Thursday, April 14, 2011

50 Day Challenge

50 Day Challenge:
Your Friends

Alright, I kinda got carried away.
Crazy thing here is that I think my idea of a friend is different from others.
Some of these friends, I haven't physically seen in years.

And the people that I thought were friends, and that I spent the most time with in College, I no longer talk to. at all. even Sam, Anthony, and Kevin.

I think that just goes to show that there is something to be said for quality of the friendship over the quantity of time spent together.

This is Jen.
She's my most recent friend.
and I've only met her once (well once for two days and one night involved beer so, um... best buds now).
She blogs as well.
You can find her here.
She is actually s lot like Laura (see below).
She is deadly honest, sarcastic, hysterical, and smart.
but, (just like Laura) has this other side to her that makes her an amazing mother and extremely compassionate.
If you read back through her blog you will see that many and most of the posts are not about her, they about, not just her family and friends, but other issues in the world that inspire, infuriate, and drive her to be a better person.
I love that about her.
I also love her style.
and red hair.
and her wedding pictures.
Her wedding was, no joke, the wedding to end all weddings.
and I wasn't even there.
I didn't know her yet so of course I wasn't invited.
BUT I hope she can come to mine and maybe road trip to Austin for some eating and sight-seeing.
hint hint.

Awe, Laura...
She is a hoot.
This girl is sweet, kind, sappy, mushy, romantic, and all around push-over.
Laura is one tough lady.
and very very smart.
Ok, for starters she's had like 4958696576 kids.
Not kidding.
The kicker is that everyone of them is adorable, well-behaved, and has brilliant blonde hair.
Did she order that?
Cause I want to know how to sign up.
I am especially partial to Reagan, her oldest daughter.
She holds a special place in my heart.
Laura is tad older than I and I actually met her through my mom.
(Laura took one of my mom's classes and introduced us)
Been friends since.
She also introduced me to...
a) saying what you think and being completely hysterical about it.
b) pastel reeses Easter eggs (only now...)
no, I swear there isn't a box of them hidden in my closet (the one place D won't venture...too scary)
c) Country music. My Dad has you to thank Laura. My two first favorite Country songs... "Never Been Kissed" by Sherri Austin and "Good-bye Earl" Dixie Chicks. Thanks Laura. My Dad may try and kill you after reading this.
d) friendship. I remember one night, spending the night with Laura and a 4yo Reagan, after a day trip to Bloomington for shopping (hehehehe) and we talked and talked and talked. She made me feel accepted and normal. At 16, I mostly felt out-of-place. Not with Laura. I miss her and her munchkins and if they don't come to the wedding and be rowdy and wild I'll be very, super sad.
hint. hint.

That's Laura and just one of those blonde munchkins...

I've talked about Tiffany in the past.
She's so purty.
And doesn't Teelin look a lot like Little O??
She is a social worker too.
And she plays fiddle like no other.
and love Ireland.
and sitting in buckets apparently...
hey, to each his own I say.

Richard and Terri and...
I don't really remember not knowing and looking up to them.
They have the most amazing garden.
I aspire to be as self sustaining as they are.
They also have amazing taste in music and can somehow seem to learn any instrument they put their mind too.
When I was a child they hosted a story time for friends and their children.
When I think of those story times on their porch I think of Greg Brown's song.
We'd run and play in the woods, and there were snacks, and we'd each bring a book and all sit and read out loud.
What better way to include children and adult activities, to inspire a love of reading and learning, and to foster long lasting relationships?
D often says that I have a childhood and a life life no-one he has ever met.
I think he is right.
I have been oh, so very fortunate.
And I have people like Richard and Terri to thank for that.
p.s. I also love their kitchen. oh! MY! GOODNESS! SAKES! It's kinda awesome.
In case the all caps didn't point that out.

These are my adopted parents.
I truly love them.
Look how cool they are?
I mean, come on...they love John Prine and adopted me. hehe!
I know if I ever needed anything I could go to them.
This is the song that, to me, describes them perfectly.
Iris Dement and John Prine... "In Spite of Ourselves".
enough said.
go, listen to it.

Miss Mollie.
She's my fwiend.
Or in the words of Little O...
"mwolly! fwend!"
Mollie is a rock.
I mean, not really.
Clearly she is too blonde and too pretty to be a rock.
But she is in that she has this incredible ability to always support those that she cares about in a way that doesn't make you feel bad or guilty or talked down to.
She is an incredible listener, a trait that I feel most people seriously lack.
She has a sixth sense.
She knows when to laugh. when to call, then to text "hey how are you".
She will go very far in life.
I am blessed to have met her.
Ignore Quinten in that pic. he's a goof and knows it.
(I like him too though).

My Dad.
It is hard for me to talk about my Dad.
Actually, that's not true.
Correction- there is so much history, so many stories, and so much love and respect and mistakes forgiven that I never know where to begin or what to say.

So, hows bout this (Little O's new phrase)...
I'll tell ya'll a story.

When I was a kid my Dad was Mr. Nose-it-all at bedtime.
Imagine my Pops, red beard, insane professor hair, in a Groucho Marx glasses, nose, 'stache.
And you wonder why I'm a bit of a goofball.
He'd wind us up (which mom HATED).
He'd tell us stories.
Give tickles.
and turn on the old 50's radio in our room to the oldies station.

My Father's greatest gift to me is an amazing childhood.
I would not be the parent that I am today if it hadn't been for having such an incredible man as a father.

And look that those two...

and that's the newest... Callie.
Andrea was my best friend in Elementary school.
We fell out of touch when I left high school but facebook keeps us in touch.
Andrea made my transition from Iowa to Indiana a happy one.
(Her mom, dad, and two sisters, Julie and Kara helped)...obviously.

Her mom watched me after school starting in kindergarten and they lived within walking distance of my house and Lester Square park.

I remember Andrea had the most cool room and her mom let her PERM her hair!

I'm so happy that she married the annoying boy that I sat next to in 5th grade and that she has a lovely little girl.

I miss Max.
There is nothing more to say about Max other than..
I made him eat all the skittle colors I hated.
I blamed so much on him.
I held his nose plugged so he'd wake up on Christmas morning.
and I may have given him and indian burn a few times (on accident of course).
For some reason he still loves me.

See that corny kid standing next to the other corny guy holding my infant brother?
Yep, that's my cousin Robert.
He is a truly amazing person.
He rose up when Grammie was alone and beginning to fade.
He was one of the first I talked to on that god-awful day.
He was the one that, even though he has two brothers and a not sobbing wife, still hugged me and let me literally rack with tears.
and over
and over
and did mention over?
He likes the Cards.
(DEAR GOD!!!!!)
He's Republican.
(OH MY!!!!)
Luckily, he's still my absolute favorite cousin.
He truly was a pillar at this time last year.

He loved Grammie in the same way that I did.
I know he felt pain.
I cried enough for both of us.
Ok, I cried enough for all the family (times 409863968).

My Momma is hands down, by far and away, my best friend.

No matter what happens...
O nose picking
injury (he IS 2)
work drama
fiance drama
2yo breakdown
stubbed toe
folding laundry
doing make-up
laying by the pool
recipe advice
family drama

I call my Momma.

She is everything I am not.
She believes in the power of God on a level I can only aspire to.
She is incredibly organized, inventive, and chaotic.
(D wants to marry her).
I say too bad Chris got her first. You're stuck with eclectic Kate.
She is one of my best friends despite the fact that we are over 1500 miles apart and see each about once a year for a few hours.
She is a pillar of strength.
A role model of a mother.
and has great hair and I love her kids too (duh).
I also like her smile.
And the fact that she is steady and constant.
Even when she says she isn't, compared to my up's and down's, she's still calm and collected.

I adore this picture of Elsa and her Mila.
Maybe I just really love the dress.
Seriously though, I love the angle of the picture and slight outline.
And she looks foot loose and fancy free.
Elsa and I are more alike.
I call her my twin (even though she is, in fact, about 9 feet taller than I am).

I posted this picture, even though I look like death on a stick.
I was having a really emotional bad day.
Funny thing is that I can't remember why.
I just remember it was the Bloomington Hospital Christmas party, I was with all my co-workers, and I had a crying, emotional sob fest.
Most likely due to my-exhusband and general men situations.
But Jas was there.
As she always is.
She cheered me up.
and made me decorate some stupid sugar cookies.
Then took me out for drinks.
See? Told ya she was a good friend.
She always knew that Sam and I weren't right for each other but she stood by me through it all.
That is a true friend in my opinion.
The one that says, "hey there us this huge banana peel over there and you're about to walk on it and fall on your ass".
And then you go ahead and walk on it and fall on your ass.
And that friend then comes over and, instead of smacking you (which you so deserve for being an idiot that walked on a banana peel) picks you up and hugs ya.
Yep. That'd be Jasynda.
Ok, that was a really weird anology.
Just roll with it folks.
Or make like a banana and split.

She cracks me up.
and makes me giggle a lot.
oh, and did I mention I want to snatch up her two boys and keep them cause they are cuter than sugar cookies and gum drops?
She works with D (where I used to work).
I think what I love the mostest about her is that even though she is a mom she didn't feel the need to lose herself or her relationship with her husband.
She didn't stop taking care of her looks, she didn't start wearing holiday sweaters, she and her husband (another Chris) are still young and full of love and life.
Yet, on the fridge are drawings and DR's notes, reminders about field trips, and there are toys everywhere, and kid friendly soap in the bathroom.
She has balanced life perfectly and I have learned from her example.
It is easy to just become defined by Mom, especially for a single parent.
She also threw one rockin birthday party last night!

Oh asshole D.
Talk about being opposites.
But when I look at him, even when I like him least, I fall in love 100 times over.
This man is cynical. sarcastic. sleeps FOREVER. picky. perfectionist.
but, he is the best fiance and my perfect compliment.
a wonderful father.
I love overhearing his conversations with Little O.
So patient and encouraging.
I am proud to say that he is my best friend and that I will stand by him forever.

That there is Paige.
I've known Paige since I was born.
She lived on green Street in Iowa too.
Today is her birthday actually.
We road tripped to her wedding two summers ago and has a baby boy (Cooper...a name I actually considered) just about 9 months younger than Little O.
I have some great pictures of Paige and in matching dresses playing in my "tent" at about age 4.
I remember my mom baking cookies with us and letting us eat cookie dough.
and running down to her house in my jammies to watch Ghostbusters (cause my parents didn't let us have cable).
Despite distance, years, miles, and time.
She's still someone I consider to be a true friend.


Casondra said...

thanks for making me cry! :) I sooo heart you.

Love that picture of you and Max, and also the one of Elsa and cute.

I told E yesterday that she needs to road trip with me to see you so we Goodwill shop.

Harris Family said...

Aw, Kate, I love you too!
I think you are the most wonderful person and each time I read your blog or talk to you, it inspires me to be more carefree and loving.
You're the best!
Now, if I can convince my husband that TX in June/July is a good idea then I'll be there. :)

PS. That weekend in Nashville was a blast!