Posts Tagged ‘friends are the greatest’

  • July 1, 2013


    last week was a rough one. (hence the quietness around here.) it was full of those little (and big) disappointments that come in realizing that life is different than you planned. that it is not, as it turns out, exactly how your sophomore self imagined it while sitting in her dorm room, eating twizzlers and talking with her roommates about the great possibilities of the future. dream jobs are not always the dream. the world’s timing very rarely falls into sync with your own. pay checks are less than you thought. (thanks, government.) bills are more. people are fallible and your heroes will disappoint you. life, you know, is just different.

    I wrote a post so many months ago about leaving dc. it was one I felt like I had written a dozen times before. about a fear that flashes in my mind like neon everytime I leave a place I’ve come to love with people that have become my family. because with every move, it seems more unlikely that I will find friends as good as the friends I am leaving. I worry that, somehow, I have met my quota of good people. but again. and as always. God is ridiculously faithful. and when I doubt he can do it, he just proves me wrong. again and again.

    so last week was bad, but you know what? it wasn’t. because it proved to me – again – that they are still there. roommates who let me vent while making me homemade ginger ale (with a generous helping of whiskey). friends who listen and let me cry and then turn on some justin for an impromptu dance party. because they know that justin makes all of life bearable. little notes hidden in little places. words of encouragement and affirmation and proof that I am exactly where I need to be even when it sometimes doesn’t feel that way. even when it feels like I uprooted my life only to end up being disappointed. but the disappointment is not the main thing. it’s not even anything. the world is daunting and overwhelming. but their presence is more overwhelming still. and for that I just don’t even know how to be thankful enough.

    {photos from christina’s surprise party. fried chicken. mac’n’cheese. watermelon. tennessee honey in mason jars with paper straws. southern comfort at its best.}



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  • June 11, 2013

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    my sweet and wonderful friend natalie got engaged last week. natalie, who I’ve known my whole life. and for better or worse, I’ve loved just as long. talk about roots. mine go the deepest with her. her sister was there when I was born. her mother is my namesake. through births and deaths and fires and floods and the most life you can fit into a few decades. her family is my family. my story does not make sense apart from her.


    she is, in every good way, my opposite. when we were young, my favorite thing to do was to sit quietly and read. her favorite thing to do was to play make-believe. we usually ended up doing the latter, and while she often made me be the dad in our “family,” I can’t blame her for pushing me out of my introvert shell just a little bit. I mean, that girl has an imagination. I remember pretending that we were the orphaned children of the king and queen of all the world and that the stairs in her house were a big green dinosaur we were riding to far-off destinations like the taj mahal and the egyptian pyramids and the statue of liberty. you know, things like that. and have I mentioned? sass for daysss. I mean, just look at her face in most of these photos. that girl knows what’s up. always has. in total juxtaposition to my painfully stumbly, stuttery awkwardness in any situation remotely social, she owns every room she walks into with her easygoing confidence and positivity.


    we used to jump on the trampoline in my backyard imagining what it would be like to live with boys and be moms like our moms and have a house of our own with a dog and a cat. over the years we’ve hit rough patches every so often but in the end, she’s always the one I come back to. the one I’m most excited to see when I go home. the one I think to call when I have something happy to tell. when I have something sad to tell. when have something of anything to tell, really.


    and now, we aren’t on the trampoline anymore. we aren’t even in the same town anymore. but that girl, she still has an imagination. she still has sass for daysss. she imagines a life that she loves and goes after it. no matter if it’s living in new york city for a while. or adopting stray cats and naming them izzy. or loving boys named tyler who take her on boat rides and live in little log cabins with her and propose while walking on the beach of the lake we grew up splashing around in. she loves fiercely and fully. she cares for others in ways that most people do not. she is my friend and I love her. and I love that she is getting married and will one day be a mom like our moms and have a house of her own with a dog and a cat.

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  • June 6, 2012

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    at brunch, we were full of laughter and a touch of silliness and anticipation of vastly different summer adventures on the way.

    at the market, we found playful perennials and perfect peaches and some of the best apples I’ve ever tasted.

    at the flea, I wanted to buy every pretty vintage bookshelf and chest of drawers. I tried to rationalize this by stating that I needed furniture for my new house. plus, they were recycled – a totally sensible buy, of course. the roommates knew better and managed to get me out of there without buying anything I couldn’t carry on the metro. (but oh, those sandals. I’m kind of in love with them.)

    at the bookstore, my search for CSL’s Space Trilogy was finally complete. and I stumbled upon the perfect intro anthology for a lady I’ve been meaning to read for so long. and when I say stumbled, I literally mean stumbled. in this beautiful chaos of a bookstore we leapt over piles of books like ballet dancers. we scaled bookshelves like mountain climbers – reaching to the tips of our fingers for dostoevsky and tolstoy.

    and best of all, at every step of the way, we loved being together. we celebrated the end the same way we celebrated the beginning. autumn called it symmetrical. I called if full circle. either way, it had a satisfying way of completeness to it. but without the circle feeling totally closed. because it’s never really closed when you know the friendship will keep moving forward albeit under different roofs in cities far apart.

    by the way, I feel like these two photos perfectly encapsulate my roommates. autumn, with her always moving, always joyful (even when she’s not) smile. maria, with her quiet confidence and peaceful presence. these two balance me out in more ways than I can count. what the heck am I going to do without them?

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  • March 11, 2012

    thoughts on :: bad days and good news

    I had such a crappy day friday. my job just keeps getting harder and harder to handle. insecurities and doubts flooded over me like a dam had broken. nothing seemed to go right. and the day dragged on and on like it would never end. I felt exhausted and sick. a little lonely and a lot frustrated. I sat on the metro thinking I might be ill and wondering, for the hundredth time today, what it would be like to make the change I am so desperate for.

    and then I got off the metro. and I had cell service again. and I was walking towards the ticket gate and my phone buzzed with a text message. and I opened it to news from one of my very dearest friends. good news. the kind of news that made me stop in my tracks and laugh out loud. because I just couldn’t believe it. because I wasn’t surprised at all.

    I called her as tears began to form and when I heard her voice I just started crying and laughing uncontrollably. my fellow commuters glanced at me with confusion and amusement but it was all I could do to hold myself together. I didn’t really notice anything except for her voice and our joy and all the memories of our life together flooding back to me like a different kind of dam had broken.

    and now I can’t stop thinking about all of it. I can’t stop thinking about how we used to walk to new seasons on rare sunny days and buy olive rolls and strawberries and dark chocolate to eat on the bench outside our apartment with our legs tucked under us and the sun warming our rain-soaked skin. I can’t stop thinking about how we used to sit on each other’s beds with arms and legs and fingers intertwined talking about things as silly as the boys we had crushes on. talking about things as serious as the pain of our families and the suffering of children in Africa with horrible diseases like AIDS and poverty and the terribly corrupt world around them. and we would dream about the kind of men we would someday marry and the children we wanted to help right now. I can’t stop thinking about traveling to germany and sleeping in the same bed and seeing the same amazing and devastating things and realizing that it was possible to get sick of each other after all. but I still missed her a week after we got back and I stopped seeing her everyday. I can’t stop thinking about the months we didn’t talk and about how it almost killed me everyday to think that she might not continue to be in my life in the same life-changing way as she always had been. I can’t stop thinking about the day she met that boy who would become her husband. how she was cautious and a bit nervous but full of the same joy and patience that always seeps from her and covers everyone around her. and I can’t stop thinking about their wedding and how it changed the way I think about love and marriage and life with someone else. because it was a day that I saw the perfect love of Christ mirrored in a more real way than ever before and ever since.

    and now I can’t stop thinking about how good she is going be at being a mom. and I can’t stop thinking about how good he is going to be at being a dad. of all the people I know in all the world, I am most excited to see them as parents. of all the people I know in all the world, they are the two who were made to be parents. just like they were made, unequivocally and perfectly for each other. I don’t believe in soul-mates really. but I believe they are soul-mates. and I believe that whatever happens, that baby (and any baby of theirs) is going to know the love of the Lord from this moment until, well, forever.

    and I can’t stop thinking about how we used to talk about how we would live together and raise our kids together and be sisters forever. and I can’t stop thinking about getting back to the pacific northwest. because being apart from her for this journey might just kill me. missing the growing belly and the pregnant-lady hormones and the awe-inspiring way that I just know that husband will care for her might just kill me. only having photos and letters and the occasional phone call might just kill me. lincoln city to washington, dc just seems like an unfathomable distance now.

    and what I really can’t stop thinking about is this. how great God is. how undeniably cool and perfect and amazing he is. because friday was a bad day. but in the end, it wasn’t. in the end, I remembered that at the same time everything falls apart everything comes together. we are broken but we are redeemed. and one day we will live with new life restored. and while bad days may happen too often. good days are right around the corner. that text message with a picture of a positive pregnancy test is right around the corner. and thankfully. wonderfully. new life is right around the corner.

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  • January 31, 2012

    remnants of home

    finally finally! I have framed and hung those lovely photos from that lovely lady!

    she is the one who inspires me to take photos when I feel silly. and write moments down as they are happening (usually in list form). she inspires me to change my perspective. and notice the details. she inspires me to be thankful for every single moment of every single day. and she was the one who first inspired me to blog. you will see shadows of her influence all over this little site. because her ideas are ones that sneak in the back door and wedge themselves in my head until I just have to try them out for myself.

    and now those photos get to inspire me everyday as I walk past them and out my front door.

    just in case you want to be inspired too, here’s her little shop on etsy. and who doesn’t want to be inspired after all?

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  • January 11, 2012

    today I came home to a care package of sorts from a lovely friend. some earrings I will most definitely be wearing to work tomorrow. because they will match everything. I tell you, that girl knows me. I love that.

    there was also a card with sweet words on the outside and even sweeter words (her own) on the inside.

    when the world says “give up” hope whispers “hold on just a little longer.”

    she told me that when she saw it she instantly thought it was me. I was kind of shocked by that. because a lot of the time I am a glass-half-empty type of girl. a lot of the time I am prone to melodramatic despair.

    but lately. in one of the most difficult seasons of my life. hope has somehow become natural. I find myself finding joy in the midst of my sadness and humor in the midst of my confusion. I find myself still seeing the glass as half-empty but knowing, without a doubt, that it will get filled up eventually. one day it will be overflowing.

    so thanks lovely friend. for the rockin’ jewelry. and especially for the kind words. and really thanks to lots of lovely friends. you may not have given me jewelery but your kind words have not gone unnoticed. your words from a million different mediums and a thousand different places have been nestled in my melodramatic heart and are more important than I can even say. they are the hope that keeps me holding on just a little longer. you are the hope that keeps me holding on just a little longer.

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  • January 11, 2011

    these friends of mine

    although it stinks to find out the hard way, it’s always nice when you find out who your friends are. it’s nice to know who you can really count on even when it’s because you find out who you can’t.

    but I am not going to let this be about how hurt I may or may not be right now. it’s going to be about how undeniably, inexplicably blessed I am to have the true friends that I do. after a year of wondering what the heck is wrong with me, I am finally starting to find great friends right where I am. and going home for rach and steve’s wedding only confirmed that I have a group of soul mates in portland (and lincoln city, and omaha, and sacramento and montana and even denver and arkansas) who never let me forget that no matter what happens I will always have people who care and love for one another in a way that proves God’s goodness. when I think about what it must be like in heaven to have perfect community with the One who loves me more than I can ever imagine…well the only thing I can think of that even begins to help me understand what this will be like is to think of these people who are my best friends.

    so here’s to you – you beautiful friends of mine.

    you show me what it looks like to love others in a way that is truly glorifying to God. from the careers you choose to the way you treat every single person you meet with respect and true acknowledgment of their precious place as God’s creation. you inspire me to live for God and for others more than myself.

    when I’m with you I see who God is more clearly. when I’m with you I am truly joyful. when I’m with you I know who I am. I honestly don’t know what I would do without you.

    and let’s be honest – you are all just so dang good looking!

    the one who will always be my sister and best friend

    the ones who will always be my soul mates (and future neighbors)

    (other than the first one, all of the above photos are credited to the lovely mrs. leah ell.)



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