These are the people in my neighborhood…

I realized this morning that some of you may not know the rest of you on my blog list.  Since I’m new to blogging and I have a short blogroll right now, I thought I’d introduce you guys to each other so that you’d all know why these people are in my life and why I think they’re important for other people to know about them.  Let’s get started:

Tina is a friend I met through my son’s elementary school.  She called me out of the blue one day to let me know that her son wanted to invite Travis to a playdate at his house.  I cried. No boy had ever invited Travis on a playdate before.  I think I panicked and tried to back out of it.  I remember telling her “You realize that he won’t talk to JD and that he’ll probably just want to wander around the house and explore, and he won’t really ‘play’?”  She totally didn’t care.  Wow.  And so we went, and Travis pushed buttons, and JD played Playstation, and Tina and I sat across the table from each other and became friends.

Candace is a friend I may never meet.  She is a physical therapist that lives in Louisiana and she’s on the medical team that has been part of caring for my best friend’s dad who is recovering from brain tumor surgery.  Amy told me about her and gave me the link to her blog so that I could know who she’d been talking about.  The first day I visited her blog, I read this and it changed my thinking about how I approach my life and the challenges that I face.  Don’t skip over that link.  It’ll change you.

Elevated Speech currently wishes to remain anonymous, but I will tell you that I have known this person for seven years and we have walked through many a low valley together, but s/he always encourages my heart.  Speech is new to blogging, and very busy, but when something’s on the blog, it’s worth reading.

Jeff is a college friend of mine.  I had always admired him because he was witty, funny, friendly, and had a plan.  “The plan” involved dating a friend of mine, whom he married.  They are perfect for each other.  Things are not perfect for them right now.  The friend is going through her fourth round of cancer treatment and life’s a bit of a roller coaster.  But Jeff would tell you that the perfect place to be is right in the middle of where God has them, and he wouldn’t change a thing (well, maybe a couple of things, but that’s okay – God’s big and He’ll take care of it all).

Meredith is proof that you never stop making friends and that God gives us “do-overs”.  I knew Meredith in college, but we were not friends.  We were “friendly”, but in that casual sort of “Hi Meredith”, “Hi Susan”, sort of way when we passed each other on campus.  I don’t know that we ever stopped to say one meaningful word to each other.  I was intimidated by the fact that she was part of an “in” crowd that I could only observe, and I was too insecure to even attempt to make friends with people outside of the ones I knew.  Meredith moved on, and our paths didn’t cross until last year when Amy told me that she was making Meredith’s spaghetti soup.  I started stalking her blog, then we became friends through Facebook, and the Lord has knit our hearts together through discussions over kids, living away from family, finding freedom, being stay at home moms, dreaming big dreams, wanting a simple life, and all things Trader Joe’s.

John is Meredith’s husband.  He was the big man on campus while we were in college, and most of the girls had a crush on him (confession – I would include myself in that category).  I read his blog because he’s a gifted writer, and I study how he artfully uses a shade and a nuance to evoke a mood that haunts me every time I read his stuff.  What he writes is not for the faint of heart.  It will make you think.  And react.  But isn’t that what good writers do?  He has a book coming out this fall.  I can’t wait to buy it.

Karen is one of those people that I have a girl-crush on – one of those women that you admire and aspire to be like.  She has a jillion kids – seven, at last count.  And they WALK INTO CHURCH (not run, mind you, like my three) and they are polite to strangers, and they smile and they serve, and are kind to puppies…you get the picture.  [I can hear her protesting all of this while I’m typing.  I’m getting to the good stuff.]  When I first met Karen, I was completely intimidated by her because I thought she had it all together.  And for that reason, I didn’t think that I could relate to her.  I had imperfect children, I still carried 20 extra pounds of baby weight (and she is still slender after all those pregnancies) ,  she was never harried and I forever felt like I was two steps behind.  Then one Sunday, I walked down the hall and saw her in the hallway talking to one of her little ones that was pitching a fit.  I remember thinking “There’s a chink in the armor!”  (Probably a bad day for her, and here I am rejoicing?!!).  She’s a cool chick, and I still want to be like her when I grow up, even though we’re the same age.

Tracey will forever be in my life because she taught me how to potty-train the boys.  I ran into her one day at BJ’s, and we started talking about the kids, and for some reason I blurted out that I was sure my kids would go to prom in their diapers.  She told me about throwing cheerios into the toilet and keeping an M&M bucket for rewards.  My kids were trained in a week.  This woman deserves a medal.  Jewels in your crown, dear Tracey, jewels in your crown…

Jennifer was in my Sunday School class when we began attending our church.  Her testimony as to how God totally changed her life moved me to tears.  She is so genuine and honest and approachable and capable, she homeschools her kids, she serves at church, she has the sweetest spirit, and and and…you get the picture.  I love her consistency and her transparency.

And that leaves us with Amy.  I have no words to tell you what Amy means to me.  We have a friendship forged through the darkest of days and starriest of nights.  We have seen each other through bad haircuts and finals.   We have eaten ice cream out of the carton together.  We’ve traded lipstick and once, even a boyfriend.  I do not think there is anything about me that she doesn’t know.  I am honored to call her friend.  I am sorry for you if you don’t know her.  She is incredibly smart and witty, and she needs to write a book but she’s too busy being so fantastic that she doesn’t have time.  She doesn’t get how wonderful she is and would deny everything I just said.

So these are the people in my neighborhood.  I hope y’all have had fun getting to know each other.

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7 responses to “These are the people in my neighborhood…

  1. Well, those were kind words, Susan. Too kind.

    I want to check out all these links. I didn’t know that Jeff had a blog! And I didn’t know that C was going through another round of treatment. I will be praying. She took my kids’ pics a handful of times when we lived in Arkansas…she is a GREAT photog.

    I’m glad you’re my friend! Very, very glad.

  2. I am so humbled to be included on your blog list. You made me laugh out loud remembering our potty training conversation…cheerios & M&Ms…the answer to many of life’s lessons!
    It is a blessing to know you and your family and to read your awesome blog!

  3. How I love being in your neighborhood and I’m looking forward to getting to know my neighbors!
    Great post!

  4. WOW!!
    I cried!
    I’m glad I live in your blog neighborhood. (although the Sesame Street song is stuck in my head) It sounds like you have fantastic friends. Aren’t we blessed! Thanks for the sweet introduction. If you only knew…there are many chinks in the armor, in fact, the armor isn’t real, its cardboard. We’re hanging on by our toenails over here. Love You!!

  5. This was a fun idea for a post, but why in the world would you want to make me cry?

    I just hope one day I can be half the person you think I am.

    Love,

    One of your biggest fans

  6. Hi,

    Just over from Mer’s blog. I’ve been stalking her comments on authenticity all day, and I was very taken with yours. Also, i’ve read several of your posts. Amazing writing, and a bit o’ the sarcasm, too. Lurve it.

  7. Pingback: Fun on Friday « Carpoolqueen’s Blog

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