In this age of the internet it seems hard to believe that anyone can truly be lost – even if they wanted to be. I know this because my dear husband can find out just about anything on anyone (be careful! haha) on the internet because it is all out there. But there was one friend that seemed to allude me no matter how hard I tried.
In 1992 my mother told me that she and I would be moving to New Orleans because her company was transferring her. In an instant everything I had ever known in my 15 years seemed to explode in my face. My whole world was Texas. My whole family, friends – everything was here. But, just before school started off we went to New Orleans. Trust me I fought it, hard – but lost that battle. I ended up enrolling in Ursuline Academy – yes, an all girl, private, Catholic school. If you knew me at the time you would have known how utterly ridiculous this was for me. I was the anti-conformist in every way imaginable – but here I was in a gray plaid wool skirt, white oxford shirt and penny loafers in a Catholic school no less. You could have shot me and I would have been MUCH happier. The first week I got several demerits for wearing white socks – yes, I said white socks, shoot me. Public school is Texas is a hair more liberal than a private school in New Orleans but I would later learn that there was a reason I was in private and not public school.
So, as I walked through the cold, grey halls in my oxblood penny-loafers I really thought I had entered hell and I was just waiting for the sunburn. Thankfully, though, I was able to enroll in choir. In Texas I was one of the few freshmen to have auditioned and made the top choir for my sophmore year but I walked into a choir of maybe 12 girls at Ursuline. Ready to just throw up my hands and give up I happened to sit next to a girl that would change my life. Her name was Jenn. She had the most amazing soprano voice. It was truly angelic. I wanted her voice – but since I couldn’t have that – I wanted to be her friend. Jennifer became the one person to really shepherd me through that year. She was funny and so fun to be around. Then I met her family and instantly fell in love with them too. They adopted me as their own.
I will say that living in New Orleans at the age of 15 can have an “affect” on a girl – but we don’t need to get into that other than to say, we had fun – lots of it.
We had a pretty fun group of friends but there was something about Jenn that just stood out. She and I were very much alike and I really needed someone that I could identify with at this time in my life where I knew so few people. I still remember her taking me with her over Easter to Mississippi to visit of her family. I felt so at home with them. At the end of the school year I learned that I was moving back to Texas, back to Farmers Branch and back to the same high school I had left before. Part of me was beyond thrilled, but another was broken-hearted to be leaving Jenn. Our goodbyes were hard but we promised to stay in touch – and we did, for a while. During my senior year in high school I got a call from her that her Uncle Glenn had died and I felt like my own uncle had died. I went back to New Orleans for his funeral. I remember her coming to visit me in college and then I went to see her over New Years Eve in ’99, I believe. We always picked up right where we left off and had a blast together!
Then, as life happened before we were all on facebook and had cell phones, we lost touch. The last I heard from her was that she was going to move to LA. I have spent the last 10 years searching for her. I have emailed almost every Jennifer W. I could find not knowing if she was married or not. Over the years I would get on a kick and search the internet for a whole weekend. Several times I thought I had found her and hadn’t. Then about a month or so ago I decided to search her mother’s name on facebook and wouldn’t you know it – she was there!!!!! So I send a friend request to her mom with a message and didn’t hear back. I figured that maybe she just wasn’t on Facebook much but I was SURE it was her. Then last week my blackberry buzzed and I looked at it to see that I had an email notification telling me that her mother had accepted my friend request!! I raced to my computer and scoured her page for Jenn’s face – and there she was. I don’t think it took Jenn 5 seconds to accept my friend request to her and we were instantly “together” again!
Jenn now has a BEAUTIFUL 18 week old baby girl and a husband stationed in Iraq (but is due home in a few days!!). I just cried as I looked through all of her pictures to see everything that I had missed over the last 10 years. She is still the beautiful girl I remember, though. I can still hear her laugh. She has the best laugh!
My mom has always told me that I have a gift for finding and choosing really good friends – and I have to disagree with that. GOD has an amazing nack for gifting and blessing me with amazing friends. My dearest friend, I have known since I was 10 years old and there are so many ladies in my life that are truly remarkable women and every one of them were placed in my heart and life for a reason. I am so happy that I got one back that I thought I had lost! God knew where we both were all along, though. He kept us close in our hearts.
She told me that when she got engaged that she told her mom that I was the first person that she wanted to tell her news to. That is the kind of amazing woman she is.
Thank you Lord for giving me back my friend!
Now for some fun pics!!
I am still looking for those NYE pics, but something tells me I might not want to post those! LOL!
I love you Jenn! I cannot wait until the day that I can give you hug and when our babies can play together!
We are about 3 weeks into operation “plump-up” with Colin and I really think it is going well. Obviously I won’t know what he has gained until we take him back to the pedi next Friday, but Alan and I both think he really does look and feel bigger. The most noticeable change is that, while he was an alert, talkative and VERY smiley baby before – he seems to have just woken up in so many ways. A lot of it is just this age, I know, but I can’t help but wonder if just getting more calories has kick started everything. While it still breaks my heart to think of him as spending any time at all over the last few months hungry – I am grateful that he is growing and healthy now.
I tried to start solids – and for the first few days he was so excited about it! He would get so hyper when he saw the spoon and bowl that he would grab at it quickly. I had to sharpen my reflexes to keep from having pureed food all over the kitchen. However, after those first few days, he just seemed to have no interest. He would spit out almost every bite and turn his head away. He just isn’t ready. I decided to give that a break and just tackle one challenge at a time. We might just wait for a couple of months when he can self-feed. He seems to get much more pleasure out of doing things himself anyway.
We are still nursing as much as we can but he is quickly weaning himself. I knew it would happen – as it does when you introduce a bottle at all – but I didn’t really expect it to happen this quickly. Unlike the end of my BF’ing with Jack, Colin never cries or gets angry when there isn’t any more milk he just only nurses for about 5 minutes and then chews ferociously on his hands and anything else in sight. I started by just supplementing a couple of ounces at a time after each feeding and adding 2 4oz bottles a day in before naps and now we have had to up that since his nursing has gone way down. Thankfully, in the mornings we still have wonderful cuddle time and he seems to love being all cozied up to me nursing as well as right before bed. I am hanging on to those times like they are pure gold – because they are. These are moments that I will likely never have again with another baby.
So, what happened? Well – I think I tracked it back to a decision I made over 3 months ago to improve my own health and quality of life not knowing that it would effect me hormonally so much that my milk would turn to water and slowly dry up. Sure, I feel some lingering guilt – but I do NOT hold on to regret and guilt for long. I try my best to move forward, especiallywhen it affects the health and well-being of my babies. God is bigger than my hormones and bigger than breast milk.
I am still an advocate for breastfeeding - always will be. I will still help my friends and encourage them all I can because I know that in most cases it is THE BEST thing for baby and mommy. I know that most women are fully capable of breastfeeding no matter what complications they have. But I also know that it can be HARD – but oh so worth it!! The biggest lesson I have learned is that if you are currently or soon to be a nursing mama is to ASK for help if you need it. There is so much help out there. There are so many people and organizations that live to help women and babies know the benefits and joys of breastfeeding. On the flip side of that also know that I will never judge anyone for their decision as it is so personal and has to be made by each individual Mama. As I have said before – us moms “do the best we can with what we have”.
It has been an emotional last few days due to several things going on in my life but also in the lives of my dearest friends, so to wake up this morning to beautiful white snow was just what I needed! Snow has always been a magical and often spiritual thing for me. It just makes me imagine that God is laying a soft blanket of pure love over everything. When you get snow as rarely as we do in Texas you can’t help but smile and see the joy in what He has done.
Last night the beanies we ordered for the boys arrived and Jack wanted NOTHING to do with his. I told him that when it gets cold he will have to wear it to which he adamantly disagreed! This morning I was still all cozy and warm in bed when Jack runs in to me yelling “Mommy, I want to try on my hat now, I want to try on my hat!!” Alan then explained that it was snowing. I figured it was a couple of flakes but I dragged myself out of bed anyway. I looked out the window only to see that it was really coming down!
So, what do we do? Go outside and take pictures – OF COURSE!
Jack has SEEN snow before but I don’t know if he has ever experienced it coming down on him! He was frozen for a second not quite knowing what to do.
Jack didn’t know why I kept telling him to stick his tongue out until the first snowflake hit! THAT was funny!
Colin’s first snow!
Jack just wanted to dance in the snow
Sadly, Daddy had to leave us to go to work. Hey, isn’t that my scarf?
Sweet snow baby!