Early in the fall of the year 2000, a girl I barely knew popped her head into my dorm room and told me a boy she knew liked me, but she didn't think I should date him. That's the moment Kristina and I became friends (and, as an aside, I didn't date the boy). Our freshman year of college we lived on different halls in the same dorm and became good friends. Our sophomore year I was a Resident Assistant in that dorm, and she and several of our other friends moved into my hall so we could all be closer to each other.
Our junior and senior years we were roommates in one of the duplexes that our school had for upperclassmen. We did all sorts of things together: dressed in crazy costumes, drove all the way from Arkansas to Boston/Rhode Island/New York for fall break one year (we actually had this idea that we should try at least drive through all 48 continental states before we graduated - I think we made it to about 24), worked out, and studied.
We also went to (what seemed like) hundreds of rugby games together - even ones that involved long road trips across western Texas to get to New Mexico.
After college we backpacked in Europe together for a month. Then we lived together for another couple of years while she got her Master's in history and I got mine in counseling. At the end of those two years she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. She caught the bouquet.
A little over a year after that, I was a bridesmaid in her wedding.
She and her husband moved to the U.K., where he is from. A couple of months after their wedding, my husband and I went to visit them. We even spent time with her in-laws.
She came back to the states to visit when she was pregnant with her first child.
And again, when I was pregnant with mine (although not very ... I wasn't showing yet). I got to meet her little Eleri when she was 4 or 5 months old.
She was back in the states when Liam was 3 months old.
Last year, Kristina and her husband moved back to the states, where they live just two hours away from us. This weekend my sweet husband let me take off for Oklahoma on Friday so I could go spend the night with her and her daughter while her husband was out of town, and then attend the baby shower for her 2nd little one on Saturday. We are both pregnant with little girls this time around - Cora and Lowri will probably be just about 2 months apart in age. We laughed as we laid around chatting Friday night: both of us with big, cumbersome bellies, chugging on our water bottles, and interrupting conversation every 15 minutes when one or the other of us had to go to the bathroom. Over a decade ago, when we were 18 or 19, we dreamed about still being friends when we were "grown-ups". Our husbands needed to get along with each other. Our kids would play with each other. I don't think we had a clue how difficult being a grown-up would be, and I KNOW we had no idea how amazing it would be.
We may not live down the street from one another (which was another plan we discussed at one point), but it is so special to have a friend with whom I've shared so many life stages and adventures. I'm looking forward to seeing what our pictures look like in another 11 years! (You can find her blog here)
Lowri & Cora's first picture together!