We are a FAMILY.
We jokingly say we "activate Posse powers" when needed, but in reality, that is really what we do. When one needs something, someone steps up. This is who we are. It's what we do.
Let me give you specific examples:
- When Maggie was first born, I only had childcare three days a week. I can't tell you how often she spent a Tuesday or Thursday with Deb's husband Brandon babysitting in the morning while she worked and then Deb in the afternoon when he left for work.
- At the lakehouse, we watch all our children together. We love those kids so much and all of us take care of them.
- When the twins were born, Andrew and I both babysat Deb's older kids so she could go to the NICU. Before Deb could drive, I would drive her to the hospital while Andrew babysat with Maggie at the house.
- When Jen's baby girl was close to being born and the adoption process happening, all of us lunched with birth mom J and took her out to dinner. Turned out to be the night before Coco was born! All of us dropped everything to be there for a special party/reception for J and her family after the adoption was finalized. I will never forget standing beside Amy with tears streaming down both our faces as we listened to Jen thank J for the gift of this baby.
- We try to attend all birthdays for the kids.
- This summer, Andrew and I went through a tough time. There was a day when I didn't go to work, barely got out of bed, and felt like my world was crumbling. Deanna showed up on my doorstep with candy, movies, lunch, and hugs. That night, Deb had everyone over at her house for more of the same.
- If Jen's computer has an issue, she calls Andrew immediately. Faster than he will come to my office to fix a computer issue, he'll head over to Jen's to take care of the problem.
- This summer, three of the husbands loaded up their tool boxes and headed over to Deanna's to paint walls, repair broken things, and even put up a new mailbox, stepping in as surrogate husbands.
- Brandon works nights which often means Deb can't get away. So, when we're in desperate need of girl time, Andrew babysits for us. Two weeks ago, he babysat all five children so we could go out on a Wednesday night.
- When the decision was made that Tracey and Rich were moving here, they told us there would be a time when they would be a split family. Rich would have to begin working here while Tracey and the kids would stay back in Austin. No one hesitated. We eagerly opened our homes to seriously the easiest houseguest even (I even cooked him a horrible dinner which he still doesn't let me down).
- We schedule girls nights for all birthdays. When I turned 30 almost two years ago, the gno was planned for a Sunday night. I know Tracey couldn't come with living in Austin, so didn't expect her at all. But, as I finished hugging Amy, I looked over at the bar to see Tracey waiting for me to recognize her. She wasn't going to miss that milestone in my life, even taking the next day off from work to be there.
- At the Heroes for Children 5K, I can look out in the crowd each year when I'm on stage and see my girls smiling back at me. Off to the side are the husbands and the kids, letting the women have our time together. I feel stronger when I look out and see Debbie, Deanna, Amy, Tracey, and Jen. They make me better.
- Poor Jen was sick with a stomach bug this weekend. Rich (there is a reason he has the nickname Saint Richard), came to pick up her kids and bring them back to his house. He and Tracey were sick themselves, but they did it.
- We respond to each other with words of encouragement via Twitter every day.
- Someone texts someone else every day (seriously, unlimited text messages--a MUST with this group)
- Deanna hurt her back yesterday. She called me in excrutiating pain asking if I could bring dinner to her and the kids because she couldn't get out of bed. Maggie had dance and insists that *I* am the one who takes her each week. So, naturally, I did what made sense--sent Andrew instead. He took one look at her and sent her to her room while he fed the kids and got them to bed.
You see? FAMILY. We may not always see eye to eye or handle things in the same way. We have different backgrounds and have been known to get into it a few times, but we are a family. We step up to the plate when necessary. We take care of each other. We're there.
And my life is better because of them. All of them and our beautiful kids.