Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Sweet Friend

This past weekend my dearest friend came to visit for a few days. This is a picture of Mandi Park and I in front of my house in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania yesterday on a beautiful winter afternoon. She is so cute! I am looking a little scary this day but in my defense, I was trying not to cry because she was leaving. We had just spent two days bumming around and having fun together and she was heading home to Utah.

Mandi called me a few weeks ago to tell me she was coming with her husband Cliff to central PA for a visit and I was thrilled. Last summer they had moved from Pennsylvania to Springville, Utah and our whole family was heartbroken. We had grown very close to the Parks and didn't want them to go. But Mandi's husband found a job that would be better for his family all around and so we were happy for them. Happy for them but sad for us.

So, Mandi and Cliff arrived on Sunday morning and we all attended the Sunbury Ward together. What fun to be sitting in Sacrament Meeting and singing the opening hymn when they walk in and sit down next to us! I was so happy to see them that I wanted to jump up and cheer but it would have been slightly inappropriate. I waited until right after the closing prayer and said, "Welcome back to Pennsylvania!!" and gave Mandi a big hug. I truly meant it - they have been missed by many.

After Church they come to our house and we had a great Sunday dinner of roast beef (it was very good if I do say so myself!), roasted potatos and carrots, tossed salad, rolls and ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert made by my girls, Jennifer and Elizabeth. Max, Cliff, Mandi, Jennifer, Elizabeth and I sat and talked for what seemed like hours on end. I loved it. Max and I both commented after they left that we were so happy to hear Cliff tell us some of his great stories again. We could listen to him talk for hours. We won't tell him that, but it is true. We love him dearly.

Monday afternoon Mandi and I did a little shopping and had dinner at Red Robin - LOVE THAT PLACE! It is so bright, colorful, loud and fun! We talked for what seemed like a couple of hours and then tried to go to a movie but ended up talking through the time we were supposed to go to the movie! I guess we had a lot to talk about. It was so nice and really just made my year! The only thing that might have been better would have been if Matthew and Melissa were here too!

Tuesday morning Mandi and I took a drive and went to Applebees for lunch before she had to head back to pick up Cliff to got to the Harrisburg Airport and then fly back to Utah. What a sad afternoon. But I was so thankful for the time that we were able to spend with the Parks.

Max and I have had many friends in our lives together as a family but these two people have really taken a special place in our familys heart. We feel such a connection to them and we are so thankful for the friendship that we share.

In the short time they were here in Pennsylvania we have shared and attended picnics, movies, dinners, Church service, trips to Wyoming, basketball games, softball games, school plays, swimming partys, YW slumber partys, Lagoon, Bucknell's Candlelight Service and BU basketball. But most importantly, we shared three events that will bind us together forever - Olivia's baptism, Matthew and Melissa's wedding and Cliff coming to our home and releasing our son Alex from his mission and sharing the joy of that night with us. What a precious gift the Parks are to us. We love you

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