I recently was in a training for work where the moderator asked us to close our eyes and find a happy place. He recommended this technique as a way to reduce stress in the work place. Simply close your eyes, let your mind be still, and then let your heart take you to a better place. As I closed my eyes and let my brain slip into nothingness, I suddenly felt the warmest feeling, deep within my heart. Images of my dogs running through the room suddenly came to mind. I could feel myself laughing as I made eye contact with Hubby. A big smile crept across my face as I looked around and saw them. It was so clear now. My Framily is my happy place.

People always tell me how lucky I am to have such great friends, but I always respond to them the same way – “You don’t know the half of it.”

3 years ago Hubby and I moved to Austin, Texas, with no family and no friends. We moved for work like most people in Austin these days. We were lucky that we worked for Apple, because Apple doesn’t just hire smart people. They hire good people. Like-minded people. That is where I met A. IMG_9009He was married to C just a few months earlier than me and Hubby! We were 4 people, at the same place in life, with lots in common. They too IMG_5395just moved to Austin and didn’t know anyone. Our first “friend-date” we drove out to Enchanted Rock very early in the morning and just hiked and explored.
Then on the way home, we decided that wasn’t enough hanging out. We needed to get our swimsuits and drive straight to the river to float. So we did. These people have cried with me. They have laughed with me. Heck! I took them to Dallas to meet my family! I can’t imagine a life without them.

img_7486.pngMeanwhile back at the Apple store, I was hitting the Mac queue when a couple came up to the bar with their very handsome red Shiba. I chatted about Shiba’s as I carefully explained it was going to be a LOT of money to fix his computer that she had spilledIMG_0216 water on. Usually those conversations are the worst and awkward, so I let them slip away without getting their info. A week later, I see them in the store again back to pick up their computer with the handsome Shiba again! I knew it was fate. I exchanged Facebook contacts with G and S and started meeting up at dog parks. Before I knew it, our dogs were best friends. We even threw a New Years party at their house with all 8 of us. 2015 rang in perfectly.

My luck didn’t stop there. IMG_7382Once, at Whole Foods, I was standing in line for a beer and bonded with this random girl in line over a really
funny thing happening in the store. Turns out she was part of this “Brew Crew” thing, where people who like beer did beer stuff together. I was like “sign me up!”. I got to know her boyfriend M, and their friends K and N. We started bottle sharing regularly once a month. At these bottle shares, we don’t just share beer – we share our lives. I met K and N shortly after they were engaged, and am now so happy to see them get married.

Service Direct, my company, has also become more than just a place of work. It is my family. I mean… IMG_7465Just look at these guys – LOOK – aren’t they great. Some of the best people I know work here. We recently started hiring more people, and the conversation went more like “we want to hire the right people into this family.” I love that. I think we work best together because we approach it as a family. I love these people and would do anything for them. Never thought I would say that about a job.

From these friendships and similar interests, I started a pet project with C, G, and K – Basics and Beer.  Just 4 craft beer loving girls doing basic things and taking pictures of it. Besides beer, I love that we are picking up embroidery and trying out new crafting things together.

Then there were our dogs… A and C got a dog. Then J and K got a dog. Then we got Luke. Then G and S got another Shiba! It has been a whole dog thing. Between the 8 of us, we now have 6 puppers and 1 cat!

Back to my happy place. I looked around and saw my framily. My people. It was all of us. All of our dogs, just running around and playing. It is just so funny how life hands you something so special. You never know how a spilled glass of water or an uncertain move or some weirdos walking around a grocery store can change your life for the better. Take everything and cherish it, because you never know what it could become.


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