A few months ago, my Maria moved to California.
And a few days ago, she came back to Portland just long enough for 3/4 of us (the full quarter here being Maria, Ashley, Laura and myself) to get ourselves and various babies together for a three hour lunch.
One of the first things Maria and I ever bonded over was realizing we both came from the 707 area code (what up, Bay Area) and in that, I decided our first encounter must have not have meant she wanted to kill me.
It was 2009 and I had just moved back to Portland after a failed attempt to move back to California myself and lasting only two months. My first stop after getting myself settled in was to surprise Laura at the restaurant I used to work at and attack her with love. During that visit, while Laura's shift was ending and the next round of servers was arriving, Maria showed up.
"Maria, this is Lauren. She might be coming back to work here again!"
"Awesome. Nice to meet you… Take any of my hours and I'll cut you."
Almost five years later, that scary girl I met by the hostess stand is one of my best friends and sisters and whenever she comes back to town my world lights up!
And this time she didn't come alone… This time she came with my soon-to-be niece or nephew in tow (in tummy?) and even though we're still six months out, Auntie Lauren and Auntie Ashley are positively in love with our little Tiny and having the chance to love on Maria and snuggle the preexisting nieces Eleanora and Olivia made for a fantastic afternoon.
Moment to point out how big and beautiful Olivia Grace is getting.
Oh, my heart.
Also worth mentioning at this point what a ham this kid is. And the fact that she knows how to use my iPhone better than I do.
I've only had it three years, don't worry about it.
(for anyone not doing that math, I've had this phone longer than she's been alive and her skills exceed mine at a mind-blowing level)
So you know, we took about 18,943 pictures of babies and only managed one of ourselves but I doubt any of us mind that too much.
Oh good crap, I love you guys an awful damn lot, you know that?
Can we go get Laura back from Montana now?