Brianna, Beckie, Katelynn, Malorie and I have all been friends since freshman year of college, and not a day goes by that I fail to give thanks that they are in my life. The four of them are each absolutely amazing women, and will certainly be written about individually over the course of this project. But tonight I am thankful for our collective friendship.
We've been together through it all. We maintained a close friendship and lived together through all four years of college. We've seen each other at our worst and our best. When I look back at those days, those four girls are a part of every single memory...many of which we reminisced about tonight. I do not laugh harder with anyone than I do with them. When my mother was ill and then passed away while I was in college, they cried with me and often were the strength I pulled from to get through some very dark days. When I was married they were four of my bridesmaids, witnesses to my marriage, a relationship they had supported since it began. When I ran my first marathon they flew to Disney World to cheer me on, making an amazing experience even more special by their presence.
When we started this annual Christmas dinner tradition, we acknowledged that it would be a nice way to mark time. We foresaw the future: all of us together over the years, in our homes, with our growing families. And today it felt a bit like that. I took a moment to recognize where all of my best friends are in their lives right now, and how their lives have grown from just last year. I'm thankful for their individual happiness, and look forward to all the future Christmases we will celebrate together.
It's fitting that we celebrate Christmas together every year; they are, without doubt, one of the greatest gifts of my life.