by Andrea Cooley

In the nearly 10 years that Laura and I have been friends, less than 2 years of them were spent living in the same city. Obviously we thought it would be great to live near each other, but that was never what our friendship was based on. Instead it existed on long phone calls, emails, texts, and several visits each year where we would cram as much quality time in as possible.

Right after we graduated and I got married and Laura moved to LA I distinctly remember flying out to LA for a long weekend to celebrate her birthday. I think I was barely there for 48 hours and from the moment she picked me up at the airport to the time she dropped me off I don’t think we stopped talking. We toasted her 23rd year with champagne on the rooftop, drove through the Hollywood Hills, ate lunch in Malibu, and watched the sun set over the edge of the country. We’ve always been able to pick up right where we left off. Isn’t that always how it is with your closest friends?

A little over a year ago, after Lydia was home from the hospital, I visited Laura and Cody in Saginaw. I went with them to their house church and they shared that they were seriously praying about moving in the next year. Their friends asked questions and challenged them and ultimately prayed for wisdom. I knew this was something that had been on their hearts for a while and was excited to see where God lead them.

Selfishly, I thought it would be wonderful if they moved to Des Moines. Laura’s sister lives here and it is halfway between both of their families. But I never brought it up because I didn’t think it was an option. Both of them had lived in Des Moines before and I didn’t think they would consider moving back.

Over Christmas, Laura, Cody, and Lydia were in Iowa visiting family and stayed with us for a night. We put Emerson and Lydia to bed (Lydia slept in the crib and Emerson was in the pack n’ play) and we played games. The next morning we made breakfast, drank coffee, and played with the kids. It was so comfortable. Living life together.

I didn’t realize that after they left, before they started home to Michigan, they drove around town, looking at neighborhoods that they might move to! I knew they were wanting to move in the next few months, but I had no idea they were considering Des Moines.

A few weeks later, Laura casually announced that they were moving to Des Moines in February! (Yes, we have been not only in the same time zone, but the same neighborhood for more than 6 months!) I’m pretty sure I squealed and did a little happy dance around the room.

The best part about the move is that for now they are in an apartment that is half a mile from our house. I can’t count the number of mornings that we’ve met each other half way, pushing strollers and holding mugs of coffee to walk before it’s time for a morning nap. We’ve hit up garage sales, found the best swing park and splash pad, shared meals, and exchanged babysitting.

buddiesI absolutely love that Lydia and Emerson are growing up together. They might not talk yet, but their faces light up when they see each other and they babble away while they share fight over toys.

friendsIt’s awesome to see how God worked to bring them here. Honestly, I didn’t even really think to pray that they would move to Des Moines. I prayed that they would go where they were supposed to and that God would bless them with a job and a community wherever they ended up. Of course God answered, and his plan was better than I could have imagined!


Of course we haven't taken any pictures of the two of us, but we have plenty of pictures of the kiddos.

Question: Moms, do you have many pictures of you and your babes? Adam tries really hard to remember to take pictures of me and Emerson, but usually I'm the one with the camera. We have lots of pictures of daddy and Emerson, but need to work on getting me in the pictures too! I don't want to look back at pictures in 10 years and wonder where I was!

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Andrea Cooley

  1. I told Gerard before Adelaide was born that I didn't want to live life with her from behind

    my lens so I've very purposely not taken a ton of photos but really chosen my moments and ensure that I'm in several.:) it's hard to remember but oh so worth it!

  2. How exciting for you two! What a blessing to see your kids grow up together. Everytime we go home to visit our friends and family I wish we lived closer.

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