On Friendship and Celebrating

A story:
to preface the celebration. :)

Four years ago, we moved here to this strange land. Ok, ok…it was strange then. Now it’s pretty normal.

Well, as normal as Illinois can be. πŸ˜‰

And it might be safe to say that I didn’t want to be here at all. I had to be, but I sure wasn’t choosing it, and I sure didn’t have a happy heart about it either.

The first few weeks were a blur, thanks to the teeny-tiny baby we had at the time. I rarely left the house except to go to Target. And Starbucks…I did find my way there a few times, too. Because, um, sleep deprivation. Yes, it must be countered with multiple shots of espresso.

Our neighborhood remained a mystery. We had a cute, blue house on the corner, but we didn’t know the people who lived near us. And during those weeks, I was more than ok with that.

Until. The night. When my husband forced me to walk across the street.

A neighbor had stopped by, one he had already met, to drop off a note for me. It was a sweet, welcome-to-the-neighborhood/would-you-like-to-come-to-Bible-study, letter from a woman across the street.

I smiled and went back to feeding Maelie…and sort of forgot about it.

But Tobin didn’t, and he made sure that we ALL marched across the street to say hello, meet her and her family, and give me a chance to accept her invitation.

My heart might not have been happy…but by then I was warming up to the idea of life here. I kind of had to.

And that night, I met Kris. From our first conversation (which lasted well over an hour) I knew we were going to be friends and not just neighbors. I saw the way she looked at my daughter, the way she genuinely wanted to know about us and our crazy lives…and when she offered me a ride the next morning and then went out of her way after Bible study to show me around town (I really hadn’t been out…) I found myself breathing thanks that, maybe, I finally had a friend.

And over the weeks that turned into months and then years, a friendship grew. It started off with little visits across the street and chats after Bible study. Then it turned into double dates and coffee dates and sometimes just chats on a porch…hers or mine.

A friend in Minnesota had told me, before we moved, that she was specifically praying that God would give me a good friend. I saw the answer to her prayer in Kris.

And in the past four years, it’s been such a sweet friendship. There have been ups and downs…for both of us. We’ve walked and prayed each other through some hard days…and we’ve celebrated a lot, too.

And today…well, it’s a celebration. A BIG one…the kind that starts with a 5 and ends with a 0.


Today my beautiful friend turns 50…and though she might kill me (but only just a little…) for this, I think she deserves to be celebrated. She’s pretty fantastic…and she’s been a gift to me and my family…and a lot of other people, too.

She’s been such a big part of why we call this place home. And why we’re happy to call it that.

The happiest of birthdays to you, sweet friend.

Fifty looks pretty amazing on you.



  1. I remember her coming to our Bible study group with a prayer request for her “new neighbors” seeking a church home. Yay God! He gives us More than we can imagine!

  2. Happy birthday to Kris! Yay for great friendships. This was beautiful, Mel.

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