Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Make New Friends but Keep the Old"

+JMJ+

Did anyone else grow up singing that little song?

The last few weeks have been such a blur! We've been beyond blessed to have made some great connections with people and suddenly our social calendar has been busier than it has in months. In fact, Michael and I were talking about how within one week we did social activities (meaning spending time with others outside of our little family) on 6 of those 7 days. Socially, our time in a retirement community in Florida and this new place could not be more different...and I'm grateful.

On top of making new friends (thank you, Lord!) we were also graced with the presence of one of my dear college friends, MB, from Saturday until Tuesday of this week. We met early on in college (my sophomore year, her freshman year) in a Spanish class - and our shared Catholic faith and my prompting her to get involved with some campus ministry led to us becoming fast friends. Because I did a 5th year of college, we graduated together and both ended up completing a year of volunteer service with the same program - in the same city - at the same non-profit! We seriously didn't plan this and each discerned our paths separately, but I have no doubt God placed us together that year intentionally. Having her there as we experienced the ups and downs of our volunteer year is a blessing I could never put into words.

Anyway, MB is currently on spring break from medical school. Since we're all on the East Coast right now it made it feasible to see her for the first time since I got married (nearly a year and a half ago). We had lots of fun that included good food, great talks, and a healthy dose of girl time. Here are a few highlights (with pictures!):

Once MB arrived in downtown Philly we all met up at the Reading Terminal Market (which is awesome and overwhelming, by the way). Then we headed down the street to Chinatown for some window shopping, delicious Taiwanese food, bubble tea, and Chinese baked goods.

Not where we ate - but neat architecture!

On Sunday we ate brunch at a local cafe here in the borough (hi, I am new to the East Coast and need to practice using the lingo). That evening we went to a later Mass followed by a fun night chatting with a new friend we invited over.

Thumbs up from MB!

Monday we ran errands while Michael was at work. Then, I introduced MB to one of the largest malls in the nation where we had fun browsing, getting my make-up done at Sephora, and drinking fresh fruit smoothies. 

Gabriel and I had fun playing with mirrors while MB was in the fitting room

Monday night we invited Michael's and my other Hoosier friend (that currently works in the area) over to our place...which means the four of us played a nice, nostalgic game of IUopoly.


 Tuesday was spent at home while MB and I chatted away the hours leading up to her train departure. It was so good to reconnect with her and hear all her new medical school stories!

I had nearly forgotten that people used to ask if we are sisters - until it
happened (again) after church this weekend

It was a serious blessing to be able to open up our home to such a quality friend and catch up on each other's lives. It always warms my heart whenever a new friend or family member gets to meet Gabriel - and I'm so thankful for friends like MB who have stayed in my life as I've moved away, gotten married, and become a mother. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: the best friendships are those that can withstand time, changes in geographic location, and will evolve and mature as each of you do.

The past couple of weeks have been filled with such goodness. As if that weren't enough, we are heading north to Boston this evening to spend a three day weekend with my older sister, brother-in-law, and nieces. I cannot wait! My younger niece, E, turns two years old on Sunday and we are going to have a lovely little ladybug-themed party to celebrate. There's no way I'll get any blog entries written while we're gone, so I hope you all have a lovely remainder of your week!

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.” 
-Muhammad Ali

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