The Friend I Want to Be: Hallmark

This post is another Hallmark sponsored post. I am being paid by Hallmark to write it, but all writing, ideas and opinions are mine. Thankfully, Hallmark and I share the same idea–that little moments are to be celebrated and that good people, good efforts and good intentions deserve a spotlight. See Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion for more details, like them on Facebook, and/or sign up for their e-mail messages HERE.

In my teens, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was homeschooled, a bit sheltered and the closest I came to sleepovers were the ones I read about in Seventeen magazine where pictures of pretty girls with pretty teeth, painting each others’ nails, piqued my interest of a more social world. I met a couple girls in college with whom I really clicked, but I lived with my grandparents off campus from a small Christian school that breathed dorm life, prayer partners and residence halls that served as sorority letters. If you lived in Muffit Hall, you were practically an Alpha Delta Pi. I lived in the back left bedroom off my grandpa and grandma’s hallway—where doilies adorned my dresser tops and the echo of laughter and teenage conversation was replaced with the static of my grandpa’s nightly ham radio broadcasts.

And for the record, if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

It’s not that I yearned for friends. I had them; they just weren’t my age. I worked in the Cardiology department of a hospital all through college and, along with a useful vocabulary of medical terms (“Print off his echo report, see if he had a thalium stress and send those cath films over to Royal Oak, Stat!”), I also acquired a nice handful of middle-aged women who served as both second mothers and good friends. I cried on their shoulders, pocketed their advice after bad dates and listened to them talk about their own kids who were thriving in college—lining up spring break trips and dog-earring cute bridesmaid dresses for the next of their friends to be married. Me? I was finishing term papers for Old Testament Studies, skipping required chapel visits and spending my weekends driving my busted-up station wagon (The Staysh) over to my sister’s house to live vicariously through her family. My friend Roberta (yes, who was over 50) used to tease me that if I didn’t get out there and meet some girls my age, someday when I got married I’d have an aisle full of bridesmaids all fifty and older—in mauve boleros and calf-length skirts.

And then I moved to Florida—the state that, I was convinced, had a population ratio of 200 old people for every young person. I was sure my someday wedding had expanded from fifty-year-old, bolero-wearing bridesmaids to an aisle full of walkers and nude orthopedic shoes with black knee socks.

But no. I met friends. Lots of them. Friends that taught me how to be a friend. Friends I would need a few years down the road when I couldn’t cope on my own. Friends that numbed my cravings for home and family—because they became home and family.

I’ve read enough parenting tips on raising girls to know it’s not recommended that you encourage talk of “best” friends because “best” just gets you into trouble and, like playing ball in the house never ends up good, publicly claiming someone as your “best friend” just sends another girl crying and crossing you off her birthday party list. But listen, this chick is my best friend.

Photobucket

And so are a lot of other girls I love. But I’m going to throw the term “best” around for a bit because it’s a well-earned adjective for my friend Heidi whose warm eyes and friendly smile should appear under “friend” in Wikipedia. So should her tomato mozzarella Paninis and the way she genuinely kisses your kids and treats them like her own.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Or the tone of her voice when she she’s sitting next to you, holding you, hugging you, telling you it’s going to be okay when your world has just been rocked. Or the loyalty and dedication in her eyes when you tell her certainly she’s tired and needs to go home, and she firmly replies…

I’m not leaving you. I promise I’m not leaving.

Photobucket

I want to be this friend. And though I sometimes fall short and kick myself for going too long before e-mailing someone back or sending a birthday card or going out of my way to let someone know what they mean to me, I am learning. I am learning how to be a good friend because my friends show me how.

Photobucket

And so, I’ve compiled a few admirable characteristics from the friends I know. Fool-proof tips of friendship that have changed me, supported me, made me feel loved and taught me how to be a friend—a really good one.

The Friend I Want to Be



Be Vulnerable.


You know that feeling when a friend calls you and she’s crying and needs you, and you say just the right thing to make it better? I love that. I always feel honored when a friend chooses me to share vulnerabilities. There is a level of trust and loyalty that strengthens a friendship. But it goes both ways. Being vulnerable isn’t always easy, but I’ve learned that when I genuinely share my heart—the good, the bad, the insecurities, the weaknesses, the moments of despair—it is welcomed by my friends. Women seek to relate to each other. We feel safe and free and challenged to be real when we realize others share moments like ours. The most beautiful moments I’ve shared with friends are always the raw and vulnerable ones. Alright, second beer on the dance floor with our hands in the air to Don’t Stop Believin’ is pretty beautiful too.

Tell them you love them.

Don’t wait for the perfect moment, the long phone call, the big thing that happens that draws the “I love yous” from near and far. Be random, be honest, be a good friend and blurt out nice things when you think of them. Text them after your friends leave your house—things like “Dude, you always amaze me with how well you listen” or “I watched you today with your son and I just wanted to let you know I think you are an incredible mama.” Or simply “I love you—just thought you should know.” It means the world to anyone who hears it.

Photobucket

Remember little details.

I’m always shocked when someone remembers something I said in passing. Like that I love sunflowers or Lebanese food or plain M&Ms. And months go by and then I have a bad day and someone shows up with sunflowers and Lebanese food and a bag of M&Ms. Because good friends stash away those details until they’re needed. And knowing someone’s favorite candy bar? It’s Friend Ammo. This, you should know. And how do you know these things? Well that’s the next tip.

Really Listen.

I’m not the best listener, I’ll be honest. And it’s hard today with cell phones and texting and thinking about that really cool thing I’m gonna say back when you finish saying what you’re saying. But good friends listen. They don’t just talk about their own stories. They ask questions about their friends’ lives and genuinely listen for their response. I’m getting better, and knowing how good it feels when someone is obviously listening to me and genuinely interested makes me want to do it even more.



Photobucket

Celebrate Successes.

It’s a given that you show up and support a friend during hard times. But when things are going great—when she nailed that big project, landed her favorite job, got recognized for something she felt passionate about—it’s still important to be there, cheering on your friend and letting her know you share her happiness.

Age Ain’t Nothin’ but a Numbah.

How silly I was to think I didn’t have many friends back in the day—just because the ones I had weren’t my age. Friendships don’t need EHarmony questionnaires pairing you with people who share your interests and fall in your age box. Some of my best friends are twice my age, and their wisdom and experience dissolves the many years between us. And let me tell you, Nana Kate can shake her groove thing just as good as the rest of us.

Photobucket

I have friends that are very different from me—some with no kids, some with grandkids, some who do laundry every Tuesday and never have piles of clothes perched on their couch cushions.

Photobucket

Dot never says a word when she uses my laundry piles for arm rests.



I need them. I learn from them. I love them.

There are more tips, more admirable qualities that take the spotlight when my friends step onto the stage and remind me with their performance to love like I’ve been loved. I fall short at times and have to challenge myself to love better, to gossip less, to at least post a “Happy Birthday” to a Facebook wall or send a text of “I know we haven’t talked but I’m thinking about you.” To make more efforts to hug their kids, praise their accomplishments, or pick up their favorite candy bar. But there’s time to improve. And many years before I rock out my bolero and calf-length skirt. I think it will have glitter. Yes, I’m pretty sure of that.

Tonight, I am grateful for my friends and what they’ve taught me.



What do you love most about your friends? Is there something a friend did for you that you’ll never forget–something that taught you how to be a better friend? I’d love to hear the qualities you most admire in your friends, and Hallmark would too. If you’d like, please share a story or endearing friend characteristic in the comments.

To see all Life is a Special Occasion posts from this blog, click HERE.

Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. “You got to have FRIIIIEEEENNNNDDDSSSS!!!!!” Love that song, almost as much as I love this post!! (and obviously exclamation points!!!!!!!) Being a good friend is something we could all improve on!

  2. I loved this, Kelle. I’ve been in spots where it seemed like I had no friends — and then I looked around me and realized I was surrounded by so many loving people. Maybe not in real life, but sometimes friendships made via blogging are just as strong as ones in person. Because seriously, friends are just the bomb.

  3. I loved this!!! LOVED it!! Some of my greatest friends are the age of my mother and I don’t care!! My “best” friends are my sisters. We certainly weren’t friends growing up. Far from it. But like a good bottle of wine age makes everything better!!

  4. I have moved over 8 times in my life (Air Force daughter) And I have learned friends are very important. We make them, and then we move. But I have at least 8 best friends, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

  5. I love what you say about friendship and age…I felt the same way growing up, that I didn’t have a lot of friends…

    Now I realize I was just defining friendship all wrong.

    Brooke
    http://www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

  6. I have a “best” friend who has been with me through all the good, bad and ugly of my life…for the past 30 years. Thank you for sharing this Kelly…I want to be that friend too :-)

  7. You’re so right about everything. We all need to look for the good in life and appreciate what we have when we have it. I seem to be terrible at that. I will get better!

  8. I thank you so much for this post, Kelle. I seriously cannot describe how much I needed this, this reassurance and hope that you have provided.

    We currently live in Ontario, Canada. On an off-chance whim, my husband applied for a job in Palm Beach, FL, not thinking anything would come of it. Now a few weeks later we have booked a trip so he can visit the car dealership he applied for a technician job at, contacting immigration lawyers, and asking each other after we tuck our girls into bed at night… can we actually do this?

    I am ridiculously excited, and terrifyingly frightened all at the same time. He is 100% for sure getting a job offer at his “interview”, and depending on the offer, we could be moving away from everything and everybody I know. Hardly any of our friends or family know this could be happening because until it is official we see no need to upset anybody, including ourselves. The future scares me to death. But the opportunity to do such a exhilarating and unique lifestyle change overcomes me and I think yes, I can do this. I WILL DO THIS!

    My worst worry is that I am an awkward person and I fear I’ll be weird and strange while trying to meet other Moms at the parks in our future neighbourhood. I don’t want to be lonely… I want to have people to turn to, people who understand me and where I am in life.

    I would love some reassurance and direction on how to cope with this change. But that you so much Kelle, for giving me hope that I can find good, reliable, trustworthy and selfless friends if/when we move.

    Sorry to spill my guts… but like I said, nobody really knows about our plans for our future so I don’t have anybody to relate to, to turn to for advice. But this post sincerely helped me find comfort and solace in our possible relocation.

  9. The older I get, the harder it seems to make and maintain friendships. Thank you for reminding me of the simple things it takes to be a better friend!

  10. When my parents dropped me off at my college, my Dad said to me, “friends do not have to be your own age.” It is hands down one of the most important bits of wisdom he shared with me.

  11. Last summer I had a three week old little girl and a two year old little girl. We were just getting settled as a family of four when our newborn came down with whooping cough. We were at childrens hospital for a month and on two occasions, two of my best friends came to my house when I was at the hospital, vacuums in hand, cleaned my house from top to bottom, took all our linens and laundry (embarrassing, but close friends don’t care) and washed and returned them, all before we knew they were there. They were angels. Came in and left swiftly at a time when they felt helpless (and they were helpful on so many levels. More than anything they showed us they were TRUE friends. I WILL pay in forward. They are such a (my) gift.

  12. beautiful, Kelle. As always.

    I’ve been blessed with a few precious friends here in the Pacific NW, my new(er) home, as of two years ago. When you leave the place you lived your whole life (CA) and move 2 states away and start over, you learn quickly who your true friends back home are.
    I’m blessed with 3 that are completely, over the top amazing. I love them so much.

  13. well, I have this friend who I met through blogging…we both had daughters born with Ds a week apart. and even though she gets up to 1,000 comments on her posts, and I’m quite sure her inbox is equally maxed out…she always takes time to email me back or comment on my posts or my daughter’s FB wall or cheer Lily on in a photo contest. and I bet she does this for hundreds of people. because she’s a friend like that.
    ox

  14. You are so right about being vulnerable; it opens us up to sharing more and becoming even closer to those we love. I laughed about really listening instead of constantly thinking of what to say next! GUILTY! My best friend is so genuine, and compassionate -she always puts others first! She is strong, she fights tears to ask about my babies when she longs for the day that it happens for her and her husband! She makes me a better person!

  15. I love how my best friend is always there to listen to me when I need it.

  16. My goodness, in that first picture of you & heidi, you look JUST like Lainey…or well, I can see how she looks like you :)

    I’ve had my best friend since we were in our mom’s wombs. Our mom’s met in birthing class and we’ve been best friends since we were born 25 years ago. Friends come & go, but true friends…I can’t live without

    love this post

  17. My next door neighbor is my friend and all the kids call her aunt Nancy she still helps me through things well anyways my parents got divorced when I was 10 and she helped me decide where me and my brother were going to live I ended up picking my dad which in the long run was better for us

  18. Patti, you made me cry smile. xo

  19. Beautiful post about beautiful friends! It’s nice to read about women who are real, true friends, not fake, competitive ‘friends.’
    I treasure the women who are my true friends, they are gorgeous women that I feel so blessed to share my life with. And some of them are old enough to be my Mother 😉

  20. One flew to my vet school graduation with her newborn, her toddler, and the requisite four zillion pounds of gear. She has let me love her kids like my own for (gulp) 13 years now, waiting all this time to be the cool “auntie” herself.

    Another is the master of the just-right word/gift/deed, whom I miss when life keeps us apart for even a week. She always knows what will make my tail wag. Her generosity of spirit constantly amazes and inspires me. “Happiness is…” being her friend.

  21. Kelle thank you so much for writing EXACTLY what I needed to hear! I have been throwing myself a pity party the last few days about my “best” friend. After reading what you wrote I sent her a text just to let her know I loved her and missed talking to her. Thank you for reminding me what it means to be a friend to someone. :-)

  22. The most important thing I have learned from my friends is “be there” for your friends…whether it is a card, call or hug…to love and be loved is the greatest gift.

  23. I just really loved this post.

  24. SUCH good stuff, kelle!! loved this. i have lots of good friends, and several GREAT friends. the thing that seperates those friends are their honesty with me and their loyalty. love friends that don’t go repeat your “stuff” to others.

  25. These words are truth. I believe them and they were super encouraging to me to not get bogged down in the day to day…and remember that the people you love are the most important thing.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. I consider myself very lucky because I have two of the best friends a girl could ask for. They’re the type of friend that it doesn’t matter how long it has been since we last spoke, what time of day it is or what the circumstances, they are always there for me. Even now, living the length of the country away from each other we talk constantly. We’ve been there for each other through so much and no matter what our personal opinions are on situations we always support each other. I couldn’t have hand picked better people to be in my life for 15 years now (and I’m only 27 so that says something!) <3

    I love how you go out of your way to make everyone feel special and welcome! From my experience, you are a great friend!!

  28. I’ve learned to value loyalty and give it freely and fiercely. The good friends stand by you no matter what. And you know how good it feels at the end of the day to feel them there behind you.

  29. So much of your life mirrors my own. Back in the day when I was an rn, all the young and singles were pulling night shifts for higher pay, and because they could. I wasn’t a night owl, so I worked day shifts (until forced into nights to shift careers and take daytime classes). I was always the youngest of the bunch. All these years later, I still keep close contact with one friend in particular from that time. She’s 69now, and still just the coolest. Nope, the number has nothing to do with it.

    It’s funny how it works. How effortless it is to connect with a few select who become “best”. I have two such women in my life, and I believe they are a God-given gift. I love them dearly.

    And I’m also thankful for connecting with a friend whom I’ve never actually met. But one of these days. I just know it.

    Much Love.

  30. Within a half hour of giving birth to our little surprise baby, my circle (there are 6 of us) had flooded my delivery room with their husbands & kids…just to love on my baby girl. I can’t tell you how much my heart just grew, and shattered, and grew again from the joy that was in that room. The same friends that I just left back in March (Army wife, we moved to Texas) that I adore, that I miss, that I can’t wait to get back to. Kelle, I love the way you can just say things and they just make so much sense. ((HUGS))

  31. What a fantastic post, Kelle.

    My best friend is my “soul sister”. I truly admire her spirit. We literally had to travel to the other side of the world to find each other six years ago, and since then I knew I had found that friend who would be my person for a long time to come. We now have 500 miles between us, and the distance has taught us a thing or two. Phone calls, emails, photo sharing, and packages via snail mail are our saving grace. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from our friendship? Belly laughs are the universal cure-all. Because no matter what is going on in your lives, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other or since you’ve picked up the phone, the sound of that shared laugh coming through the phone lines and knowing that you’re both doubled over laughing until it aches…. oooh, it’s such a great feeling. All friendships should feel that way!

  32. I’m at a strange point in my life where most of my good friends live out of town. While this means that I miss them terribly, it also means that we get to make each other smile by sending something to brighten each others day. I like that.

  33. i love this post. when i think of great friends (other than my husband) i think of the women – all older than me, in a totally different stage of life than i was, each with 4 kids and busy lives of their own – who befriended me and stuck with me and prayed with and for me as i spent several years battling through an eating disorder. i was incredibly self-centered and had such distorted thinking through so much of that time, and yet they hung in there with me and walked with me through it all. i’ll forever count them as friends.

  34. Kelle,

    The timing of this post could not have been better! I am at a point right now (dreaded mid-20’s) where I’m learning to love and appreciate my friends in a different way now that we have our own lives and are not as connected and together as we used to be were when we were younger. One of the lessons of adulthood, to not only life without being dependent on your parents but also learn to be strong without the constant presense of your friends.

    As usual, thanks Kelle for your insight!! I, too am learning and probably always will be! xxx

  35. My mom and sister in law/best friend/just my sister are tied for this one. Just 8 short weeks ago at the birth of my sweet baby girl, my mama held me like no other mama could, and my Danielle hunted down nurses when she saw I wasn’t being cared for well enough, gave hell about it to anyone who would listen, held my hand and brushed my hair from my face and tears from my eyes when I was shaking in horrid pain. And she also “wouldn’t leave me,” for another 8 hours, and neglected her own littles at home to get me settled in my room so I didn’t feel alone. I love these girls like they don’t even know. Fab post my friend. xoxo

  36. I’m also striving to be a better friend as I find myself riding the waves of life with my own two closest girlfriends. 39+ weeks pregnant and my best friend just had her baby and I’m dying that I can’t go be with her because my own little in coming any day now. All of my closest friends are far from me and I’m struggling to find that kind of friendship where I live. Your post made me think and just be truly grateful that I have them at all – no matter where they live. We make it work because we love each other. That’s a true friendship and I’m blessed to have two of those and a wonderful handful of other women I love spending time with, too. Thanks as always for bringing light into a situation that could be perceived as dark. You rock!

  37. Just last week I called my friend Jamie as I was crying in desperate need of connecting with another mother of a child with Down syndrome. Because I knew she would understand how badly my day had gone and how tired I was and how I wondered if I could do this. And she listened and talked me through it and then prayed for me.. all of this over the phone. It was all I needed. It was a priceless gift!

  38. We had a similar “growing up” experience… I too can look back and be thankful for my friends of different ages. It felt lonely at times before I realized the value but I love the variation in my friends SO MUCH now.

  39. Though I already commented, I just re-read through the post, and I want to comment again.

    Everything said in the post is so true. Some of my very best friends are mother’s I babysit/nanny for. Though they may remember the year I was born, I love spending time with them. They are always there for me, and they are some of the best listener’s. When I was younger I was home schooled too (still am) and I always hung around the adults at social events because they were the ones I was most comfortable with. I don’t regret that one bit. I learned so much from just listening to all the wisdom each of them shared. It definitely helped shape me into who I am today.

    You reminded me of the area’s I am lacking in some of my friendships-Thank you. I am going to get to work on those right now :)

  40. Once I was in a car with a new (at the time) best friend. We were singing along with the radio and I messed up the lyrics. She yelled at the artist on the radio for messing it up. I have always loved that about her! We’ve now been friends for two decades!

  41. Kelle, you are precious!

    Friends… my favorite quality is loving me just for who i am… those days i feel so sub-par, i need those friends to love me anyways…

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. How funny that you blogged about this topic today. I was just pondering my own friendships today and thinking about how I seriously LOVE my closest friends and need to tell them how much they mean to me.

  44. I have an amazing group of friends. I felt so lonely after having my first child. My husband and I had moved twelve hours away from any family. I started a moms group and have had a fabulous support system ever since. We bring meals when babies come, scoop up kiddos when mamas need a break, pray with every ounce of our being when something odd turns up on a sono, when a loved one is lost, when we struggle with infertility or when a lump is found. We want to kick ass when a friend has been wronged. We cheer each other on when we land a new job, when our kids are finally pooping in the toilet instead of in their pants and when we finally learn to not be such a doormat. We are there for each other not because we have to be but because we want to be. We recently celebrated our friendship with a photo scavenger hunt. It was the best time ever with the funniest photos ever. You should try it if you haven’t already. I love your blog. You are so inspiring!

  45. Most of my best friends, I have been friends with since High School or before, a few I have met as an adult. ALL of them, have been with me through some of the hardest times of my life, listen to me freak out about homeschooling my kids, giving me beads of wisdom when my daughter was born with Down Syndrome and especially holding my hand and coming to sit with me in the hospital to teach me to knit when she was diagnosed with Leukemia and most of my days were spent by her bedside. Or collected food, or money to help us out during the long 2 and a half years of treatment. They shake their heads and laugh at me when I find a new obsession and they never judge me….at least not to my face. My friends are forever.

  46. I can’t tell you how much this hit home tonight. A friend that I’ve been meaning to get closer with, and just kept putting it off, is in the process of losing her father. He probably won’t make it through the night and half way through the post, with tears in my eyes, called her. And listened. And gave comforting advice. Thank you for the reminder.

  47. Kelle, thank you for the reminders in friendship..i often get swept up in the details of my own family life that i dont always make time to enjoy my friends..my “best” friend now just had a way of making lil ol anti-social me feel so easeful outside of my comfort zone that she changed a whole perspective of my life..i think that is an awe-inspiring quality to have as a friend..just comfort. something i feel whenever i read your blog.

  48. My best friend Jen moved away 1 year and 7 months ago to be with a man. She had been in a bad divorce. I was worried about her. I didn’t love the man. And still, 1 year and 7 months later, I do not. I do love that my friend is happy though. I miss her so much, but I am thankful she is happy. Sometimes I worry that her new happy is different from the old happy she imagined, but that’s ok. Happy is happy. I do call her and cry sometimes. I will try to take her m&m’s this week. Inspired by you : )

  49. Girlfriend…you made me cry a bit! I absolutely love watching your friendship with Heidi from afar..it is so real. Makes me smile from ear to ear when I see the photos of the two of you.

    I have a friend who is cheeky, creative, witty and so stinking loyal. She has been my friend for 30 years. She prayed for me when my hopes for being a mom were so small and she never. never. let me give up. She gave me a good emotional slap across my face when cancer rocked my world..she told me not to start living in the land of the dead and fight a good fight, and I did. She spent the weekend of my 50TH birthday with me and we drank wine on my patio, we laughed and we cried until the wee hours of the morning and she promised me she would love me until the end of time. She is my Ethel, Shirley and Patsy(from Absolutely Fabulous..that girl is my kind of crazy) all rolled up in one..she can make me pee my pants in 60 seconds flat and she is the rock that I turn to when life throws me a curve ball…she is priceless.

  50. Beautiful post as always Kelle..

    I wanted to share what my amazing friend Hannah did.

    When my mum was visiting from Australia, she met my new friend Hannah..it was one of mum’s dreams to go to the “Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge” for lunch.

    Hannah took us. We dined under a hanging organza of dripping, delicious perfumed wisteria.

    We discussed our bucket lists and one of my mum’s was to visit the Taj Mahal.

    My mum died a year later from cancer and never got to live out that dream…but my beautiful friend Hannah never forgot.

    Two years ago she was invited to a wedding in India…she asked me for a photo of my mum to take with her.

    When she returned she sent me the photo of my mum and our daughter Savannah who died a year after Mum…together…at the Taj…Hannah had somehow managed to make the photo look like Mum and our angel were sitting right there in the gardens of this magnificent place.

    This photo makes me smile and realize how important frienships are….your post today has encouraged me to pick up a Hallmark card for Hannah tomorrow and remind her of what a special friend she is.

    Friends can and do make dreams come true, even if it’s just a hug or hearing their voice on a hard day.

    love your blog! :)
    Hope you enjoyed my story and it wasn’t too long!

    love
    Diana x

  51. What a great post. There are many times I feel like I don’t have many friends but I realize I have so many they just don’t live near me. One friend has taught me to love no matter what – I have not always been the best friend but she has always been their for me and loved me – she leaves sweet little notes on facebook or send an e-mail to see how I am doing. She is a busy mama of 3 boys and does a ton of things including running triathalons while pregnant and being #1 for her age group – she is amazing and I am thankful for her and her love but also the great example she is for me.
    One of my best friends is the same age as my mom -I love that she listens to me and she always knows what to say – we have had so many great times together – most of the time we end up laughing and sometimes we have cried but she is always there for me and I am there for her. I think one of the best lessons she has taught me is to laugh- even when things are bad in a week or two ( sometimes longer) we will look back and laugh.
    I love my friends – as my daughter loves to sing -you got a friend in me to all her friend and her baby brother.

  52. My friend gave me a gift one day. My fraternal twins had just been born and there was such a conflicted debate amongst the medical professionals as to IF twin A, Braden, had Down syndrome or not. We found out several days later that he did indeed carry that extra chromosome. But before that decisive news my friend came to the hospital to visit us. What she found was a worried mama going over all the Down syndrome markers that were found or missing. Sadly, I was solely focused on these attributes of my newborn – trying to figure out this puzzle myself. Did he or didn’t he? Pointing these things out to my friend: “they say he has great tone” “his ears aren’t low set” “his pinky isn’t crooked” “he doesn’t tongue thrust” ” “he has a high bridge to his nose” “he does have wide hands” “his eye shape is different” and on and on and on I went. Finally, as i stared at my baby, I asked her what she thought? She said nothing… She waited til I pulled my gaze from my baby, til I sought her eyes with my desperately searching ones and spoke. “He is beautiful” was all she said and I just knew with every ounce of my soul that she meant it. Her words jerked me out of examination mode and made me realize at that very moment, regardless of his chromosome count, that he was a baby, he was mine and he was beautiful.

  53. I love that my besties are all spread out but I know that no matter how far away we are from one another they are there for me for the big things and the little things. On particular friend sent me this card, a Hallmark card which are reserved for only the super special people in her life (everyone else gets the el cheapo cards), anywhooo it was a card with a little boy saying he wanted chicken nuggets not the round kind but the dinosaur kind and if they are even a little bit burnt he wouldn’t eat them. It was so great because her youngest is in first grade so she is a little bit past that stage now but my 3 year old is all about having it her way like she lives at Burger King and my friend even though not in the same stage with her kids knew just what would make me laugh and a parenting moment that we could both relate to no matter where we were in our parenting journeys.

    All my friends are so different no matter what I love those girls.

  54. Wonderful post, Kelle, with great reminders of what it means to be a true friend!

    A couple of years ago, my then 19 year old son used a drug which made him psychotic. He is 6’2″ and was about 200 lbs at the time, but it was like being with a 2 year old who needed to be watched constantly. One of my best friends came and stayed with me for about a week (even taking sick leave from her job) so that I would not have to take care of my son alone. She was there for me in the throes of a major life-crisis, shoulder to shoulder, so I did not have to go through it alone. She didn’t wait for me to ask for help–she gave it freely at a time when I needed it most.

    And in June, when my son got his high school diploma, she was there with me, shoulder to shoulder, at his graduation celebrating his success!

  55. What a perfect time for this topic!! My closest friend sent me a message to make sure I had seen this post, and I am nwo reading it crying…I just moved. I am missing my friends and family so much, but I do feel encouraged to see the relationships that you have built in FL. Love you blog! Thanks for speaking so honestly. Love it.

  56. Such a touching post that made me really think of my friends and how grateful I am for them.

    Recently, we got some devastating news regarding one of my girls.

    My friend, Paula, lives a busy life- with 3 kids of her own, one who is autistic even. She called and sent me texts from her family vacation (in HAWAII). She would always say she was just filling up my love tank. I’ll always remember that and the times she held me in the bathroom at work while I cried.

  57. My husband and I knew we would have trouble conceiving before we were ever married…so we put the cart before the horse and pretty much were planning our Hawaii destination wedding at the same time we were pursuing fertility treatments (we did not have much time being in our late 30’s). We were so thrilled to get pregnant on our first attempt and off we went to Maui where we lived out the most wonderful beach wedding with a handful of friends and family…all the while basquing in the joy of knowing we were creating new life. One of those friends was Sarah. She left her 1 year old baby at home and weaned from nursing just a tad earlier than she planned so that she could make this trip to be with me on my special day. When we arrived home the next week, we had a scheduled Dr. appt for an U/S to monitor the pregnancy (we were 10 weeks). At that appt…not only did we discover I was pregnant with identical twins..we discovered they had both died and the pregnancy was no longer viable. We were shattered and heart broken. In the span of one week, we had experienced the greatest day where we took our vows and the lowest day when we learned our babies had died. We drove home in silence. I cried for days and I sent out an email telling everyone what happened and basically said “stay away, I want to be alone”. I was still pregnant and deciding if I wanted to miscarry naturally or have a D&C. I really thought I just wanted to hibernate until it was all over…and living out in the country made that easy. Well…less than 24 hours after that email…Sarah comes driving up our driveway (she lived 2 hours away). She had already left her baby the week before to be at our wedding and she left her again to just come see me. She said she felt I needed a hug. And she was sooo right. I did. And we had a day together where we cried and we baked, and we cooked and it made one of those very hard days pass just a little easier….because she was BRAVE….brave enough to take the chance that I really meant stay away and I would slam the door on her. She was willing to take that chance because she loved me and cared for me and shared my pain and deep inside knew I needed a friend. I will never forget that. We now live several states away, but our bond is strong and I will always, always remember that and try to be that friend to her too.
    Karaleen

  58. I often find myself feeling like a friend of the friendless. When my husband came to me and expressed that he was considering cancelling this whole marriage thing, it forced me to take a hard look at how I was behaving-to him, to friends, to family-everyone. What I found is that I can come off extremely judgmental and on a high-horse and like “i am the queen.” I’m trying to change that-speak my mind but gently. To listen and not judge. To accept imperfections in myself and others. It’s a long road, but I hope I’m at least on the right street.

  59. My heart just soared w/this post. I feel you sister.
    One of my besties was JUST induced and is giving birth within the next 24 hrs…. and my heart is aching with love and compassion. Can’t wait to meet her little and shower her with the love I have for my bestie and her new family. Friends are family and family are friends… and they MAKE your life.
    You gave hallmark a new meaning!

  60. I am always so amazed and impressed by your outdoor pictures. I lived in FL for 3 years and was COVERED in sweat anytime I had to go outdoors mid-May through mid-November. How do you all look so fresh? I am sooo jealous. :-)

  61. Thank you for this post…having just moved for the first time in my life, I am struggling being alone, looking for friends. Your words remind me to BE a better friend to make friends…

  62. Super emotional today….for so many reasons (plus family “yuck” still going on :(

    So your timing of this post was perfect….to focus on friendship.

    I’m still so often reminded of THAT day….when my throat constricted & I found myself being suffocated by gut wrenching pain in a hospital bathroom, holding myself up with one arm against a cold wall while the other one cupped my empty belly—the weight of which seemed to be ripping my broken heart away from my chest cavity; as if there was an imaginary rope attached between the two of them. I tried to stifle my cry. I will NEVER forget that feeling. I was alone. But not. Everyone, including my husband, had left. Or so I thought. When I emerged from my life’s darkest moment, I found my friend sitting on my bed. She hugged me and let me cry….out loud this time. She knew I should NOT be alone and called my husband to come back over and suggested he stay for the night. She took care of my boys the next day and later, brought a PARTY of friends with her to my room and made sure people were there…all day…and into the evening! And when we came home? She cleaned my house and had people sign up to bring meals….for a MONTH!!!

    And even though I’ve tried to tell her, I still don’t think she knows what that means to me. I could have EASILY been completely alone. But she knew what I needed when I didn’t. She knew what to do when no one else did. A true friend.

    Wow! Didn’t think I’d be writing THAT tonight. I’ve been wanting to get it out, so I guess it’s good :)

    And in this season of my life, your blog has been my “best friend”, Kelle! What’s your favorite candy bar? 😉 Or do you count plain m&m’s as a candy bar? Big Hunk all the way for me (cuz my Daddy said it was his one night on a road trip….the same trip he taught me The Ants Go Marching….okay, getting side-tracked now).

    Have a really good night!
    Kelly

  63. Such a great and timely post, we spent the weekend with a few of my best and dearest friends, the girls that I have grown up with. I don’t have many friends, but I have TRUE friends. It warms my heart that after all these years we can meet up and spend a weekend together, and even though now there are kids, and husbands and obligations outside of “us”, when we are together we are just those school girls hanging out giggling and talking into the wee hours of the morning. I LOVE THAT!

  64. Truly listening is so important. Not sympathy, not condemnation, but empathy. And, for the record, 9 times out of 10, I LOVE old people. When they say “sweetie” or “honey”, you can just feel the genuity. And, when they move slow, they are not doing it on purpose, they are just being real. I love it most when the oldest people talk to my babies!!!

  65. My best friend is just awesome. But the most awesome thing about her is that she takes me just as I and she loves me just the same. I always know she will be honest and forthcoming with anything I need to know or ask her and I couldn’t possibly think of anyone else I’d rather talk to on my worst days.

  66. Wow. Every time I read your posts, I am inspired. I love friends, and I love what they mean to a person. I also know it is hard to find good friends in new places. I am so happy that you have been blessed with wonderful friends. Oh, and just once, could you please write a post that doesn’t make my cry? 😉

  67. I moved to a new country and started a new life just over 1 year ago, leaving behind my group of friends that knows my heart inside and out was a really hard thing.
    I’m starting all over with new friendships it is an adventure in itself.
    This Summer I met a new group of women and one asked how long I planned to live here because she wanted to know the level of her commitment to me.
    I almost burst out in tears… I thought wow really… I’ve never once ever thought about a friendship with an expiration date. When I make friends I open my heart and that is that… forever full on in my heart. Period.

    I could relate to having older friends.
    One of my very dearest friends in the whole world was 25 years older than me… part Mom I always wanted, part best friend that understood everything and always knew the right thing to say. She’s been gone 6 years now I miss her most of all.

    You have such a wonderful blog, I always look forward to your posts. Tracie

  68. I love this. And I love the images of you, Heidi, and Nella. My best friend from high school was so calm about Ellie’s Down syndrome. I love her for it.

    And I love the women I’ve met through the DS blogging community.

    And my friends here who fed us dinner almost every night when Ellie was in the NICU. And visited with us. Despite awful traffic.

    And our friends who are taking time off work to sit with us during her heart surgery.

  69. Nice post Kelle! I like to know that it’s never to late to make new friends!

  70. Oh, I forgot… and you are my friend on the web….

  71. This is my first post, although I have been reading your blog for some time now. Let me say first off that I am so jealous of your writing skills, the words you use, the way you string the words together and I love the way I feel after reading your blog.
    For me a a friend is someone I feel TOTALY comfortable being with, someone I can talk to about anything and feel comfortable about it. Although I have many friends and I love them all, just a few fit into the “TOTALY COMFORTABLE” category..
    Thanks for an awesome blog =)

  72. Beautiful post :). I love hearing about your younger days and the things that shaped you into the lovely person you are today. I don’t know you in real life but I can tell you’re a genuine kind of person with a heart of gold! Love your blog! xo

  73. Beautiful. Right now, I’m really finding out who my proper friends are, who just hangs around with me because no-one else will, and who just wants to copy my history essay. The friends I do have, that squeeze into the toilet cubicle when I’m sobbing and that share birthday cake with me and that show me how to make friendship bracelets… They’re keepers.

  74. I just started homeschooling my girls 2 years ago. I love that their friends range in age from 6 to 13 and they all play and have such fun. I am consciously creating opportunities for my 11 year old to expand her friend base because I know soon she will want to go to the movies and out for pizza without me and she needs people she loves and trusts around her.

    I was curious if you will homeschool your daughters being that you were homeschooled yourself….

  75. I cried, reading your post, even though it’s my lunch break at work.

    I LOVE my friends. I just moved, so I’m where you were some years ago, and I actually think I might have gotten one new friend that may turn into superspecial here.

    Otherwise I talk to my friends via FB in a closed room and that works just as well as text-messages to friends in the same town (that it would have been most of the time anyway being a working, commuting mom).

    OK, answer to your question!
    One day recently I had a very difficult task at work that I had been dreading and even crying for weeks.
    It ate up my thoughts during the vacation and I felt sick to my stomach that day knowing it was just a countdown ’til the very hour it was showtime.

    Then they were there – my friends in the closed room – they cheered me, gave me last minute-tips, told me I’d be fine and then asked how it went immediately efter.
    So in real time they held my hand through the computer screen and hearing the iPhone “brrrrrr” during the hard moment made me feel/know they’re there, that’s their comments right there “brrrr:ing”!
    Made it easier, better.

    I love them and I’m so thankful for them. They’re all (like 15 women) my best friends <3

    In fact I’ll tell them that this very instant, in case I actually never said it!!!
    :-)

  76. I think too often people forget to add “be a good friend” to their list of accomplishments in life and it’s a shame. As much as I strive to be a good wife and mom, to be good at my job and to be a kind citizen, I also work every day to be a good friend to the people I love. Thanks for this post. As I raise two daughters, I hope to instill in them the importance of good friends.

  77. Thank you for the beautiful post! Like your Heidi, my best friend Diane was with me both nights in the hospital when I was shocked to learn of Ava’s Down syndrome diagnosis. I look back on that time 16 months ago, and remember not wanting ANYONE there but her. Only her.

  78. This post made me cry .. in a good way :) True friends are such a blessing x

  79. My best friend, Robyn, (yeah, I said it, BEST friend) and I first connected over all things, dog puke. I was having a gathering at my mother’s home (back when I was in college) and Robyn, who at that time I had only known through other people, quietly came up to me and asked for a bucket, rags and some carpet cleaner. When I asked her why, she told me that my dog had gotten sick on the stairs and she wanted to clean it up for me. I was so embarrassed that this stranger was about to clean up my dog’s vomit. She said, ” I didn’t want you to have to stop entertaining your guests, I wanted you to be able to enjoy yourself.” It was an odd moment; but, there the two of us were, secluded from the rest of the group laughing on the stairs, scrubbing dog sick. She has been there for me over the past 20 years- caring for my children as if they were her own- caring for my children when I was too sick to take care of them myself. Listening to me in my darkest hour. Composing beautiful poetry to lift my spirits. Sending me handwritten letters, notes even when we lived a few blocks from each other- just to let me know that I was important. Robyn possesses all of the qualities you described above, and more. And I am forever grateful that my dog chose at that gathering to empty his stomach on the stairs :-)

  80. Ok, Salty Dog beat me to the punch, and here I am fresh for work and crying tears.

    I am one of a dozen Jen’s in her life, but oh how I know that I’m loved. So. Much. She and I appreciate that life happens in the details, and we truly love to celebrate life and our friends and our families. She an example of selfless love and of celebrating life. As do I, she loves throwing parties, making handmade gifts for others – her love and thoughtfulness shines through.

    Thanks to children and life, sometimes we don’t get to see each other as much as we want to, but I’ll take every text, FB comment and e-mail. When her husband met us at church 7 years ago at church, he came home and said, “Honey, I just met our best friends.” Amazing but true.

    Love you D-O-Double G.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  81. One of my friends sent me 40 cards on my 40th birthday – it was unforgettable

  82. I loved this post, and I love your blog. You make me want to be a better friend.

  83. Kelle-This post speaks to me on so many levels…it makes me think of the friends nearby, and those who left this earth too soon, and those I have known since I came into this world(my mom). LOVE LOVE your words. Thank you for sharing! This week, I am going to try to be more vulnerable…

  84. wow. awesome post. I try to learn from my friends too. I tend to be the person who gets called when your kid has a igh fever and you don’t know why, or you messed up your soup and need to know how to fix it or your husband is driving you nuts and you need someone to talk you out of going to Vegas and NEVEr coming back. I am the advice giver. And i love that role, but sometimes I get caught up in my awesome psychoanalysis and don’t LISTEN. and I am working on that. My 2 best friends listen, talk to me straight when I need to hear it and lift me up when I need encouragement. and that makes me one lucky girl!

  85. I have friends who are my sisters for real–you know, same mama sisters…and other life friends, like from high school and college and raising babies, and living through divorce and loss. Some are so far away…sigh…yet we talk, and the years and distance melt away. And I have one very precious girlfriend who knows me inside and out, and loves me anyway. Friends are my gifts from the universe!

  86. Seven years and six months, three days ago, I found myself in my car on a snowy night, wrapped around a telephone pole.
    I was dazed, to say the least, too dazed to realize that I had been injured when my car took the spin around the pole.
    I remember thinking to myself, “THINK.” What had happened? Why was I there? I was trying desperately to make some sense of the situation when the door of the car was wrenched open and I saw the faces of two Good Samaritans, my (now) friend Jeanneane and her wonderful husband Frank. I remember how frightened they looked, and how I remember telling them – although I had no idea – that I was okay, because they looked so worried!
    Frank called 911 and Jeanneane threw a blanket over me. They stayed with me until the ambulance drivers had packed me up and trundled me off to the nearest trauma center.
    Luckily, I had only a mild concussion and some deep tissue injury, and after a night in the hospital I was released. Jeanneane and Frank came in to see me just as I was leaving. I’ll never forget the look of relief on their faces!
    A few weeks later we were the lucky recipients of an invitation to dinner at Jeanneane & Frank’s, and it was there, over a delicious plate of beouf burgignon that our frindship flourished. I soon came to learn that this energetic couple spread their kindness as far as they possibly can with their community spirit and love of fellow man. I have been blessed by their friendship, and truly believe they were Heaven Sent!
    Thanks for letting me tell the story of my wonderful friends. If only I could be half the frined to them that they are to me!

  87. How poignant was this? This is something that I’ve been needing to hear lately. It’s funny how the blog world allows you to garner the most needed thoughts or advice from complete strangers (yet at the same time, not COMPLETE strangers). Thanks for giving me the words I so needed to hear.

    Caitlin
    from black currant thoughts.

  88. Kelle, This was maybe my favorite post you have ever written. My favorite stories and memories from my past are the nerdy homeschool ones :) I love everything you said about what I friend should be!

  89. Hi Kelle– You just never cease to amaze me with your ability to articulate all of my feelings into actual words. Thank you so much for this post and every other post you write. :)

  90. my 5 mont hold has Down Syndrome. it almost makes me cry to see one of my best friends fawn over her and tell her how beautiful she is and really mean it. she thinks my daughter is beautiful just like i do…

  91. Ah… my friends…
    I owe my good credit to one of my oldest and dearest friends. I had maxed out my first and only credit card and was going to be out of the country for a year. I figured it was no big deal and would pay it back later, but she knew the importance of good credit and paid it for me EVERY SINGLE MONTH (inspite of my protestations and would not hear of any repayment). My sisters wouldn’t have done that for me and I would never expect them to. Love you, girl!:)

  92. aaaand once again you have me crying.. i just recently during the last year and a half learned (once again) how blessed i am with my friends. my closest friends i’ve known since seventh grade (20+ years) and they have been my net through all these years with me losing my dad, my mom, battling depression….. i do think of myself as being a good friend (and so my friends say ;)) but your #1 on the list was the toughest one for me. not the “letting them be vulnerable” but the “BE vulnerable” part. i did learn it the hard way (during a six week clinic stay for depression) and it feels SO GOOD. i heard more “finally…”, “we’re proud of you…”, “we love you..” ‘s than i could have ever imagined. while i was the (in my eyes) most selfish ever in my life…. my net is one of the reasons i’m here today. <3

    this is my net

  93. Lovely and very heartwarming !

  94. Girl, this post has touched me. You have a way with words that move me! (and I love your kids! I want to just reach out and hug them!) I have lots of friends, but only a select few that I consider to be great true friends. One to be exact. I’ve been burned by lots of friends. I forgive and forget, but there will always be apart of me that holds back and makes the relationship more of an aquaintance type. This one friend, were tight! If we don’t talk for a week, it’s okay, we know were not mad at each other, we just got busy with life. Once were back on track, we talk and have lunch and hug each other. I wouldn’t trade her for the world! :)

  95. I was going through a really hard time with family and my best friend was on the phone with me for hours! After a while, I asked her to cry with me and she did…lol. We cried together and then spent the next hour laughing…she’s awesome. Love you Nicole!

  96. Kelle you have the best way with words. You nailed it sister!! Great post!!

  97. Thank you for this post. I’ve been thinking about how I can be a better friend to people and you pretty much nailed it with everything that you said. I’m going through a rough spot right now though, where I feel like my friends are few and I don’t have the good friends that I thought I had. It’s put me into a bit of a funk lately. But your post was a good pic me up. Again thank you. Oh and the quality I most admire in my friends would have to be: Honesty. Like, if I really goofed up on something, they don’t sugar coat. They tell me that I did, but they also help me to find a way to salvage a situation. Or, if I don’t look that great in a certain color or pair of pants. They’ll tell me but point out a better color for me or how they like this or that better on me. Honesty. I love that. I need that.

  98. Just the simple things makes someone a great friend, sometimes we all need to hear this to be reminded of it all. “Best” friends are sometimes few and far between. I have a couple of people I really feel like I could talk to without worrying about them judging or running to tell someone else. My sister is my best friend. I also wish I had friends like you and Heidi in my life. Reading your posts makes me want to be a better person, a better friend. You inspire me.

  99. Funny you wrote this today. I’ve been dealing with friendship issues (rather, realizing I truly miss those that are far away). My favorite memory is from college. If we had a bad day, really bad, we claimed it to be “our day.” The rest of the group hit the store and arrived with: cookie dough, ice cream, milk and flowers (and sometimes beer, depending on the severity). Then we passed out spoons, sat in a circle and let the one whose day is was talk (or not) and our group talked and laughed until it truly was better.

  100. These words are perfect. YOU DID GOOD! I have a friend right now going thru difficult times with her best friend right now. I can’t wait to share this with her!

  101. http://Www.whatisbetterthanthis.com (Peyton’s birth story!) yep, I actually posted! With pictures and all! :)

  102. I have a few friends from high school, 8 of us actually and we kept a journal after high school and passed it around and updated it, it became 2 journals and that was our way of keeping in touch! but now there is FAcebook, sadly we aren’t in touch as much anymore….but I KNOW if I saw these girls we would pick up right where we left off and that to me is TRUE FRIENDSHIP!
    tara

  103. My fav Friend (I also try to steer clear of “best” to void other girls getting there poor feelings hurt:) Is Annie and my fav thing about her is that she is always on my team. She always believes the best about me and for me and in those moments when I doubt it about myself she speaks LIFE over me and my situation. Also, she is the best mama ever and always takes my late night calls or texts when I think my toddler has gone crazy:)

  104. I had no interest in getting to know 2 of my 3 closest friends when I first met them. You see my husband is a Registered Nurse. We met while he was in college (nursing school) and of course Nursing is dominated by females. So all the class mates he hung out with, studied with, celebrated with and went out for drinks to de-stress with were girls. I kept hearing about these 2 girls, melanie and melissa, for ages which spawned jealousy before i even met them. When I did I gave them the cold shoulder and vowed I’d be the biggest “brat” to them until they went away.
    Low and behold life had different plans for me and through those twists and turns it was these girls I grew closer to. 3 years later they’d be the bulk of my bridesmaids and now, well now they’re my family.
    Never count someone out, they may just end up being your best friend.

  105. My BFF and I have been BFF’s since before BFF was cool. We grew up together, almost literally because we were always at one another’s house. And when I have a downtime, I CRAVE her! I need her to hug me! And we don’t talk everyday. We don’t keep in touch like we once did. She lives across the country from me now, but I always know, no matter what, she’s a phone call away. I have so much comfort just in her existence!

  106. I LOVE this post and I LOVE your friendship with Heidi…it’s Beautiful!!! You two inspire me so much through your blogs, both Beautiful women, mamas and photographers! I have a wonderful group of best friends that I love dearly but my closest friend lives many many miles away. We have been the closest since high school and she moved away years ago after she got married. It’s within driving distance but a lobg drive it is. We have maintained that beautiful friendship from afar, calling or texting every week and visiting eachother at least 2 times a year minimun. Our lives are crazy now, both with growing families but we always find the time to be there for eachother no matter what. Yes, I would love it if we lived in the same state but we make it work cause we love eachother so!!! Thanks for this post and for making me realize that I too can be a better friend!

  107. This post inspires me because I want someone to write (or at least FEEL) the things about me that you wrote about Heidi. You used to be my hero but now she is. :)

  108. blessed to have a group of women…of all ages..that make me a better person for knowing them.

    all of these women are different but they all bring ALL of themselves to our friendships….and it matters.

    love that I have learned to love the differences in all of my friendships.

  109. I have two lifelong best friends who I’ve known since our private Christian school elementary days and then transitioned to public high school together and had a blast and then lived with one in college after my one year at the small, liberal arts Christian college I could only tolerate one year of. :)

    Then I have a “Heidi” who I met just a few years ago. She’s seen my laundry mountains, nasty science project dishes, my difficulty with being vulnerable…and she loves me. She really loves me. And I her. And her children are like my own. She was the first I told of my last pregnancy…and our plans to adopt our next. She’s there. Girls nights. Play days. Sleep overs. We do it all. And love it.

  110. My three “best” friends coordinated their schedules, took vacation from their jobs, arranged babysitters, bought airplane tickets and each spent a week with me when my husband passed away suddenly. They made sure they didn’t overlap giving me 3 weeks of constant companionship, love and help! I was raising a 4 and 7 year old at the time and they loved them like they were their own children. I can never, ever repay these women for their sacrifice!!

  111. My cousin happens to be one of my best friends. we have been together pretty much since the day I was born. We have been through the good, the bad, and the ugly with me. She has been my rock. When my mother died a few years back, she was with me every step of the way..She will never know how much that meant to me. I don’t think that I would have gotten through it without her. She is an amazing person that knows when to put you in you place but also knows exactly what to say when you need her the most. I am very lucky to have her in my life.

  112. I love this post. My social circle is full of various kinds of artists which comes with a given element of unintentional flakiness, uncoventional get togethers, and passionate people juggling day jobs and careers. Sometimes it’s not easy to find good girl friends in this competitive busy environment, but there are a handful of women in my life that I would drop everything and hop a plane for and they would do the same for me. Even when months go by without contact, we know we are out there…and that is so special.

  113. Reading your blog is like re-living the end of Karate Kid, over and over. You know the part where Daniel Son finally makes his move and wins the tournament…I still get excited and cheer everytime and feel like I can do anything at that very moment! That’s how your blog makes me feel. While we haven’t met, and you know little or nothing about me….I consider you a friend. You stories and pictures help me thru a lot…just realizing that none of us are ever truely alone. Sometime I strive to pass along to all of my closest friends. I never want them to feel alone…no matter what. It’s the worst feeling in the world and if I can be there for someone so they never have to feel that or anything close to it…I feel like a good friend.

  114. We have a lot in common… born days apart, homeschool, wrote papers on theology in college… have two little ones… hum… I love it! Friends are so important – this I know… I just moved to a new town and am praying for a good few buddies… thanks for your thoughts about friendship!

  115. Kelle, I hope you don’t mind, but I posted about this on my blog as well!

    http://thecarolinacountrygirl.blogspot.com/

  116. This comment has been removed by the author.

  117. I love this post! Makes me want to be a better friend. I worked in a radiology office in highschool (and for ten years after that), so many of my friends were my parents’ age and older. I have always been told I have an old soul, so perhaps that’s why we got along so well. I still cherish those friendships :)

  118. Amazing post, made me tear right up. Yesterday, JUST YESTERDAY, my two friends said these words to me: “You know that ‘thing’ you have where you make everyone feel special? I want my daughter to have that.”
    Can you even imagine how great that was to hear? How humbling and grateful I am for my friends. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been friends for either. More history does not beget more love.

  119. What a beautiful, inspiring post! My Cecilia started Kindergarten yesterday and I have been most worried about her making good and true friends. I pray she makes friends with all the characteristics you mentioned.

    But alas, little girls copy their mommas! So let me put those prayers into action and start showing her how to spot friends and be a best friend. Thank you, Kelle!

  120. I met my best friend when she called, out of the blue, after getting my number from a mutual friend. She had heard I was homeschooling a teenage girl and wanted out girls to meet. Fast forward 22 years. We live in different states and talk everyday on the phone. She is always there for me. I love that we have a history of our lives together for all these years. susan

  121. Such a great reminder that it takes work to be a good friend. So grateful for the women in my life that work so hard to bless me and mine.

  122. Just the small things that come from friends is what I love. My best friend once told me she got her ears pierced because she loved how I looked in earrings. Years later? I still remember that little compliment. Thanks for the post, Kelle! You’re awesome.

  123. I didn’t realize how many friends I really had until my husband left me with a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Most of the early days are just a blur. My friend, Shelley, fills me in on the details whenever I need to recall something from that time. I got so many, many gifts of food, clothes for the kids and money. My friends gave me a very soft cushion on which to land. I will always be grateful. By the way, my husband leaving me was the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn’t have said that then but now that I’m remarried to a man that Loves me with a capital L, I can’t imagine life any other way.

  124. My “bestie” was the very 1st person I called when my daugther was born – we had just gotten the news – “she has some features that lead us to believe she has Down syndrome.”
    I called her immediately after hearing the news – Jennifer, my best friend in the whole world, and lives a 5 hour drive away. I creid and cried as I talked on the phone with her. Little did I know after I hung up the phone that she was going to get in her car and head straight our way! It still means SO MUCH to me – to have her there to hug and haver her shoulder to cry on. I have many wonderful friends – but Jennifer is always the one I call first; she’s everything a friend should be and I hope I am just as much to her. :)

  125. I’ve learned that real friendships are with people who “get you” and still love you.

    Funny, I just wrote something about that two nights ago for a publication and learned that that kind of relationship can be difficult to find (especially if you move as often as our family has.)

    So yes! Kudos to friends who remember that you like the syrupy sweet tea from McD’s and bring it to you and to other friends who listen to you cry and tell you it’s going to be okay…

  126. SUCH a great post. I know I could certainly stand to put these tips into practice more often. (And I plan to!)

  127. My best friend picked up my wedding cake, helped me pull together a wedding in 24 hours, and let me cry in her arms the same week as my dad was dying. She also watched my nephews so my sister could come and grieve with us…and that’s only what she did at a critical 7 day period in my life – over 20 years there are too many tears and laughs to count (more laughs than tears). I am so blessed.

  128. loved this so much I came back for a double dip..which I know some would call stalking..but seriously who cares, I just loved this post from top to bottom.

    I loved the picture of girlfriends in front of the mirror with lipstick..dude, in my mind I can see little Kelle and little Heidi and who they would have been if they had been childhood friends stealing momma’s lipstick and locking the bathroom door to keep all adults out…love. love. love. it.

    I think the one thing that my friends must be able to do is laugh at themselves. That to me tells me who they are..funny, forgiving and willing to accept their flaws..and mine. ♥

  129. I am convinced that I have the best friend in the world (ok ok I am a little bias). I am currently going through a divorce from my husband who I have been with since I was 15 years old. We have three beautiful children together and needless to say this is the toughest thing I have ever gone through. My best friend is right by my side going through every step of this journey with me. I don’t think I would be able to get through one day of this without her.

  130. When I met my best friend, I never thought we’d even be friend-ish. She was loud and blunt and far hipper than I. But our boyfriends were best friends so I had no choice but to get to know her. Over the years we’ve gotten engaged, (to said boyfriends), married and had babies together and I found the most special, loving, funny girl had been by my side that whole time. I don’t know what I would have done without her this last decade of my life.

  131. i love how my best friend and I can finish each others sentences, thoughts…we just get each other. When we say something we feel and then we look at each other with that knowing, “me too…”

    When you write, it slays me in a good way, reminding me of the good things, the important things.

    Thanks.

  132. I love this. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have any friends at all. People are so busy with their own lives, that sometimes they forget to tell the people they love how much they love them! And I’m definitely as guilty as anyone else of this!! My two best girl friends live very far away…I’m in Ontario Canada, and Kristin is in Fort Worth Texas and Heather is in Maui…so I never get to see them. But a few months ago, on a grey, rainy day I received a box of sunshine from Hawaii…Heather had sent me a box full of wonderful things…a lei, a vintage Strawberry Shortcake coloring book, boxes of chocolates with macadamia nuts…and a card with a moustached pineapple on it, saying how much she loves me and that she just wanted me to know. Made my day…no, made my life. I felt loved, and cared for and like someone appreciated me. In a life of looking after a toddler all day, who, let’s face it, doesn’t always appreciate her mama…I felt appreciated.

    And we all love you too, Kelle!

  133. Thank you for this post! I have been going through a lot over the past couple years in regards to friends. Trying to figure out who the true ones are and what makes a friend. At one point I felt like I only had 2 friends and wasn’t sure if they were in fact good friends. Since then, I’ve come to realize that I do have a lot of friends. Each one is different and has special qualities.

    I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs over the years and there are 2 people that have been there through it all and still say they love me. I think I need to remind myself of that more often. We are currently on different paths and I’m starting to realize that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These 2 ladies helped with my wedding 9 years ago. When all of my other friends let me down, they pulled through when I needed people the most. At that time, we weren’t as close I as I was with the rest of my friends. Now, they are the only two friends I have left from that time in my life. They are not perfect and neither am I, but we love each other like sisters and I’m very grateful to have them in my life.

    Thank you for reminding me of what freindship is. I think I’ll send a special message to these two ladies telling them that I love them and thanking them for being in my life.

  134. This post brought tears to my eyes… I just moved away from my “best” friend. Far far away. And yet I know that she’ll pick up when I call for a 5 minute vent and she knows that when she sends me the recording of her first baby’s heartbeat, I will lose my mind over how much I love that Bebe.

    The most precious thing is honesty. And you’ve reminded me that I have to keep being honest and vulnerable as I grow friendships here…

    Thankyou.

  135. Wow. You are such an awesome writer, photographer, friend and Mother. Thanks for your blog. I love it!

  136. Hooray for friends! As a previously homeschooled gal I too cherish my ‘mature’ friends, and glean from their wisdom and wit, and encouragement to find girls my own age…which I eventually did. I am proud that at 23 my best friends span from ages 4-90, and all of them have something unique and wonderful to offer in a friendship. Cheers.

  137. I had a friend in school who was there for me during a really hard time and didn’t leave my side until I was ready. She was there for me during the last months of my dad’s life in school and she listened to me let me cry of talked (jibberish probably) but didn’t interrupt and that meant a lot. At my Dad’s funeral I say all of my teachers and assistant teachers and assistant principal, my counselor and close friends and just friends. There was family all over and that was the first day I learned what friendship is. I didn’t even know how cared about I was, and then I did. And Even again at my Graduation I received a scholarship for my struggles that had to be voted on. To me a friend is there when you know it or not but never gives up.

  138. I have known my best friend since 7th grade Spanish (we’re not quite at the bolero/calf thing, but we’re close) and I don’t know her favorite candy bar. I’m gonna get right on that. Also, I’m working on not thinking of all the cool things I’m gonna say when she finally shuts up. I’m a work in progress, as friends go.

  139. last summer i was really sad about not going on vacation to the beach. i live for the ocean. the sweet smell of the salt in the ocean breeze, the sand between my toes, and the freeing feeling it brings me. i was very sad (and pregnant) at the fact that i would spend my summer without the beach. my dear friend showed up at my house with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers, complete with sand seashells. she said if i couldn’t go to the beach, she’d bring the beach to me. it was so very thoughtful! and it made the sadness of not going a little easier :) thats what friends do. they bring you up when you’re feeling down.

  140. InSPIRING. Ever notice how inspiring almost has “spring” inside it? Ya. Well. Haha. Maybe more coffee for me? Or less?

    Love your words. They are one of the things I do for myself during the week (I’m a SAHM)- I come and read them and I feel like I am taking time for me. I probably should ALSO go to the gym, but this is much more pleasant!

  141. A true friend is there for the not so fun times as well as the times you have a blast. Moving, such work such drudgery. Who is there to move boxes, help unpack, put your spices in order, and not rag on you for multiple jars of the same thing, but puts them all in one and creates more space for you! Someone you laugh and cry with, and can be a bitch, and they still love you. That’s what my friend is for me.

  142. There was a time in my life when my life slipped between my fingers, and everyone around me came in to say goodbye to me. My liver and kidneys were shot, and all that jazz.. For days I was in and out of consiousness, and what I do recall from that time was my friend sitting on the edge of my bed..

    When my body started to react again, I spent a lot of time in the ICU, and the girl, bless her heart stayed at night so my mom could go sleep and take a break etc.

    One of the best friends anyone could ever ask for, done deal.

  143. Ahhh… just the pick me up I needed!

  144. erin heintz is one of your friends and married to my cousin, anthony. we were chatting on the beach, to the right of the naples pier. she began to share with me that she had a false negative for downs and that her friend had a baby a few months before her, and then she said…”her baby, nella, had downs.”. i said “is your friend kelle (all excited like i knew you)”, then she said “why? do you read her blog.” to which i replied…”you bet i do..she rocks!”. small, small world.

  145. btw, i just left you a comment that erin heintz is my cousin’s wife, and blah blah blah…my blog is http://www.pausebuttonplease.blogspot.com

  146. My friend. Left her 2 children, a newborn and her husband to be with me when my brother committed suicide. She just arrived at my house, suitcase in hand, and drove with my the 3 1/2 hours to get to him. She called the funeral home, she read his life story. My friend. Flew from Montana to Arizona to be with me while my grandmother was dying. She held her hand, she talked to her, she fed her, she loved on her and finally she was there to tell her it was okay to go.

    I too wish I could be the friend that I have.

  147. Great post! I’ve had a hard time these past few weeks and my incredible friends have really pulled me through. True friends are an incredible blessing.

  148. Lovely, heart-felt post! I loved it!! :-)
    Thanks!

  149. My friend recently flew up here from CA (to WA) and left her life behind for a week to take care of me and my family while I recovered from a tonsillectomy. It was a week of pain and hell for me and she never once asked what to do she just did it…and did it ALL! She never got mad when I needed to be by myself and cry from the pain. She got me coffee every morning. She is seriously the BEST!

  150. Friendship took on a whole new meaning to me when my first born son passed away at 8 weeks old. I was blessed to have a support group of girl friends who would listen when I needed an ear, a shoulder when I needed to cry and a story to tell when I needed to remember. The first baby shower I went to after my son passed was tough. I held it together until we watched the 4-d sonogram on tv of this little bundle of joy who soon would be here, little Mia, and I felt my face get flushed and I sat from my chair and rushed to the bathroom. I didn’t want to make a scene at my dear friends shower. A couple minutes later my expecting friend came to me, gave me a hug and a look of “you’re so strong.” Friends like that are priceless. When we are going through something tough, a true friend knows how to be there. Sometimes nothing has to be said when friends are that close.

  151. My best friend has been so since the 7th grade. I’m now 25 :-) There were a couple years in high school when we weren’t getting along, just didn’t mature at the same time, i guess? But we met again after our first semester at college and realized how we missed each other. Now, about 8 years after that, I still consider her my best friend. She lives in Idaho (where I grew up) with her husband and is in the military, still going to school. I live in WV with my husband, son and daughter on the way and am a SAHM. We have next to NOTHING in common anymore. But we call each other and it doesn’t matter. It could be weeks or months since we talked and it doesn’t matter, we still talk as if we were those little girls laying on the floor in her bedroom sneaking whipped cream and ice cream from the freezer…. THIS is a true friend.

  152. What an incredible post! It makes me want to call everyone of my friends and tell them why they are so great! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  153. i miss my MN friends so much…waaaaaaa! hey maybe i need to buy them all a card;) praying some new ones come my way here SOON!

  154. one of the sweetest posts EVER!!
    love it. so well said. :)

  155. Kelle, I think the reason I keep coming to your blog is because I know when I get here I will laugh. Or maybe cry. But only those really good tears. The ones that provide a relief after a hard day.

    So I came here today. Your voice and photos a must-see destination on my blog map. And you did it again. You made me laugh and made me cry those good tears.

    You passed by me multiple times at BlogHer. Unfortunately I was having a mental breakdown. The really bad kind. So I assumed I would never meet you. At least not during that trip.

    And then a new friend pulled me along to that reception. She heard that I was hurting, took my hand and made me come along. Then I jumped when I saw you and they said, “Who’s that?” And I answered, “Oh, it’s my best friend, Kelle.” :)

    Seriously, I didn’t have many highlights on my trip. But the few minutes I talked to you was one.

    I hope to be able to convey my true emotions through writing like you do. Every.Single.Time.

  156. My best friend is my opposite. and she’s my husband in a woman. and she helps me understand him and his point of view and love him even more.

  157. Molly, you just did. You just conveyed true emotions and the most beautiful vulnerability and writing in that comment. You stand out from my memories of BlogHer. Your vulnerability and honesty with what you were feeling at that moment was so real and raw and endearing. I remember walking away thinking “I like that Adventures in Mollywood chick.” It’s where all good writing starts: Vulnerability. You got it girl. xoxo

  158. i’m so glad a blogger friend of mine pointed me to your blog! at what a perfect time to visit for the first time, because i just had a convo with the hubby about friends and friendship, and how i have been praying for a best friend. i have had so many close girlfriends over the years, but i have yet to have a best friend… like a life-long best friend who is that friend every single day, no matter what life throws at us.

    i find after reading your post, that we are very similar in that i have had many friends of many ages… old and young. and i, like you, have to improve in areas of listening. and like you, i value celebrating with good things in friends lives and they with mine. i have “friends” who expect me to celebrate the good in their lives, as well as be there for them in their pain. but they simply can not celebrate the good things in my life. that is so hurtful. and it is something i don’t want to do as a friend.

    so much of what you have said here has resonated a lot with me right now, because i do long for a best friend. and it has stirred me to write about it on my blog… something i was on the fence about doing, as many of my friends read my blog. now i think i will for sure.

    thanks for all your thoughts about it. i look forward to reading more of your blog! {and now that i have joined, i can follow along.}

    blessings!

  159. Hi Kelle, I have never left a comment before but I am a regular reader and adore everything about your blog.

    Ten years ago when I was in college I had an eye infection, so I went to an eye doctor who told me that my cornea was in such bad shape I would probably go blind one day. Gee, thanks dude. Turns out he may have been overreacting a bit but regardless, I was a little upset.

    That afternoon back on campus I ran into a friend. With tears in my eyes, I told her what the doctor had said. I was not expecting what came next. She immediately broke into tears at the sight of me crying and brought me back to her apartment where she tucked me under the covers of her bed, and brought me hot tea and cookies. It started pouring rain outside and we just sat and talked until I felt better.

    I will never forget her kindness that day.

  160. I just wanted to share that I am a middle school teacher and I am going to print this off and share it with my 8th grade girls’ advisory group tomorrow morning. 8th grade is a hard year, and I think that it would be a neat discussion topic-friendship. I just wanted you to know that you will be impacting 25 fourteen year olds tomorrow in Dallas, in addition to encouraging me with your words of wisdom! :)

  161. A real friend knows you through and through and loves you anyway.My best friend taught me how important it was to be authentically me. And she also taught me how to say the “f” word….at 47 years old! (Only when really necessary!)

  162. I have a Best Curly Haired Friend and we met in a chiropractic office. What I love about her is that sometimes she knows me better than I know myself. I love that I can pick up the phone, simply say hello and she knows immedietly what my mood is. She makes me whole and loves me despite my shortcomings. She always encourages me and we have the kind of relationship where we can tell each other when we are wrong. She loves my girls like they are her own and can make my shy, serious girl laugh like no one can, it brings tears to my eyes every time. I can complain about my hubby because she knows him too and won’t think ill of him. I simply could not get along with out her. We live 6 hrs apart now and continue to struggle with long distance and not being able to live life together. But we are bound to one another and visit often and talk more often. Even distance can’t break our bond. We are forever friends and planning arranged marriages for your kids so that we can be family!

  163. i have a friend who, even if we haven’t talked in years (and this happens), i can call up anytime–and she me–and tell her my biggest, darkest secrets and hardest struggles, and she listens. and she prays or struggles with me to pray. and she listens, and sometimes we even cry. but it works. and i’ve learned to do it for her, though not lately, so i think i need to go make a phone call….

  164. I actually cried when I read this.. I have always strived to be this friend..My heart swells when I make someone else feel good. Life is to short not to appreciate all the love and kindness friends have to give. I have lots of friends in many different circles and I wouldnt trade any of them for nothing..Your post inspires me to be an even better friend. Thanks.

  165. I could say so much but will try to be brief. I have a super friend that I met in a work setting. She moved on to another job and we caught up later when we both had our boys. Her first child my second. She brought us dinner when we came home and never left as my friend since then. She has taught me to be more giving of my time among other things. She is more precious than she will ever know. Our boys are best buddies and we pray they stay that way. She went on to have 3 more children and I call them all my own as she does mine. I love her, my BFF fo sho!!

  166. I just love this!

  167. You have such an incredible way of expressing thoughts! I love that you and I both have all different kinds of friends!

  168. I have a best friend. I had back surgery at the same hospital she worked at.
    After working a 12 hour shift she came up to my room after I was out of surgery and stayed all night with me. I had to get up (often) to use the bathroom and she was there helping me each time.
    Now that’s a great friend.

  169. My bestie came from money but I did not. In College, I had to work full time and she didn’t. I never resented her and I never asked her for a cent even though I was struggling. I worked 40+ hours a week and took a full 18 credits. One day after I had lost my job due to ‘cutbacks’ and didn’t know how I would pay my bills or my tuition….I came home to find a card on my dresser with a note that only said, “Forget About The Rent and Breathe” with a check enclosed for rent and then some….Loyalty, Love, the ability to be yourself, picking up where you left off even if it has been a few weeks or months, the ability to breathe when you are around each other….that is what friendship is.

    *and now I am crying* 😉

  170. My best friend, Lisa, and I have been friends for 15+ years. We are so different but so alike. She had a bad experience as a child at a hospital so it is difficult for her to go there. Anytime I have had to go to the ER or take my daughter there, she is right there even if she has to take an Ativan to get in the door. That is a best friend. I don’t know what I would do without her!

  171. When my daughter was born with Down syndrome in January 2010 (to our surprise), one of my best friends told me that she actually envied me because I was going to get to experience amazing things that she would never get to by raising such a special child. I didn’t believe her then. Now I do.

  172. I don’t have a large quantity of friends. I had a (yep- I’m gonna SAY it!) BEST friend. I am an only child and she was like the sister I never had. My kids adored her. She could tell in my voice (over the phone, mind you! She was THAT good!) if I needed a kid break she would swoop over and pick all 5 of them up and take them to her house or out for ice cream. I could call her at 2am if I needed to and even though I KNOW I woke her up, she would try and sound like I didn’t- like she just happened to be up! She knew all my secrets and still loved me! She could “put in my place” and call me out when I was being a brat with such love. Her name was Angie. Angie passed away four years ago from complications from gastric bypass. She had lost A LOT of weight on her own, but started gaining it back after awhile. She said there was such a difference in the way people look at you (or NOT look at you) in the eye when you are overweight. She wanted to be healthy for her little girls. I was with her when she passed away, in a hospital room she was clutching a picture of her girls. I was lucky- I got to say goodbye and tell her how wonderful she was. So, don’t think this is a sad story (well, it is- but that wasn’t my point of it, I swear!)because I feel so lucky that I got to be a part of her life. She changed me forever. She taught me how to be unselfish, how to be a good friend! Hug your friends! Call them, send them a text- and tell them how much they mean to you. I am sure glad that I did!!!

  173. LOVE your Hallmark post! You seem like you’d be just as fabulous as the friends you’ve described that you love an admire! I can totally relate to what you said about how your friends numb the homesickness and ache for family. My family is in Indiana and I really struggled fitting in when I got married, moved to Michigan, and had a family. But now looking back… I see that the homesickness began to fade as I began making some really rich friendships here. It helps. SO much! Ps. I was gone all last week at a cottage without any internet access and I was dying not being able to read your blog… really – I missed your blog more than checking my own email inbox. :) Loved your cali posts!

  174. My mom often tells me she needs a “Christina injection” when she calls because she simply needs a good laugh. I’ve learned that a true friend brings unexpected smiles or tears, but more than that, injects a feeling of gratefulness that makes you want to give more, be more, and live more. As an only child, I believe my mom taught me the meaning of friendship and can only hope that my daughters call me in the future asking for a “Mommy injection!” I always look forward to your blog – thanks so much!

  175. I am still friends with the girls I went to kinder with when I was 4 years old. We grew up in the same little country town and now we live all over the country. 35 years later, some of us are mothers and some of us are not, some of us are millionaires and some of us are not, some of us have had tragedy and heartbreak and all of us have been there to support and encourage. We don’t get the chance to get together very often but when we do its just like we were never apart. Our conversations never falter, our laughter always flows, our eyes still open wide and we gasp NOOOOO!!!! when someone spills a particularly juicy piece of gossip. Here’s to old friends!

  176. I have a lump in my throat after reading this.
    You know how to say it best. Thank you!

  177. I have only known my best friend for a year and a half, but it seems like a lifetime. It’s not always easy… but it is always, always, ALWAYS worth it. This past school year, I went to college on the opposite coast. 9 months passed with only a short visit during Christmas. Things changed and a lot of life happened. We’ve faced a lot and overcome crazy obstacles. I think one of the most important things is finding out each other’s love languages. Learn what speaks, “I love you,” to them in the way that is the most clear and absolutely undeniable. Serve. Challenge. Encourage. Laugh. Cry. Love. And love some more.

  178. A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.
    ~Lois Wyse

  179. Hi Kelle. I love your blog and this one especially. We just moved from Wilmington, DE to Richmond, VA and I am lonely and eager to find new friends. Not that I am looking to replace my DE friends, because they are the “best” and were with me from the beginning with Nicholas…when my world was rocked! Thank you for the uplifting and positive message. Also, have you ever noticed the portrait hanging above your hospital bed where you are holding Nella and Heidi is sitting next to you…I swear the little girl on the far right has the characteristics of Down syndrome. Just a little angel watching over you! many blessings to you…

  180. LOVE this post! Every word, so very true. After having my first little one, (5 short weeks ago!) my bestie gave me my space. Didn’t pressure me to come visit, didn’t hassle me for not calling, just knew that I needed that time with my little man. She would “check in” every couple days with text messages simply saying, “I’m thinking about you” and “treasure these moments”. She is teaching me how to be a good friend.

  181. I am just in awe of how you write. You are truly blessed with an amazing talent. I have awarded you The Versatile Blogger award. Please just stop by my blog to accept the award: http://hotmomshelpfultips.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-first-blog-award.html
    Thanks! -Robyn

  182. you are amazing…you have such a gift! i have one friend like this and i love her more than words can say! she has supported me through 3 babies when she can’t have any of her own and the only thing she wants to be is a mommy! we live thousands of mile and states apart but i know she would still do anything for me!!!
    thank you for this post!

  183. Love it all, Kelle. Friends – gotta have em. One of my best female friends – it was very long ago. I had been in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. I hardly spoke of it. Shortly after we met, I shared with her )(after she told me she had left a very abusive marriage). She was THE person who “got it”= who totall knew how damaging any form of abuse is. And she told me “just cuz there are no physical marks, it doesnt mean your soul isnt black and blue from the abuse”. It was what helped me leave the relationship. I will never forget her. Love from the Blog Mama~

  184. Thanks Kelle, you reminded me to ring my best friend, we’ve known eachother since I was 8 so that would be 24 years! For most of that (19 years)we’ve lived in two different states, so we wrote a lot of letters (before emails) and call, a lot. We’ve been through break ups, big birthdays, the tragic death of her brother, my wedding, her wedding, my divorce, building our houses, finding jobs, finishing PhD’s, and my second wedding (we surprised everyone else- but she had to be in on it so that she’d be there!) There is no awkwardness, we are oursleves, honest. But both of us would drop anything to be there in happy or tough times!

  185. A lovely post, truly.
    If im honest Ive had a little cry.. really for friends I’ve let go in the past.. were they ever really friends then I ask. I long for a best friend. Childhood complications for me meant that I kept people at arms length a little. I regret that now but I had my reasons at the time.
    Even now into my 30’s I only really have my partner, my sister and one friend from my old work place I can call ‘friends’. I’m trying to change this. hence the reason for setting up a blog and throwing myself into photography.
    Anyway, enough of me (urgh) more about your blog — Its wonderful, truly. I did a fair bit of scrolling down to reach this comment form, LOL.
    Jennie. x
    http://www.snapdragonshots.com/

  186. One of my favorite qualities in my friends is that they have stopped asking, “Is there anything I can do?” Instead, they just do it.

    When my dad had open heart surgery, my friend brought over dinner the night before so that I could stay at the hospital and not worry about what my kids would eat for dinner.

    I have another friend who, when she knew I was hosting a shower the same week I was running a half marathon and beginning a new job, came over while I was at work and cleaned my bathrooms. Awesome.

  187. Senior year of high school my boyfriend broke up with me a week before Christmas. That same weekend, we had a huge snowstorm that pretty much had everyone housebound. But don’t you know, my two best friends conned one of their poor dad’s into driving out into the snow to pick us up and bring me and the other girl back to their house for a much needed girls night. After we got their mini van unstuck from the snow in the court outside their house, we made cookies, played piano and sang goofy Disney songs, and ended the night with sleeping bags on the floor and a much needed viewing of Titanic. I’ll never forget- at the part in the movie when Kate jumps back onto the sinking Titanic to be with Leo, I started sobbing. I think I said something ridiculous like “I don’t have a Leo anymore…” and without judging me or laughing or thinking I was ridiculous, my friends held me and let me cry and talk about my broken relationship for the rest of the night. The things they said to me that night changed me forever and made me realize these are two ladies I will ALWAYS have in my life. Now we’re all out of college and one of us lives across the country from the other two, but we’ve made our “Christmas girls night” a tradition and done it every year since that first night with Titanic. Except now we watch The Holiday instead of Titanic. And thankfully no one has since had a Christmas break-down like I had that first night.

  188. Thank you for this post – one of my favorites…so far! My best friends earn their title, and I too strive to be better, do better, listen harder, remember more…just like they do for me. I truly am blessed to have 2 best friends. One lives about 10 mins away, and we grew up 5 houses down. She’ll leave diapers on my step when I’m out, bring her dogs over to play when my husband is out of town and our poor pup isn’t getting enough exercise, and help me install a ceiling fan. And she tells me how great a mom I am – which means the world. The other is 1.5 hours away, a college friend. She sends cards, texts, and decides to just show up because she missed me. They are both amazing, and I need to work harder to be as good to them as they are to me!

  189. My best friend moved out of state when we were 14. At 16, I found myself pregnant. At 17 I found myself giving birth to a beautiful little girl, then placing her in the arms of her new parents. From miles and miles away my best friend was able to support and comfort me through the adoption processes better then anyone within arms reach could have. I’m now 25, and we are still best friends. We still sadly live far away from each other but she still continues to be my biggest supporter and biggest fan. I love that girl!

  190. I sent two random texts last night, to two amazing women & I let them know how I felt. All inspired by this post. Thanks.

  191. I have alot of friends but few are what I would call true friends. They always need me and dont return the favor which is ok. I will continue to be the rock everyone leans on. I am lucky enough to have a sister I call my friend. And she is my rock. I have another friend and she is what you call a GENUINE friend. When I was pregnant (8 weeks) and got the flu she came to my house, peeled my out of my bed, put me in the shower, changed my sheets, lysol’d my whole house, dressed me and plopped me infront of a bowl of boiling water with menthol so I could breathe. I will never forget that and will always remember to take care of others when they need it. No matter if it comes back to me or not…I know it will come back in other ways!

  192. I have two “best” friends who pick me up when I am down and remind me how lucky I am! I have been formed into a better friend through tragedy and triumph and I am thankful for each.
    Love these Hallmark posts!

  193. That just made me miss my friends all the more.

  194. Reading this post opened my eyes to the way I should be as a friend. It also brought my attention to how important friends are to me. I knew they were important, but I had kind of lost sight of HOW important they are in my life. I posted a link on facebook to this post, because I feel that everyone could use that gentle reminder to be the friend their friends want them to be.

  195. My greatest friend Mia gives so much of herself in friendship. She pours her heart into her friendships! It’s so sincere and so natural for her. This is the friend I am learning to be like!

  196. Love, LOVE this post!

    These are great reminders/tips. I’m always striving to be a better friend. I have some amazing friends in my life. Currently, I’m in this weird-in-between place – I’ve lived in my current town for five years now, have met some great girls, have a blast with them, but can’t say I’m at the “best” friend status (as in where I’m vulnerable and completely me around them). I’m obviously holding back and need to take the first jump. I want that with them and know it’s only a matter of me being that great friend first.

    My best friend from college is such an amazing friend. She is a friend to everyone and I wish I had her loving, accepting, kind, and contagious heart. She makes you feel like you are the only friend she has and lets you know how much she cherishes you and our friendship. We’ve been through a ton together and I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life. We live across the state from each other and sometimes go far too long without talking, but we know we’re there for each other no matter what.

    Awe, friends are the best! And now I’m off to go tell all my friends how much I love them. : )

  197. I have different “best” friends for different reasons, but the friend I love the most drops everything (even homeschooling her four children) when I need her. We live over 20 hours away from each other now & when I was stranded at the airport overnight in her town (it was supposed to be a short layover & I fly a lot so she didn’t even know I was nearby) she came to my hotel & we stayed up all night talking. One of my best memories ever…and she’s the only one that will go to haunted houses with me!!

  198. Any teacher will tell you that the first year is always the hardest. Since I am a positive person, I thought this little saying would NOT be true for me. I would roll with the punches, teach kids like Hilary Swank in “Freedom Writers”, and really inspire students. Well, I’d like to think that happened on some days but there were a few crappy days too. On one such day, my super sweet and thoughtful friend Leslie snuck into school during my lunch break and put a bright pink Gerber daisy, the newest Cosmo magazine, and some crazy nail polish on my desk. It made my day.

  199. When my son died in February, my wonderful friend, Deena did everything and more. She organized I trip for my husband, eldest son and I to get away. She planned meals to be brought over weekly. She emailed me EVERY DAY. She told me she loved me. She held me while I cried. She gives me flowers when the monthly anniversaries roll around. You name it and she has done it for me.

    And the best thing about Deena is that I am not special. She would do this for ANY of her friends. She would do this for anyone she knew. She is an amazing woman and there is no doubt in my mind that handfuls of woman call her their best friend, because she is the best.

  200. I love this post. I had a job where I made a lot of friends and enjoyed getting to see them everyday. When I got laid off, it felt like I didn’t just lose a job, but also lost great friends. Some of us have managed to keep in touch, but sometimes still makes me sad and wishing for more friends :)

  201. I’ve been following your blog for a while and LOVE it!! This post about friends is so so so true!! I have the best girl friends in the whole world and we see each other at least once a month with out fail, we call it GNO (girls night out). I see my ‘best’ friend, I know we aren’t supposed to say that word but I did, at least once week and I love her to pieces and would do anything for her and I know she would do anything for me. Funny thing is in High School we DID NOT like each other at all and now years and years later we are so close and I know we will be until we are old and wrinkly.

    Thanks for always making me laugh and cry while reading your stories, love em’!!

  202. Love this SO much! I recently too wrote a post about how much my friends mean to me (not nearly as eloquent as this mind you!). I agree that you can’t say enough about having good friends, or being a good friend. Good times and bad. Thanks for a lovely read, as always.

  203. Kelle, this is fantastic. I want to read everyone else’s comments too. I am someone who didn’t really have a lot of friends growing up, and then spent a lot of time on the edges of circles of friends during high school and college, I identified so much with your post. In the last few years, I have found wonderful, fabulous, amazing and incredible friends, and I feel so lucky and so blessed.

    I love that my friends make me laugh. I love that they are creative. I love that they let me love their kids with reckless abandon. I love that they listen. I love that they let me cry. I love the sound of my phone getting a text. I love that they send me mail–real mail. I love that we can talk about everything and nothing. I love that they believe in me. I love the me I see in their eyes.

    I can only hope that I give them a piece of what they give me.

  204. dear Friendship Tried and True,

    Another great post Kelle, You have said it all very well.
    I think so often of my friends through the years…some I haven’t seen in a long time because of distance. This year I turned 50 and because my birthday is close to Mother’s day, I decided to send out letters to all the women who had “mothered” me in one way or another. It was a wonderful experience to write and tell them. Many had been a inspiration to me in some big or small way to be a better Mother myself.
    I think it hit me because I know life is fleeting by so fast, and it does feel good to show people we love and appreciate them. No one lives forever, and it is always better to let them know while we can.

    love,
    Before it’s too late
    in
    NE

  205. Hey Kelle,
    I have a friend like this. We have been friends since 7th grade. She introduced me to my husband of almost 26 years. But I found out on Monday that she has terminal cancer. The doctors have given her 6 months to a year. She will turn 45 on Sept 5. We are too young for this to be happening.I shouldn’t be loosing my best friend. Thanks for such a heartfelt blog. I haven’t been able to put this into wordsuntil now. Thanks for listening. Lisa

  206. I don’t have a lot of friends that live locally and sometimes this is hard for me. My bestie lives 15 minutes from here though and so I have put everything I have into our friendship and it is seriously so awesome. I am so lucky to have her in my life.

  207. Big, heavy tears from this post! Such a great reminder of the power of friendship. And reading the comments, too, reminds me of how much beauty there is in the world. I’m inspired to send off some cards tomorrow.

  208. My best friend (yep she’s the BEST!) and I have been friends since we met in Grade 1 28 years ago. I wouldnt want to have lived my life without her in it. So many laughs, really, really great times,great conversations and now we’re watching our children develop wonderful friendships. And thankfully not as many bad times but the lows have been low, like lost loved babies, terrifying pregnancies and the deaths of family members who were far too young. We could be on opposite sides of the world and if I needed her she’d come. Off to send her an ‘I love you’ text, I dont do it enough! PS – I think you’d be an AMAZING friend Kelle!

  209. We really badly want to homeschool our LO’s (we think the education system is badly broken – not to mention creatively stifling) but all we hear are *horror* tales about how we’re going to scar our children and cause them to NEVER have any friends. Thank you for having a positive spin on it (& exemplar blog I can point to when naysayers start interferring). Friends can be of any age (race, or species!) Loved this post.

  210. When my youngest was born 8 weeks prematurely and we spent 31 days in the NICU (she is 2.5 now!) I found out exactly who my “true” friends were. To say I love them is an understatement. With tragedy comes triumph…..I’m a better person because of the whole experience. Having a child is life changing, but having a “sick child” is life empowering. Who knew it could be this good?!?

  211. This was just such a beautiful reminder of how wonderful it is to even have one very, very good friend.

    My dear friend was the one who held my heart for me when mine was too heavy to bear alone; when we learned of our little Amos-man being tailor-made with his extra 21st chromosome and needing life-saving bowel surgery after he was born last year.

    She cried with me, held me tight, and told me she loved the baby, my baby, the baby I wasn’t ready to accept yet. (he was still in my belly when we learned of his T21).

    Then when I breathed hard and pushed and cried out as Amos was being ushered from my body into the world, this same friend stood ankle deep in a puddle of my excess amniotic fluid (due to the problem in Amos’s tiny bowel I had 9 times the amount of fluid you are supposed to have! yikes!)

    She was the first to exclaim how beautiful he was, how sweet he was, how perfect he was. Of course it was mere moments before I fell head over heels in love with my sweet, special and oh-so-perfect baby boy, but she mended my heart in more ways than I could ever express to her. I love her to the moon and back – and her stained pumas prove she feels the same about me. I am just so lucky to have such a good, good friend.

    I am so blessed. Thank you for writing this beautiful post.

  212. I am blessed with many friends of all ages and, like you, have learned that age makes no difference. My very best friend in the world is Jennifer. We have been best friends since I was 5 years old and for over 30 years. She rocks! She is the godmother to my children and I love her more than words can say. (fortunately when words escape me I have turned to Hallmark cards to let her know just how I feel.) My hubby and I renewed our vows on our 5th wedding anniversary and she flew up north all the way from Atlanta to once again stand by my side. I took her to some hole-in-the-wall beauty salon to get our hair and makeup done. While the woman was doing my makeup I had a feeling I was beginning to look a little like Elvira. Jennifer was sitting directly in front of me and I looked at her but didn’t say a word. She winked at me and I knew. She didn’t even have to talk but I knew my makeup was A-OK. THAT is what I love most about our friendship. We don’t even need to talk and we know what the other one is thinking. More importantly, we don’t even need to talk and we still have a great time together! She is a wonder-FULL soul and I learn from her each day the meaning of true friendship.

  213. I am fortunate to have fabulous friends that listened to me as I dealt with all the overwhelming feelings of finding out my little Hailey not only had Down syndrome but also a heart defect. I couldn’t have gotten through the last 6 months without them.

  214. My very best friends are members of my family, and I think it’s kind of funny how it worked out that way.

    I’m closest to my sister. She’s absolutely amazing. And, ya know, I wrote about my best friends a few months ago, getting ready for my wedding. What’s special about each of them is here:
    http://www.mywedding.com/evanandgloria/wedding_party.html

    The one best friend not listed is my Grandma. We talk several times a week, and we can really talk about anything. She’s my rock and my inspiration, and I’m so lucky to have a grandma like her.

  215. I love this post. I had to link to it on Facebook. I have been struggling so much with friendship over the past couple of years, really feeling like I don’t have friends and wondering if there is something wrong to me. I have come to the realisation that some of those feelings come form the fact that these type of friends are not always easy to find, but also that the few I have, unfortunately, don’t live close to me. But, I do have some and I wrote them an e-mail, also linking to your post. Here is a little of what I said:

    I have struggled with the term friend for as long as I can remember, it has always frustrated me that there is just one blanket word to describe relationships that cover a whole spectrum. Some “friends” are barely more then acquaintances, while without other “friends” my life would be bereft. I read this post recently and felt that it described so perfectly some of what I have been thinking and feeling and struggling to put into words during the last two years. What does a friend really look like? Am I a good friend? What makes me a good friend? What do I expect from my true friends? Is that realistic?

    Thanks for putting into words a lot of the feelings I have been having and also helping my self-confidence because I can be this kind of friend too!

  216. I cried through this entire blog post. It’s hard being a good friend. So thankful to the ones who are good ones in my life.. so that I can learn from them.

  217. Ok, I am way late to this party – but I can’t help but thank you for reminding me to boldly appreciate the incredible people who have helped me along my journey. I have the fortune/misfortune of having a very mobile life. Moved away from home for a couple of years in Boston, a year and a half working at a dude ranch in Colorado, and now a little over three years living in Germany. Each of these places were most significant to me because of the amazing friends that filled each of them. I am so lucky to have a friend who I called after a really bad break-up and said “so, remember how you joked that I should come live with you for the summer? well, my flight leaves on Thursday…” Parties on the beach, long walks to get ice cream, hours crying in her arms…it might be my most favorite summer ever. That is the magic of friends – and now I am going to go write her a long-overdue email. Thanks Kelle – for always inspiring and entertaining. You are a gem!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>