Ever since I graduated from college I've been drawn into friendships with women who were born before me. (notice, I did not use the "o" word!)
I guess it started with Tricia, obviously. We bonded through long walks around her neighborhood during my high school years when she was pregnant with Gary. Begrudgingly, she watched a few volleyball games, high school and collegiate, and then we reconnected when she moved back to the ranch to care for Mamaw. Books bonded us then, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" to be precise. And the Pulpwood Queens! Tiaras, boas, leopard print and hot pink seemed alluring to me after so many years in a jersey and sneakers. The connection was a strong one. As a newlywed couple, I even convinced Nick to move to Houston to be close to her and my grandmother. The move wasn't the best decision for us and we have since moved 4 times. We now reside in Ruston, our cozy little college town.
Between Houston and Ruston was McKinney! We actually lived in Little Elm, TX, but I taught 6th grade English at Faubion Middle School in McKinney, TX. God had a plan! There I was under the teaching influence of Brigid Callahan-Wollack, a creative mastermind in the classroom. She mentored me, counseled me, questioned me and pushed me into the teacher I am today. Any success I have in the classroom is due to her influence and God's plan! Brigid and I had an instant connection despite completely different backgrounds. We had a blast in the classroom. I know that sounds insane, but we loved the kids and loved to make learning fun! It was fun! Our strongest connection, however, was our passion for Christ. She bought me the Bible I use today. We cried together, ran together, prayed together and laughed. A lot! Since I've moved she uses any free time, and I mean ANY free time, to teach at Lifetime Fitness or teach children about Christ. Last time I saw her she was rockin' a size 2 with adorable Ugg boots, no muffin top in sight! We laughed and listened while strolling around Jefferson, TX at a Christian book event. I miss her and the big, mouth open wide, belly laughs that accompany her.
Ok, I gotta back up. Because Tricia moved to Houston she introduced me to a whole circle of women that are FFF! (see post title) To Mary Ann, Robin and Julie....you girls are like extended sisters. This post is my Valentine in July to each of you. Collectively, you all make 30's look like a hand-me-down sweater!
Fast forward to Ruston. Luckily, there are so many "young women with children" here. Several are "from here" and there are transplants like me. There are tight knit circles and others with loose borders. I've got friends all over town but of all the women in town, the three I am blessed enough to call my "work out partners" are all FFF! Sharon, Theresa and Nancy. Each of these women push and uniquely inspire me. Sharon empowers women all across the Delta through her women's boot camps. She is organized and persistent, but her passion comes from a desire to honor God with her life. She inspires me to set goals and reach them. You'll never reach any goal that you don't set, or publish any book that you don't write. Theresa, my neighbor, is a woman I feel like I've known forever. She has prayed for me and shared her amazing story with me. She inspires me to put complete trust in God. If I do that then I really will be able to handle anything life throws my way. Nancy is the most recent FFF in my circle. I know her the least yet she has already made an impact on me. She home schooled her children, speaks her mind, loves her friends and family, and kicked my butt in a sprint yesterday. I love it! Her little gymnast figure matches her fiery passion.
To my girlfriends who are not yet FFF. WE WILL BE! You know, these ladies make it look good. Not scary. But for now, I still want to embrace my thirties. I have a lot of goals to reach and a lot of boogers to wipe and ouchies to kiss. My back hurts from carrying around my 16 month old chunker and my throat hurts from yelling, "Harper stop!", but I love it! I've embraced the fact that I may need to wear Spanx with a dress, but I don't have to wear them with jeans! (yet) Right now, my coffee is cold, I'm still in a t-shirt with no make-up, and the girls think that the chair I'm in is a new mountain to climb. The computer is the prize. Play time is upon me and that is just what I need to do. For now!