October 21, 2011

Best Friend #1

My best friend, Laura, recently came to visit me and she also brought her beautiful, adorable, 17-month-old baby girl, Eden, along with her.

Laura is currently 35 weeks pregnant and she is just so stinkin' cute:

She looks great! Baby's gender will be a surprise.

And Eden....first of all, isn't that the sweetest name? It's perfectly fitting for her, because Eden is the sweetest little girl. She has huge, gorgeous blue eyes and she is at the stage where all she does is laugh and giggle. This was also the first time "Uncle Matt" got to meet Eden, since she was born just after his deployment began.


We had such a fun weekend playing with Eden, having lots of girl-talk, eating at Potbelly Sandwich Shop, shopping, watching a movie, drinking cider, and making our own caramel apples, which turned out to be a huge success!

But let me tell you, when I say Laura and I are best friends, that's pretty much an understatement. We are truly soul mates, as cheesy as that sounds. And we have history, going wayyy back.

Laura and I met in the fourth grade when we were in the same Sunday School class at church. We didn't go to the same elementary schools and although we both had red hair, we just didn't really hit it off as friends. In fact, for several years, Laura and I both experienced the same thing. If it was a Saturday, or a whole free day in the summertime, we'd go to our moms asking if we could invite a friend over to play. Both of our moms would suggest, "Why don't you invite Laura?" or "Why don't you invite Deanne?" And we'd both reply, "Nah," with indifference. She thought I was too much of a girly-girl, and I thought she was stuck-up.

Once middle school came along (although we called it "junior high" at the time), we saw a lot more of each other, especially in our church's junior high youth group. In the seventh grade, we both ended up participating in a YMCA volleyball clinic after school. Since Laura's mom worked, she arranged for my mom to pick both of us up from the Y and drop Laura off at home. It was in those days, sitting together waiting for my mom, that we struck up a true friendship. Soon after, we spent a few weekends spending the night at each other's houses, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sophomore year of high school: We did a joint-presentation in history class on the Vietnam War.
We're wearing her dad's old uniforms from when he served in that war.

From then on we were practically joined at the hip. We were unquestionably best friends, and we connected on every level possible. We'd be together all day at school, and because that time together clearly wasn't enough, we'd then go home and talk to each other for {literally} hours on the telephone. We spent all of our weekends together. We were together at church and youth group. I can't really describe it, but we both just knew we'd found our one-and-only, life-long best friend.

Being silly at youth group.

This continued all throughout high school, too. We were locker partners for three years until we were seniors and could have our own lockers, and even then, our lockers were next to each other. We had so many adventures, so many memories. People associated us with one another. Although we had some different friends and some different interests and activities, the best-friend-bond was above the rest.

Summer of 2000: building a house together in Mexico for a homeless family.

When high school ended, some people thought we'd drift apart. Laura went to a university in Chicago while I went to a private liberal arts university in Indiana. But after Laura's freshman year, she transferred to my school. It wasn't only because of me, but I can say that I was a pretty big part of it!

At our youth group dinner reception for graduating seniors.
 We've always, always gotten asked if we were sisters, or even twins. People comment on how our voices sound alike, and we talk alike and have the same mannerisms. In fact, we always use to prank my dad and put Laura on the phone because he couldn't tell it was her and not me. And in college, when Laura called my sister to tell her she had gotten engaged, Erin thought it was ME calling from France, saying I had gotten engaged!

We made the decision to be roommates our sophomore year. People said we were crazy and that living together would make us fight and dissolve our friendship. But we were confident...we knew that would not be the case. And we were so right. Though we didn't go without some tense moments, overall, living together turned out to be a huge blast.

College roomies.

We've also traveled a lot together: our sophomore year in high school, we went to the Virgin Islands with Laura's parents; senior year, we went with her parents on a week-long Caribbean cruise; we traveled to Mexico on a youth mission trip; she has been to Portland with me to visit family and to travel around Oregon; Atlantic City in college; tons of visits to Chicago {which is close to where we grew up}; she visited me in France during my semester abroad there; and in more recent years, meeting up with several other couples in gorgeous State Parks to camp and hike for a few days over Memorial Day weekends.

Goofing off at my "Bon Voyage!" surprise party before I left to spend my last
semester of college in France.

Ever since college has ended, Laura and I haven't lived in the same state. We're far away, just not too far away. Of course we were in each other's weddings and when baby Eden was born, I was there in the hospital celebrating with Laura and her husband, just like I had always imagined when we were younger. Oh and by the way, it was through Laura and her then-fiance, now-husband, that Matt and I first met.

Our friendship has naturally evolved over time. We always knew that once we got married, things would be very different, since our husbands are now our best friends. But Laura and I always told each other that in our lives, we could each have TWO best friends: each other, and our own respective husbands {hence the title of this post}. We no longer can be joined at the hip or see each other every day, let alone very often. Our busy lives unfortunately keep us apart much longer than we would like. And like any relationship, our friendship has had it's ups and downs.

But one thing remains: we are best friends--the kind of best friends most people only ever dream of. We are family. Our deep bonds run true and have stood the tests of time. We grew up and entered adulthood as practically one unit, and although that will never be possible again, it has left us with a love and friendship that is unbreakable. We will be best friends until we die, and neither time nor distance will change that. A bond this strong, this beautiful, has truly shaped who Laura and I are today. Laura has been, is, and always will be one of God's very greatest gifts to me in my life.

1 comment:

Meg said...

You two are too adorable! This post made me smile. :)


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