Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Break {twenty fourteen}


I awoke Tuesday morning with such a feeling of calm it was almost foreign to me. My children woke me, like in the good old days. I was actually happy to hear their voices instead of a digital alarm clock. I realized that Tuesday held no schedule. No dance classes to attend, no Girl Scout meeting to manage. We didn't have to make the school bell, I didn't have to pack lunches. I didn't even have to be at work. It was in short, blissful.

We spent the majority of the day in our pajamas. Which in my book screams a successful day during Spring Break. We watched cartoons, and played for hours on the iPad. We ate our breakfast on the couch, and it consisted of waffle nutella sandwiches for Caitlin and cheetos for Mac. At some point I slapped dye on my hair and my mom came over. Mom and I watched two hours of TV, uninterrupted while the kids amused themselves. They destroyed their bedrooms of course, and I ignored responsibility. Then as I was mixing sugar cookie dough (from the bag of course), my mom suggested that I go run and get a mani/pedi since things were calm. And run I did.

It didn't occur to me until hours later what made this day so great. I was free. Free of time constraints and schedules. Free of to-do lists and must dos and obligations. I didn't have to be at work, I didn't have to be at school, we didn't have to be anywhere but at home. And it felt divine and delightful and perfect. 

Today was more of the same. We slept in. All of us. I laid in bed for an hour, while the girls destroyed the house, again. I went through my old routine of watching news on the networks, while scrolling the real news on Instagram. I didn't wear make up or dry my hair with the hair dryer. We went to Target just because. Then we enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt at Mac's preschool. We kept time for a moment, then let it all go and collapse into the last little bits of Easter break.

It's Thursday night, the sun will be going down shortly, and I have to be at work at six in the morning. But I am drinking it all in. All of the things I forgot. All the blessings I took advantage of. Tuesday I stopped for a moment and asked myself, what is different today? Why do you feel lighter? Why do you feel so happy? I realized it's because I'm so very happy here. In mommy mode. Putting all my efforts, or lack of efforts into skating through the day. If Spring Break is a glimpse into what summer will be like, well then bring it on. I miss my carefree days of staying home. When my only worries were laundry and dinner. When I could pool all my efforts and be my best self.

I'm nothing if not a work in progress. I'm just very thankful that I finally have that thing, that feeling. The one that makes you realize just how well you had it, and the one that makes you have great hopes for the future. Life changes, it has too, and I'm learning that I can too. So while I miss my old life of Stay At Home Mom, I look forward to my life as Part Time Working Mom. Because if I'm being totally honest, this Part Time Working Mom finally appreciates and realizes just how precious the free moments of light really are.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wore: Whatever it takes

As I type, my darling daughter is telling me how beautiful I am in my pictures. And how beautiful I am every single day. Even when I'm in my pajamas. It's probably the sweetest thing I could hear right now, because I've been feeling a little fluffy. Sure, I wrote a post all about my selfies and liking the person staring at me in the mirror, but we all have our days, including me. And lately those days have turned into the better part of a month because if I'm being totally honest, I'm fluffier than I've been in months. I sent Jillian packing last November. I ate my way through the holidays, and in the future I need to discuss the fact that I have emotionally ate my way through my Against All Grain cookbook. Just because it's grain free, doesn't mean it's Whole 30. Funny thing is, I keep posting pictures, holding myself accountable for choices and beating myself up when I think I look fluffier than usual. I can hide my flaws like a boss, and even when I can't, I slap a smile on my face and try. Swing tanks, slouchy button ups, and maxi dresses can hide a multitude of flaws. Even so, I'm trying to do whatever it takes to wear everything with confidence.


This is me on date day.
Jeans, lace tank, and a cardi.
We had a great time in case you are wondering.


This is me, post work on my way to Girl Scouts.
This maxi was a little tighter than it was last year.
That was kind of a downer, on the plus side, no one could tell.


In this picture I'm going to work in pants that are pre Caitlin.
That's seems like a victory, but a year ago, I was smaller than my pre Caitlin days.
Still, after nine years, pants that still fit my ass are kind of cool.


Let's talk about swing tanks and how they hide my middle.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm an apple shape.
That means no matter how many Jillian ab busters I do I'll always need a swing tank.


Swing tank number two.
I'll admit this one makes me took a little fluffy.
But from the side they didn't look all that bad.
I'm so glad the Hubbs suggested I buy this one.
I really wanted the mint and navy, but he said I never wore these colors,
which are more grey and coral.
Thanks Hubbs for making me step out of my mint fixation.


This is a button down tunic from Old Navy.
It's a little long, but I seriously can't get enough.
If you didn't notice I'm also wearing it with the pre Caitlin pants.
I threw on a cardi and wore it to work.
It was so comfortable.


My olive trousers are getting a work out thanks to Pinterest.
I've been stumped for years with these pants.
Now, I just search olive pants and hello!
Side note: that stripped top is older than Mac!


Chambray shirt take one.
With my black jeggings rolled up and Toms.
This is the shirt that I cut the sleeves off.
Still not sorry about that.


I've had this Loft top since Caitlin was a baby.
I really love it and it's soft as pajamas.
I realize that mustard is usually reserved for fall, 
but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
Translation: shop my closet!


I'm kind of in love with all of these colors.
Dark jeans, navy striped tank, layered with a maroon tank, mustard cardi.
My hair is dirty, I'm not wearing make up and we were an hour late to a birthday party.
A party that was being held directly next door.
Only I can do something that ridiculous.
Second side note: When I tried on this tank top, Caitlin said she liked it because it was 
"boaty, you know shippy". 
I said do you mean "nautical" and she said "yeah, nautical". 
Important lessons when you are six going on seven, am I right?


Chambray take two:
My new favorite shirt, from Old Navy, bought three weeks ago.
Run, people, grab this shirt.
It's cotton, it's roomy, and it looks good dressy or casual.
Also I can't get enough of this look as a whole.
Can I just make this my work uniform?
And my high pony knocked me out, I mean who doesn't love to whip a high pony?


So whatever it takes friends. Rock those swing tanks, Bermuda shorts if you hate your thighs, three quarter length sleeves if your arms bug you. Rock them. Smile, throw on the outfit that makes you feel your best and snap a picture. Find your way back to you by doing whatever it takes. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Waving A White Flag - My Messy Beautiful

When you wave your white flag, anything is possible.
 
Last Thursday I waved my white flag. 

I've come to the conclusion that Thursdays are the worst day of the week. It may have something to do with the fact that the first half of the week is usually jam packed. Maybe it's because I usually close on Wednesday nights and so I don't get to see my kids after school. It could be because by Wednesday we are ready to exhale and sit outside with our neighbors instead of doing the hard stuff like homework and dinner at the dinner table. Whatever the reason, Thursday mornings are horrible and terrible and someone always cries.

Last Thursday was one of those days. Caitlin started crying before she even got out of bed. I was in super mom mode and made my demands as I walked in and out of her room. Still she cried. I gave her warnings, I threatened to take away her iPad time, I even threatened to take her to school in her pajamas. Still she cried. I physically had to get her out of bed. Pulling one leg and one arm, demanding that she stand on her own. She cried harder. We finally found something to wear, combed her hair, and she cried all the way through. She cried as she ate her cinnamon roll, baked just for her, just to make the morning easier, just to make her feel special. She left it after two bites. And continued to cry.

Crying in the morning isn't anything new. It's not like we haven't had a month full of mornings just like this one. But pushing her on this day felt different. I didn't want to push. I didn't want to threaten or yell, or lose my temper like mornings of my past. I was exhausted. My heart hurt. My head hurt. And I just didn't want to do it anymore. Not on that day anyway.

So I waved my white flag. I let it fly high for all to see. Because that was it. I was done.

I surrendered to motherhood last Thursday. I surrendered to the chaos of it all. To the mess and the beautiful. I allowed myself to surrender to the schedule and the demands of morning routines that have never really been established. I surrendered to being angry at things I cannot control. I surrendered to the books that say I should have more discipline. I surrendered to the looks I'm bound to get from those who think I'm giving up. Because I'm not giving up, I'm just asking for peace, for a ceasefire, for a negotiation on the terms of motherhood.

Flying my white flag last Thursday allowed me to sit with my daughter who gets so little of my time. To kiss the top of her head and hold her hand while we watched cartoons she has long grown out of. It allowed us to talk about our mornings and how we can try again tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that. My white flag gave me time to relax, sit in my recliner, and watch my girls play together in the quiet of a school day morning with no time constraints or commitments. And yes I admit, we should have been in school, we should have been at dance, I should have been more committed to our commitments. But it felt pretty damn good to wave my white flag and be at peace.

Years ago, surrendering to motherhood would have left me deflated and disappointed in myself. I would have spent days obsessing about how I could do better and be better. Last Thursday I realized that the mistakes and missteps are temporary. I won't wave my white flag every morning. I'm not giving up on motherhood or me, I'm just taking a time out from a war that I cannot control to get a little peace. Because the battles will continue. Next Thursday it will be something else. Next Monday another thing. I can't let motherhood defeat me, but I can ask for a ceasefire every now and again. Something I wish I knew was possible so many years ago.

I promise you I'm not giving up. I'm just surrendering to the mess. I'm surrendering to the beautiful. I'm surrendering to the tears and the tantrums. To the little people who still crawl into bed in the middle of the night. To the dinners eaten in the cart at Costco. I'm surrendering to the store bought cupcakes the day of the party, and the days spent in pajamas as the world gets dressed around us. I'm surrendering to all the things that will never make or break the love I have for my children. Because I haven't given up on them or me. 

Some days you just have to surrender. You have to wave your white flag. You have to make peace with motherhood and yourself. Some days you just have to surrender to your messy beautiful.
 


I'm joining Glennon at Momastery to celebrate Carry On Warrior's first year.
Join me and other bloggers as we share our Messy Beautiful.
Carry on Warriors.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Story of My Selfie

Little Megs. Age six.
 
I heard on the radio a few mornings ago, that selfies are the most annoying thing about social media. Forget the never ending food porn, the attack of venti red cups at Christmas, or even the outfits of the day, no all of these do not compare to the annoyance of the selfie. The hosts on the radio read a recent study, done at some important University, by some really important psychologist, that said that people who post selfies have body dysmorphic disorder. They have an unrealistic view of themselves, whether they think they are too attractive, or not attractive enough. They also said that selifie posters are arrogant and narcissistic, and are constantly fishing for complements. And while all of that sounds pretty legit, I have to whole heartily disagree.

 
I post selfies because I actually like the person I am now. I'm not in love with myself or full of myself, but I can honestly say that I really like the person I have become. I can say that because for years I hated me. I hated me for reasons that aren't even sound or realistic. But, sometime around age thirty (see girls, life doesn't end at thirty!), I began to really like that gal in the mirror.
 
It really did take thirty years though. In the beginning, as an only child, I was photographed constantly. I learned how to pose and smile for any camera by age one. There are millions of baby pictures floating around my family of me in frilly dresses, on Santa's lap, in my birthday suit, in a swimming pool. There are pictures of me at all stages of my life and as a kid I loved the camera and the camera loved me. Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that I am a ham. That I can go from bitchy resting face to Miss America smile in a ten count. But somewhere around twelve, I started to hate the pictures of me.
Fourteen year old Megs.
As a teen I couldn't stand the pictures of me. I kept taking pictures hoping that I get them back and somehow I'd be thinner or blonder. I hated my round face. I hated that my eyes were mud brown. That my hair was boring. I hated that my legs were stubby and my belly wasn't flat like all the other girls my age. I spent the better part of fifteen trying to do one hundred sit ups a day to possibly have Alicia Silverstone's flat tummy. Looking back I spent countless hours wanting to be someone, anyone else. I couldn't stand to be me. That feeling didn't really go away in college either. I remember thinking that I looked so good at my sorority formal one year, only to get the pictures back and see that my face was so fat that my eyes disappeared when I smiled. I threw them all away.
Wedding day Megs.
I'd like to say that all of the self hate ended the day I married the Hubbs, but it didn't. I felt my most beautiful on that day, but I was still worried about my belly sticking out in pictures. I was still worried that my arms might look flabby. Still obsessed about not working out for the last five days before the wedding, and then eating my feelings all along the way. Don't get me wrong, I love my wedding pictures, and I feel like they look exactly like me, but I wasn't as confident then as I am today.
Mamma Megs, June 26th 2007.
Motherhood, it seems, made me confident. Motherhood made me like the person in my selfies. And I admit, this didn't happen right away, but it did happen. Perhaps it was the months spent in yoga pants and tank tops with no make up. Maybe it was the multiple days in a row that I didn't get a shower, but still had to go to the store. Could it be that in the middle of the poop and spit up and baby food stains of the previous day that I found out who I was? Something that first year of motherhood showed me that I could do hard things, all the hard things. And suddenly I couldn't deny that the the woman looking back at me in the mirror wasn't a girl anymore. She was a warrior. She was a survivor. She didn't need lipstick or mascara or clean hair. And for the first time, I actually liked her.
Absolute Mommy 2011
 
My selfies can't tell you the whole story, however. I have days where I'm not super excited to be me. I have days where the extra five pounds I've acquired really bug me and make me feel shame. I have days where my jeans don't fit like they did last year. I've written all about my bald spot, my grey hair, my acne, and my wrinkles. Some days my selfies include hair three days past washing. Some days they highlight under eye bags and not a stitch of make up. Other days I'm in make up, eyebrows filled in, lip gloss thick. I like my hair, I'm ignoring the extra five or so pounds, and my jeans aren't that tight. But no matter the day, I'm sharing that selfie, because I like me. I like who I am now, after thirty six years. I like that I'm imperfect. I like that I have flaws. I like that I don't look like anyone else in Internet land. I like that I'm short, and can wear shirts from the boys department. I like that I'm so imperfectly me.
 
The good hair day selfie. Circa March 2014.
So I make no apologies for my selfie. My selfie tells a story. The story of a thirty six year old woman who, for the first time in her life, actually likes herself. I'm not fishing for a single compliment, because it's not about that anymore. It's about me finally complimenting myself. So my selfies are just a way to tell this new story of me, in this spot with the me I've always been, who is also the me I've finally accepted. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Checking in {on my resolutions}

Can I tell you a secret? I've been trying to write this post for over a month. Which is funny because my first resolution for the year was to break my bad habit of procrastination. I thought it would be fun to check in with my New Year's Resolutions. I've got to tell you reading them makes me feel like a total loser. I haven't really followed them at all. But I guess that is ok. Most resolutions are broken anyway am I right? I guess if I have to re-read these every three months or so, I just may get off my ass and actually put them into motion. I have a plan. We are a little over four months into the year and I'm going to try really hard to break bad habits, be inspired by people, and make some changes for a happier more productive year. 

Let's check in on my resolutions so far...

A bad habit I’m going to break: 
Procrastination.  And not washing my face before bed.  I know, right?

Let's say that none of this is happening. I'm still procrastinating like I'm being paid to do so. I haven't been washing my face before bed, which is terrible because I now wear more make up than ever! Also I put off writing for days. I have no idea where that feeling came from. So Procrastination is still a number one bad habit that needs to be broken. Any suggestions?

A new skill I’d like to learn:
Last year I was totally game to learn to knit.  Still haven't so I think I'll stick with knitting.  Any good tutorials out there?

Nope. Not even close. I also have yet to sew a project, use modge podge, or bake any kind of treats for either of my kids classrooms. Ask me if I even care? You're right, I do care, a lot, but with work and life... Store bought works just fine right now.

A person I hope to be more like:
Honey in faith, Diana in motivation, Jill in kindness, Becca business skills and Alissa in blogging social media skills, and Ashley for blog and word inspiration.

I still strive to be more like these women. Have you met any of them? You should go and check them out and be inspired. It's been a struggle lately because I don't have the time to really follow them on Instagram like I used to. And I know that spending your time on Instagram seems silly and pointless, but when you follow inspiring women, who make Instagram a great place for inspiration, you want to make time to follow. I'll be more conscious to follow these women and their blogs for those days that seem harder than others.

A good deed I’m going to do:
More random acts of kindness.  They really turn your whole day around.

I've been doing little things for friends at work. Sending messages and texts to friends and bloggy besties. Nothing feels better than making someone smile. Try it, it changes your whole day.

A place I’d like to visit:
Somewhere with the Hubbs.  Somewhere with the kids.  Somewhere with my bestie.  It doesn't have to be exotic or far from home, just a little get away.

The Hubbs and I have been doing date days on my days off. These have been fun. I've also had to, out of necessity, taken my girls on more adventures with me. I've never been one to take the girls out for a day of endless errands. But since I started working, it's been working for us. I'm still looking forward to Elevate in May. Some Giants baseball this July. And hopefully some beach time before the summer ends. That's not too much to ask for is it?

A book I’d like to read:
Pride and Prejudice.  I have never read it.  I know.  How can I love books and have never even cracked this one open.

O. M. G. Reading Pride and Prejudice has been so hard for me. I started it in mid January and am seriously only ninety six pages into it. I even went to Wikipedia and read the synopsis. I know totally cheating but I was afraid I wasn't understanding it at all. I haven't given up, but I've never met a book that felt like a chore! So I'm still reading, chapter by chapter, day by day and hopefully by next January, I'll have finished it.

A letter I’m going to write:
To an old friend.  To say hello when they would least expect it.

I haven't done this, but this was a great reminder that I need to. And maybe I'll try to do this once a month to different friends. It's always good to check in.


A new food I’d like to try:
Kale.  I know I'm paleo and all but I have yet to conquer my fear of kale.

Still haven't tried kale other than a sample bite. So please leave your kale recipes in the comments. I'm looking for something easy and delicious. Thanks in advance.

I’m going to do better at:
Minding my temper.  Patience.  Using my words.  Asking for help.  Taking a breath.  Being me.

I've been trying really hard to mind my temper, but work has added stress that has been unparalleled since becoming a mother. So this, like all things Absolute Mommy, is a work in progress. It's with prayer and grace that I continue to mind my temper. 


I feel like this check in with my resolutions was good for me. It's going to hold me accountable and remind me of some of the promises I made to myself. I really want this year to be a year full of positive changes. Like my new job, and hopefully a greater presence on my blog and in my home life. Resolutions don't have to die at the end of January, they can be re-established and given new life. All we have to do is check in with them some time and realize they can be broken or they can be reborn. Will you be checking in with your resolutions too?

 




Monday, April 7, 2014

Unbalanced


I've come to the conclusion that I may never find balance. 

One of my goals after the New Year was to find a new groove in twenty fourteen. I knew I would have to after returning to the workforce on a regular basis for the first time in almost seven years. I had mentally prepared myself for how the kids would react to mommy being absent at bed time on some nights. I gave a lot of thought to how it was going to work with someone else besides me doing homework with Caitlin. I worried about dinners when I wasn't home and who would shuttle the girls to their dance classes and library trips. I've been worried and stressed about anything and everything since January 7th. Guess what? I'm no closer to finding balance now than I was then. Or even two years ago. Or seven years ago.

I'd like to blame my part time job on chicken nugget dinners and dishes in the sink. I'd like to say that I have no time to fold and put the laundry away because I had to close three nights in a row. I really would like to say all of the that, but I can't. The truth is that even when I was home every day and every night, none of that shaz got done. I didn't cook every night. I didn't put a single piece of laundry away unless I was under duress. My bathrooms were never company ready. My kitchen never spotless. So honestly the quest for balance wasn't a new escapade for twenty fourteen. I've been on the journey for balance my entire adult life.

I'd like to think there is something real and tangible about an unbalanced life. The kind of life that forces you to feed your kids McDonald's while they ride in the cart at the grocery store, because you need bread for the next days lunch. The kind of life spent making to-do lists that just keep getting longer and longer, because with every item you check, another gets added immediately. A life where you are drying a single shirt for spirit day in the dryer because you fell asleep before you could change the laundry, which made you all late for school, and you had to face the attendance lady once again. A life where you secretly flip off said attendance lady. Real life involves fumbling and stumbling. It requires you to make the best out of every situation, even if you feel like there is no light, let alone balance at the end of that tunnel.

Perhaps I wasn't cut out for a balanced life. A life of ease and punctuality. A life free of things like procrastination and fruitless endeavors. Maybe this is the only way I can soar, and rise above the little daily struggles. Is it possible that I need resistance, that I need a little bit of fight in me to continue to thrive in this life I've carved out for myself? I'm sure there is much happiness in a balanced life, but I'm here to tell you there is just as much happiness in an unbalanced life. There is just as much life and love in mornings where we eat cookies for breakfast and arrive forty minutes late to class. There is joy in Target trips after seven pm on a school night. Laughter can be heard at midnight in my house when the Hubbs and I can finally get a free moment together making each other laugh until we cry and cough and sputter. After four months of trying and striving for balance, I've finally taken comfort in being unbalanced.

One day, I may have balance in my life. I'll probably be older and more grey. It will probably be just me and the Hubbs, sitting in our rockers watching the evening news. The house will be quiet and the dishes will be clean, and my bathrooms will be company ready. And balance will look really good from the outside. But I have this feeling that in my heart, I will miss the chaos of my unbalanced life.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Thick and Thin


Saturday was a day for friends. 

Every year I try and extend my birthday for as long as possible, Saturday we hosted a BBQ at our house. I did the invite of the moment, which is creating an event on Facebook, and invited people I hadn't seen in more than a year. I invited neighbors (who are now friends) and family too, but mostly it was a chance to invite some people who just might have the time to road trip to Fresno for a Saturday afternoon.

Of course not everyone on the list came. We are older now. We have kids in baseball and soccer, dance and gymnastics. It's not as easy to drum up some spare time on a Saturday afternoon anymore. Saturday was once a day for recovery, before you went out and did it all over again. Saturdays spent in bed, with last nights mascara, and a gin and tonic aftertaste. Those Saturdays are far behind me now, and far behind most of my friends. And it doesn't really bother us. We have found our grooves in this adult life. But sometimes those grooves don't allow for friendships as strong as they used to be.

Friendships give off the appearance of ease. But like with any relationship they are work, they require attention and love. Every year I make a pact with myself to be a better friend. I need to communicate better, to call more, to write more letters, to have fun text conversations about anything and everything. And every year this alludes me. I say things like "Life gets in the way" or "I have no time for anything", but that's not the whole truth. I have time. I blog. I Instagram as if I'm on their payroll. I watch my favorite shows on their designated nights. I read about 60 books a year. The truth is, I do have plenty of time to be a better friend. 

Saturday, two of my very dear friends spent the day in my back yard. We laughed until we cried. We told stories about the "old" days. Memories that we have because we grew up together. Because we matured together. Stores of drunken debauchery. Stories of nights almost forgotten. There is something sacred in the stories you share in the most formative part of your life. No one else knows those stories. They can hear them, or hear about them, but they will never taste that memory like the one you shared it with. It was almost magical. As if we hadn't aged at all, as if we would always be twenty three or twenty four. As if we would never marry that guy, or take that job, or ever drink that much again. It was good for the soul and it was good for the sake of those friendships that so very sturdy and steadfast, despite the miles and the years between us.

I had a renewed faith in friendship on Saturday night. Friendships are about the thick and the thin. Some years friendships are thick with life and love. They are at the forefront. They are the first priority instead of the last. Other years friendships are thin. They are there, on your heart and in your mind, but the attention paid to them is scarce. Is there ever the possibility for balance? What is it about good solid friendships that survive the thick and the thin? How do those friends make the cut? Could it be that they were always destined to be your friends. That your paths crossed for a very simple reason: to be friends. I have friends, that are solid and steadfast. Friendships where the miles and the years don't matter. Friends that I love and have loved for a while. We have memories that will never fade, as long as we can recall them together. That the good old days will always remain between us. Maybe as we recall the good times we make new memories. We remember how good it feels to be in each others company and make more of an effort to get together for dinners and birthdays. Call each other just because, or send a card because it reminded you of them. Some friendships have the ease of years behind them. And those are the friendships that mean the most.

Monday night another friend's Dad passed away. It was shocking and sudden and all of the horrible things you can imagine. My first thought was to text her, to tell her how very sorry I was, how I had no idea what she was going through. My second thought was that she may not return that text, because we haven't seen each other in over a year. We live in the same city. She is one of my dearest friends I've had since moving to Fresno all those years ago. She was the first of all my friends to hold my daughter. And yet, life, hers and mine, have gotten in the way. Why would she return my text? Too little too late? But she is one of those friends, the ones that don't count the years or the miles. We went back and forth for a few minutes. Just enough time for me to tell her that I loved her. That I was thinking and praying for her. That whatever she needed, I'd do it, or be there to support her in it. I told her that I didn't even have the right words, and that I was sorry for that too. And she accepted it all. Regardless of time. Regardless of previous efforts or lack there of. Because there is something so sacred about friendships that start out when you least expect it, with people who may seem so different from you, but who, in reality are just like you in so many ways, and it just works.

Friendships can withstand the tests of time, marriage, and children, but you have to want them to. They can weather the storms of divorce or separation, the death of a loved one, or a parent. Friendship is just as hard and just as important as any relationship. I think we forget that. I think we get lost with the dynamics of friendships when they surpass late nights at the bars, sneaking back in to the sorority house, or road trips to nowhere. As adults, we get lost on how to foster our friendships without the obligatory dinners or nights out. We forget that the smallest gestures are the most important.

The best friendships live in the careful, watchful middle of the thick and the thin. That almost grey glow, between daily phone calls and every three month dinners. The glow of baby announcements and Christmas Cards, and ahey it's your birthday, and I'm thinking of you text messages. Thankfully I'm lucky to have put down roots with some pretty spectacular people. Who don't let things like miles and time cloud what has always been, the love between two friends.