Since I was a CILT in 2003 I've been making regular visits up to Chicago to visit Tecumseh friends. The early days were to visit Meg, Colleen and Sara in Bloomfield Hills, then Fitzie in the City, later Kata and our girls in Western Springs. Today so many people I love are still sprinkled all over the city. This NYE I got to hang out with so many rock stars in just about 24 hours. It was a glorious whirlwind.
I showed up at Bridget Duffy's door and she jumped in the car. We drove around the block to the Lombard's house to surprise our friend Lauren. Luckily her older sister Rachel was home too and their mom who ushered us inside. It was probably the funniest 30 minutes of the entire trip.
My friend Chrissy Crowe and I have had the blessing of being a counselor to a collection of the same kids over the years. Those girls were Warriors this past summer and one of the reasons I love week 9.
We have developed a tradition at reuniting at Noodles in La Grange with this crew of girls that live in the suburbs. They're funny, sweet, silly, kind, interesting and just full of so much joy. It was a great time being together again.
I was beyond excited that it worked out to see my pals Kelly, Erin, Brenna and Gaby this afternoon. They were in the Longhouse two summers ago, Brenna and Gaby worked DC and Kelly and Erin have just started college. I loved getting to catch up and laugh with these friends that I've missed so much.
For 7 years now I've had the privilege of celebrating New Year's Eve with the Houghton family. We started in Carmel, moved down to Broad Ripple and this year we gathered in their new house in Oak Park. This family is one of the greatest I've ever known and they are so missed back in Indy. We celebrated with the Houghtons, KCraig's family, Hannah and Riley and their friend Tyler who is on staff in Chicago. It was great company and KCraig and I decided we would drive up on a school night for a party like this.
Our NYE parties always include plenty of great food, games, deep questions for the whole group to discuss and a list of the most important things that were part of the last year. I like getting everyone's input and looking back at the lists of the last few years too.
I woke up early on New Year's Day to go meet my friends Margot, Meg and Callan for breakfast downtown. These three were with me in Teton at the end of last summer and they'll all be in CILTs this upcoming summer. We're thankful for pancakes, Just Dance and camp friendships that have stuck with us.
Here's to a new year my friends. I'm praying yours has started off with good people, joy for where you're at and hope for the future.