Buddies,  Life Lessons,  party party,  spilling my guts

Adios Amigos!


Is three days enough time to plan a proper farewell party for your very best friends? I mean a really good party that they’ll remember forever because they are moving so far away that it feels like they are moving to the other side of the earth and you want them to know just how much you are going to miss them? It’s kind of a tall order, right? That’s not nearly enough time to hire a Mariachi band or a sky-writing airplane, or even enough time to write a sonnet!

Then why did we wait until the last minute to plan such a thing? I have no idea. I guess we were in denial. How could they just up and leave us like that? It’s abandonment I tell you! No no no no la la la la sob sob sob…also I’m sort of on party probation since I just hosted the spectacular Seed Rainbow party and I happen to live with someone who isn’t as excited about party-planning as I am (and I’m not referring to Bug).

my couch is very friendly

However they are our best friends and you know what? Best friends just want to hang out with you. They don’t care if your carpet is stained or if your bathroom isn’t sparkling clean. They don’t care if the meal is potluck and they bring the entire dessert course themselves. Coffee is fine, margaritas are nice too, but even tap water will do. Really all that matters is that we get together, all of us, one more time and do what we do best: talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.



helping myself to some guiso

margarita cupcakes!

Sonja wants to take a nap

Mr. Actually Owly Kid

playing in Bug's room

photo books

margarita swilling dishwasher Sprite

The thing that kills me is that before Bethany came to live in California I didn’t really have a group of friends like this. I had lots of friends but I didn’t have a group that all hung out together interchangeably. I remember talking late into the night with Bethany over instant message, telling her how I wished I had time to work on my computer or just plain sit with a cup of coffee uninterrupted but I couldn’t because I had a kid who needed my CONSTANT attention.

cupcake capers

I remember Bethany telling me that I needed a play-group. I thought she was nuts. It sounded nice and all but I couldn’t put upon my friends like that. They all had their own crazy lives. There’s no way I could just drop in on them and say, “Ack! Can I come over so our kids can play and I can get something else done?”

happy kid

But then Bethany moved here and in some strange quiet way she built a group of friends for me. It wasn’t so much that she organized a group. Nothing like that was ever said. I’m sure that wasn’t even her plan. It was just her way of sending out emails and not letting dreamed-up plans drop through the cracks. If someone wanted to do something, she was the communicator and it happened. No drama and no excuses for not having fun.

garlands R us

Rapunzel and Bethany

Before I knew it my calendar was covered in penciled dates and times. Not a week went by where I wasn’t going somewhere to meet up with somebody. Our kids got to be friends and now sitting around with a cup of coffee laughing my head off while my kid is off somewhere else in the house laughing her own head off is totally normal. There was a time when I wouldn’t have thought that even was possible. But now it is. Now I have a play-group.

And now she’s leaving! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Just kidding. I am terribly sad. But in a way I think God sent Bethany out here so I could learn how to be a better friend. And now that I’ve figured it out, I don’t need her anymore. I mean I do, but not in the way I did. I’ll miss her fiercely but there must be somebody else on the East Coast who needs her more. So with a tear in my eye, I will let her go because I remember what it was like before she moved here.

all the bloggers in the house

group shot goof shot


Adios amiga. I’m gonna miss you. I’ll do my best to keep this group together even though sometimes it seems like you are the glue.


  • Madge

    Well, this post is making it a lot harder to stay in denial. I need a tissue. I’m so happy that we have had Bethany in our lives to bring us all together. When I was looking at the picture collages that you made, it dawned on me how much fun we’ve been having.

    I know that this isn’t goodbye forever but it’s a goodbye for a while and that kind of stinks. I’ll miss our little glue stick, can’t wait for us to bond again soon. :)

  • bethany actually

    Aw, you made me cry, in a good way. :-) You’re right, I had no idea I was making a play-group for you but I’m glad if I did! I’ll miss all you guys too but you know I’m not afraid to travel, or to force you to travel—ha! We’ll see each other again, many times. And THANKS BE TO GOD for the internet.

  • sunny

    what a beautiful post! it was fun watching your friendship with the Actually’s develop (as strange and as voyeuristic as that sounds!) I’m excited to hear about your trips to visit one another across the coasts. Its not good bye, just.. see ya later :)

  • Melissa

    Brenda – this was a very sweet post and it looks like it was a beautiful party. It was always so fun to read about your adventures together. Even though they won’t be as frequent as before, I look forward to reading your posts about your and Bug’s trips across the country to D.C. :) Isn’t it amazing how God works through others to teach us more about ourselves?

  • mamalang

    Seriously, you have to come out here so I can meet you, too! Then we could have an East Coast meet up with me, Beach Mama and Bethany. Cause I will meet Beach mama and Bethany this year. We will not miss each other by minutes again!

  • Kuky

    What a lovely post about Bethany. I was telling her that I was going to miss her even though we’ve never met. I need a Bethany here!

  • BeachMama

    Oh Brenda, I am tearing up for you. I know you will be fine and I know that you will miss Bethany so much that you will manage to get on a plane and fly to the east coast. And that will be just wonderful. And I know that Bethany will fly out there to visit you too. But, I still cry for you because I know what a difference that you guys made in each others lives. I got to experience your friendship and the way you two are like Sisters and Best Friends and everything that everyone wishes for in a best friend or sister. As I go for a skate along the Canal this week I will think of you saying Good-Bye to Bethany and the Actually’s and know that we will see you on the East Coast, I am sure of it.

    Great party!!

  • gingermog

    Hi you, This is another resonate post for me regarding being a “better friend”, something that I wish I was, but due to my crazy work schedule (which I am trying to scale down) I don’t feel I am. So many wonderful people I’d like to see more of. After reading several of your posts about the amazing get togethers you guys, have I’ve often thought how wonderful it must be to have a group of women friends to hang out with and your kids grow up together. I agree it is strange when people appear in your life and retrospectively you realise they have taught you soemthing important. Its hard when friends move way but I think you will keep the good times going and there will be magical visits back and forth. Hugs.

  • OMSH

    I’m all weepy. Bethany DOES pull things together – she is the ultimate organizer. She also has some sort of telepathic powers. Things show up in my mailbox RIGHT when I need them – glorious things like orange umbrellas, a crocheted OMSH, polka dot Kleenex, and cards/post cards with photos that make me smile and clutter up our dry erase board calender in the best of ways.

    She is a delightful moving force of ideas, friendship and generosity.
    I know you’ll miss her.
    I know she’ll miss you.

  • jastereo

    Great stuff SAJ. Looks like another awesome party…as if you all could have any other kind – especially for such a big event like this!

  • Sam

    This made me cry! I have been concerned for you with Bethany moving away – your friendship is so beautiful and I know you spend a lot of time together. I know you’re going to miss her like crazy, but how amazing that she’s brought together a group of people to support each other even if she’s not there! I knew she was kinda magical like that. And your unselfish spirit is awesome – hopefully there are others out there who need her magic fairy wand! The gospel of Chuck must be spread, after all…

  • Ninabi

    Oh, this post just tore at me. Having a party was a super wonderful thing to do- I know Bethany and you are awfully close. I know, communication is better in this day and age but it’s not quite the same as getting together in person. I know you’ll miss her and her family lots.

    I can understand what you are going through- my husband was in the military for decades and moving away from friends was the absolutely worst part about him being in the service. The moving truck would pull up and a day or so later all my closest pals would be converted into Christmas newsletters.

    What a great party. And a good group- you all will still be getting together. I hope Bethany and her family have a safe trip and all their stuff gets there okay.

  • Nila

    How lucky you are to have a friend like that. Even if she will be living far away. It’s better to have friended and lost than to never have friended at all. That sounded much better in my head. But you know what I mean.

  • Lynn

    I know just how you feel … I felt it 2 *million* years ago when she moved away from us. But she HAS come back to us to visit! And I’m guessing that there are several of us down here in southern maryland that will be spending more time D.C. way, knowing Miss Bethany! I’m very sad for you guys … but glad to be getting her back! hang in there! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed these very special people!

  • Jennifer

    Great post! Bethany – I’m glad you said that about Rebakah, as the same thought occurred to me as I was reading it! I call her our social director. Who else plans a two night sleepover party so everyone can make it?

  • Erin

    Aw. That made me tear up too. You really have a way with words, Brenda! And pictures. And parties. And just about everything you do! T & B & A really are treasures – but so are you!

  • Ana

    Sorry about that Brenda, I know exactly how you feel… it’s such a pity she’s leaving but I am glad you’ll still have your “play-group”.


  • kvv

    I’m super sorry your friendship is turning long distance. I grew up as an expat kid in Ecuador, I know how hard it is to continually have friends come and then move away. I truly hope you can find other to help fill those Bethany-shaped holes. Bethany sounds like an amazing, wonderful, caring person.

  • anna b bonkers

    OK, I have to go back and read it now, but I just cruised the photos first. Gaaaaaa! I cannot believe the time has come already! I am so glad she moved close to you too, what you two have come up with and shared with us is awesome! I know you will be close for ever and ever and ever and……! (sigh) I just love you both! I love the excuse to party no matter what! Want to come up and throw be a baby/kids birthday parties this summer at the beach? ;-)
    Anyway, Now I don’t know what I was really going to say, oh well. I am sad for both of you but so glad you have technology and that BA flies all over the place!