Magic - A Movement In Time And Space
Moving through time and space in our own way
I need to look back at this entry often, I can already tell. Whenever I whine or bitch about my "awful" plight of having to have moved to Seoul, I need to open up my LJ to this page and remember that I am blessed. Blessed with friends like these:

My amazing friends
My amazing friends
Playgroup Mommies: Sheryl, Me, Lauren, Lisa, Sam

I've known these women for almost 6 years now. Their children are Maya's closest friends and have been since Maya was three months old. Here is a pic of the girls:

Maya's playgroup
Maya's playgroup
Playgroup Friends: Hallie, Gianna, Makenzie, Megan and Maya
This was taken February 11, 2005 - Maya's 5th birthday slumber party.

These girls were all the closest of friends. Hallie and Maya went to the same preschool, all the girls took gymnastics together. They grew up together. As far back as Maya could possibly remember, Hallie, Gianna, Makenzie and Megan were her bestest friends in the whole wide world. I joined MOMS Club when Maya was just three months old and got placed into a playgroup with Lisa. Then the others joined and got put into our playgroup. Our playgroup fluctuated a lot. We had more members, but as time went on, others dropped out or moved away *sob*. But the five of us stuck. And we got closer. We all just clicked. We pissed each other off, I'm sure, on more than one occasion, but we let it go and moved past it because our children love each other.

But I don't think I really realized just how close our own friendships are until today. Until this:

The note from our playgroup friends

And this:

Presents from our Playgroup

There are 20+ gifts here for us. A huge box was delivered this afternoon and I fought the urge to delve into it until Chris got home. When he got home, he opened. And I cried. Tears of disbelief, tears of joy, tears of sadness and tears of love and friendship.

Lauren, Lisa, Sheryl and sammykateSam: I really don't know how to express what you've done for me today.

When we piled all the stuff up together, Chris said, "Wow. We don't have to worry about a sparse Christmas tree now!" We've been having a hard time finding presents for the girls. Only because we're not exactly sure where to go for good toys. I mean, there are lots of stores with toys, but nothing that really hit us that the girls would enjoy or wouldn't break in 5 minutes. We've gotten them some books and a game and a stuffed animal each, and dresses for each of them, but that's it. We weren't really worried about it, but it just didn't seem like Christmas for us. There has been no sense of "That's the present that Maya will absolutely ADORE!". I've even hesitated on getting Maya to do her annual letter to Santa. She usually cuts pictures out of Toys R Us circulars and it is a true joy when, on Christmas morning, she says, "I put this one in my letter! He read my letter, Mommy!!" But this year, that isn't going to happen.

But now, these presents, along with the presents that my in-laws and parents sent, will make the tree full on Christmas morning. Yes, this all sounds so materialistic, but really it is about seeing Maya's and Nadia's eyes on Christmas morning when they run out and see the presents under the tree that weren't there the night before (we put NO presents out until Christmas Eve). Truly magical.

That's what my dearest friends gave me this year. Magic.

Truly, truly blessed.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
What I'm feeling: loved loved

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From: junetoo Date: December 19th, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did they all go to USC too? Are those maroon, gold, and silver chain things decoration or presents?
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! No, none of them went to USC. The red and gold things in the front are Christmas Crackers. You're supposed to grab each end of the cracker (or you and someone else) and pull them apart. They make a loud SNAP sound and inside are little toys and maybe a necklace and some candy. For the kids, but there's one for each of us!
From: junetoo Date: December 20th, 2005 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I've never even heard of a Christmas Cracker. I thought of Ritz crackers wrapped up really nicely.
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)

In 1847, almost by accident, Tom Smith invented the cracker. It was a simple idea which became an integral part of British celebration and tradition which still continues today, 150 years on. In it's simple form a cracker is a small cardboard tube covered in a brightly coloured twist of paper.

When the cracker is 'pulled' by two people, each holding one end of the twisted paper, the friction creates a small explosive 'pop' produced by a narrow strip of chemically impregnated paper. The cardboard tube tumbles a bright paper hat, a small gift, a balloon and a motto or joke.

At the turn of the century, Tom Smith produced crackers not only for the Christmas season but also to celebrate every major occasion from The Paris Exhibition in 1900 to War Heroes in 1918 and The World Tour in 1926 of Prince Edward, The Prince of Wales.

Contents were tailored to each box; grotesque or artistic masks, puzzles, conundrums, tiny treasures, jewels, games and mottoes, and most of the beautifully illustrated boxes, crackers and hats, from fezzes to sheiks'' head dresses, were made by hand. The fully illustrated catalogues which date back to 1877 provide an exceptional visual history of British social and political evolvement over an entire century.
From: gabbytheguy Date: December 19th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I smell an aroma! Ah yes, "Essence de Noel" by Chanel!

It's unmistakable!

What a great group of friends you have...
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I have the best group of friends!
wombatgirl From: wombatgirl Date: December 19th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
How wonderful! You are really lucky to have such good friends. I've spent most of my life searching for such friends, and the search continues. Treasure them, as I know you do.
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I know, I really am lucky. Somehow, I found them without even realizing it.
eleme From: eleme Date: December 19th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's awesome Priya! You've got wonderful friends :)

Do the girls know about the presents yet, or are you keeping it a secret?
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 12:37 am (UTC) (Link)

We're saving all the presents for Christmas morning. We have no presents under the tree at all right now - they all get put there after the girls go to bed on Christmas eve.

We are so excited - this morning Chris mentioned how cool it will be to see Nadia's expression. This will be the first year where she gets the whole idea of presents!
eleme From: eleme Date: December 20th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
My parents did the same thing you guys do. The only presents under the tree before Christmas morning were ones my brothers and I bought for them or eachother.

I'm glad you guys are so excited for your girls. That makes me smile to see it :)
sammykate From: sammykate Date: December 20th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Dear Priya,

You are (all) so very loved, indeed!

I just got back from a weekend at Arrowhead Lake with my "partners in crime." We missed you, and looked forward to your reaction upon recieving our package. How nice to come home and see this post. I am thrilled that you got it in time for Christmas.

Now, some of the packages are marked and some are not. Some are for the girls, some are for you and Chris, and some are for the family. Some are decidedly silly. I hope you enjoy them, and that they bring you jouyous memories of your friends in California, and that you know that you are never far from our thoughts. I truly believe that some people connect on a level that is so deep within their souls that no span of miles can truly separate them. I hope that you all feel loved and held close in our hearts.

Merry Christmas!


From: cbscribe Date: December 20th, 2005 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Stop making her cry!

You're a cruel woman...
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
sammykate From: sammykate Date: December 20th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you're the ones who went and moved to Korea, for cryin' out loud! That's a helluva commute - my kids barely make it to Pasadena without killing each other in the backseat:)

Sorry about the crying, though. Hopefully they are mostly tears of joy.
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: December 20th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)

We feel very loved. I'm glad that you all feel that we are worth taking the effort to keep in touch with. I think that was one of my deepest fears about this move.

When is the next playgroup gathering and where? If possible, I'd like to call and talk to everyone. And if the time difference works out, Maya and the girls can talk too. If it is at your place, we could do it over Skype (provided you have a headset or mic/speakers). Either way, we should try to plan this.

We miss you all so very much. We had so many little traditions, didn't we? I just never realized how much certain little things make the holidays so much more...MORE. Like visiting the pumpkin patch at Halloween and trick-or-treating together. Gift exchanges at the holidays. Playdates, sleepovers, birthday parties - OMG, the birthday season is starting! And Chris misses the guys too - I know that he was starting to get to know Shane and Tim really well. And of course, Maya misses her gal pals.

As do I. Please pass on this message to the other ladies and have them come to my journal to see my entry about it.

Big hugs to all of you. Love you guys!

Happy Holidays,
Chris, Priya, Maya and Nadia
sammykate From: sammykate Date: December 20th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I have passed the word to the girls. Hopefully they will all check their e-mail soon!
sammykate From: sammykate Date: December 29th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, there! Just wanted to let you know that Sheryl said she read this entry and tried to comment, but it wouldn't go through. She wanted you to know that she tried.

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