As much as I love being in NJ and feel like we are starting to settle in here, every now and then I get hit with the feeling of still being the new girl or the outsider and wonder how long it really does take before a place truly feels like home. To be honest, this week was a little tough for me. There were a few "biting back the tears" moments, but I guess that comes with the territory of being the new girl. Every now and then the wind gets a little knocked out of my sails like when I'm with friends with whom I think I've become very close and suddenly their old friend is back in town visiting and everyone's making plans in front of me that don't include me because the "old crowd" is getting back together and I wasn't here then....I was never a part of the old crowd. So no matter how close I think we are now, I don't get the pleasure of being a part of those plans. Kids that are being asked for sleepovers right in front of us and mine aren't invited because they haven't been around forever and they are not on the forefront of anyone's mind. Watching Emma play by herself on the fringe of the group because the other kids have known each other their entire lives and like her mama, she's the new girl who is still sort of disposable and can be easily forgotten. Or when Emma leaves camp telling me all about a "friend" and that other little girl has no idea who she is, because to Emma that little girl is one of a few, but to the other girl who's lived here her whole life, Emma is just one of many. Sorry to be so raw, but today, this loneliness is my reality and maybe some of you have been here and can relate. It was just a long week being in close quarters with friends while have constant subtle reminders that any way you look at it, I'm still the new girl. On the bright side, five years down the road, I may be wrinklier and older than I am now, but at least I won't be new.