Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Golden Friendships!

There's a saying "Make new friends, keep the old, one is silver, the other is gold",  and last weekend on our little vacation to Minnesota I felt every bit of those words! Jon and I have been going through some "trying" times in the friendship department & it started to feel like we were never going to make any new friends, much less keep the old ones! To say things felt "depressing" would be an understatement!

I actually spent a lot of time pouring out my heart here on my blog & when I went back and re-read those words it just seemed like I sounded whiny and "Woe is me-ish". Blah! That's not what I was trying to portray, but it probably sounded like that.  So, I stepped back from doing much blogging and instead poured myself a little more into running again (thank God for my running girlfriends that stick by me even when I quit running for months at a time!).  I love running because it gives me the space and time to just clear my head sometimes. While I was "clearing things out" of my busy head I also prayed that God would give me a fresh start  this year & maybe,  just maybe give me one opportunity connect with an old friend (or two!) to bring a little bit of hope back into the picture. 

Man, am I glad I asked God for that little blessing! I love it when God proves that He not only cares about the big things in our lives, but that the little things matter too! Shortly after asking God for an opportunity to re-connect with old friends we got that opportunity & spent a wonderful evening over at an old friends house for dinner. It felt so refreshing to spend time with people who know you & have a little "history" with you. Shortly after that little "re-connection"  we were  making our plans for our MN trip we found out that another good friend was going to be able to fly home to MN while we were there! WooHoo! Things just kept getting better! I thought those two things were pretty awesome, but it just kept getting better!  I had re-connected with my running girls, had an awesome evening spent with old friends, and found out that another good friend was going to be able to hang out with us during our trip (where we were already going to stay with old friends!) to MN! I love those kinds of happy surprises!

Then, as I was washing clothes and packing for our trip to MN I thought "Hmmm....I wonder if I should contact Kevin and Gina & see what they are up to since we will be in their neck of the woods this week". "Kevin & Gina" are old friends of Jon and I that go WAY back to the days before Jon and I were even married. They were the cool young married couple that Jon and I looked up to & hoped to be one day! ;-) They are originally from MN, but Kevin is a Dr & they spent a few short years in KC during Kevin's residency. After KC they moved to Indiana & we never got a chance to see them again. We kept in touch a little bit over the years through Christmas cards and an occasional e-mail, but they were busy, we were busy, we lived several states away...you know how it goes. However, last year Kevin and Gina moved back to MN to be closer to their family & suddenly the idea of maybe seeing them again one day didn't seem so far off!  

So, as I was packing I posted something on facebook about getting ready for our trip to MN & that's when Gina beat me to the punch! She saw me post that & sent me a quick message that said "Are you guys coming to MN?". From there we made plans to have dinner together & I laughed at all the wonderful surprises that just kept rolling in for this years trip to MN! 

We arrived in MN on Thursday evening & our fantastic friends/hosts Bob and Irene were waiting with open arms to receive our wild crew of 6 for the weekend! Everyone should have a "Bob & Irene" in their lives, because they always make you feel so special & so loved! I count them as one of the greatest blessings in our lives....and that's not an exaggeration! We come up to MN every year over Labor Day & they always go above and beyond to host our family & each year it just gets better and better! It's become one of our family's favorite traditions & I LOVE that my children will always have these years to look back on and remember with fondness. 

One little "gift" that Bob and Irene wanted to give Jon and I this year was a "date night" since they knew that was something that doesn't happen too often in our world!  Because of their sweet offer we were able to go out on a double date with Kevin and Gina on Friday night. I should mention here that Kevin and Gina have 6 children, so the fact that both of us could manage and evening away was a bit of a miracle in and of itself! So, with babysitters secured we made reservations at a fun downtown Minneapolis restaurant called "Hell's Kitchen" & embarked on our journey to re-connect! We had a lot of  catching up to do too since it had been, oh... 13 years or so since we had last seen each other! 

Once we hugged each other and sat down something amazing happened....we started talking and never stopped! There was almost no unfamiliarity  in the air even though it had been so long since we had seen each other! Our waitress stopped by our table several times to try to take our order, but it took us about an hour to even start looking at the menu! Instead, we ordered drinks and appetizers & told our poor waitress that we hadn't seen each other for 13 or so years....so we were gonna be awhile! :-)  We laughed, swapped stories about our kids, we pulled out cameras and phones to share pictures with each other, and we then we talked some more! We talked about the good stuff, the bad stuff, the happy times, the hard times, the things that have made us who we are today & and how blessed we each were for the very unique stories we have to tell.  We even went to a second restaurant for dessert since we had been at the first one so long! We closed down the second restaurant & kept talking all the way out to the parking garage! Now that's what I call a great night! When Jon and I drove away that night we both smiled & then talked about how incredible it was that we were able to just pick right back up where we had left off some 13 years ago! Now that's a golden friendship & one I KNOW I'll keep forever!

Thanks for the great memories!


Faith said...

I love that you got to see the Linds, even though I admit to being super jealous. Hope we get a turn soon. Oh, and for that matter, Neil and I should go on a double date with you and Jon sometime!

Gina Lind said...

I love your post Amber. I'm still smiling every time I remember our evening. It was super fun and such a blessing. We love you guys and time or distance will not change that!

Jonathan said...

*Gay voice* Hey Ladies!!!!

:) Gina, that evening was so incredibly comfortable and relaxing that it felt like we've never been apart.

And Faith, that is a GREAT idea! We should do just that: Get a sitter and go meet up! I know Neil would love to see my hot bod again! Woowoo!!! *snap* How's October looking?


Amber said...

Faith- Great idea! Let's get something on the calendar before we get too busy :-).

Gina- Can't wait to do it again!

*Apparently my post was missing a sentence or two there at the end! Sorry about that. I fixed it so maybe it makes a little more sense now :-)

Sometimes I don't get dressed for the day until 5:00...pm, and on the weekend I let my kids eat cookies for breakfast. I drank coffee (and sometimes diet coke) when I was pregnant. I use under eye concealer to cover up my zits & I bake when I'm stressed. If you can deal with all that....then welcome to our family blog!