Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I need prayer

i can't and won't go into details at the moment
or maybe even in a few moments
but i need prayer
and clarity
and knowledge that everything's going to be ok

a few days ago i was praising Jehovah Jireh--my provider--on my facebook status
(and of course in my heart)
i need to HOLD ON to the promise that He IS my provider right now

please pray
please.

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Nashville: 11:39 pm

boulevard of broken dreams...broken cars...broken people, broken lives
strange sights, strange sounds, strange land
creeped out drivers plod through wasteland, wantland, needland
amazed and astonished at what lies before them

blue lighting up the skies on every turn
abandoned highway where there should be plenty,
abundance of cars
sits silently in wait of the lone driver, the adventurer

she drives alone, terrified yet enthralled
heart pounding with excitement, with fear
knowing the strange silence of these nashville highways
is temporary

the dark thoughts that swirl around her mind will disappear

light will come

the hustle and bustle will return
normalcy will come
and until then

she must drive on

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So...I'm 29

my 29th birthday was sunday
i'm now officially as old as i can possibly be and still check the box for "20s"

it was a good day
i received cards and a package in the mail the day before (because i suck and check the mail approximately once a week. i also had my census form in there. so it may have been 2 weeks...)

i woke up in someone else's house
no, not because i was partying the night before
i was babysitting for the dogs in anthony's family
while they were in kentucky for memorial service #2 i took care of the 5 poodles that his parents, grandparents, and two aunts own.
it was actually a blast.
adoration takes on a whole new form when there is food involved and 5 pairs of eyes are begging you to just.drop.a.noodle.

sooo, i slept in because there had been a weather radio incident at 2:48 am, followed by about 30 minutes of barking from 4 of the 5 pups who were apparently still a bit concerned
went to church
treated myself to thai food (yum) and thai tea (omgosh)
performed with the chorale that afternoon
went home to get ready
because anthony was taking me to dinner

and he came
bearing a large package
and after i opened my card
*which was hilarious and a total inside joke*
he plopped said package on my lap
it was HEAVY
and he said "open it!"
to which i did
and found a brand new
WII!

so on the next rainy day
i will be purchasing a wiifit
and shall go to town on it :)

after i opened my present
we went to dinner
at the pub
where they had placed us at the very front table
which was uber-cool

it was slammed when we got there
but by the time they stopped playing
it was just a few of us
and it was lovely

all in all
a very low key event
(but don't worry...there's a birthday celebration at the pub the weekend following Easter...and that will not be low-key)
:0)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

on the right track

i'm down the 2 pounds that i gained back last week
(oops)
but yay...
and today i went for a walk/jog
(walked the whole way one direction, ran all the way back)
and went to trader joe's
(swoon)
where i spent lots of money on amazing produce
veggies (which i love)
fruits (which i'm learning to love)

small steps toward the right direction
attempting to use only the best, freshest ingredients when i cook
(except for pasta...because once in awhile that's just necessary)

what have you done lately to make you a healthier you?


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Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Memory: The One With the Pizza


last march
right after my birthday
my friend angie came into town
she snapped this photo
of anthony and i
when we introduced her to a great little pizzeria here in nashville
mmmmm...hungry yet?


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Friday, March 19, 2010

pause

anthony's granddaddy went Home early this morning
it's his 79th birthday
tonight we celebrate him

i've only had the pleasure of knowing him since i've been dating his grandson
slightly over a year and a half
not enough time
but long enough to know he was a class act

quiet strength
noble
humble
wise
and hilarious
he had this way of saying one little thing
which made us laugh for hours

what a GREAT life he had.

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Recipe of the Week -- Shepherd (or Cottage) Pie

As per my usual I made this for St Patrick's Day. This year I took it to the hospital and shared it with Anthony's family who were all gathered with his granddaddy. It was my attempt at bringing Irish cheer to the hospital, and it was enthusiastically received. I've shared this recipe before, but it deserves a repeat. Plus I've changed it (anyone surprised?)

Just for the record, I make this with lamb (Shepherd's Pie) or ground beef (Cottage Pie). It's a technicality that some people are very strict about :-)  

Cottage/Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground beef (or one pound ground lamb)
1 onion, chopped
clove of garlic, minced or chopped finely
1-2 cups mixed veggies (I use carrots, corn and peas normally)
1 1/2-2 lbs potatoes
1 stick butter
1/2 cup beef broth
2-4 tbsp tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 cup of red wine (this is totally eyeballed and I'm fairly sure I used closer to 1/2 cup this time around)
3 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
salt, pepper, other seasonings
(rubbed sage, thyme, mint, etc)

Begin by peeling, chopping, and boiling potatoes in salted water for 20-30 minutes.

About 10 minutes after they begin boiling, melt 4 tablespoons butter in large frying pan.
(which means you have time to harvest, plow and plant approximately 30 plots on farmville. just in case you wonder.)

Saute onions in butter and mixed spices until tender over medium heat (approx 10 minutes). About 5 minutes in, add clove of chopped garlic and the carrots.

Add meat and saute until brown. Add peas and corn, salt and pepper, worcesterchire sauce, splash of wine, and beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding the tomato paste/sauce about 5 minutes into this process.

When potatoes are tender mash them. I add about 2-3 tbsp butter, milk, and even amounts of salt and pepper as I mash. You, of course, can season how you would normally season mashed potatoes.

Line baking dish with beef, onions and veggie mixture. Layer mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so peaks will brown nicely.
(or not...it's gonna taste the same)

Cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Turn on broiler and let brown for an additional 5 minutes.



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Thursday, March 18, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Volume 10

remember bank robber Santa?
well
he came back
as bank robber leprechaun

so the mystery is solved
but the guy in the suit(s) is dead
big-time police shootout
killed the driver of the getaway car eventually
and the actual robber killed himself as he fled on foot
thankfully, the only casualty on the law enforcement side was the police car that got shot up

(news story here)

nashville always makes the news for odd things...
(this time we made *international* news!)
i wonder what's next?

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thursday's Ten: Things found In...

Does anyone else need to clean out their purse as badly as I do?

We're about to find out.



Ten Things Found in Your Purse
(or wallet, laptop bag, or manpurse)

1. wallet (well, that's normal)
2. camera (still normal)
3. small notebook that I use to jot down scripture and prayer
4. coupons (random ones, some of them likely expired)
5. not one or two but three shades of Burt's Bees tinted lip shimmer
6. old Victoria's Secret mint tin that I use for a change purse
7. plastic spoon. no, I don't know why.
8. a thank you card from a friend
9. individual cracker bag. unfortunately the crackers are more of a powder by now
10. a baggie full of earrings that I've made so that I have a backup when I inevitably forget to put them on in the house. oh, and random necklaces and bracelets for the same reason.

how about you?
what will we find in YOUR bag?


(grab the button and sign MckLinky)



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I ♣ This (Irish for I ♥ This)

nashville has a controversial piece of art
it's called musica
it's a gorgeous bronze statue in the middle of a roundabout on Music Row
some folks around here apparently took issue to it when it was raised
and it has the nickname of "nudies" to most of us natives
(but I still think it's beautiful. don't you?)


musica (or the nudies) has the (un)fortunate position of being right.next.to an Irish pub
in fact, the pub that i spent a lot of time at before my friend opened his own
(and where i will still be going from time to time)

with all the irish and scottish pride rampant in nashville today
is it any wonder that the nudies were kilted?




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St Patrick's Prayer

May those who love us love us.

And those that don't love us,

May God turn their hearts.

And if He doesn't turn their hearts,

May he turn their ankles,

So we'll know them by their limping.

(Irish blessing)


one of my favorite days of the year is today.
last year, i linked to a favorite veggie tales rendition of the St Patrick story.
this year i link you to this site, which will give you all the history you'd like.
my ancestry is german and irish, and today is a day i spend in thanks
for the one who brought my faith to ireland
to the people who would become my family
to the green island i hope to one day visit.

it is a day where many people drink
after all, that is a common irish pastime
it is a day where i will go to the pub, sip on a pint, and listen to some great irish tunes
but i will also remember
the true importance of today

St Patrick's prayer is what i leave you with today. these are his words. may they bless you today.



I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

today

i have no wise words today
no coherent thoughts to speak of
just sharing part of my heart

i'm aching for those who ache

i'm rejoicing for job opportunties in the near future -- i begin a nanny gig at the end of april
for a sweet baby boy who will be 11 weeks plus a month
(because he's 11 weeks now)
his parents are wonderful
easy-going and laid back
the kind of parents who take their cues from baby within a structured environment
striking that natural balance that benefits both child and parent
undoubtedly the sort of parent i will be
so we clicked
and i'm thrilled that this will be happening
although i'm still on pins and needles while i wait for something to happen for the next month point five
and i'm thankful through all of it that God is still God

if you are a prayer, a thinker, a person
please keep anthony's family in those prayers and thoughts
one grandparent is in hospice with stage 4 lung cancer
another admitted yesterday to the hospital with congestive heart failure
both sides of the family now keeping vigil by two hospital beds...thankfully in the same building

if you're one to light a candle
to cross yourself
to use prayer beads
i'm pretty sure any gesture would be appreciated right now

st patrick's day is tomorrow
if you are one of faith
celebrate

we will be

today i vow
to lose myself in music
because right now i have a gift
time
and while i could spend it cleaning my house
and truth be told, i need to spend more than a few minutes on that task
i also need to spend a portion of it
doing what makes me me
what the One who created me
well, created me to do
and so
i will play
and worship
and enjoy life on the piano bench
for just a bit

do something today
that you were created to do

and tell me about it
because i want to know



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Monday, March 15, 2010

Made By Lora


necklace for a charity auction (wine not included)necklace for a friend to wear to her son's rehearsal dinner
earrings for the dress I wore to the wedding







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Monday's Memory: The One With the Siblings

Without getting into a whole lot of family history, I never knew much about my siblings while I was growing up.

Didn't know they existed until I was in first grade.
Was told "not to tell anyone" that dad had other children.
And the first grader who was asked in class the next week how many brothers and sisters she had had NO idea how to answer. She had been taught never to lie, but any answer she could give was in some way a lie.

I met my brother a couple of years later.

I met my sister on a summer evening when I was in between 7th and 8th grade.
I found out the night before that she had stopped speaking to my parents when she found out my mother was pregnant with me.
Which is understandable, really. She was 16 when her parents divorced and I'm betting she didn't have a whole lot of counseling and help through it when her father moved away and eventually met another woman who he married. That was strained enough for her, but another child meant she and her brother might be "replaced"
And while I'm at the age now (28) that she was when I was born...I can completely understand that when someone hasn't worked out their own grief about that sort of situation, the response of no longer speaking to that father is a protective measure so that they aren't hurt again.

However, my 13 year old brain couldn't process that.
So I met this gorgeous, petite, skinny woman.
And she scared me.

It's probably no surprise that shortly after that was when my eating issues began.

Anyway.
The first time my brother and sister and I were EVER in the same room together was when I was 22. I had just graduated from college and my brother flew me up to Kansas City to visit with his family and get to know them since he was *also* not speaking to my father at that point.
(yeah...my family is interesting. this is only the tip o' the iceberg)
My sister came up from her home a couple of hours south of KC, and we spent a day together, the 3 of us and G's wife, Karen.
(my sister and I...wow I was young!)
(and my brother and I)


The second time the three of us were in the same room together was a mere 6 months later when our grandmother passed away. Both my siblings informed me that had it not been for me contacting them and forging relationships neither of them would have come to the funeral.

As it turned out our brother played the music for the service and it was beautiful.
My sister and I sat with our arms interlocked as we wiped away our separate tears

And it was the first time I ever felt like we were truly bonded as family.

More interesting things have happened since that day in February, 2004.
But sometimes I just need to pull out this picture and remember



Family.

I don't always claim them.
I don't always stay in touch like I should.
I'm not great at being a sister...after all, I never knew how to be.

But the bond...is undeniable.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's a Great Day to Go to (Yet Another) Wedding


Happy Saturday everyone!
(go here to join the wordle craze)

and...



Off to Caitlin and Pat's Wedding!

I say "yet another" in the post title because since Anthony and I have been dating it seems like we have one of these every few months!

However, this is the first one that one of us is involved in. This is his turn--he's a groomsman. In the next wedding that we know of (May) I'll be a bridesmaid as well as singing in the ceremony. However, this wedding is here...that one will be in Indiana. Slightly more long-distance!

Thankfully (for the most part) I just get to show up and enjoy all the festivities--beginning with the shower a couple of weeks ago, including the rehearsal dinner last night, and culminating in the wedding today. Caitlin and Pat have found a great little apartment just a couple of miles from me, so that's pretty cool...and I've made jewelry just to go with the dress I'm wearing to the ceremony tomorrow that I'm super excited about.

I'll have to post new jewels on here soon :) I've been busy lately!

Happy Saturday!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

told you i'd be more positive...

i watched grey's anatomy tonight, as per my usual
and the end quote struck me, as it often does
i've shared the wisdom so often evident in those final words
on other blog posts of mine (like here and here)
and this one had to be shared too.

as a wanna-be runner...these words can easily be applied to the hiking, jogging, and 5Ks that i do.

they can also be applied to my current state of mind.
and i have hope, that i'm still scaling the side of this particular mountain.

wisdom of grey's:


they take pictures of mountain climbers at the top of the mountain
they're smiling
estatic
triumphant

they don't take pictures along the way
cause who wants to remember the rest of it?
we push ourselves because we have to
not because we like it

the relentless climb
the pain and anguish of taking it to the next level

nobody takes pictures of that

nobody wants to remember

we just want to remember the view from the top
the breathtaking moment at the edge of the world

that's what keeps us climbing
and it's worth the pain

that's the crazy part

it's worth anything.

- Grey's Anatomy, 2010



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Thursday's Ten: Reasons I Suck

No excuses tonight, just a very real list of very real suckage



1. I haven't blogged for nearly a week
2. I'm having trouble with actually eating 2 full meals a day lately. Not on purpose. My schedule has imploded, my days and nights are confused, and I often get to 3 pm and realize I missed lunch. So that means dinner plus a heavy unhealthy snack. This is clearly not making my weight-loss goals happen any faster
3. I have slacked off big-time on exercise. But I did hit the greenway tonight and plan to go again tomorrow if time allows and Saturday if it does not. And both if life turns out perfectly!
4. People around me are hurting and I can't be there for them like I'd like. This includes my boyfriend and his family, who are amazing and wonderful to me...
5. My cat may be sick (she keeps wheezing) and I am worried about the vet bill. On a positive note, she hasn't wheezed at all since Tuesday, so I'm hopeful that whatever it was has now passed.
6. I have a wedding to be in early May and I haven't bought my dress yet because I can't even pay my freaking bills...how can I justify over $100 for a dress?!
7. My temporary job (which I have been sooooo grateful for) ends this week. So I'm stressed to the MAX about what I'm going to do for income. I know that I know that I know that God provides, but I'm still worried. Even though the past year and a half have taught me so much about reliance on Him and that money is not as major as it seems.
8. I barely managed to get a jewelry order done in time for a friend even though I've known about it for months. Thankfully it turned out beautifully and she is grateful (and has no idea that I...forgot about it...for forever).
9. I lost a contact last night and literally spent hours crawling around on the floor and looking under sofa cushions for it. Never found it. Am concerned about how much an eye exams+new contacts will cost...and am literally down to my last one now.
10. People have said (online and in person) this week that they admire my positivity and good outlook on things through this whole unemployment bit. And most of the time, they're right. I've remained pretty positive and stayed on the happy side of life, but there are times like today that I feel anything but. And clearly, that's coming through in this blog post.

I hesitated about posting this, truly. I try to stay positive here and not be a whiny crybaby...but it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to. I promise to make the next post back to the normally scheduled program of cheer :)

(on a very positive note, I start teaching private voice lessons in early April. and there's a possibility of a nanny job from end of April-August which will take me right into the school year. I'm going to either be teaching in August or nannying for a friend, so I know if I can make it through the next month and a half...I'll be ok.)

So, uh, I'm not mcklinkying this. If you want to create a list of reasons you suck, let me know and I'll visit you. If you want to create a list of why I suck, please don't let me know ;)

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's a Great Day to Completely Forget About my Blog...


(go here, join in the fun)

and


Did a truck run over me?

Yeah...I did a 5K this morning (48:05, mostly walking). But considering that I've had an average of 3-4 hours of sleep per night this week I just feel *awful*. I need to start sleeping! It's not by choice, I promise
:-/

However, I have new makeup to experiment with, polish for my toes, and a french manicure to perform on myself here in the next couple of hours--all prep for our Oscar party tomorrow. I'm babysitting a sweet bulldog right now, so I'll wait until she goes to bed...don't need her ingesting anything and believe me she'd try!
:-D


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Friday, March 5, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Volume 9

A nudist church.

I really have no words...just...let the video speak for itself.

article and video here


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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday's Ten: Oscar's Edition



So we're totally having a Red Carpet party for the Oscars this weekend...complete with dressing up. SO, I'm asking you. If you were actually walking the red carpet...or if you're like me and fake-walking the red carpet...what 10 things would be high on your list to get ready?

Here's mine:

Oscar Prep List

1. A killer dress
(or a cheap dress. I found one at Goodwill for less than $10. Yes, there will be pictures)
2. Hair in an updo
(this one will be difficult for me. shall have to experiment)
3. French manicure
4. fresh pedicure
(both of these will be done by me...just not in the budget for me to go to a salon)
5. great little evening bag
6. awesome shoes
7. an eyebrow wax
(I may go to the beauty school to get this done on the way cheap...IF I get around to it)
8. smokey eyes. just because I've been waiting for an excuse to try this.
9. a loss of approximately 50 pounds. I'll settle for 2 for this party since it IS in 4 days.
10. and finally...great lipstick!

Pictures will be forthcoming. What are you doing for the big night?

Link up if you will...







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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Heart Faces: Hilarious Outtakes!



This week's theme is hilarious outtakes. They might only be hilarious for me--but here's a few funny pics I just HAD to share.

My friend Angie and I having cookies and milk...
...just the looks on our faces...


love this one
Izzy had just bit Anthony's hand
and it TOTALLY reminded me of that "Chahlie BIT me" video


same night, same baby
smiling for a picture with mommy
and all of a sudden, burst into tears


my friend Jean was having a birthday party
complete with a feather boa
which she dramatically slung over her shoulder
and I caught the picture immediately after...
...with a feather up her nose...


and finally
a friend's wedding
her twin nieces had fallen asleep during the ceremony
were less that thrilled to be awakened for photographs
and were terrified of that big white dress


click on the camera above all the pictures to see other hi-larious photos!


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Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday's Memory: The One With the Blog Swap! (introducing Janet, of Out of the Extraordinary!)

Hey all! I'm guesting on Janet's blog today, so she's posting over here! She decided to follow my regular format and post a Monday's Memory, and I followed my norm and took chaos to her blog! :)

Please visit her and give her some love!

-L

Monday Memories - BFFs


Hi there! Lora and I have switched blogs today, isn’t that fun? I am so very blessed because she has an AWESOME post over at my place, Out of the Extraordinary. I do hope you’ll stop by, I dusted and everything. :o) I’m really having a great time doing Be My Guest Monday so be sure to let me know if you’d be interested in being my guest as well!


In honor of Lora’s blog, I decided to do a Monday Memories over here:

(That’s me on the left)


Today’s memory is my BFF, yes that’s right, my Best Friend Forever. My BFF and I have been together since the first day of 2nd grade, shortly after my family moved into the neighborhood. Which was, oh, 10 years ago. ‘Cause I’m totally still 17.


But really we’ve been best friends for over 20 years. We met on the bus stop. She lived on a house in a cul-de-sac, and I lived about 2 houses up the road from there, and the bus picked us up right on the corner. So yes, we were those best friends who lived almost next door.


The really funny thing, as I think about it, is that first day of 2nd grade was the only time we ever took the bus. We had this great location where we were just barely on *this* side of the line for the bus. So we barely made it for High School, but we had to walk to grade school. Oh well, we were like eight. Walking a mile when you’re eight is like nothing. (Seriously, if you had to walk a mile to work now, you’d totally complain about it, wouldn’t you?)


My BFF and I only took one class together in our entire 11 years of Grade School, Jr. High and High School. I guess they thought that 2nd grade was enough, eh? I don’t recall being a disturbance or anything. I mean, yes, I did give her the answer to a test once. But come on, we were best friends. How could I not help her out? I didn’t even realize it as cheating (which is highly ironic given that we had to put folders up around our desks in order to protect our test papers from roving eyes). But I suppose after that they determined we would be inseparable enough outside of school. Which we were.


We’ve stuck together in spite of different interests, a sometimes too-similar taste in boys, and different college experiences. Except for a week in high school when I refused to talk to her because she asked a boy to a dance that I’d planned on asking, we’ve been tight almost our whole lives. Amazing, isn’t it? We still talk on the phone as often as we can, and I had Thanksgiving at her place last November. I love my BFF.


So what about you? Are you still friends with a childhood bff? How did you meet?



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