***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

4 Years, 4 States, and 1 Baby Later: Lauren Alexander

Oops, this post was meant to precede the one I already posted from Lauren...it just gives you a little more background on her.  Seriously wasn't "pregnancy brain" supposed to go away after you delivered?!  And NO I am not pregnant again, apparently just a little side-tracked this week.  So enjoy your double-dose of Lauren this week...she'll be back again every Tuesday!

Lauren and Nash

Let me just start by saying that I'm no expert. I'm not an expert at cooking or crafting or, Lord knows, being a mom. So why, you may ask, am I writing on this cute and crafty mommy blog then, right? Well, because although I'm not an expert at these things there is one area of my life that I've become pretty good at and that's making new friends. In the last four years my husband and I have lived in four different states in all four corners of the US- Charlotte, Boston, San Diego, and now Seattle. As you can imagine all of these moves have required me to step out of my comfort zone and create friendships with complete strangers. After having spent more than 20 years in Charlotte I found myself in cities where I had no ties to anyone and, short of becoming a hermit, it was going to become necessary for me to get out there and make some friends!
Our first move was to Boston, MA and it was a relatively easy transition. My husband was in graduate school and we had lots of other fun couples surrounding us that were in our same sitation- new town, no friends, no kids, looking to live it up for the two years we would be there. And that's exactly what we did! We immediately clicked with so many my husband's classmates and their spouses without much work at all. "Making friends is so easy and fun!", I thought, "Moving away from home won't be so hard after all!". Well, that is, until school's out and you go back to real life.
For us, real life meant a move to another corner on the map, sunny San Diego, CA. Once again we landed in a city with no ties, no friends, and this time, no classmates. Reality struck. Sure, the beach was fantastic and the weather was amazing but BBQ-party-of-two gets lame pretty quick. I panicked. When my husband said he had gotten a job in San Diego all I could think of was never having to live through another Boston winter! What Ididn't think of was how I would make friends from scratch. I'd quit my job when we left Boston and didn't have one yet in San Diego so no luck at co-worker friendships. And we didn't have kids yet so I couldn't use a baby as bait to strike up a conversation. What were my options? Hit the bars alone? Creep out the seemingly nice enough stranger next to me on the treadmill at the gym? Post on Craigslist? I was at a loss. Fortunately, my husband met some guys at work that he swore seemed normal enough for us to hang out with. There were a couple of complete misses- single guy who still hit the clubs, family guy with 5 kids. But there were also a couple of great matches where the wife and I hit it off. Success! Finally I was having a bit of luck at some California friends. My circle grew as I met my new friends' friends and we all (mostly) hit it off. We formed a book club, had some nights out, enjoyed cookouts, and I started to feel like I could pat myself on the back! I had moved across the country, left family and friends behind again but still managed to find some girls that I could now call friends.
So the story goes that now I live in San Diego, having settled in with my new best friends, right? Nope! Because almost 1 year to the day that we moved to San Diego we moved away to Seattle, WA. Yep, another year, another corner of the map. This was not a move we had planned, wanted, or frankly had much say in. My husband lost his job in San Diego, we had a baby, and after an extensive search (none of which included serious consideration for the Northwest) he ended up accepting a job in Seattle. So with heavy hearts and a 12 week old baby boy we packed it up and headed north. Way north. Like, almost-to-Canada-north. Far away from my new found friends and even farther from the sunny skies and beautiful beaches of San Diego. Sigh. Ok, so I wasn't excited for this move but here we were. I told myself, "At least we're together. At least we have our health." Those are the types of things you say to yourself when you get down, right? Well, that worked for about 2 minutes and then I thought... Well, this is a family friendly blog so I won't say what I really thought. But basically I was freaking out. Here we were in another new city, with a new baby, and absolutely no support system. My husband went straight to work and I went straight up crazy. I was a nervous new mom with a baby I thought I would break if I looked at sideways and no friend or family member around to slap me and tell me to snap out of it! The good news about this period of time is that I was so sleep deprived and stressed that not having friends kind of seemed like the least of my worries. It actually was a relief to not have to worry about how awful I looked or that I might run into someone I knew in the grocery store while looking like I escaped a mental institution. But that time came and went and when baby boy was about 6 months old I decided that although I loved my husband and time with the baby was precious, I needed some girlfriends! This time around I decided to check out Meetup.com. I joined a few of the groups and went to some events with my fingers crossed. Some immediately didn't feel like a fit (too old, too many mom jeans) but then others were a breath of fresh air. Fortunately for me, in a very short period of time I have found some amazing girls that have become real friends, real fast.
So here I am in my new city, building a new network of friends and support and doing my best to keep enjoying the whirlwind that is my life. New friendships are tough at this age, especially when you haven't really had to make a friend in about 30 years. But I'm living proof that it can and should be done because the friends you make at this age and stage are as precious as the friends you've had since you were a kid. 

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