Thursday, January 23, 2014

instagram meet-up

Back in December I had the opportunity to meet a friend from online…Instagram, actually… and it was one of those occasions when you feel like you've known someone all your life, rather than just less than a year. I don't know if you've had an experience like that, but it was pretty cool. And honestly, I don't know if this particular connection was felt more strongly because of our mutual love for all things Down syndrome, or because we share similar experiences (babies late in life, etc.) but meeting my friend Kelly from IG was just like I thought it would be - we laughed, we cried, and we vowed to make it all happen again soon.

Kelly's daughter, Nora, shares Lily's extra chromosome. She also shares : her love for dancing, her spunky personality, her passion for shopping and tea (see photos below) and her taste in fashion.

While Kelly and I embraced immediately, it took our shy girls just a tad longer to warm up to each other. In just a few minutes though, they were sharing shopping secrets and posing for photo shoots together like long lost sisters…

We met each other at AC Gilbert's Discovery Village in Salem ... this quaint children's museum was the perfect place for the kids to play and have fun while Mackenzie and Kelly and I chatted away. Kelly's kind husband got us a group rate (their boys and Abigail brought our total up to ten) and we joked that he and Sam would hit it off in real life as well… (anyone who knows my husband is familiar with his uncanny ability to never pay full price for anything. "I've got eleven kids here, what kinda deal can ya swing me??")

Lily comparing coupons with Nora

We moved through the museum slowly and leisurely, taking pictures and discussing everything from birth stories to mutual IG friends to our faith in Jesus - it was such a treat to talk to another mom in real life who went through a (somewhat) surprise diagnosis for Down syndrome. Although we both fell head over heels in love with our girls the moment they were placed in our arms, it took time for us to reconcile those feelings with worries that can accompany a diagnosis of special needs. We talked about how very normal things are today, and how we wished we could have known then what we know now.

 In spite of all the similarities between Kelly and I, we quickly realized how different our girls are. Lily is shy and very clingy, whereas Nora is outgoing and vocal and very independent. It was so interesting to watch these two little pixies together, with all their differences - Nora took center stage in the puppet show room, dancing and singing for all of us to enjoy, while Lily watched quietly from the sidelines. Lily primped and posed for photos, while Nora determinedly played the photographer, snapping and editing photos like a seasoned pro.

editing for Instagram

I was so thankful to have Mackenzie there to capture these moments on her camera - I could have talked for five more days with Kelly and still not gotten my fill.

One of my favorite rooms at AC Gilbert's is the "China"room. Our girls had so much fun pouring make-believe-tea and pretending to sip their soup from tiny bowls. Nora was the more spiritual of the two, saying grace before their meal, while Lily just slurped her soup noisily across the table.

The afternoon ended too soon, with Kelly and I making plans to get the rest of our families together in the future… she and her husband live just one state over, and we promised each other a longer visit the next time they come to Oregon.

Kelly, if you're reading - thank you for a lovely day of sweet conversation and friendship.

We're looking forward to many more moments like these in the days to come :)


cara said...

What a wonderful connection!! Too much cuteness in this post!!!! I love the way the girls interacted together. What a blessed day! How wonderful to capture these beautiful moments like this!

I am just reading from the post below that you had the flu and same with Hayden. :( I hope you are both feeling better now. SO much yucky stuff going around this year. I will pray for complete restoration for you all. xoxo

Crystal Kupper said...

We just moved from Salem to the UK, and boy do we miss the Gilbert House! We had an annual pass and went there several times a month. Way to make me happy for you and homesick for me. :-)

Danielle said...

So sweet! Love the tea room pics :)

Liz/happymommy said...

Those 2 girls are just Beautiful!!! Sounds like such a special day and a great friendship for both you and Lily!!

Kelly Cach said...

Okay, so I giggle-cried through the entire post...Hahahaha!!
Patti, thank you. Deeply. And honestly, I still worry I may have come on too strong....Hahahaha, I was nervous and excited and just wanted to act normal...but how could I do that meeting some of the SWEETEST people on earth?! I want a do-over...or a do-again, rather! I think of things all.the.time that I want to talk about with you: our faith, our pasts, our families, our marriages, our children....and on and on. Oh, and to talk in our pajamas with coffee or tea in hand, just kick-back relaxed without worrying about doing our hair or getting kids dressed (I wore too much make-up that day...I was nervous, I'm tellin' ya, Hahahahahaha....yeah, even applying make-up was too much for me. I'm weird, I know ;).

Anywho....I loved this post. I loved that meeting. And now I love you guys even more. Let's do it again soon :).

Oh, and do I have your new address? I still need to send out our New Year cards!

Bless you!
Kelly & Nora

Faith Kopp said...

Total cheek ache!! Smiled from beginning to end of blog. So happy for all of you. We ladies have to have a tea party when I come in April. I really liked to one we had at Naomi's.

Please give Denise a hug for me when you see her next. Naomi and Monique also. Their texts really warmed my heart and Denise's call made me feel so loved. xxxx

Donna said...

Loved how Lily filled her grocery cart, she knows it takes lots of groceries to feed her family! Cute little shoppers!