Mid-March I had the WONDERFUL privilege of taking Millie on her first flight to visit my dear friend Chelsea from high school. In high school, Chelsea and I were giggly go-getters, focused on the next accomplishment, grade, and student-organization-task-at-hand. We were also girly, sappy, dramatic; we loved food, crushes, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, "The Bagel Basket", carmelitas, driving our parents' mini-vans, & day dreaming about the future.
After high school graduation, Chelsea's military family moved to San Antonio. She attended UT Austin where she met her love, Branden. They married, moved to Boulder to simultaneously pursue their PhDs in chemical engineering & the crazy world of parenting. First came Siena (now 4), and then Maya (16 months). Last spring they moved to Wake Forest, NC where Branden is working as a Chemical Engineer & Chelsea is teaching ChemE classes at Duke. She's obviously still a go-getter. And I'll attest that she's still giggly, too.
Although we're still the same overly ambitious, type-A personality women, we married men who've softened our edges, shown us grace, given us beautiful children, and partnered perfectly with us in our parenting journeys. We've grown 'up' similarly, despite not living in the same city since 1999 and not even seeing each other since 2009 (aside from 16 hours this past November). Turns out we're both tree huggers when it comes to bearing & raising children.. though she didn't buckle for the epidural the 2nd time around. We're devoted breast feeders, baby food makers, intentional meal preparers, limited toddler-TV watching, trying our hand at sewing projects kind of moms.
I'm beyond proud of the woman, wife, mother, & teacher that Chelsea has become, and I was delighted to have 3 whole days to talk about the stuff you never get to on the phone because your toddlers are demanding attention.
Chels & Maya next to the hall where she teaches at Duke. You'd never guess she's 20 weeks pregnant with #3! She looks great!
A different view against a brilliant blue sky. You can see that the trees were still bare... but spring was just
around the corner on Duke's campus.
Stained glass & altar in the chapel
Looks almost European, doesn't it?
Saturday we went to a great park in downtown Raleigh. It had a train, carousel, paddle boats, motorized boats,
and a great play/swing set area.
Millie LOVED the carousel!
...and her FIRST time swinging!
The Salinas clan on the paddle boats.
Maya cheesing it up!
Don't you just love the color of her hair?
Siena adored Millie, she loved on her bunches! I think the baby didn't mind at all! Chels said it was nice to see how
both girls reacted to having a baby around. #3 will be here in July, so the timing was great!
Saturday night, Branden & Chels treated me to their HOME MADE Fajitas. Everything was home made. B marinated and grilled the onions, peppers, chicken, steak. Chels made the rice from scratch, shredded cheese, made guacamole...
...and hand rolled the tortillas. I was in heaven.
Thanks for your hospitality, Salinas clan. You're amazing... and Chelsea, I am SO proud of who you are.
Thanks for being my friend. xxoo.