Monday, December 20, 2010

No. 10 - Girlfriends Old and New

Really, one of the top 10s of 2010, and my life, is friends of both genders.  I grew up a tom boy and had lots of friends who were boys when I was younger.  Those boys from my neighborhood made me laugh, kept me on my toes, and helped me toughen up.  For them, I'm so thankful - we had a ton of fun back then and it's been great to keep in touch with some of them and check in now and then via Facebook.  Guys, if you're reading this, you know who you are. 

But, I've been even more blessed by amazing girlfriends.  As I get ready to embark on a the next leg of my journey as a woman - motherhood - I'm sensing that my girlfriends, old and new, will continue to play an important role in my life.  In 2010 I had some great opportunities to spend time and make new memories with some of the great women I'm lucky to call friends.

And, now, with no further ado... a lifetime of girlfriends in photos...
Chicago, 8th Grade Trip, Circa 1996

Laura and Kate 
I went to 1st through 8th grade with pretty much the same group of 20 girls.  There were cliques (and I was not in the cool one), there were cat fights, there were tears.  But, there were also fun times, sleepovers, and sad tears when we graduated and all went our separate ways to high school.  Through Facebook, most, if not all of us, have been able to see how far we've all come.  Many of those girls are now wives and mothers, all are successful in some way, and I feel lucky to have been able to watch my best friend from those days get married this fall, just like she watched me a couple of years ago.
Kate and Jamie - the lone
west-sider :)

Post-College Roommies - Maggie,
Lauren and Kate

My high school friends, Maggie, Lauren and Jamie, remain my dearest friends.  I credit the fact that we went to an all-girl school for much of our success as people and as friends. These girls are among the smartest, funniest, most talented and ambitious people I know.  They have been there for me when I needed them most and when I didn't deserve it.  In 2010, we spent time together at our 10 year high school reunion and I thanked God for giving our friendships the strength to last over a decade.  Though we are now separated by the 100 miles of I-74 between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, every time we see one another, its like I never left.  Can't wait for 2011 as we gather to celebrate Maggie's upcoming marriage!

Marvy, Kelly, just marvy
College at DePauw brought with it the women's soccer team and Kappa.  Though I've lost touch now with many of the girls I was close to during those four years, I've been lucky to stay in touch with a few.

In addition to Kelly, my so-lucky-but-random-to-have-become-such-good-friends-with-you-friend, who I've somehow been able to keep in touch with and see a few times a year, It's been a great year to watch other friends celebrate big life moments - MK (new baby) and Fitz (new husband). 

My first post-college girlfriends, Leslie, Sally and the other TFA girls in St. Louis were probably the one and only thing that kept me from quitting my day job to work at a hair salon.  Though our encounters, even of the online kind, are rare, I've had a small handful of meaningful exchanges that remind me that I always have at least one friend on each coast.

Kate and Kristi, Esquire

Law school was not so much the perfect time to make new friends.  It's competitive, it's a lot of studying, and I personally spent the least amount of time at school as possible (I did socialize, namely at the free keg parties in the law school lobby, but I had Blake to visit and lived with my two BFFs... ).  But, despite my best efforts to avoid connecting with my law school classmates, I did stumble upon a handful of friends and one best friend, Kristi.  We planned our weddings together and now she's a momma to the cutest little boy ever.  If we have a girl, they will get married.
Kate, LeAnn, Allison and
Since moving to Indianapolis, I've been in a "man, I need to make new friends" kind of mode.  Blake's high school friends all have wonderful girlfriends and wives and I definitely consider all of them friends.  I hope that 2011 brings more opportunities to spend with those girls and I look forward to raising kids together in this city I now call home.

Kate and Afshan - she's the only
preggo one in this photo...
I've also found friends in other lawyers and know that we will always have at least one thing in common - the billable hour.  While it can sometimes be hard to solidify friendships at work - given that I typically try to spend my time at work, uh, working, and not socializing, I know that Tonya, Afshan, and Mary are three colleagues I could always call on - for help with a legal question and lunch breaks or to support me at my wedding and throw me a baby shower.

Sutton Holiday Party 2010
Last but not least is the group of women that I most often find myself socializing with.  In part its because our husbands are addicted to one another and always want to get together on the weekends.  It's also because they are just a lot of fun to be around and do the best job planning (see future post on Parties with a Purpose).  Finally, it's because they are a great group of people (the guys included) who are there for one another and treat one another like family.  There are a million photos of this group but seems like zero with everyone in one shot.  So I'll leave this photo journey with the most recent shot. 

On a side note, girls, what do we think of my little maternity number?

Girls rule,

P.S. Feelings disclaimer - this photo montage is nowhere near complete nor is it meant to be exclusive :)  I have more friends than I have photos of and more photos than blogger would allow me to post without exploding.

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