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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank Heavens for Friends

This week is Thanksgiving in the United States, followed by the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s called Black Friday. While many people are preparing to cook a turkey, dragging out Grandma’s stuffing recipe, trying out the recliner for a day of football, and waiting on pins-and-needles for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I’m wondering why I ever agreed to an overnight slumber party to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. No, it’s not actually on Thanksgiving Day. It’s next Saturday. There will be six little nine-year-old girls to entertain.

We have manicures and pedicures planned for 3:30. Then we can probably kill some time with opening presents, indulging in cake and ice cream, and maybe playing a few games. But then what??? Lately, one of my daughter’s friends is always bored when she comes over, which I don’t get. Maybe I used to get bored playing with my friends, too, but I can’t remember that ever being the case.

I was lucky to grow up in a great little suburban neighborhood outside of Little Rock. It was the perfect neighborhood with lots of kids, so there was usually something to do. And I made five best friends: Dana, Mary, Nancy, Nikki & Stacy. We were all in the same grade and most of us met in elementary school. (We had another friend, Stephanie, who we were also very close to, but she was like five years more mature than us, so we probably got on her nerves from time to time.) The most amazing thing is we are all still friends after all of these years. I’m not saying exactly how long we’ve known each other, even though I think we’ve aged well. ;-)

Back row: Nancy, Dana, Mary, Stacy

Front row: Nikki and me

I remember the overnight parties we used to have. It was always fun to stay at Nancy’s house, because her mom let us have the run of the house and her brother wasn’t obnoxious like mine were. (Sorry, bros! I still love you, but there are only so many times you can spray your pants with hairspray and light your leg on fire before it ceases to be amusing. And we always knew you were spying on us!)

We could throw together a party in a matter of minutes. Step one, secure the house. Step two, Nikki makes Crazy Crunch. Step three, Nancy cues up the Duran Duran videos. Step four, I raid my mom’s lingerie drawer in preparation for our funny beauty pageant. Step five, Dana practices her talent, prancing to Queen’s “Flash Gordon”. (I totally wish we’d had iPhones back then. I could watch that over and over again.) Step six, Mary rolls her eyes at all of us. Step seven, Stacy turns red trying to hold in her laughter before it explodes out of her.

Some of my fondest memories come from the time I spent with my girlhood friends. I know this is the reason I’m willing to brave another little girls’ slumber party. (Last year it was ten little girls, two hotel rooms, and six hours of hide-and-seek in a small space.) I hope my daughter makes, and keeps, the kind of friends I had growing up.

This fall Dana, Mary, Nancy, Nikki, and Stacy met in Florida for a long weekend, the location of our all girls’ trip after graduating from high school. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it, but we did Skype so I could see everyone. I’m already planning to attend next year’s trip. Nothing will keep me away, because I miss those gals like crazy. Not only did they teach me how to have fun, I learned about loyalty, following my dreams, being accountable for my actions, and what it means to have integrity. I think that makes me incredibly lucky.

If any of you are reading this today, I love you all, my forever friends. I have much to be thankful for in this life, and y’all are up there at the top of my list.

Is there anyone you would like to thank this week in honor of Thanksgiving? Certainly feel free to leave your thanks in the comments, but more importantly, tell it to the person who has made a difference in your life.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!


  1. Oh how I am crying and laughing at this blog!! It was so touching!! I love you and all the girls SO MUCH! You are my sisters and I am so grateful to each of you. You've made me who I am today. Can't wait until we are all together again.

    Your biggest fan!

  2. I feel the same way, Nancy. Y'all are the sisters of my heart. <3

  3. I am amazed at your talent for writing. You put into words exactly how I feel. My life is what it is today because of my early and profound friendships with you all. Talking, laughing, fighting, making up -all of it taught me so many life lessons. What a perfect expression - sisters of my heart - because that is what u all are. How I love each of u!!! -Dana

  4. I tell people of friendships I still have with you all and they are amazed. Not many people can say they have that kind of relationships with more than 1 or 2 people.
    Ready to make more memories!!
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Aww - I love that you're friends even now! I've got several old friends who are the type that I may go a long time without seeing, but the moment we are back together it is as though we were never apart. It's so amazing how much good friends enrich our lives, and I'm so thankful for both the old and the new ones friends I've made in my life.

    Have fun with your daughter's party! ;)

  6. What a wonderful post. And it's amazing that y'all are still friends. Like Erin, I have a few friends exactly like that--we just pick right up where we left off.

    It's also a reason I'm thankful for the neighborhood I live in. My children are surrounded by friends their age. It's something that I didn't experience growing up in the middle of nowhere.

    I'm also thankful for the new friends I've made since joining HCRW! :))

  7. Dana & Stacy,

    I'm so glad you both stopped by today, too. Have a great Thanksgiving!


    I too am thankful for my new friends as well as my tried-and-true.


    It is great to have a neighborhood where your kids have other kids around. And it's also great to have those friends that no matter how much time passes, you can jump back in with both feet. :)