Let me tell you a little bit about friendship and the military. These people, they become your family. You meet folks online or through friends or at playgroup, and soon you begin to depend on them with everything you have. I met my friend Courtney five years ago in Jacksonville when our girls were babies and our boys weren’t even born and we clicked. She’s my friend who, when I (stupidly) refused the meal train after I had Brady, brought me food anyway because she knew. We’ve been to midnight showings of Twilight (!!) and had a mutual obsession over all things Robert Pattinson (we’ve moved on. Mostly.) She’s the only one outside of my family that I’ve ever left my kids with. She’s my emergency contact and one I would trust with everything. She found me the house I live in and the school my children go to and the doctors we see. All the most important details in this move she helped me with. She’s irreplaceable. I’ve watched her babies grow and have seen so many of her important life moments that I feel that we are connected. Having this history, of life’s great moments and sad moments and all the in between moments is amazing. I would drop everything and help her in a second and I know she would do the same.
Do you know what it’s like to constantly make amazing friends and always, always have to leave them too soon? To uproot yourself and end up somewhere where you know no one and have to start from scratch? Every single move I have made in the military has been to a place where I had never been and where I knew no one. Coming up here to live in Michigan was a first for me, the first move I ever made where I knew somebody already here. An instant friend to have, when the men deploy and family can’t visit as much and all that is left is two women and a handful of kids and the knowledge that we will get each other through this. The type of friend where all the artificial things can be stripped away and real friendship can grow. Friendship that will last forever.
I was inspired to give back to Courtney and her family by the mission behind Project 7, a company that gives back through the sale of simple products we all use, like gum (and darn tasty gum at that.) I loved that with each pack of gum I bought Project 7 would contribute seven meals (FEED) in American communities or plant fruit tress back into the earth (SAVE.) I used to volunteer in a homeless shelter in college and the thought of the sweet children in a shelter being able to have a hot meal because I bought a pack of gum? That is everything to me. By buying gum, mints, bottled water and other simple items that we use everyday you, too can help heal the sick, save the earth, house the homeless, feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, teach them well and hope for peace.
After learning more about Project 7, I decided to host a s’more party in our new, fancy pants fire pit and invite our friends over to say thank you for being there. Brady and I headed to Meijer last week to grocery shop and picked out regular and chocolate graham crackers, enough marshmallows to bury the house and Reese’s peanut butter cups to melt in between. YUM. We also purchased FEED and SAVE gum at the checkout counter, which we donated to the our friends in the military and the Air Station. I am a proud military wife and anything I can do to give back to those that give the most is an honor.
This weekend Molly helped me decorate the table and set the chairs out and everything was ready for our friends as the sun set this past Sunday night. Can I mention how priceless it was to see the kids’ faces when they saw the set up? We lit the fire and ate about 35 s’mores apiece and got the amazing idea for Courtney to hold me on her back (???) and just have fun. Have you ever eaten a melted Reese’s peanut butter cup between two chocolate graham cracker and a burned to a crisp marsmallow? It’s amazing. I’ve so enjoyed a friendship that has lasted two Air Stations, five children, countless get togethers and tantrums and tears and laughter and I know I’ll see more of this in the years to come. To give back to the people that support my family daily in this crazy life. Our friends.