Going into it, James was a little apprehensive. He had only met this couple twice, but knew a lot about them because the wife and I had become really close while he was deployed. After Livy passed away, this friend was one of the few people left that I could still enjoy hanging out with even though she had twin 1 year old boys. There was just something about all of the compassion she showed towards us and sincere thoughtfulness -- not to mention the fact that she faced trials of her own when trying to have those sweet little boys so she understood on some level the stress that we were feeling. It was comforting and took the stress off so that we could just enjoy each other's company. So yeah, with both of our guys finally home and settled from the deployment, we had agreed that the four of us HAD to get together before the craziness set in with the movers coming, etc. Poor James didn't get any say in the matter, but was cool about the idea of getting together since he got to pick the restaurant. Being that he's not exactly the most social of the crowd, he doesn't typically jump at the opportunity to hang out with people most of the time -- especially when he doesn't know them that well. I think he'd be more content if it was just us...or him alone, ha. With that being said, you can see why he was a little apprehensive. I knew he would have a good time though, and 10 minutes into it, it showed. There was no denying that genuine smile on his face, or the hidden outgoing-Jamie that showed through soon after he got comfortable with their company, ha. I'm glad that he was able to loosen up and have a good time -- I think we all had a good time!
Not only did we have an enjoyable evening with the company that we were with, but we also really enjoyed the meal! We decided to check out a new place that James had heard about in one of his magazines, and I'm glad we did! The food was awesome (can't go wrong when it's all made from scratch!) and the guys claimed that the beer was fantastic, too! James had said that he wanted to try it, because they follow the German beer laws so he knew it had to be good. He was looking forward to it so much so that he knew -- before we even got there -- exactly which of their brews he was going to try. (I'm always amused by his enthusiasm when it comes to his love of good quality beer and his search for various brewing companies that he wants to check out. We all have our hobbies and this is James'. While I think beer is one of the most foul creations ever made, James doesn't, so it's fun to observe!)
It really was a fun night. Plus, there was no hesitation behind mentioning Livy or worry that we'd kill the conversation if we mentioned her -- if the conversation led to that -- because they understood. I find that to be an incredibly important factor these days when we hang out with people. At this point, this is who we are, and if we can't refer to her (or Jake or Jordan), then we're not being true to ourselves. They're always on our mind, and are a part of everything that we do, so it's no surprise that they may come up in conversation. There are some people though that we come across that pretty much make it known that our kids should not be brought up, mentioned, or even acknowledged...so when we do hang out with those that are like our good friends on Saturday night, I really do appreciate it!
While I'm totally ready for this upcoming move and CHANGE, I'm really going to miss our friends, especially these two!