One of my favorite things is having updated photos of us with the people we love. I’ve talked before about why updated family photos are so important to me, but the same stands true for friends. The thing is, since we see each other every couple of days, I don’t think to photograph those moments. They are just routine. So once a year I try to make a point to get actual posed photos with our friends. Usually this happens at my birthday because we’re all together. And thankfully our friends are really great about it! I joke that one of these days I’m going to have us all in coordinating outfits… maybe next year. 😉
Like I mentioned on Monday, these couples didn’t know each other before this evening (well, two of the couples had met at my birthday party last year when we had nearly 50 people over, but they didn’t get to talk much so this was essentially still a first). Seeing them all interact with each other made me think about how funny it is that in some ways our friends are so different from each other, but in others they are SO the same. One major similarity in all the couples is that the wives are all sugar sweet people. They all encourage me to be a better person and I love that! And the husbands all have that big-brother-pick-on-people personality. Which is hilarious because Christopher is only that way with a handful of people. I’m not sure why we were attracted to so many couples who were so similar in this way, but it made me laugh once I realized it.
Stephen and Julia are our newest friends in the group. Well, sort of. Stephen and I actually first met back in 2008 when we were in graduate school. He went home and told his wife that he had met a girl who he thought she would really like and be friends with. But at the time they lived in another city (he had just come for a short course on campus) so naturally they thought nothing more of it. Until they moved to Memphis two years ago. Stephen reached out to me to ask what church we attended and next thing I knew they were part of one of our friend groups.
We started to get really close to them about a year and a half ago when we started opening up to a few friends and family members about some health issues we were facing. They really stepped up to walk this path with us. Lots of prayer and support from them. Actually this is true of all the couples in this post. When I had to have surgery last year, Julia & Stephen brought us dinner and the sweetest care package. Side note: Julia is an awesome gift-giver. Somehow she comes up with the best ideas that are so perfect for the person! However, Stephen is quite the jokester so in this care package he included a “Mixed CD” that he told me that I would really enjoy. Excitedly I put it in the CD player just to find that there was only one song on it. And it’s a song that drives me cah-razy. I made the mistake of telling Stephen once that I didn’t like the song so naturally he likes to bug me about it as often as possible. 😉 And Julia (as a pharmacist) has definitely put my mind at ease many times by answering countless questions for me about medications and interactions and such. 🙂
We’ve been friends with Brodie and Lyndal for a little over 3 years now ever since they moved to Memphis. We met through the teens we mentored and instantly clicked! Funnily enough, Lyndal’s OLDER sister and my YOUNGER sister are best friends from college. Which means that I graduated college in 2008 and Lyndal graduated college in 2013 which makes us sound super far apart in age, but I went to college really early (just after turning 17) and Lyndal took a gap year before going to college. So we’re actually only 2.5 years apart. But it’s always funny to me that her older sister and my younger sister were college besties.
For the first two years of our friendship we saw Brodie & Lyndal all.the.time because we worked with the same group of kids. Since my girls graduated last year and Christopher & I moved to a different group of teens we don’t get to see Brodie & Lyndal as often as we used to. Definitely requiring us to be very intentional in order to spend time together. But I’m so glad we’ve made the effort! And like I mentioned earlier, all the couples in these photos really stepped up to love on us while we were going through some tough things. Lyndal is incredibly gifted when it comes to prayer and just from listening to her pray (especially the many times she’s prayed over me) has taught me a lot about how to pray for other people. And Brodie makes me feel like my big brother lives here in Memphis instead of in Colorado. He picks on me plenty and makes me laugh. Brodie, Stephen, and James are all very alike in how they like to mess with people (all in good fun) and it keeps us laughing.
James says the most outrageous things sometimes. The first interaction I remember having with James was when we were still new to our church in 2011 and I was standing by the food at a party talking to a friend when I heard a man snapping his fingers loudly from across the kitchen. Shocked I looked up and he said (loudly) to me, “Woman, make me a plate!” I’m pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head a little at that moment. I laugh now thinking back on it because it is so James. He likes to get to know your personality and then say all the things that would nearly offend you most without actually truly offending you or hurting your feelings. And somehow he managed to convince one of the sweetest women on the planet to marry him.
Heather has the patience of a saint and she is so thoughtful. She is so good about checking in on us any time we’ve had something going on. She’s Christopher’s Primary Care Physician (and she would be mine too if I went to one, but I see a specialist who is keeping tabs on my overall health) and she has answered endless questions for us via text or the phone when we have some sickness or another, but aren’t sure if it requires a doctor’s visit or if we can just wait it out. She has put our minds to ease many, many, many times when we’ve been concerned about something medical. It is so wonderful to have a friend who is qualified to give medical advice and then turn around and let you know that she is praying for you as well.
These ladies have been blessing upon blessing for me over the years. They have listened to us, encouraged us, prayed for us, laughed with us, cried with us, and loved us. I couldn’t pick better people to walk this journey of life with. Oh yeah, and their husbands are pretty great too. 😉
Do you take photos with your friends?
Do you have any fun stories of how you met your closest friends?