When people you love are spread all over you've got to accept that you're going to be doing some traveling. This weekend I traveled to Bloomington, IN home of IU after school.
First stop was to pick up my friend and YL girl Allison Stamer. I met her at her dorm and she came bounding down the steps and just looked so college. I have missed this dear girl and was so thankful to walk around campus with her on a search for Diet Coke Polar Pops and hear all about her life here at IU. I love that when I talk to Allison she is so present in the conversation- she lights up and we jump from one train of thought to another because there are just so many things to say and Al's hands go crazy adding emphasis to everything.
We found our way back to Theta and Molly Brunner, a Camp T girl, came running down the sidewalk and jumped on me. I love great reunions. Brunner and Allison met over Christmas break when we played Cranium with a group of friends and now they're great friends in Theta. I'm so happy that they've each found a friend to experience all of this and crazy dance with.
p.s. Theta at IU is packed full of great girls. Not only do Brunner and Allison go there but many moons ago my friend Anne Nichols first took me to the house. Then McSoley rocked the sorority, Stacey Leeds joined, and old Camp T friend Cori Webb.
Next stop was the Ardery house- the home base of the weekend. I was so excited to spend three whole days with Racher. I wish I could see this girl more often. She brings me such joy.
Emily and Lily made the drive from U of I and arrived with GaGa's "Born This Way" stuck in their heads ready for fun.
Kath, another Bloomington native, joined in the fun for the weekend.
We spent all night at the Ardery kitchen table. Sam and Patty made us a gourmet meal and we devoured about half a pan of pumpkin bars.
We played the Game of Things which proved to be just as hilarious with these friends, Emily got us to play Humdinger, and then we may have entertained Emily with a box of matches.
Saturday we broke up for brunch. Emily reunited with her friend Rachel. Kath, Rach, and Lil went to Chilis to avoid the college crowds.
I picked up Allison and Molly so that we could enjoy all three of us being friends. We went to the Village Deli and made ourselves at home in our booth- drinking about 15 cups of coffee, laughing loud, talking about camp and Young Life, explaining SIB and Theta, reminiscing, sharing new stories, and loving just being together.
After much anticipation we became Beliebers at Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Everyone is saying that this movie is so great and they weren't big Bieber fans but now they love him and they cried. They're all kind of crazy about it.
I understand. I'm jealous of the one less lonely girls. I want to go to Pizza Pizza in Canada with Justin and his friends. I have "Baby" stuck in my head. I almost cried when they handed out tickets for free to girls that were waiting outside each concert venue. I have Bieber fever.
A trip to Hobby Lobby for supplies, a stop at McD for four large Diet Cokes and two super fries later we found ourselves at Kath's house.
With Pandora on the Taylor Swift station we dove into our collaging project. Everyone drew a name of a friend and then they had to secretly collage for them.
Sitting around crafting is one of my very favorite things. Comfortable silence with bits of singing, laughter, and stories thrown in.
It felt so normal to be with these friends--like we get to just be together and hang out all the time.
After we'd finished everyone unveiled who they had created theirs for and the thought behind the pieces. It was kind of like show and tell in elementary school with lots of "awwwing" and clapping after each presenter. So precious.
Rachel made hers for Lil.
Lil made hers for Kath.
Emily made hers for Racher.
Kath made hers for me.
I gave mine to Emily.
McSoley made hers for Paige (who we were about to meet up with).
Camp people really like group pics. So we took a lot of them.
Shauna writes in Bittersweet, "If you're lucky enough to have your Monica and your Sara and your Kirsten all right in your very own town, I hope you soak it up, and that you lie around in each other's backyards every Saturday afternoon or stay up late on one another's porches three nights a week. But if you're like me, and if those faces are far away, get a weekend on the calender and get there."
"Share your life with the people you love, even if it means saving up for a ticket and going without a few things for a while to make it work. We were made to live close and connected."
Dinner at Malibu with the crew plus Paige and Libby. I'm so thankful that Camp brought all of us together so many summers ago and that we're still in each other's lives today. I love each of these women and they're in so many of my greatest memories. Adventure hikes with Lil. Scavenger hunts with Kath. Buddy sleep-outs with Rach. Paiger delivering my "Miss Wright" rock after I got hired. Living in Choctaw with Libby for a whole summer. Tagging along with Em and her campers. Cynthia ceremonies with McS.
When we picked out collaging supplies Emily felt nostalgic about old school weaving looms.
At 11 at night we were all suddenly inspired to craft with these rainbow nylon loops.
Braided sweatbands, potholders, and scrunchies oh my!
There is no way you can tell me this isn't a good look.
This morning we gathered back up for a bagel breakfast--we couldn't pass up an opportunity to all have another meal together. My favorite topics of conversation were the smartest Camp T counselors and our favorite Nike shorts. A dog also almost escaped but thanks to Emily's quick reaction time his owner got him before he could escape.
Rach and I went to church and we sang three of our favorite songs, "Mighty to Save," "Blessed Be Your Name," and "Never Let Go."
Dommer got back to campus just in time for us to have a quick date at Panera. I miss seeing her all the time so I was thankful to get to catch up and hear about Alpha Chi and Young Life in Bloomington.
Traveling and see so many wonderful friends this weekend was such a gift.
"It doesn't happen overnight, and it doesn't happen the moment you decide to make the call or show up at the group. But I'm finding that it's there waiting for you in all sorts of unexpected places, that when you do what you love with people who love the same thing, something is born into your midst and begins to connect you. It might not be officially recognized, but then it doesn't need to be.
When you walk with someone, listen to their story, carry their burden, play with their kids, that's community. When you pray for them in the middle of the night because their face popped into your mind, when you find yourself learning from them and inviting them more and more often into the family places in your life, that's community, and wherever you find it, it's always a gift."