I’m officially home from my first trip of 2019! Spending a weekend in a place I called home for 10 years, with the people I called best friends growing up, and celebrating new life made for the greatest weekend trip to Texas. I feel so fortunate to be able to continue to go back to Texas and be with the people who know me to my core. But, if I’m being honest, the best part of going down to Texas is the food.
Let me just quick tell you what I got to eat while I was down there…brisket tacos, kolaches, brisket tacos, chips and queso, oh and a few more tacos. I was in heaven.
On a serious note, though, the food is not the most special part of Texas. It’s the people. If you had asked me five years ago if I still felt connected to Texas, I would have told you no. I would have told you I didn’t keep up with my friends like I should have. I would have told you we were all growing a part and that we would never be able to see eye to eye on the things that fundamentally make me who I am.
And boy was I wrong.
This weekend I got to be in Texas, celebrating my best friend Madison who is having a lil baby in March. Her second. I wasn’t able to celebrate her first child, Emil, because I was in college and couldn’t afford to be there. But this weekend, I got to know Emil on a whole new level and we’re best friends now and it’s the biggest accomplishment of 2019 so far.
Madison and I grew up together. We met when we were in third grade and clicked instantly. I was the extrovert who wanted to be best friends with everyone and she was the one who would keep me grounded. Madison was the person who inspired me to read more, be creative, and care about other people. She was the person who let me be exactly who I was and she loved me just the same. She saw me in my silliest, dumbest, and most vulnerable moments growing up. She was and is the definition of a best friend. Going into this new stage of life means the world to me. I’m hanging on to this friend forever.
With the celebration of Madison and me traveling down for the weekend, we had time to spare before and after the baby shower. So, I started to make plans to get together with the people I still kind of kept in touch with for dinner. This brings me to my friend, Joanna.
Joanna and I became friends at our middle school round-up (it’s the Texas version of orientation). She was new to the area and was having a birthday party that weekend. Me, being the extrovert mentioned above, saw Joanna and wanted to be her friend right away. Within the next few hours, I had gotten an invite to her birthday party that I would attend that weekend. From there, we were inseparable. Her and I share the funniest stories, have the cringiest videos on YouTube (no they’re all private now, so don’t ask), and were there for each other for so many monumental moments. My most vivid memories are with Joanna. And I’ve had concussions, so this means a lot (but actually, one happened in 8th grade and Joanna was there and was so worried about me and I just love her so much).
Joanna and I hadn’t seen each other for years. I would guess around seven or eight years. But right when we saw each other, we gave the biggest hug, squealed about how much we missed each other, and picked up right where we left off. I’ve been home for three days now and I am still missing Joanna. She’s a forever friend.
Another constant of this weekend is my Jennifer. She’s the person who has truly been around for every weird stage of life. Her and I met at soccer practice, wanted to keep hanging out, and then played witches for the entire night. Throughout the years we experienced our first heart breaks, watched so many movies, got into trouble, celebrated marriage, and continue to support one another every single day. I was her maid of honor, gave a speech that made her and her husband cry (booooooyah), and danced the night away with her. I talk to her constantly, miss her endlessly, and know she’s there forever.
Lastly, a friend I want to give a lil mention to is Brittany. She drove hours to come hang out with us on Friday night and I am thankful! Brittany was the friend who’s family asked me to move in when my family was moving to Minnesota. She was the friend who got me out of my shell (which I’m sure is confusing, but this girl was a good time compared to this extrovert). She was always there for me through thick and thin and even in our times of anger, she always wanted the best for me. I am forever grateful to Brittany for the friendship she’s shown me over the years and now we get to continue to build that friendship by her making almost monthly trips to the midwest. She’s going to be around forever.
I mention these four specifically on this trip because growing up, they were the friends I was always SO certain would be my best friends forever. When I look back at those years, it’s their faces I see. It’s the memories with them that I cherish. When I moved to Minnesota, every time I visited Texas, they were the ones who always showed up. No matter where we were at in life, we were always rooting for one another. I stalked them on social media when we all started losing touch. And I constantly wished for all of us to reconnect some day.
Then this weekend happened.
I loved this trip. It had been a long time since I felt like I could cry when leaving somewhere. As I sat in the 60 degree weather, eating cookie dough on the grass, looking at the faces of the ones I grew up with, all I could think was, “yep, they’re my forever.”
Thanks for reading,
P.S. I also wanted to cry because I was coming home to windchills of -60 degree weather. Sooooo while I love those friends, I also hate the cold.