Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Lifetime of Friendships

Once in a while you find girls who you know are going to be your friends for life.  They are the type of people who no matter how much or how little you talk to each other, you can always pick up right where you left off.  They are the ones who despite job changes, moving thousands of miles away, moving back home, getting married, having kids, and overall having life get in the way... they are the ones you know that you can always count on and that they will always be there for you.  They are the friends you know you can call at 2am when you life is falling apart or the ones you can call at 11pm to let them know that you are finally engaged.  They are the ones that you can't wait to share all the good and bad that life has to offer with.  Some people are lucky to find one or two of those girlfriends throughout their lives... I have been blessed to find a not only one or two of those kinds of girlfriends, but rather a few groups of them. I was reminded of this multiple times this week as finally I was able to find the time to hang out with some of my favorite ladies in the entire world, plus catch up via text message (and make plans to actually see) some of the others.

When I get to hang out with and talk to so many of these ladies I am reminded of how friendships come in all different styles.  I am also reminded of the fact that I truly do have some of the most amazing friends in the world, who I don't know what I would do without.  I know for some of them we may not talk as often as we would like, and definitely don't get to see each other as often as we would like... but I know that through thick and thin they will ALWAYS be there for me.

Since I am being all nostalgic today, I want to take a little time to thank all of my lifelong friends for all they have done for me over time!

You know someone is your lifelong friend when you have been friends since first grade and to this day still consider the other to be one of your best friends.

AW and I have officially been friends for about 24 of our 30 years on this planet.  We met in first grade and became friends almost by design.  Our parents had similar values... put us in the same organized sports, made us both join the Daisy Scouts and even ironically enough made us take swimming lessons with the same crazy marine.  As we got older and our lives took slightly different paths we always found our way back to each other.  In fact in high school we even had the same exact schedule one year with the exception of a couple of classes... and when we weren't in the same class our teachers would still think we were the other person.  Despite going to different colleges and following our post-college dreams, AW has always been someone I have known I can confide in.  We were friends during some of the best and worst times of our lives and despite everything our friendship has never faltered.  Sure we can go long periods of time without talking to each other because of our crazy schedules, but when we do finally get to see each other it is like we never ever lost touch.  I am so looking forward to being able to hopefully see her next week when I am at my parent's house in NJ for my dad's surgery.  And if I don't get to see her next week, I know we have an entire weekend away together coming up at the end of July and for that I am super excited!

You know someone is a lifelong friend when most of your friendship has been long distance and most of it has consisted of talking via AIM, MySpace, e-mail, Facebook, text message and sometimes actually phone calls.

CW and I have been friends since I guess about our freshman year of high school.  We met through a mutual friend when CW was already living in Florida.  I am honestly not even 100% sure why we started talking, but once we did, we never stopped.  CW actually grew up probably about a mile from my parent's house, but because she lived in Hillsdale and I lived in River Vale, we never actually got the pleasure of knowing each other. We became closer our sophomore year of high school despite an unfortunate situation that I wish had never happened, BUT I am thankful that it brought the two of us closer together.  CW and I definitely don't get to see each other nearly as often as we would like... but we make it happen when we can.  I talk to this girl pretty much every day and I don't know what I would do without her in my life.  We tell each other everything, much to our husband's chagrin... but we don't care.  Our friendship proves that even if you have never lived near each other a friendship can endure the distance as I think the closest we have ever lived is when I was in law school in DE and CW was working on her master's at Penn State State College... and even then we were living hundreds of miles apart!

You know someone is your lifelong friend when despite the fact that you are sorority sisters, you feel like you are actually sisters.

VM and I have been friends since our freshman year of Bucknell and became even better friends when we both decided to pledge the same sorority.  And I'm not going to lie, knowing that VM was pledging Chi Omega was one of the reasons I decided that I was definitely going to pledge as well.  VM and I were pretty much always together in college... living across the hall from each other or living a few doors down from each other.  And you could pretty much always find us getting ready to go out together and then actually going out together.  She is the friend who introduced me to the guy who would eventually be my husband.  We have shared a ton of good times along with some not so good times throughout our friendship, but through it all one thing has always remained... we have always been able to count on each other.  VM is another one of those friends where I know that even if we haven't talked in a while we can pick up right where we left off.  She is always up for an impromptu phone date or even dinner date when I had to go to Maryland for work!  Time spent catching up with each other is never long enough.  I am really hoping that we get to see each other in a couple of weeks for our annual lake trip!

You know someone is your lifetime friend when you are sorority sisters who weren't friends in college and can't figure out why because now you can't imagine your life without that person.

AV and I met in college when we both joined Chi Omega, but for some reason we never really became friends.  When AV moved to the suburbs of Philly I reached out to her because I remembered what it felt like to move to a new place where I didn't really know that many people.  From the first time we hung out after she moved here I realized that I had missed out on getting to know a fabulous girl when I was in college.  Since becoming closer we have both been in each others weddings; have had countless dinners and parties together with our husbands and friends; I had the honor of being responsible for picking up the cake for her gender reveal party along with the envelope containing the baby's gender; I have been able to celebrate the birth of their daughter and even Little Miss L's 1st birthday.  AV and her husband were also the only ones (besides my parents) who knew that Mark was going to propose to me and AV even kept it a secret when she was taking pain pills after having surgery and I visited her and was stressing over the fact that I didn't know if Mark was ever going to propose.  She was the one who told me that if he didn't get his act together and if I thought I needed a break that I could come live with her so I didn't have to move home.  Post-Bucknell this girl has been there for me through thick and thin and I can't imagine life without her!

You know someone is your lifetime friend when your little brother breaks up with them and they still are a bridesmaid in your wedding and you still talk to them pretty much all the time.

SP and I became friends when she was dating my little brother.  They dated for about three years during which time she became a huge part of my life.  She was the little sister I had always wanted. Then my brother broke up with her and I am not going to lie I was nervous about what that would do for our friendship.  Though I had told SP that I would completely understand if she no longer could be a part of my wedding, I secretly hoped that she would decide that she still wanted to be there.  Of course she did decide that she wanted to be a part of our day and that despite everything we were going to remain friends.  SP was actually the first person to know that Mark and I had gotten engaged, and that in and of itself really made me want her to be a part of our day.  Through it all if it is possible I think the two of us have gotten closer and I truly do think of her as the sister that I never had.  We spend time together whenever we can... going to hockey games, meeting up for meals, hanging out at home, etc.  I talk to this girl pretty much all the time and am so thankful that we have continued to be a part of each others' lives.  I so can't wait for a weekend away with this lady at the lake in a couple of weeks!!

You know someone is your lifetime friend when you survive law school together and are STILL friends.

RC and I met my last year of law school when we were in the Delaware Civil Clinic together.  Spending so much time together in our little clinic room we became great friends... giving each other advice, talking about wedding planning (she was engaged at the time... I wasn't), talking about our family, talking about pretty much everything.  She was the one who hung out with me on the day I found out that I didn't pass the Delaware Bar Exam... stopping to pick up dinner before coming over to hang out with me because Mark had to go to work and I was so upset and just didn't want to be alone.  We have been a part of each others' lives for our weddings... her first baby girl and her second baby on the way... birthday celebrations and more!  RC is another one of those friends that no matter how much life can get in the way we always find a way to get to see each other and when we do it is like not a day has passed without us talking.

You know a group of girls are your lifetime friends when they are the first friends you make when you move to a  new place... and then they remain your friend and you are even in each others' weddings.

This picture is what started all of this reminiscing about some of the amazing women I have in my life.  Although KT wasn't able to make it for breakfast, she was definitely there in spirit.  NS, JM, SS, EO, and KT were the first people I became friends with when I moved down this way for law school.  I remember being in a new place and thinking that I hated it down here because I had Mark, but that was about it.  Then I started working at Friday's where I met JG, NS and KT and realized that maybe life down here wouldn't be so bad.  KT then introduced us all to SS and EO and from then on we were an amazing group of friends.  From themed dinners together (remember our Twilight themed cooking escapade?!), to nights out in Trolley, to handstands outside of Fridays, to rolling down the side of 95, to body shots, to Phillies games, to snow days, to girls' nights in... times with these girls are always full of laughs.  Despite the fact that NS has moved all the way across the country and JM is getting ready to move South... one thing has remained... these girls are some of the best girlfriends I could have ever dreamed of having.  I never would have survived down here had I not met them and I am pretty sure I would have moved back home to NJ had it not been for them! 

You know a group of girls are your lifetime friends when you become friends through work, but stay friends through all the promotions, store changes, and all around drama that can surround work.

SC, MO, AF and I became friends through work... probably because for the longest time we all worked the same exact days.  Literally when we were servers we rotated through spots 1-4 and then when SC and I became bartenders we pretty much worked all of our shifts together and then once AF got on the bar we worked all of our shifts with her as well.  These girls have helped me regain my sanity after tough shifts... they have been there to help me stay sane during tough shifts.  Without these girls I never would have survived the restaurant life for as long as I have.  These ladies were some of the first people to know that Mark and I were engaged because when I couldn't get anyone on the phone I obviously called work because I knew they would be working. These girls always seem to understand what I am going through when life gets me down and I know I can always count on them to help pick me back up.  Every year I look forward to our annual KOP shopping trip in December... actually I look forward to ANY time I get to spend with these girls.  Due to work schedules we definitely don't get to see each other as often as we would like, but we make it happen whenever we can.  Whether it is impromptu afternoon lunch dates, drinks before work, Flyers games, Phillies games, or whatever, I know it will always be a good time with these girls.  I can't wait until Mark and I get a house because these girls were some of the first to volunteer to help me get the house in order... and by get the house in order they volunteered to bring the wine to celebrate the new house! 

Friendship definitely comes in all shapes and sizes and I am seriously the luckiest girl in the world to have so many great girlfriends who I know I can always count on.  To all my ladies mentioned in this post... my life would seriously not be the same without you and I am so thankful to know that you will all be my lifelong friends!  XOXO

Do you have any friends who you know will be your life long friends?