This month has been filled with quality friends-and-family time, and my cup is overflowing.
One wonderful occasion was in a town west of Chicago--yes, an 11 hour drive--to finally attend our college friends' annual holiday gathering. There is something special andtotally unmatched about the friendships formed during those four years of higher education. Living with friends, seeing each other at the best of times and worst of moments, cultivates relationships that are rivaled only by family. I experienced the best jolt as more and more of us filled Chris & Katie's beautiful home. I was reminded of the dearness of these relationships and the strength of college friendships that are hardly diminished over years and miles.
|The "Family" Portrait 2012|
When all of the guys were all together again, I was nearly brought to tears. It was such a wonderful sight to behold. And I am lucky enough to say that these
boys men were my friends and not just friends-of-my-boyfriend. That first year of college I spent a lot of time visiting Kevin in his dorm; that meant hanging out with his guy friends. Ben, Gavin, Matt, Kevin, and Mel were something of a family unit that year. The next year we added Dave, Chris, Nick, Adam, Geoff & Tyler to the mix. And the rest is [mostly] history. Those boys talked with me as their friend, shared with me, and didn't exclude me from games of frisbee. They wanted me to hang out with them, to play video games with them, to listen to them (because we all know other guys aren't always the best listeners.) Those boys grew up and became godly men who stood beside us at our wedding. Many of them have married lovely wives of their own, all work solid jobs and lead in their churches. As I was honestly sharing my fears and inhibitions with all 15 of these friends in a Facebook message window, everyone quickly said, "We'll do anything to make you feel comfortable enough to come. We want you & Kevin here." And I knew they meant it.
Thank you, friends, for loving me for the past 9 years. I look forward to many more times together.