above photo by Lorie Chambless
As I write this, Gretchen and Mike are halfway across the country, probably just now arriving at their new place in Nashville. Where do I start with little miss Gretchen? I first met her at a baby shower last July. We sort of just found each other amongst the throngs of girls there. Elijah and Ollie were newborns and we were in baby heaven. She loved being a new mom and her radiance was contagious. I fell in love with her instantly. She was so warm and friendly. Where had this girl been all my life?
Before long she was sitting in my living room and we were happily stitching a quilt for little Lijah. I could not believe how much we had in common. As she was walking out to her car that day, she turned around and said "Mike and I are moving to Nashville next summer". (Her sister Lydia already lived there, and Mike would finish up his schooling there).
However, I was accustomed to friends moving far away and instead of wallowing in this unfortunate news, I decided to make the best of our next 10 months together. And what a blessing those last 10 months have been. Gretchen is the type of person who always makes you feel good when you are around her. I'm convinced she is part angel.
Gretchen is the one who introduced me to the wonderful world of natural living, complete with cloth diapers, home births and essential oils. Oh the essential oils. Put a few drops of oil in the palm of your hand and mix it with some lotion...rub lavender oil on baby's tummy when fussy/gassy or on mom's forehead when she has a headache. Rub some eucalyptus on Ollie's excema and Poof! It's gone... or on Finn and Calvin's chests when they had a cough. And I am now the proud owner of Tea Tree oil as well. Thanks to Gretchen, my medicine cabinet is now a little crunchier:)
But most of all, I'm just gonna miss hanging out over coffee or that huge bowl of popcorn on my family room floor. Or lounging in the back yard as our boys teach each other new tricks, or sitting in the overflow bleachers at church when it's too crowded.
Gretchen, Mike and Lijah bean, you will be dearly missed. We love you!