August 10, 2011

First Friend

Do you remember who your very first friend was as a small child?

I do, and I am so incredibly blessed that she has always remained one of my very closest, best friends throughout my entire life.

I have spoken her name since about the time I first learned to talk: Katie Kyle. The daughters of parents who were close friends, we were introduced and instantly became best friends at the age of one. Yes, that's right--one years old!

I have memories of Katie and I at preschool together, playing at her house, playing at my house, etc. I know that seems like an awfully young age to remember things at, but I have a very, very freakishly clear memory when it comes to how far back I can remember. That's a story for another time, however.

Here we are as toddlers:
At that age, when our families got together, the initial meeting of Katie and myself always consisted of Katie and I standing face to face, screaming at the top of our lungs. {It was our way to show each other how excited we were to see one another!} It annoyed our parents so much that they always gave us pep talks beforehand, telling us that we "could not scream this time." always happened anyway.

From ages one to four is when our families lived in the same town--Sheridan, Wyoming. Ever since then, our families have lived in separate states, but that has never stopped our friendship from growing.

I still have letters and class photos that Katie used to send me in grade school. Our families got together fairly often when Katie's family lived in Seattle, WA and mine in Spokane, WA, but after age eight, my family moved to Michigan and we have been separated by thousands of miles ever since.

So Katie and I would take turns visiting each other in the summer. We have so many incredible memories together, and of course, her family is like my family, and vice versa.

One of Katie's summer visits to Michigan in high school.

Even though there are times when months pass between Katie and myself without contact, and a year or two without seeing one another, we always pick up our friendship exactly where we left off.

Katie is an amazingly beautiful woman inside and out. I feel so honored to have her as my longest and most special friend in life. Her friendship is such an incredible gift.

Katie was a bridesmaid in our wedding. Here we are after the reception; me in my honeymoon getaway outfit.

For the last several years, Katie has lived in Portland, Oregon. This has been incredibly convenient since that is where all of my mom's side of the family lives, as well as my brother and his family.

The super-exciting thing is that Katie got engaged to my brother Brandon's best friend, John! I'm flying out to Portland tomorrow to be a bridesmaid in Katie and John's wedding this weekend!

Sadly, Matt wasn't able to get enough time off of work to fly out with me. However, we are going to go to back to Portland together in October to spend lots of time with family. Matt hasn't seen any of the Portland family in a couple of years because of his deployment.

I'm so honored to celebrate with Katie and John this weekend! Of course I'm also super-pumped to stay with my brother and his family and see my grandparents and aunts/uncles/cousins.

I'll be absent from here until next Wednesday while I'm enjoying my time in Portland. Enjoy the rest of your week and have an excellent summer weekend, before summer slips away!

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