The internet is a funny thing, isn't it?
When I fell pregnant with Archie, I sought answers, support and community on a "Mum Website" - a place with stacks of info on pregnancy, birth and babies, and also a huge forum of mostly like minded people. I joined a "due date" group so I could chat with Mums who were due at the same time as me, and were going through all the same things as I was.
Because my choices and decisions were increasingly swaying away from the mainstream, such as choosing to homebirth under midwifery led care, I found that that I just wasn't gelling with most of the Mums in my group. Except for Isabel.
Our babies were born a day apart, and , for those wondering, are actually betrothed to be married in 20 or so years. Isabel was a constant source of laughter, support and just all round awesomeness. We bonded over photography - Isabel had been working for years but hadn't yet taken the leap into business for herself. Then she did, and I have been so lucky to follow her journey and watch her blossom as the amazing photographer she is.
She has been my daily sounding board - for every business drama, life drama and toddler tantrum. She's my go-to-gal for just about everything. She's one of my best friends and I adore her. Our conversations are hilarious (if I do say so myself). I am constantly laughing.
So it was a funny thing to get to October of this year, after more than two years of constant, close friendship, and actually meet her in the flesh for the first time. It didn't feel like a weird thing, because it felt like we had been friends for a lifetime. I hugged her like I had hugged her a million times before.
Then I got to meet her people, her beautiful kids and gorgeous husband (ahem, he is). I got to meet Emma, the firey, free-spirited girl who will one day be my daughter in law, ensuring that Isabel and I get a retirement full of drinks on the porch while we watch our grandchildren play (we can only dream, right)?
I was humbled when Isabel booked me and flew me to NSW for her annual family photos. The weather turned it on for us on the dunes of Redhead Beach in Newcastle - we were treated to warmth, light, sun flare, haze, and all the magic moments I can only dream of at a session.
Isabel, I love you. I love your family. I am so, so fortunate to have you in my life, my friend.