When we lived in California, there were so many times that I complained to Dallas that I couldn't take any more friends moving in and out of my life. I would get so attached to amazing families and then they would leave for various reasons. It felt like our Bay Area ward was especially transient, so I was excited when we bought our home in Florida thinking that things would be a little more stable. It took me about two weeks living in south Florida to realize I was SO FAR from the truth! South Florida is known for it's transient population and it didn't help that a major portion of our ward was made up of medical students. It's been quite hard opening myself to so many amazing people that I know are going to leave in a year or two. My heart continues to strengthen and I've learned very quickly that no matter the amount of time we actually spend together, you can learn some amazing things from every person you meet.
Case in point, Brittany Rhodes.
I unfortunately didn't get to spend more than a few months with her, but I can honestly say that she has several incredible gifts. She had such an amazing way of including everyone and making everyone feel welcomed. Her excitement and kindness were so genuine. I received so many kind texts and updates always inviting me to the next play group and keeping me informed. Even though I wasn't able to attend everything, when I did come, I immediately felt like I had a dear friend in her. It was an incredible gift for someone brand new to the area with no friends and far away from home. I really look up to her and her ability to so easily make people feel loved.
At the beginning of the summer her husband was offered a job back in Utah, close to their family. It was a great opportunity for them, but sad to see them go. A big group of us met at the Fort Lauderdale beach for a goodbye picnic. It was fun to be with friends, but always sad to say goodbye. They are a wonderful family!
The kids had a blast digging in the sand while the adults talked and grilled dinner. The beach is a pretty perfect setting!
Nichols Family, Bean Family, Perkins Family
Steele Family, Rhodes Family, Jensen Family
Chambers Family, Jensen Family
If you look closely at the bottom top/left picture, you can see Bridger trying to climb a palm tree. Pretty impressed with how rough those trunks are!
And of course the kids had a blast playing in the water. Daxton ate some watermelon and that was about all we could get down him before running to the water!
Pretty surreal with the sunset, warm ocean and breeze, watching these two play. My heart was pretty full that night!
We miss you, Brittany!