Friday, July 19, 2013

A Few Amazing Women

A few weekends ago, I had a long overdue visit from two of my college roommates, Heather and LeAnn. Since graduating in 1999, both of them have gone on to careers, marriages, children, and graduate school. And both had the audacity to move out of state away from me! How dare they! Heather lives in Kansas City (but is about to move to Little Rock) and LeAnn's husband is in the Army so they have moved all over the place. But both Heather and LeAnn have family here in Oklahoma, so when their visits home are timed just right, we can all three get together. And no matter how much time has passed since our last visit, we pick right back up where we left off.  I think they are two rather amazing women. Let me introduce you to them.
 Heather, Me, LeAnn
July 2013
Heather and I on our very last day of classes our Freshman year of college
May 1996
Sometimes, you meet friends because your parents know each other. Or you were in the same ballet class when you were five. I met Heather simply because we were randomly assigned to live on the same end of the hall in our freshman dorm. She and I slowly started hanging out here and there, eating together in the cafeteria or walking to the same building for classes. Pretty soon, it was clear that we both really got along. Heather was fun, silly, creative, easy-going and a great listener. She was an Art Education major and I was an Elementary Education major, so we shared a lot of similar classes and interests. She loved music and the two of us went to watch tons of bands play at little dive bars and warehouses. We played flag football on the same team, both started dating our future husbands during our sophomore year (many, many double dates followed). We would go for long walks at our university's track spending countless hours discussing boys and school and our hopes and dreams for the future. We both loved iced mochas and cherry limeades, so many times a week one of us would ask, "Want to walk to Braum's?" It was always a good excuse to stop studying and get out. Either that or we would go to a local park and swing on the swings until we were dizzy. She and I once ditched classes on a Friday and drove ten hours to Illinois to surprise our good friend at her wedding. We had so much fun on our road trips. Today, Heather is married to her college sweetheart, Dustin. They have three beautiful kids (two boys and a girl). She taught art at an inner city elementary school for many years until she started having babies of her own. Now, she has gone back to school and is two years away from graduating as a Physician's Assistant! Amazing! I am so proud of her.

LeAnn and I
First day of classes our Freshman year
August 1995

Where can I begin with LeAnn? LeAnn and I met when we were ten. We went to the same church and so we went to Sunday School together and eventually our church youth group as well. She was home schooled, had long brown hair, was very quiet and always so very kind to everyone. She and I were more acquaintances than good friends until our junior year in high school. The summer between our junior and senior years in high school, we found ourselves at church camp talking about where we were going to go to college. It came out that LeAnn and I had both already been accepted to attend Oklahoma Baptist University, so right then and there, we decided to be roommates our Freshman year. Because of that decision, we started hanging out more that summer and I found out that that quiet, home schooled girl I had grown up with was really very fun to be around. She was spontaneous, funny, and so super talented, it's not even funny. She is an amazing pianist, dancer and wicked smart too. We ended up spending a ton of time together our senior year of high school and even went to Europe together (along with our other mutual friend, Kim) for a month after we graduated. We walked the streets of Paris, camped for a week on the beach of Pisa, Italy, found ourselves lost on the autobahn in Germany, and walked where "Maria" walked in Austria (Sound of Music reference if you didn't catch it). She and I had so much fun as roommates our Freshman year. LeAnn and Heather hit it off as well, so the three of us would spend lots of time in each others' dorm rooms talking. Heather, LeAnn and our other friend Jennifer and I shared an apartment our last two years of college which was a ton of fun. We were all in each other's weddings and sent huge congratulations when babies were born. Today, LeAnn is married to her Army hubby, Evan. They have two boys and LeAnn is a full time stay home mom caring for both of them. But just so you know, she has her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Remember, I told you she is wicked smart! 

Left to right: Jennifer (who lives in Milwaukee with her husband and four boys; she's pretty darn awesome too), Me (wearing one of my favorite thrift store finds, a shirt which reads "you can tell when it's summer in Seattle, the rain feels warmer") and sporting my mushroom hair look. Good times. Heather is on my left, followed by LeAnn. This was taken the day we moved into our first apartment.
August 1997

I am so lucky to have known and been surrounded by such amazing women throughout my life. Just thought I would highlight a few of them!

1 comment:

Sue said...

Those lifelong friendships, even long distance, are something to treasure for sure.