And then it hit me.
One of the very BEST things in my life, one of the things that makes my Life the MOST Well Lived, is just that - FRIENDSHIP. So, I decided to devote an entire LWL post to that. Prepare for MushFest 2011.
I have known many of my best friends for more than half my life.
Ryan is included in that statement, since we met in middle school. That is one of the bonuses of living on one place your entire life. The picture on the left is of me with Kim at her 13th birthday party. We met in 6th grade. The picture on the right is me (and my AWESOME silk shirt) with Brittany in 5th grade. We met in 4th. And yes, I am crazy tall...I think I am still that much taller than Britt, haha. All of the girls in my bridal party, I have known since at least middle school, and that is awesome in my book. My best friends have definitely earned the "best" title. They accept me for who I am, and love me anyway. They are flexible when things come up, like marital commitments. They know me completely...and I think that is something that comes with 15+ years of friendship.
My cousin and I are close, not just as family, but as friends.
My relationship with my cousin Katie is a special one. I have lots of cousins, and I love all of them very much, but the bond that Katie and I share is different. The first picture in the series above is in my office, and I can't tell you how many people have said "Wow, you and your sister look so much alike!" or "Is that your sister?" My response is always "She might as well be!" Katie and I are only about 18 months apart so naturally we were instant playmates. My Mom will even tell you that I named ALL of my babydolls "Baby Katie" for years. Haha! As Katie and I grew up, we spent a ton of time together, and after she moved out of Texas, we visited as often as we could. We were always pretty close, but it wasn't until we both entered adulthood that our status went from "Cousins" to "Cousins AND Friends". We are so much alike that its scary! Today, we are the closest we've ever been, and I cannot express how much that relationship means to me.
I have formed new friendships that I believe will stand the test of time.
I absolutely realize how cheesy that sounds...but it's the truth. 2011 has been an amazing year for friendships. The picture on the left is me with Lindsay (and Teddy!). If you are a "regular" around here, you've seen her name a lot lately. And with good reason. This girl is amazing. Our growing friendship brings so much joy into my life, and I thank my lucky stars that after knowing each other for at least 5 years (ish?) we are finally walking down a path that has brought us closer. The picture on the right is me with Mandy. Another name you see a lot. Mandy makes me laugh like few others can. She is also one of my greatest motivators. Mandy and I just "click"...and there is something about her that makes me spill my deepest, darkest secrets - and still feel confident they will be safe.
FRIENDSHIP makes my Life Well Lived.