31 People(s): The Friendgroup

The Friendgroup! You’ve heard about them three times already when I’ve talked about Micki, Molly, and Sara and a little bit about our beginnings. I’ll recap the way the formation of The Friendgroup went down. Micki and I met right before we started MC. Molly had transferred in the year before. Micki and Molly knew of each other from All-State youth choir. I had met Molly randomly the summer before I started MC. Anna and Megan transferred in at the same time as me and Micki from another community college. We met Anna and Megan at the very first transfer game night Molly hosted via BSU. All five of us decided to go through rush together. Micki knew Leah, who had been at MC a year already, from high school and their community college, but soon we all knew her too! Molly knew Stacy and Sara from their hometown and I knew them from our community college. Stacy joined the MC crew the next year. Brownhair met us when she transferred in that next year too. She lived on our floor in the dorm and was roommates with a mutual friend of Micki/Molly/Leah/etc. We basically occupied an entire hall at MC! Our friend group and a younger friend group we were also friends with took over 5th Floor East. You can’t convince me that better college years than ours exist! Sara, Leslie, and Sarah P were added on through camp. Micki, Molly, Sara, Sarah, Stacy, Brownhair, and I worked at Camp Garaywa for at least one summer and most of us multiple summers.  All of us worked camp with at least one or two of us together in different combinations. Sarah P eventually transferred to MC too. Sara graduated from Southern Miss and Leslie graduated from Ole Miss. The rest of us (me, Molly, Micki, Anna, Megan, Leah, Brownhair, Stacy, and Sarah P) graduated from MC between the years of 2004-2008.

I could write a book with all the hilarious memories from our college days! We had so much fun. We laughed A LOT. We stayed up to the wee hours of the morning A LOT. We studied a little (we all graduated!). We talked about our many crushes A LOT. We watched A LOT of American Idol. We ate A LOT of pizza sticks from Pete’s. And you could probably assume that 8-12 girls together at any given time were not very quiet. We got in trouble a few times by RAs for being too loud. I have two favorite too loud moments. We got in trouble once for playing bunco on a tiled floor apparently past the hours that the girls under us wanted to be awake. Another time we got in trouble because Anna decided to try out her metal roller skates on the same tiled floor. We slept on roofs. We went to grab-a-dates. We fell in mud puddles (okay that was just me). We had the time of our lives! And we were all involved in things all over campus and knew lots of people on campus, but we were our favorites.

Sometime during college, we started visiting each other’s families as a group. Several people’s families would host us and we’d go away for the weekend and do all sorts of fun things! We fished. We went to quirky small town festivals. We rode (and fell off) party barges (not me that time!). We even sang together at the family church of whoever we were visiting that weekend and called ourselves Sheltering Tree. (Note, I basically just held a mic and lip synced.) As we started to graduate and no longer were able to live all day everyday dorm life together, we realized how special our friendships were! In an effort to not be just a group of girls who were friends in college once, we established Summerfest and Friendmas!

Summerfest was basically an extension of the weekend gatherings we started in college. We don’t get to do Summerfest anymore, but when we did it was a blast! We’d always stay at someone’s family’s cabin or lakehouse, swim, get sunburned, eat way too much, retell old stories, catch up on new stories, and as always, laugh A LOT. Summerfest has been replaced by weddings, baby showers, and meet the baby showers, which are all equally as fun. Friendmas is still going strong and is one of the things I look forward to more than anything! It’s always sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A different person hosts every year. Pictures are always a given (see below for my fav Friendmas pics over the years)! We eat and share recipes, we steal gifts from one another, we hug a lot, catch up on life, laugh as much as we always do, and get teary eyed when we have to leave.

By far one of the most fun things about being friends with someone since college is getting to see them fall in love and get married! We’ve all been at each wedding as bridesmaids, honorary bridesmaids, and/or the loudest cheerleaders. It’s pretty much an unspoken rule that a boyfriend isn’t real until he’s met The Friendgroup. It’s so fun to watch the husbands become friends with one another (and us) too! These ladies have married some keepers for sure who love us all and have all become pros at taking pictures of us. They play along at Friendmas too and bring guy gifts to steal from one another (though I don’t know if any of them have ever stolen, they don’t like the stealing drama as much as we do). And now they’re having babies! One of my favorite title’s in life is getting to be Aunt KK to my friend’s adorable kids.

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Brownhair (who is called that because we had two Erin’s on our hall and her descriptor was Erin Brownhair and then it just stuck), wife to Caleb, mother of Bennett, is 100% the prankster/instigator of the group. She grabs butts in pictures, tries to pick you up when she hugs you, and can’t be trusted in the best kind of way possible (I’d trust her with my life and secrets any day, but not in the dark because she does crazy things like dress up like a midget clown to terrify her friends). I get to see her semi-regularly and it makes me happy! Her and Caleb have to come to my area for meetings a lot and I just adore them. Anna, wife to Kellen, mom of Kingston, is a hilarious little fireball. I’m pretty sure her spirit animal is Lucile Ball. She really could be a stand-up comedian. Megan, wife to Chad, mom to Sarah Bentley and Susanna, is one of my go-to prayer warriors! She’s also one of the sassiest people I know and may have passed down that sass to her gorgeous little girls. Stacy, wife to Brandon, has my heart! We’re cut from the same cloth, have similar family backgrounds, and I have and will always love her to pieces (and hope we get to have a reunion soon!). Sarah, wife to Kyle, mom to Avyn and Ayla, is also one of the funniest people I know. She makes me laugh endlessly, but she also has such a tender and caring heart. And her family has loved me like their own more times than I can count! She also let me sleep on her dorm room couch every night when I didn’t want to accept that I had graduated (and had a real apartment I could have been sleeping in!). Leslie loves her family fiercely, more than I’ve ever seen anyone love their family. She’s an encouraging presence among our group. Leah, wife to Brock, mom to Vanna, is one of the brightest, joyful people I know! Her smile lights up a room and her laugh is contagious. And you’ve heard lots already about Sara, Micki, and Molly already. This goes without saying, but they’re all gorgeous too! I told y’all, I have beautiful friends. I love these ladies so much!

And allow me to take a very serious moment (I kid about the seriousness) to say there are two very fantastic girls left in this wonderful friend group who are still single. And we just happen to be roommates! I could list many reasons why you should tell your single guy friends about about me and Sara, but who wouldn’t want to marry into The Friendgroup?! Sara and I are forever taking applications for eligible bachelors. Feel free to use our amazing friend group as one of many selling points if you happen upon either of the following types of guys. 1. Dark hair, dark eyes, bearded, drives a truck, smells delightful, loves Jesus, has a little meat on his bones, and toleration/like for country music is a bonus. (Clearly for Sara, y’all know I hate country music.) 2. Doesn’t drive a truck (or at least not one with any camo or big tires), doesn’t like country music (or at least doesn’t like ONLY country music), big, bearded, Jesus loving, foodie, likes eating baked goods, huggable, quirky lumberjack. And I’ll just leave this gem of a picture I found while looking for Friendgroup pics right here. Still single and ready to mingle world!

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Seriously through, my life wouldn’t be the same without these girls! I never feel like I don’t fit in with them or am out of place regardless of my marital status or child status. And I know they all long for me to find my Friendgroup husband (and Sara to find hers) as much as I do! But I also know that even if I never get married, I’ll fit just as perfectly with them forever. Every single one of us knows The Friendgroup is where you go when you need prayer warriors, encouragement, and to be reminded that you’re loved. Jesus is at the core of who we are. We’ve seen each other experience life’s greatest joys, greatest losses, and all the silliness in between. According to the internets (via Micki), Amy Poehler once said, “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” I’m beyond blessed to have found these girls in college and know my life has been changed many times because of them. Now let’s start planning this year’s Friendmas already!

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This is part of my 31 People(s) I Love series. I’ll be writing about 31 people/peoples that I adore! Click here if you would like a list of all the posts in this series.

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