These ladies and their families were some of our very first friends when we moved to Quito. We met through Gymboree and haven't let the friendships wane since long after our Gymboree days have ended. We've watched our first babies grow from crawlers to Kindergarteners, we've added siblings to some of our families. We've made different choices in schooling and work since those early stay-at-home mom days that have led to it being much more difficult to get together but that hasn't stopped us from keeping it a priority. I love that my kids know these friends of theirs are still important and loves, despite different cultural, language, and religious backgrounds.

 

We celebrated Christmas together out at Carol & Francisco's new house in Cumbaya. Carol & Flor took a bit to reconcile their ideas of what a Christmas party would look like but once they figured that out it was full steam ahead. There were a mountain of appetizers, each so different in style with North American, Uruguayan and Ecuadorian influences. There was cookie decorating, too many pre-meal chips eaten by kids and countless costume changes. After the meal the kids did a candy cane craft my mom had sent me. It was a bit of an "off" day for me because the party was planned for just a week after a personal tragedy but it was nice to know that my friends take me when I'm chatty and full of energy or when I'm quiet and observing. We had to take off early to go set up for another party at our house but I was glad that we got to spend some time together before going our separate ways for the holidays.

 

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