Thursday, January 3, 2013

Where My Girls At?

The year was 1991. Hot Shots! was dominating the box office (thank you Google!), but we were much more interested in seeing the re-issue of 101 Dalmations that was out at the time. Bryan Adams had the #1 song, with "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," but we were definitely much more obsessed with the entirety of Amy Grant's Heart in Motion tape. (Yes, tape, because in 1991 I'm not totally sure that we were into CDs yet.) And forget Roseanne -- our favorite TV show was Full House, dude!

It was the much-anticipated Registration Day for 3rd grade. This year the excitement had been building more than ever, because our school had been redistricted from the year before, so there would be lots of new kids. You would think a familiar face would be greatly appreciated. "Look who's in your class: Jennifer!!" Mom said excitedly. "Oh good," I said, less than enthused. Jennifer and I had been in the same kindergarten class, and I'm sure our moms knew each other from being involved in everything at school. Sure, I knew who Jennifer was, but I wasn't terribly interested in befriending the girl who would spend half of lunchtime each day with her head down on her lunchbox. (By the way, I must interject that it's fabulous telling the story from my point of view here, since she's not able to argue the finer points with me on my blog!  You know she always tries to deny this part of the story! Mwahahaha, Jenn!! ;)

Almost instantly Lindsey and I became friends. Lindsey was one of the new kids, and I thought she was super-cool because she was a dancer, just like me, and she was constantly making me laugh. Eventually I learned that she and Jennifer were friends, because they took dance at the same studio and were in Girl Scouts together. One day I somehow wound up sitting between the two of them at the lunch table, and Jennifer started talking about this crazy dream she had where everything was made of chocolate. I thought it was absolutely the most hilarious thing in the history of the world for some reason, and so I started telling her about my dream about Nancy Drew hanging out in the library, which she likewise thoroughly enjoyed hearing all about. Before we knew what was happening, our sides were hurting from laughing so hard, and it wasn't long before our moms started referring to us as "the Three Musketeers" -- and rightfully so. We became the best of friends, and it was certainly "all for one, one for all."

Year after year rolled by, and the three of us stuck together -- eventually being in plays together, choreographing elaborate dance productions at each other's houses, graduating from elementary school, navigating the joys(?) and dramas of middle school, moving on to high school, hanging out nearly every weekend. Or at least every weekend that Jennifer wasn't too busy doing homework. ;) 

Then in 10th grade, I was sitting in world history class when in walked a new girl our teacher introduced to us as Rachel. Since I had been present at that grand introduction, she wasn't totally a stranger the day that Jennifer and I walked into our English teacher's class and she introduced Rachel to us. The poor misguided lady then proceeded to try desperately to get the three of us to join Knowledge Bowl. We just smiled politely and left. Once we three were safely out of the teacher's earshot, we were all like, "No WAY are we doing that! Who does she think we are?!" From that point forward, Rachel and I were regular note-passers in world history class, and then the following year, the three of us plus Kim (my friend who now has triplets) somehow wound up working on a really super horribly embarrassing school project together that may or may not have involved a set of four t-shirts that spelled out the word HOPE when worn in a row. Really, to the teacher's credit, the project wasn't designed to have been that embarrassing -- as I recall, we were just supposed to be discussing the literary themes of hope in various works we had read. It's just that, at some point really, REALLY late at night, when we were half-delirious and had a very untenable grip on reality, we thought the t-shirt idea sounded very cool. And it did, until it came time to actually put those blasted shirts on and stand in front of our peers to make the presentation. 

Suffice it to say that it wasn't long before we were friends, and thus it wasn't long before Rachel and Lindsey were friends... and that is the tale of how we became the Three Musketeers plus D'Artagnan. The remaining years of high school were laced with many hilarious and awkward stories involving the four of us, and I really owe the best of my high-school memories to them, hands-down. Even the ones involving socially awkward t-shirts worn during presentations in front of much cooler peers. ;) These are my GIRLS, y'all. I can't tell you how dear each one of them is to me!! I'm so thankful we've been able to get together while the two out-of-towners, Jenn and Rachie, have been in town over the holidays!

By the way, if I weren't as self-conscious as I am, I'd post a retro picture here of the four of us. ALAS - Rachel doesn't call me "most improved" for nothing - ha! ha! ha! ;)
Jennifer and Tamsie, who was in the mood for a snuggle

She loves her honorary aunt!

Jennifer with Rachel's little guy, Jonathan, who just turned 9 weeks old! Jennifer's 4-year-old, Pierce, was hanging out with family while we were together.

I figured it would make sense to have a picture of the mother with her child, so here are Rachie Face and Jonathan!

There's nothing like a BFF reunion!! This is yet another reason why I'm so happy to be back in Memphis: Even though neither of them live here anymore, at least I get to see them when they come back to visit their families! That means I'm guaranteed to see them a LOT more than I would be in the 'Ville!

Chris snapped this picture as a joke, but I actually kind of like it -- mainly because of Evie's face. We were all standing around trying to decide where to take our picture, and so the Vaf snapped this just to get us indecisive types to make a decision.

The Three Musketeers Plus D'Artagnan, plus babies, minus Pierce: Me with Tamsie, Rachel with Jonathan, Jennifer with Evangelyn, and Lindsey with Charlotte, who is about 5 and a half months old

It was so appropriate that we were together on New Year's Eve, since we have spent so many past NYEs together! We had a celebratory white-grape-juice toast in honor of the occasion. Auld lang syne, y'all.

The gorgeous Miss Charlotte!

Jennifer and I sitting next to each other at church on Sunday. We had such a grand old time hanging out!!

Here's Pierce himself, next to his cousin Presley. Chris is holding Tamsie, and Evangelyn is in the stroller.

This is our one attempt at a picture with Jenn and me and our respective kiddos -- you can see it didn't go so well, but it's all we were able to get! Things were muy chaotic! 
Rachel and I got to go meet Baby Ryan!! I loved getting to see him and his parents!! :) Ryan's mom Jennifer and dad Lee came to town for Christmas and made time to introduce him to friends while they were here!
Friends who go back extra far are always extra special. How blessed I am to have friends like these! I love each of these girls and each of their babies, and I am so thankful we've been able to spend time together!

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