to talk again. 

Our going away bbq at Matt and Tammy's

Tam, you are my first sister of the heart. You were the one who made me realize I could have a sister outside of blood. You have been there for me through thick and thin,  I am so grateful for your love and support, I miss our weekly chats and hope we can start them again soon. No matter how far I go, I will always need you and love you. I hope you have a wonderful day, I know Matt will give you a wonderful birthday and I will have him hug you for me too. I miss you so much it hurts and know you're hurting too. We will survive like we always do. Your birthday came on a perfect day, a reminder from God that we always overcome and everything always turns out okay. We have seen it all and be blessed many times over. Have a happy birthday, I love you, Jules