Monday, February 21, 2011

Day Fourteen: My Girls

The problem with this "30-Day Photo Challenge" that I borrowed from Facebook is that there is so much overlap in the topics.  So often my first instinct is to write about my husband or daughter.  And while I don't mind writing about them at all, I'm pretty sure my precious few readers would get bored after awhile.  When I read today's challenge--to post a picture of the person you can't imagine your life without--obviously my little family popped into my head.  Since I've already written about them lately, though, I decided to choose a friend instead.  But which friend?  I have so many precious people in my life with whom I've laughed and celebrated, cried and mourned.  Since I can't list them all here, I'm just going to choose a few of my nearest and dearest (in no particular order).  Some I've known for years and some not so long, but I am thankful for each beautiful lady below. 

Note:  I am not using names since this is a public blog and I want to do what I can to protect my peeps from any crazies.  Okay, maybe that's extreme, but I'm still only going to refer to them with initials or nicknames. :)

My Two Oldest Friends:  "A" (aka Garth) and "P"

July 2010 - My baby shower

I have seriously known these girls since we were in diapers in the church nursery almost 32 years ago!  We were born within a six-month period and have been lifelong friends.  Over the years, we have made so many memories and had so much fun together. There have been times we've gone long periods of time without seeing each other, but we always remain close.  I treasure them both so much and wish we had more time together.  have no doubt that--Lord willing--we will still be friends in another 32 years.  We'll still be laughing and making memories as long as we're able.

Craigmont Crew:  "S" and "E"
My 29th Birthday
I was so fortunate that my first (well, technically second) teaching assignment was at Craigmont High School.  I had the honor of not only working with but become lifelong friends with some wonderful people, including the two ladies to the right.  They are two of the smartest, funniest, most wonderful women I know.  My "Aunt-tea S." (left) was like a second mother to me while I was in Memphis and was such a comfort to me during those first (stressful) years of my teaching career. "E." is one of my absolute favorite people in the world.  She has the most wicked sense of humor and is the definition of loyal friend.  And I swear I feel smarter just being in her presence.  Love these two.  Wish I could see them more. 

Liberty Ladies are "Lush-us"

Teachers make the best friends and I have the honor of calling quite a few my amigas.  In the last 3 years, I've grown close to a fantastically unique group of ladies, all the dear nieces of one "Aunt Ollie."  As I was going through my photos, I realized I don't have pictures with all these gals.  I guess it's because when we get together, we're too busy being loud and crazy to stop and take pictures.  This group includes two "S" ladies:  one who I totally forget could technically be my mom because she's so stinking cool and another whom I've known for years and years but didn't get close to until fate brought her two doors down.  I also found a "K" (who is loud and opinionated just like me, which I love) and "P" (my mother hen who inspires me to burst out in song and dance wherever I am).  There's a "V" who was my saving grace during my "year in hell" with 200 freshmen and no planning period.  And who can forget "T," my next door neighbor who I've shared a million laughs with between classes.  You gals rock my crazy, dysfunctional world.  Our next mission to is take more pictures!

Sister Wives
Last but definitely not least, is my "sister-wife" of whom I do have a picture.  Over the past few years, we've practically become family (she actually introduces me as her sister-wife which may freak people out now that everyone is familiar with that term).  Now that I'm not at school, we don't get to see each other nearly enough, but when we do, it's always a hoot.  I'm crazy about her family, and my little girl is crazy about her (especially certain parts of her that she likes to nap on top of).  We don't always agree on everything, but we have each other's backs. 

Fast Friends - "Y"

One of about 200 pictures we took before she

 "Y" and I met in April 2007 and were inseparable. Six months later, she moved 900 miles away. It was so hard because I had grown close to her and her family. We've only seen each other twice since then; however, we've managed to remain friends across the distance through the wonders of modern technology. I hate that we both have kids now and that we can't raise them as friends. I know we'd have so much fun being mommies together. I'm thankful that she has a happy life, though, even if it's not here in Tennessee. She's such a sweetheart and deserves every blessing she receives. I miss her all the time and can't wait until we get to see each other again. I mean, just look at this pictures. We can't help but have fun.

My Encourager - "R"
R and me (and baby A)
When my "Brother V' told me he had a new girlfriend and it was serious, I figured it would be the end of us hanging out.  Most women don't like their guys to have single friends who are of the female persuasion.  When I met her, however, we were pretty much best friends in 10 minutes.  Instead of losing a friend, I gained a gorgeous lifelong sister.  I had the honor of being in V and R's wedding, and we've only grown closer over the past 10+ years.  To make it even better, their beautiful daughter is my sweet Panda-girl whom I love so much. I have many friends who offer encouragement, but "R" is my cheerleader.  She has been there for me through some of the darkest days of my life and I'm not sure I would have made it through those times as well as I did if I hadn't had her constant encouragement and prayers.  She is also the friend I call my "marriage protector."  When I've needed to confide in someone, I've always been able to go to "R" because my marriage is important to her.  I know she will never tear my husband down and she isn't afraid to tell me the part I play in a problem.  Her wisdom has been such a Godsend.  "R" is so real and so sincere, and my life is better because she's in it. 

The Younger Sister I Never Had - "T"

The ONE picture
"T" and I recently realized that pretty much ZERO pictures exist of the two of us. It's not that we don't see each other or spend time together.  We used to be together every day and still see each other at least a couple of times a week.  There are lots of pictures of me with her kids and her with my kid, but there is only ONE picture of the two of us (two pictures if you count one of me with her and her husband at their wedding).  You can't judge a friendship by pictures, though, because what we lack in photographic evidence, we make up for with sisterhood.  "T" and I may have different parents, but I truly consider her my sister in my heart.  My sisters are so much older so I never grew up with them, and I always wanted a sister close to my age.  When I was 28, I kind of got one.  "T" is lucky enough to have two real sisters and I hope they know how lucky they are.  As busy as her life is with work and family, I know I can call or text her anytime of day and she'll be there for me.  I know we will be friends for the rest of our lives.  I love her so much, as well as her precious family.  She has also allowed me the honorary title of "aunt" to her sweet children.  "T" is beautiful inside and out.  And maybe someday we will actually get to be related.  My little girl sure is sweet on her baby boy ;) 

The Partner in Crime and So Much More - "J"

I could devote a hundred bogs to all the stories I have with this pretty lady and there are so many pictures I have a hard time choosing just one.  We weren't instant best friends; in fact, we weren't initially fans of each other at all.  But once we gave it a chance, it wasn't any time before we were leaving butt prints everywhere (probably not what you think) and pooping together (pretty much what you think).  We spent four years teaching together in Memphis where we created some of my most cherished memories.  We have laughed together, cried together, stressed together and fought together (and against each other, but only a couple of times).  The first year we were apart after becoming friends, we were ten hours apart and it was miserable.  Only five separate us now, but it's still too much.  There are so many important events in each other's lives that we have to miss, but we both know that it's not cliche to say we're always there in spirit.  W have to depend a lot on our phones now, but truth be known, we could probably communicate telepathically if we tried hard enough.  She is the only friend I have whose name is often preceded with the pronoun "my."  I know it sounds cheesy, but if you've ever been around us, you totally get it.  I am fiercely protective of her, as she is of me.  I love "my J," eater of cheese dip and hider of plastic babies.  I am so thankful that she found her other half and that I could be a part of the wonderful day when they joined their lives together forever.  I'm also thankful that she has her sweet little boy now to make her little family complete.  All I've ever wanted is for her to be completely content and happy with her life because she's brought so much joy to mine.  I love you, J-Dub.  Wanna go to the mall? 


Elaine said...

You have very lucky friends that you seem to love them like you do.

Anonymous said...


You have no idea the terriffic timing of your blog. Renee's reaction was so wonderful. She said she needed more friends like you. I told her one of you is quite enough.... :)

a.j.g. said...

So glad she liked it. Love you both.

Jenny said...

Ah, this is so wonderful. You have amazing friends- a real testament to how incredible you are! I love you, Ambi, more than you'll ever know (or do you?).