Hey, Really…Nobody’s Cuter Than You!

Have you heard of Melanie Shankle? I need you to hear of Melanie Shankle! She blogs over at Big Mama Blog, and it is so fun! She recently wrote a book called Nobody’s Cuter Than You, a memoir about the beauty of friendship. One of my sweet friends dropped this on my doorstep, and it is a treasure of a book! This book has gotten me thinking about the many milestones in life that would be way more BLAND and un-enjoyable without the friends we share them with. Here’s a look into some of my friendship journey…Brace yourselves, ladies. This post may be way too many pictures and way too huge of a look into my life. :) But I hope it sparks memories and feelings of thankfulness for your friendships too!

I’ve moved around to 8 million different places in my short lifetime. Okay, maybe just 7 total states, but way too many houses and apartments. We would move to a place, settle a bit, make some friends, then pick back up and move once again. Therefore, I don’t have any childhood friends. When I moved to Williamston (itty bitty town) it amazed me that these people have known each other since they were little babies! That’s just too cool! By the time I was in middle school, we had settled down in Tennessee. Thankfully! I gained an amazing group of friends in high school. Friends that kept me out of trouble and helped me grow in my relationship with Christ. Friends who walked with me through self esteem issues, breakups, crushes, boys who wouldn’t commit, boy band and Zac Efron obsessions, terrible music taste, death of family members, Prom dress shopping, girl drama, and MANY talks about life.

7

Oh yes, you get a glimpse into my high school life!

8

Prom, circa 2008.

I never thought college friends could mean as much to me as my wonderful group of high school friends, but I was WRONG! Thankfully! I grew a million times more in college than I ever did in high school. My friends walked with me as I wrestled with what I believed about God, went through more heart wrenching deaths and grief like I’d never known before, more boy drama, breakups, crushes, rejections, self-esteem issues, all while sipping many cups of coffee and throwing all-nighter study sessions (with a little GOOFY-ness thrown in).

9

10

And here I am now…in the “adult” phase of life. When did we get here? How in the world does time flash before my eyes so quickly? I am extremely blessed to have the friends I do now. We are walking through many things together: figuring out how to deal with finances, buying cars (and hopefully mini-vans soon), weddings, marriages, master’s programs, miscarriages, death of loved ones, birth of babies, our bodies changing (especially after babies), big girl jobs, intersecting our lives as often as we can—yet feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

11

Photo by Mary Lauren Photography

20

Reunion weekends are the BEST!

23

21

After 26 hours in labor, this friend BEASTED giving birth!

15

Adult life can be hard…there are often many miles between friends, however these adult friendships are beautiful relationships that often get us through tough times. These are the ones you hold onto. My friends and I are experiencing some of life’s greatest and hardest milestones together. We weren’t meant to do this life alone…there’s no way possible. We must encourage one another, point each other to Jesus when things in our life seem to be crumbling around us–When marriages fall apart, babies are lost in the womb, or our bodies are way too tired to even care for our newborn. We MUST rely on one another. They are the people who love us, even when they see the worst parts of us. They’re the ones we laugh, cry, and turn into 12 year old girls with. These milestones just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Melanie Shankle says it best:

“There are probably only a handful of times in our lives when someone who will change us forever walks in—when we find someone we can love with our whole hearts, who will challenge us and shape us and make us feel like the world is safer and brighter just because they are in it. A person who loves us for exactly who we are, yet teaches us to be better because of who they are and how they live their life.”

Grab you and your bestie a copy of Nobody’s Cuter Than You. Surprise her with a little note of how much she means to you. Take time to appreciate your friendships and the life you get to share with one another!”