Today I want to dedicate this Terrific Tuesday to three very special people in my life... years and states may have come between us, but I am blessed to still consider each of you among my best friends.
Jen and I have been friends since we were pretty young... we met in middle school and spent pretty much every weekend together hanging out at one of our houses. We became close with each others families and always had a blast together playing sports, dressing up and taking pictures, walking around the neighborhood, having sleepovers, sharing inside jokes, dreaming about boys, babysitting, cooking... we did everything together. Then one day in the beginning of high school Jen's parents announced that they were moving to Virginia. It was sooo sad... but we continued to make an adventure of it and visited as much as we could. We had fun exploring Jen's new VA neighborhood and she would also come back up here sometimes to see other old friends. Over the years the visits became less frequent... and then stopped altogether... but I can still count on Jen to remember my birthday (and I remember hers), a random "thinking of you" text, a holiday message and congratulations on all of the big events in our lives.
Rebecca Cotterell (now Barnes!)
Becky and I became friends in High School. We were both in honors classes and got along well right away. We had a small core group of friends that we spent a lot of time with but we also hung out "just us" quite a bit. I have great memories of spending time at Becky's house... playing Mario Kart, making word collages from pictures cut out of magazines, watching movies with dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio in them... lol. We loved each others families and were so comfortable spending time in each others homes. Becky was the voice of reason for me in a lot of situations. She has always been a hard worker and made good choices... and I'm so proud of how far this has gotten her in life! Becky has saved me from myself more times than I can count and has never been afraid to give you tough love and tell you how it is... and yet she somehow remains one of the sweetest women that I've ever known! Becky and I went away to different colleges after HS and now live in different states and don't get to see each other that often... but she remains someone that I truly love and adore. Becky is one of those women that has that balance between career woman and homemaker that so many strive for. (How many lawyers do you know that make homemade holiday cards?) Becky always tries to make room for a visit when she's in town and is geniunely happy for me when good things come my way. (As I am for her!) I know that I can call her up on a whim and not only will she have the right thing to say, she'll probably teach me something as well. :)
Amanda and I met when we were both assistant pre-k teachers at the same school. We clicked right away and found each other hilarious. LOL! Initially we were not the BEST influences on each other... but we had a lot of fun making mistakes and through the years we have learned a lot and grown up a lot. A few years ago Amanda moved to North Carolina to start a family with her husband (at the time) and though they are no longer together, she is settled down there and has found the life she was looking for with her boyfriend. Amanda is one of the most kind-hearted people that I know and she has always had a soft spot for children with special needs, which I think was God's way of preparing her for her true love. Amanda and her boyfriend have an amazing blended family made up of Amanda and her two daughters and Chris and his daughter (who is autistic). When Amanda was first becoming really involved in their lives, she jumped in with both feet and did a TON of research about autism diets, the best schools, anything she could to help make this little girls life the best it could be. Their family flourished and I know that Amanda see's Chris' daughter as one of her own. Amanda and I have seen each other through some dark times and now that we're both in such AMAZING places in our lives, it's wonderful to still have each other to lean on and bounce ideas off of... we have so much in common, more than ever, with our children, families, faith and just daily life!
So to Jen, Becky and Amanda... you guys are terrific and my life wouldn't be the same without you!!!!