Ten years ago, I gained the most amazing group of friends (family really) who were all due within a month of me - some of them with their first, like me, some of them with their last, some of them with children already and would go on to have more children. Women from the US, women from Canada, and even one super rad chick from Australia! Some women were stay at home moms, some were working moms, some were single, some were married, some were teens, some were ten years older than me. Some of these were straight, some were gay. Some were Christians, other atheists. Some of these amazing ladies cloth diapered while others used disposables. You get my point - we were all incredibly different but brought together by one thing in common - we were all due in March of 2008 (give or take).
In 2009, I was able to meet one of my favorite chick's from our group in person - Gracie. We flew to Las Vegas for my younger brother's wedding and had the chance to meet up for an afternoon with our then 14 month old toddlers. It was such a fun time and because of Gracie, one of my favorite places to eat is The Cheesecake Factory. Unfortunately, nary a TCF to be found here in West Michigan. We still talk on a regular basis and trust each other and love each other.
Then, in 2013, our very first March 08 Meetup was planned. We spent a few days together in Cave City, KY, at Jellystone Campgrounds. It was our biggest turnout and despite so many mishaps on my part, it was such an amazing experience that changed us from "online friends" to just "friends." Our March 08ers were five and I don't know about the other Marchies, but Timmy (and Natalie and Sammy) still talk about that trip.
Timmy and Elliot met in person for the first time. Just today I had to remind Timmy that he didn't have to yell as he Face-Timed with his KY BFF.
This chick right here, she ROCKS. Christy is seriously one of the best friends anyone could ask for. She goes above and beyond for everyone and NEVER STOPS. And I'm clearly not entertained by having my picture taken.
Natalie doesn't have a sister, but she has this amazing group of girls call sisters. She cannot wait to see Kaylee, Sadie, and Jo (especially Jo) again.
During the first trip, I managed to back my sister's van into a tree, Natalie impaled her face on a firepit (stuck her teeth through her lips - she forever has a massage scar to remind us of this trip), Timmy nearly gave himself a concussion by tripping on the tent and nailing his forehead on a stake, and Sam stole everyone's marshmallows and apples. Also, he wouldn't leave Christy's fan alone. He turned two during this trip. This is how long the obsession has lasted, friends.
In 2014, we met up at a Jellystone in southern Indiana. It was a smaller group, but a very memorable group. Christy's friend Jen and her two adorable little girls joined us and Christy made friends with a raccoon. Wait, did I say friends? I mean mortal enemies. Natalie threw a 45 minute long tantrum because a big spider was being eaten by an even bigger spider and someone then killed both of the spiders. This was just NOT okay. Some jerk kid called Sammy (three) a crybaby and the kids still say he was being bullied (ha!).
Look at this awesome group of kids! Celebrating the 4th in style!
Jo & Nat - they are sooooo stinkin' cute together!
Timmy and Elliot making campfire pizzas
In 2015, we changed it up a bit, which was a bad choice. Oh, Lordy, Jesus Junction. We stayed at what was advertised to be an amazing setup complete with a lake for fishing (basically a cesspool) and all sorts of other fun things like hundreds of millipedes in your rooms, fans that you had to assemble yourself (because no AC like advertised), and a tarp versus a slip and slide that was supposed to be available. But, despite the crappy situaish, this was still a great trip because we got to see our people. And hey, my husband came to the meetup for the first time ever! Now he knows my friends aren't imaginary!
Timmy, now seven, was moody as hell. He spent an entire day moping about while wearing this awesome get up.
And of course, me surrounded by kids. This is my life.
Nat and Joey Bear (that I may have paid $5 for her to snuggle with me)
The crew ready to play at the "slid and slide"
Nat and Addie - Tim and Nat finally realized that they aren't all actually cousins. They had figured up until this point that we were just getting together with family that lives far away. That works.
Last year we didn't do an official meetup - but I have spent time with my March 08 family many times between then and now. In November 2015, my "wifey" Carol and I met up in Gary, IN, to drive down to Louisville together to stay with Christy for a few days. When my family went down south for spring break a couple years ago, we stayed at Christy's house overnight on the way back to break up the trip. This February, Chris and I went down to celebrate Christy's husband's 40th birthday with them. Over spring break, the kids and I picked up a puppy here in Michigan and drove it down to Indiana where we met up with Carol and Christy to transfer the pup to a friend of Christy's son.
These ladies aren't just online friends. They are my best friends and we literally spend all year trying to come up with ways to get together. I am so excited to head down to Kentucky and stay at Jellystone again with Carol, Christy, and Jen. I wish so much that more of our March 08 family could join us, and hopefully sometime in the not so far future, it'll happen.
Jesus Junction...(plus Heady, who is a poo and not coming this year! I need someone to be doopy with me while Carol and Christy look all cute!)