There are very few things as sweet as watching a family grow! But it is even sweeter when that family is dear to you - not just since having babies - but long before. You see, before even moving to our beloved little town of Greenville, SC, we were set up on a blind date with the Murphy's by a mutual friend. "You will hit it off" said our friend, Ashley, "You will be besties before the end of the evening!"
How many times have we heard this & gone along so that we didn't disappoint the "match maker". We walk away with a "Well, until next time" sort of attitude. Thankfully, it was not this way with Josh & Felicia. They had us over for dinner (which later Josh admits he was a little skeptical about - "Who are these people again?" he kept asking Felicia) & by the end of the evening, we had planned our first camping trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fast forward 4 years later - 2 babies (& one on the way for us) & we are even more excited to share a meal, walk, or attend an event together!
We distinctly remember where we were BOTH times Josh & Felicia told us the good news about their boys! For their oldest, Luca, we were in Asheville celebrating Ryland's birthday with another couple. The 6 of us had enjoyed a few different breweries & great food. At the final brewery of the evening, Felicia turned down ANOTHER beer. "I am just not feeling beer today!" she told us all. The other couple that was with us & had just met Josh & Fe earlier that day, casually said, "Gosh - are you pregnant?" Felicia turned bright red - we turned & looked at the Murphy's - & there it was - written all over her face! "Yes!" she squeaked! We will never forget that moment. Loud cheering, shouts of joy, crying (guess who - geez, JP) ensued. The bar tender gave us all funny looks & we are pretty sure he gave Josh a beer on the house as a congrats :) Regardless, celebrating was our main priority & has been ever since!
When we found out about Isaac - it was over tacos. A normal evening turned into a celebration when Felicia casually said, "You go to California in August again right?" "Yea!" we said, not thinking anything of it. "Well, make sure you don't come back too far into August, because then you will miss Luca becoming a big brother!" Of course, JP lost it (again) in the restaurant & was a mess the rest of the evening. Laughter, hugs all around, & so many laughs followed. It just gets better each time - we are convinced!
Then it came time for us to tell the Murphys about Baby Rainsford. It was mid-June - Felicia's birthday weekend & we met them downtown for a walk around the Farmer's Market. We were watching Luca play when Ryland casually said, "Felicia, remember when you told us that you were going to have a baby on my birthday celebration? Well, we thought we would return the favor!" It took Felicia a moment to put it all together - but when she did, I have never seen a friend melt like dear Felicia Murphy. People were stopping in the streets to watch! She hugged us & wouldn't let go - she screamed, laughed, & cried uncontrollably! It was a mini block party as we celebrated the Lord's faithfulness - right smack dab in the middle of downtown Greenville!
And so it goes on. Each time we hold a new Murphy baby, the water works begin. As we watch these dear children grow, it becomes harder & harder to deny the Lord's goodness. From a blind date to shared parenthood, we are so thankful for the Murphys & the way they enveloped us from day one. We are so thankful for the memories over the years that we have cataloged & captured. Seriously - I think we have more photos of the Murphys than almost any other family. It's a joy to watch them grow in number & wisdom. Without these dear friends - we would be at a loss.
And now it's baby Isaac's turn to be in the spotlight! Right after Isaac was born, we spent an afternoon with this dear family. From playing airplanes with Luca, to snuggling Isaac, our hearts were full when we left! It couldn't have been any sweeter.
Thank you, Josh & Fe, for continuing to love us, support us, & live in the exciting & mundane moments with us. We love your boys & can't wait to raise our babies together!
Love, The Rainsfords
This, my friends, is how you get a toddler to laugh at a family session - break out the ifart app! Works like a charm!
Again, never underestimate the power of silly noises when trying to get those smiles out of a toddler :)