Thirteen years ago we met the Johnson family in Minnesota. It was during a very hard year financially and emotionally in our family’s life – but being with them and their church, TCBC, made that year one of the best of my life. From the moment we all met we were instant best friends…and for a little six year old who had never really had a good friend her age, it was the most amazing thing in the world. (and it still is.) I count every single one of them to be my dearest and best of friends.
So we finally got to see them last week after almost nine years of separation. (we moved to North Carolina eleven years ago for my dad to pastor another church, while they continued on in MN, with Pastor Johnson pastoring TCBC) The last time we had seen them, we’d all been pretty little, without many of the concerns and responsibilities that we have now. (not that we’re all fifty years old. ;) ) But when you and your friends go from being nine/ten/eleven/twelve to eighteen/nineteen/twenty/twenty-one, that jump seems astronomical. Nine years is all of high school, all of middle school, and some of college; it’s getting your first job, buying a car, and becoming an adult. So I was just a little worried about whether or not they’d be the same, if our relationships would be as wonderful as ever. And you know what? They were, and they’re even better now. We’ve gotten older, but everyone is the same (in a good way!) – just a more grown-up version of who they were. That week was the best ever – being with them, being at Tomm and Ari’s wedding, getting to see our old friends at TCBC – and leaving was just about one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I debated whether or not to post photos and how many to post, but I just decided to put up as many as I felt like, even the not-so-technically-perfect ones. (thank you, Alisha, for taking so many photos! You did a beautiful job, and I’m glad you decided not to keep my camera. ;) And thanks Alex and Anthony, too, for the photos you guys took!)
(Don’t shoot me, guys, for putting this one up. ^^ You know I had to do it!)
Snow in April? yeah, that would only happen in MN. ;)
Ari, the then bride-to-be, and the current Mrs. Carlson!
I got to celebrate my nineteenth birthday on our last day there, and getting to be with them was literally the best birthday present ever.
Both our families! We’re just missing Tomm and Ari (they were on their honeymoon) and Abbie, who was sick. =(
Alisha, we loved all the notes on the car!
And I’ll admit, we’ve all been pretty nostalgic this past week. It’s been “oh, the last time I did that I was at the Johnson’s house,” or “the last time I did this we were at TCBC.” (This morning for me it was “last time I drank straight up coffee was when Alisha and I had waffles for breakfast while we listened to Anne and Maria snore.”) Hey, don’t laugh. ;)