Thursday, March 20, 2008

Saying Goodbye...

The moment I had been dreading for a few months, inevitably came and went. And I must say, it wasn't easy.

Tuesday, around 5:30 p.m., I had to say goodbye to a family that I love more than I could ever express in words.

A few months back, Amanda and I were sitting at lunch with the Tods and she turned to me and said, "I have some sad news." Before the words even came out of her mouth, I knew what they were going to be. They are moving. I tried to hold it together as best as possible and was a little surprised at how taken off guard I was by this news. I had been expecting this announcement for about a year, not because of anything she had done or said, just because I knew that Irving was not where God was going to plant them for the rest of their lives. I had been trying to prepare myself for it, but when the words actually came out of her mouth my heart broke over the realization that this friend that I love so much will no longer be living 15 minutes away from me. All the memories we had shared over the last 3 1/2 years came rushing to my mind.

I'm going to ramble a lot because I honestly have no idea how to write about how much their friendship has meant to our family.

Amanda and I discovered in June 2005, that we were both pregnant and only TWO weeks apart! From that moment on, there has been a growing bond of friendship that I am truly in awe of. I still can't get over how we ended up in the hospital together having our babies only two days apart. Only the Lord knew that was going to happen. Along with Sunni, we took all of our pregnancy classes together. The three of us went through all of pregnancies ups and downs ("throwing up buddies" as Amanda and I called it) and many sleepless nights once our precious babies were born. We had many "playgroups" those first few months. Really, it was Mommy Therapy to help spur us on to get through the next night of sleeplessness along with dealing with post pregnancy raging hormones. We had countless conversations about bowel moments, sicknesses, breastfeeding, constipation, pacifiers, hooter hiders, bottles, sippy cups, the list goes on and on. We also got to celebrate so many amazing milestones that our babies were going through, like rolling over, sitting up, pulling up, first steps, first kisses, first words!

In the hospital:

Ella and Jackson have been best buds for two years. They have grown up for the past two years in the same nursery and graduated together to each class. They learned to expect to see each other every Sunday morning. The past several months on Sunday mornings, I would put Ella's dress on and tell her we were going to church and the first words out of her mouth would immediately be "Jackson!" I also learned to expect my seat next to Amanda almost every Sunday morning as we worshiped together. Many times after church, we would pick our babies up and all 6 head to lunch. I could probably fill 5 photo albums just with the amount of pictures of Ella and Jackson growing up.

To Curtis, thank you for being the best boss anyone could ask for! I would work for you again in a second. The office will not be the same without you. You are without a doubt one of the best speakers I have ever heard! I look forward to many times in the years to come, sitting in the audience as you preach God's Word in the powerful way that only you can.

To Jackson, like your mommy said in a previous post, I love you as if you were one of my own. Even though I will see you in a month, kissing you goodbye on Tuesday was heart wrenching. I know you will change so much in that short amount of time. Make sure your mommy shows you pictures of Ella often so you don't forget. She will be calling you soon to say hi.

To Amanda, I've already said how much you mean to me. But I will thank you again! You have blessed my life in so many ways. I am so blessed to have such good girlfriends and God once again way exceeded my expectations for a friend in you. I miss you already. I know it won't be the same, but thankfully the foundation has been laid and I know without a doubt that distance can not shake that.

Now as Sunni would say, SOMEBODY SLAP ME. The amount of oatmeal creme pies and Reese's chocolate covered peanut butter eggs I've eaten since they left is sinful.

Here are some pics from Ella and Jackson in the nursery for the last time:

This is Ms. Eula! I dare somebody to try to find a sweeter lady. She has been Jackson and Ella's Sunday School teacher for the past several months and I know she blesses those children's lives. She's been doing this for longer than I've been alive.

These pictures were taken right after Amanda had to say goodbye to all of the people she loves so much at our church, thus the reason for the red eyes.

Sunday night it just was right for us all to go to Double Dave's. It is a loved thing that we do together, so it just had to be done. :-) Many memories have made in these booths.

And like times before, we would let our yummy pizza settle in our tummies at our house. We had such good conversation that night while the Tods were plenty occupied.

This is the moment of saying goodbye. I am going to miss this sweet "mister".

We love the Jones' Family!

post signature


Amber said...

Janelle! this is such a sweet post. I cant get my thought together to even begin to write one on the same subject! I love the pics what a sweet last week for yall to spend together! ALL the million memories! Love you friend!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

I haven't written my post about saying goodbye yet. I've been dreading it for months now! But your's was so sweet! I'm going to will myself to write mine before the weekend ends. Good therapy. As Amanda would say, "to emote."

kittyhox said...

I'm sorry your friends had to move away. It's so hard to say goodbye.

Maybe you guys can have mansions next door to each other in heaven! And maybe your paths will bring you back to the same town again someday even sooner!


Linsey said...

I am so sorry Janelle! I know this was a big thing for you. I will pray for you and call you soon. I'll pray that God will plant another person in your life to share your moments with. I love you and wish we lived closer!!! Frisco is a great town you know!

Helen, Luke, & Kasen said...

Big hugs for you!

Ashley said...

Hey sweet friend,
I know that this was such a difficult time for you, but there is no distance too great for the friendship that you and Amanda share. Althought I know Ella will be asking for Jackson all the tiem...maybe I can come cuddle her...I hope I still have that 'magical spell" over her!

Mindy said...

This is so sweet Janelle!
I know that saying goodbye to friends is so hard.
What an awesome God He is though, that he gave you such wonderful friends to be so close by for a time in your life!
And I hope that you all are able to visit one another often.
OH - the the pictures of your sweet babies at the hospital -- THAT is incredible!
in HIM -

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness! We have been offline for a while and I just saw this. I have those same red eyes again now. You are so sweet to write all this out and post all those pictures. What an awesome timeline of the last few years. You guys made it the sweetest time of my life thus far. I love you very much!

Also, that pic of us in front of Pastor John's office is a heartbreaker. Ugh. That whole day was so emotional and such a beating with how freaky the weather was. I seriously could have thrown up right then and there.

Do I even need to tell you that I'm missing you already?

connorcolesmom said...

Oh Janelle,
God has laid you on my heart a good bit over the past few weeks. I know this is going to be hard on you. It is so difficult to say goodbye to such a great friend who really is more like family :)
May God give your heart comfort and peace as well as a gentle reminder of the blessing of such great memories and forever friendship!
Praying for you sweet Janelle :)
Have a wonderful Easter weekend,

Ang baylis said...

I know we haven't met, but oh my goodness! I want to cry right now! This sweet friendship will last a lifetime! Distance will not separate you! Thank God for the internet, cell phones, text messages and visits! The bond you have is so special and orchestrated by only God Himself! This was such a sweet post!
I'm praying for you right now!
Much love to you and your family!
Happy Easter tomorrow!
Angie xoxo

CrownLaidDown said...

Aw now, my eyes are red, too!

May I tell you something, friend to friend? I am going to guarantee that your friendshipp will become richer, sweeter and fuller as the years pass. I have quite a few friends like this--and our times together are sweet. The Holy Spirit keeps our hearts knit together, so that we pray for each other and call just at the right time. So I look forward to hearing about your friendship over time. He will indeed make it a depth of sweetness!

Happy Easter to you and your family, Janelle!!

The Van Fam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Van Fam said...

What a sweet post. I can't even imagine how tough the last couple of weeks has been! God is blessing the two of y'all so much and has so much in store!

They were precious pictures and a great read!

The Van Fam said...

What a sweet post. I can't even imagine how tough the last couple of weeks has been! God is blessing the two of y'all so much and has so much in store!

They were precious pictures and a great read!

Lindsee said...


This is just the sweetest post. You are such a good friend! I will be praying for you as you move on without them. Believe me when I say I completely understand. My 3 best friends all got married and moved away. They are all over the country now! It's so very hard, yet you are so excited at the same time for them! But, this does give you more excuse to come to Houston, right?! ;)

Too, too sweet. I know y'all's friendship will grow stronger, and what a sweet thing it will be! I know y'all will both treasure this post for a long time!

Many ((((HUGS)))) your way!!


The Bargain Shopper Lady said...

Woah, I seriously had to hold back tears. That was a great post!
p.s. I love Mrs. Eula and so do my kids!

Liz said...

This was such a sweet post. I am so sorry you had to say good bye to such good friends.

Thank you for sharing your heart!