**disclaimer- I am quite embarrassed to post some of these pictures. The pictures of me are hideous- keep in mind when you see the glasses that many of these were taken in the 80's. I also had absolutely no sense of style till about a year or two ago. You will love the stringy hair, bad glasses and braces!
The Elementary Years!
Jackie will probably shoot me for including the picture on the lower left, with her in her head gear that she had to wear with her braces, but this one and two others in this set were perfect examples of what we did often- sleepovers!!!!! Her mom was awesome with a camera and probably took a picture every time I was over there, and usually passed the pictures on to me. This is just a few. She also always had such fun birthday parties!!! In every single picture, her hair is always perfectly pulled back in these beautiful braids or pony tails (she was an only child) whereas mine is always long and stringy (I had 4 siblings- I was lucky if my hair got brushed!). I remember in the picture on the lower right, her mom actually pulling out a comb and trying to comb my mop before the picture was taken!
Her parents were incredible. Seriously! They were literally like second parents to me. They frequently took me on trips with them (as in this set of pictures above). I got to go to so many fun places because of them. They always made sure that I was taken care of in just about every aspect of my life.
We even did girl scouts together! Here, we did a scout troop garage sale and had face painting as something we sold. So, of course, we had to paint each others faces. She was and is the artist of the two of us!
The High School Years!! (don't ask where middle school went- guess I just didn't find any great pictures from then.)
The picture on the right- Jackie's mom talked us into it for the pure purpose of a photo opp. I just wonder what Santa thought of it all.......
While in Middle School, we met Lynette, and we became a bit of a trio. I think it is funny that in pretty much ever photo of us taken, the order in the picture goes me, Jackie, Lynette. I don't think it was ever intentional. And, yes, that is Aaron as my prom date. (and I know the dress was bad- not sure what I was thinking).
Again, I don't know what I would have done without her in high school. We did band and everything together. I remember we both discovered certain things about our families that were hard for us each to deal with- but we had each other to lean on. She got me through some tough times.
The College/Post College Years:
When Aaron and I got married, we went to the Chicago Temple. We had to go there a day earlier than the rest of the family to get our marriage license. We did not want to have to pay for two hotel rooms. So, we talked Jackie into going with us and sharing a hotel room with us so that we could all room together and be appropriate. Kind of our "chaperone" if you will. Her parents joined us the next day. The bottom picture above his Jackie and her dad in the visitors room of the temple. (The top picture is her mom and dad with her at my sisters wedding). How many people do you know who are not literally related to you (though, like I said, the are my second family), would drive through two states to sit and wait while you got married in a ceremony they were unable to witness? Like I said, they are the best family in the world! I told Jackie that while our wedding ceremonies do not involve a maid of honor- that she was my maid of honor in every sense of the word.
As we have grown, we have grown into completely different people. But our friendship has been strong enough to appreciate our differences and they actually enhance our friendship, I think. I think both of us offer a chance to escape from our own reality for a time. I like to marvel at the difference between us. Here are a few:
Jackie- only child Me- #2 out of 5
Jackie- newly wed Me- 10 years coming up in August
Jackie- no kids (yet....) Me- 4 (and if she still wants kids after the weekend she just spent in Ohio, I will be impressed- I think my kids acted as birth control for her and her hubby!
Jackie- working on PHD in English- loves school Me- finished BS ed. Couldn't wait to leave school, no current desire to go back- Reading/ Writing is purely for entertainment in my book.
Jackie- very fashionable and stylish- good at decorating. Me- ha! none of those. But, decent at cooking (although she does well there too just doesn't like it much.)
She- lives in Nebraska Me- lives in Ohio with no desire to leave- a true home body
And it could go on from there, but you get the idea. But, we are still as close as ever, despite our differences. The funny thing is that despite our differences, it is strange how parallel our lives are. Events in our lives would be different, but the underlying theme was the same. For example, there was a time when she went through a horrible break up with a fiance. And then I went through an aweful miscarriage. When she was starting grad school and going through a lot of adjustments, Kenny was just starting Kindergarten which was a huge adjustment for him and me. I called her the day the girls were born and she had an announcement of her own- her boyfriend had just proposed- at about the exact same minute the girls were born! So, we both had one of the happiest moments of our lives occur simeoultaneously.
Jackie- you are by far one of the most important people in my life (right there with Aaron and my parents). I am so grateful to have had you in my life. We have been best friends for 25 years and I look forward to 50 more! Hope you have an awesome birthday!