Well, we're 10/11 days into hosting our friends as live-in houseguests. We're also 2 days past Christmas. Things are settling into a new normal, I think.
I'll try to share the basics of how things are going-- first off, I really like her. We've "known" each other for more than 5 years now... interacting on an increasing basis, from online fellow-bloggers, to familiar, to friends. But now we're developing a real, in life, daily friendship. We're communicating often, openly, and honestly, and it's great. I enjoy spending time with her.
I know there is totally the possibility of someone you meet online to come across one way over the internet, and then be a real creeper, or totally different in real life. But I'm finding things to be mostly as I expected they'd be. We get along well. We still sometimes text or communicate through private messages, even if we're just down the hall from each other, ha. Maybe out of habit or ease, but also probably because I'm a lazy pregnant lady & sometimes one of us just wants to get something out before we forget it. We're both in the throes of mothering young children and sometimes you've got to seize the moment while something's on your mind. :)
But we're also talking a lot. The one thing we talked extensively about before heading into this adventure was that we intended to KEEP COMMUNICATING. So we've gone off for a girls' night out (thrift store shopping), went for a long walk the other day, and drove up together to see Christmas lights last night. And we're also spending time together as couples in the evenings several nights a week, just talking and getting to know each other.
We're getting into a groove, you could say. It's been a bit "off" from our norms, schedule-wise, for both of our families, with Christmas hitting just a week after their arrival, but it's been good too. They've had downtime together as a family without the pressure of her husband having to pound the pavement (since no one was hiring over Christmas Eve & Christmas anyhow). It's also given us the freedom to spend time getting to know each other before Doug had to go back to work.
The kids are getting along well too. The only "hiccup" is that my 2 year old is extremely affectionate, interactive, and friendly, and that kind of freaks out her 2 year old, who is more reserved & cautious than he is. So I'm trying to keep him close to me, and not let him get/stay too close to her. But at least our kids aren't frustrated with each other... far from it! Their son fits right in with our group of boys, and our daughters are totally enamored with each other. :)
Neither us nor our children are perfect, and we've had to be flexible (for example, we initially planned to eat breakfast together but then realized that they were used to eating immediately upon waking, whereas my kids are used to eating at 8, so now we're doing breakfast mostly separately; and we thought she would just always do breakfast dishes, but then timing sometimes works out different, depending on the day's events, so now she just does dishes once a day, at some point). BUT-- because we planned to be flexible and amenable going into this whole thing, it's going quite well.
Truly, all things considered, I can't really imagine a situation with 4 adults & 7 kids (one of whom is pregnant, and one of whom --her husband-- is sick) in one normal-sized house going better. I think the fact that we're all family, in Christ, and that we truly want to serve and love each other has made all the difference.
You can read her perspective on it all here.