I am feeling so grateful for friends. Sometimes I think about neighbors who have their immediate families nearby and feel a little sad that my family doesn't live closer. But I often feel a surge of gratitude that while most of my family and most of Alfredo's family do not live near us, we have been blessed to make some friends that feel almost like family. I am so grateful for the friends we have and the ways they support us.
We spent yesterday evening at Leo and Annette's house. They invited us for a barbecue. Leo's brother Christian and his family were there. So were Stacie and Jeremy and their family. We had an amazing dinner... hot dogs, sausages, grilled chicken, grilled beef, salad, bread, watermelon and dessert. Then we made Smore's around a little fire. The kids played happily for four hours together as we ate and talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company. Then we even did fireworks to celebrate the 24th of July. At one point, I got a little choked up, looking around at these people who have become so important in our lives. I love them. I love their children. I look forward to seeing them and miss them if we don't see each other often. I feel so grateful that the Lord has blessed me with such wonderful people in my life...and in the lives of my children.
Gabby sat on a rocker with Jeremy as we were making Smores and talked to him for about 20 minutes straight. He listened intently and she told him all kinds of stories. I wish I'd brought my camera to capture that. Gabby, Michelle and Ella all took turns holding Drake.
I am thankful to know that if I needed something, I have several friends I could call that would be willing to help me. I'm thankful that the Lord has blessed me with friends at work, friends from Alfredo's company, and friends in my ward and neighborhood. What a blessing!
I'm also thankful for the 24th of July and the chance we have to remember our pioneer ancestors. For FHE this past week, we watched 17 Miracles. It is a beautiful film about the Martin and Willie Handcart Company. I am thankful for the faith and courage and fortitude of those early pioneers and hope that as I am faced with trials and challenges, I can also show strength and remain true and steadfast.