Sunday was a day to celebrate our two years living here.
This place is really beautiful, but it wouldn't have been a life-changing season without the relationships we've made.
We owe them all to our girl's school. There is great value in sending your kids to a neighborhood school and hanging around the playground after dismissal. You'll probably forge some pretty amazing friendships.
Thankfully, it didn't rain on Sunday. I needed the kids to eat outside in our concrete jungle also known as a backyard. I don't know where we would have put everyone otherwise! Even though it was cool and cloudy, they were great sports! We just shoved hot-dogs and chips at them while the adults filled up on all the other "real" food. It worked like a charm.
I will never tell the secret ingredient in my pulled pork.
It seemed to reignite Leanna and Darren's relationship.
Look, they're kissing!
Soon the plates were full and there was a loud roar of conversation happening around the kitchen table.
My favorite sound.
Mike and I thought it would be a good idea to have everyone head over to the park after lunch so that we could take family pictures of everyone. Selfishly, we wanted good pictures of every one's families before we leave, but we also wanted to do it as a "thank you" gift for everyone. Here is just a sampling....
These are our neighbors from across the street, Darren, Leanna and their daughter Zoe.
Leanna is a loud and proud Italian who actually says "Ciao" when she says goodbye, and "Who you tellin'?" on a regular basis. Zoe was in Sasha's kindergarten class. She has spent lots of great hours playing at our house. She's the easiest kid in the world to love and to have around.
This is Lisa and her daughter's Sophia and Ava. Sophia is bubbly and social. I fell in love with Ava from the minute I saw her head full of thick, blond angel hair when she was only a few days old. And Lisa is one of my heroes.
This is Marc, Michelle, Vivianne and Elise. Vivi and Sasha have been together in school for two years, and Elise and Ellie are together this year. They were the first family to invite us over to their house for one of their epic Halloween parties. They love people with passion.
This is Dave, Christina, Ethan and Zara. Christina is an artistic and creative soul. Zara and Sasha were together last year in kindergarten. She is a tiny little ray of sunshine. She draws the most amazing pictures of people. We have several of her and Sasha that she's done that are treasures.
This is Heather, Don, Alejandro and Susie. I fell in love with Susie and Alejandro the first minute I laid eyes on them. Heather is vivacious, determined and capable. Don is ridiculously funny, gentle, and one of the most amazing vocalists I've heard. Hannah has had the extra pleasure of spending lots of time with their kids as their babysitter. I'm pretty sure she'd do it even if she didn't get paid.
This is Soo Sen, Ray, Ethan and Evie. Soo Sen is warm, hardworking and devoted. Ethan has been in Sasha's class for two years. I even got the thrill of being his piano teacher this year! Evie is a tiny little fairy who flits about and steals your heart. Hannah loves hugs from Evie, and she's been able to get quite a few when she's babysat for them too!
After the pictures were taken, the sun came out and the real fun began.
No one wanted to go home!
That's my kind of day.
Memories (and kisses) for a lifetime.