Brendan, Lucy and I went on a fun road trip a few weeks ago so that Brendan could take one last look at a few colleges he's applied to. And, as it turns out, so he could have fun hanging out with a bunch of Utah friends for a whole weekend. I should have been a little ticked that we drove so far for that kind of bait and switch, but I really wasn't--mostly because it meant I got to hang out with my friends, too. And eat some delicious food at Cafe Rio....Yuh-hum!
Right at the top of that list of friends is one of my very dearest friends in all the world, Brynn. She let us stay with her for several days and provided delicious food and unparalleled ambiance and great company. And since I haven't sent a thank-you card yet (her thank-you for my hostess gift was, of course, promptly dispatched--I will not let this make me feel insecure) and since her birthday is coming up, this is my prosaic ode to Brynn.
We met 12 years ago. Our family had just moved to a town called Richmond-Upon-Thames, outside London. It was our first Sunday at church, and I was not-so-subtly scanning the congregation for potential friends. I saw Brynn, and to my ethnocentric shame, I thought, "She looks too stylish and well-groomed to be British." Turns out I was right--and wrong. She was American, and my ignorance was thoroughly contradicted over the next few months, as I subsequently met lots of chic, well-groomed (and otherwise awesome) British women.
We became fast friends, not only because of her well-groomed chic-ness, but because she is just a great person. There are so many things I like and admire about Brynn. Here are a few:
She has a great sense of humor and doesn't take anything too seriously, including herself. For example, check out this hilarious video that she and her kids did. Awesome. Every time we talk, she makes me laugh. And I love to laugh. So it works out.
On the other hand, like me, she feels things deeply. She is empathetic when I feel overwhelmed by something sad or disturbing on the news that makes me worry that the world is going to you know where in a hand basket. If I am mournfully obsessing over one of my kids' behavior issues or whatever, she gives helpful hints, but mostly just listens and makes me laugh at self-depreciating stories about her own kids. She was at my house when the Twin Towers fell, and we watched BBC's coverage together in stunned silence. She was the first (and only) friend to visit me in the hospital right after I had Sophie.
I know that she is a friend who I can not talk to for months at a time (because, ahem, I've sadly tested this), and know that everything will still be the same between us. I know that if I were in serious trouble, even of my own making, that she would welcome me with open arms, help and kindness.
I also love that like me, she loves to talk. We have a great time talking in circles for hours and hours; interrupting each other in our enthusiasm, going on fun little tangents, finally getting back to the point and eventually tying up all the loose ends until we are done talking...at least until the next time.
I also love that we have a very similar taste in clothes and home decoration. Picking friends solely based on fripperies is a bad idea, but when the more important basics are already there, having someone who shares your taste is delightful. We love to antique together, bounce home decor ideas off each other and show off our latest home/wardrobe triumphs to each other. It's just fun. Here are some (sneakily taken) pictures of her cute house:
|Gorgeous blue and white china collected at various antique markets in England. I gave her that primitive antique box at the bottom of the picture. Hopefully she didn't just put it out because I was coming to visit :).|
|Her cute Easter mantel in her family room.|
|Her classy living room.|
|Her mom painted this picture, and she picked out the frame. I love the whole thing.|
|Awesome gallery wall with funny/inspirational quotes and a portrait of each member of the family painted by another member of the family.|
|Her adorable girls' room. Their blessing gowns are hung on the wall as decorations, with more antique plates on the wall behind the bed.|
|Close up of the fabrics on the bed. So sweet.|
|Lovely chandelier in her girls' room (which I hung, by the way--because I'm awesome like that),|
Know that she has just redecorated her master bedroom, and it is maybe her best work yet. I just felt like too much of a creeper to take surprise pictures in there. So just imagine a calm, serene, classy room times a thousand, and that'll just about cover it.
Ah, Brynn. Words cannot convey how grateful I am that we are friends. Thank you for being in my life (and for letting us mooch on your food and your kindness last month). I love you!