Monday, July 28, 2008

Memories

This is Kristina, from Confusaled. A few days ago, Leah mentioned she was going to be super busy and had lined up a guest blogger or two. I'm one of those guests! If you're a regular visitor to this blog, I'm assuming it's because you know and love Leah (and/or her kids) just like me. So, since we all love Leah, I'm going to be honest with you. I've got a complaint about her blog, and it's a big one. While I LOVE her blog, and I love seeing all the pictures of the kids, I just want to know, where's Leah in all of this?

Like most moms, she is so proud of her kids, and has so many stories to tell about them, that she often forgets to tell us about herself. Oh, every once in awhile she'll throw us a bone and talk about what she's up to, or a picture of her and one of the kids, but that's pretty rare. I thought that since I was stealing her blog for the day, and she gave me free reign over topics, that I would take this chance to share some of my favorite memories of Leah with you...just don't tell her, okay? She's too modest, and would be embarrassed.

Leah and I met, way back in ninth grade in Mr. Parker's English class. I was still a "new girl" even though I had lived in the area since the seventh grade. (Back then, it was a very small town, and most kids had been in school with each other since preschool so a seventh grade arrival was late in the game.) I didn't really know anybody in any of my classes. I had a few friends, but wasn't lucky enough to have classes with them. Anyhow, Leah and I ended up in the same English class, and I think we sat near each other. Her memory is much better than mine, so she may be able to fill in / correct some of my lapses. We started to talk, and had a lot of fun. I know we met at swim team practice about a week or two before school started, but I don't think we really started to talk and goof off until English class. We exchanged phone numbers a week or two into school. I remember that it was around the time of the first home football game of our high school careers. We were SO excited! She was going to call me and we were going to arrange to go to the game together.

I went home and told my mom all about "this really cool girl" in my English class. Mom was glad I was making friends. As soon as I was done telling her about it, Mom reminded me that Murphy, our German Shepard, needed a bath and it was my turn to give him one. Now, Murphy was GIANT. He was part German Shepard and part Great Dane, and he hated baths. Over the years we learned that the best way to get Murphy clean was to give him a shower. I would put on a bathing suit, and then drag the dog into the shower and close the sliding door. He couldn't get out, the bathroom didn't get soaked, and life was much easier.

While I was in the shower, I heard the phone ring and I heard my mom pick it up. She came into the bathroom, and I heard her say, "No, Kristina isn't available right now. She's taking a shower with the dog. Can I have her call you back?" Ack!! She told Leah I was taking a shower with my dog!! Not that I was giving the dog a bath, or simply that I was taking a shower! I was mortified. I started yelling for my mom, asking her to explain WHY I was in the shower with the dog. Though it was normal for our family, I SO didn't want Leah to think I was weird and never call again. Mom either didn't hear me, or didn't feel like explaining, so she hung up the phone and told me to call Leah back when I was done.

I hurried through the rest of the shower, and called Leah as soon as I could. She was a little confused and concerned at first, but after I explained everything, she started laughing and couldn't stop. I was relieved. High school girls can be so mean and so catty - I was afraid I had blown my chance at getting to know Leah. Lucky for me, though, Leah has such a great sense of humor that she got a kick out of the whole thing.

The beginning of a beautiful friendship was cemented in place.

From that point on, Leah and I were great friends. We did all sorts of things together. Swim team, football games, basketball games, watched plays at school, spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone; you name a stereotypical high school activity, and we did it. (Everything except alcohol, drugs or sex, that is! We were good girls.)

Leah spent so much time with my family, it's as if she were another sister. In fact, when I got my learner's permit, Leah was the first person I ever drove that I was not related to. She had come over after school for a few hours, and it was time to take her home. I climbed into the driver's seat, and Leah climbed into the back seat. We waited for my mom. And waited. And waited. Finally, my mom walked out the front door. I didn't see her at first, though, because I was turned around talking to Leah. When Leah started laughing hysterically, I turned around. When I turned around, I was horrified to see my mom wearing knee pads, elbow pads and a bike helmet. She got into the passenger seat, put her feet up on the dashboard, and said, "I've assumed the position: you can go." I was so embarrassed. If it had been anyone other than Leah in the back seat, I think I probably would have cried. But Leah is the type of person who can find the humor in any situation, and with her help, I got over the humiliation pretty quickly.

Leah is also usually up for an adventure. We had many cooking disasters over the years (her children appear to be well fed, so I think she got better at it...too bad I didn't!). Leah recently reminded me about two mishaps in particular. Around Halloween one year, we decided to try to bake pumpkin seeds. You know, like they do with sunflower seeds. It so didn't work. It was charred, yet somehow also undercooked? Another time, for Spanish class, we were making pan de dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead bread). I don't know what we did wrong, but it never rose. It came out of the oven flat and, well, dead. Those two instances prompted Leah to give me a card for my birthday that said, "For your birthday I was going to buy you a set of pots and pans. But then I pictured you using them and fell down laughing." It was a great card...the first time she gave it to me. The following year, she gave me the exact same card on accident! We laughed till we cried when we realized it!

I love everything about Leah. She has a great sense of humor, she is adventurous, she is kind, she is loyal, and she is beautiful both inside and out (if she tries to deny this, she's a liar...and I don't think she wants to be called a liar). She is honest, fair, and a great friend. And, she's an even better mom. I know - I've seen her in action.

After high school, Leah and I sort of drifted apart. I don't know why that is, but it's true. I went away for college, and sort of lost touch with most friends from high school. I missed Leah, and thought of her often, though. I graduated from college, and moved to the other side of the state. When I got engaged, one of my first thoughts was about who I wanted to be my bridesmaids. I was sad that I was no longer in touch with Leah, because she was one of only two friends I had always imagined with me on my wedding day.

Coincidentally, around that same time, Leah was shopping at a small little local store that was sort of like a Hallmark. My baby sister, who missed my friend, too, just happened to work there. On the day Leah happened in, my sister was working. They exchanged contact information, and my sister passed it on to me. I don't remember if I called Leah or if she called me. I do remember, that the day we finally got back in touch was the day she found out she was going to be a mommy for the first time. I was SO thrilled for her! (This may sound corny, but I've always had a special spot in my heart for Emily - it's as if she had something to do with reintroducing Leah and I. In fact, even though she was just starting to walk, she was the flower girl at my wedding. She held her mommy's hand and walked down the aisle. She stole the show! Here are a few pictures of that day. I wish I had more recent pics, too, but since we live so far away from each other, unfortunately I don't.)
Because Emily Grace was just barely walking, we thought that flowers would be too much for her to carry. We decided to do pinwheels instead! We put pinwheels on the rows of chairs, and Em carried one with her. Oh, and another brag on Leah - she MADE Emily's dress, all by herself.



Look at how sweet she is! Those flowers in her hair are too cute! You can see her pinwheel, too.




Leah was going to walk with Mike S. one of my husband's best friends. Mike bent down to talk to Emily, and basically fell in love. The next picture proves it.




Mike's STILL looking at Emily! And look at everyone in the chairs...they're all looking at her too! I wasn't exaggerating when I said she stole the show. (Please don't look at the aisle runner...I hated it but my mom insisted on it. You can also see the pinwheels at the end of the rows.)


Ever since we got connected again, we've kept in touch pretty regularly. We don't use the phone even a fraction of the amount of time we used to, but we e-mail all the time. And, this blog is a great way for me to keep up with what's going on in her life. I'm not as good about updating my blog as she is (how on earth does she find the time to do it EVERY day?), but I try. I did have a brief hiatus, but I'm back now.

I'm honored that Leah allowed me to be a part of her blog. This was a lot of fun! What are some of your favorite memories of Leah? Or, what do you like best about her?

8 comments:

Jodi said...

What a great post. Leah, your friends really love you a lot!

I love the wedding picture with baby Emily and Mommy. So adorable!

And really, how DOES she blog every day? It blows my mind!

I hate that life gets in the way sometimes and we lose contact with our good friends. Thank goodness you guys found eachother again. That's awesome. :0)

Cattigan said...

By far this is one of my favorite Leah posts! Thanks, Kristina! Great choice for a guest blogger! I also wonder where she finds the time to blog AND be able to give so many of us a hard time about not doing it as often! Kristina, thank you so much for sharing those stories. I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants!

Kaci said...

Awhhhhhhhhh!!! I've seen these pics before and love them!! So beautiful!

Auntie said...

What a great post. Leah is a very special lady. She is my sweet niece who was my flower girl 25 years ago. She has grown into a wonderful friend.

Betsy said...

OMG I am sitting here crying now!! Hormones I swear, its the hormones. Not the fact that I LOVE Leah for many of the reasons above!

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you Kristina for sharing! I can hardly believe Miss Emily is six years old let alone that Leah Mae is 30 years old and a wonderful mother of three beautiful children, a wife and a friend to so many and a fabulous grown-up daughter who is also my friend!!!!!

Leah Mae's Mama said...

I'm not really "anonymous", I just clicked "publish your comment" before I wrote that I'm Leah Mae's Mama.

Jessica said...

Leah is SUCH a great person. She is always willing to help others before thinking about herself. She is a great mom and a great friend. I am so lucky to be joining the family soon. She will post pictures of Emily as a flower girl in my wedding and JUST IMAGE the change! WOW

Thanks for a great BLOG and thanks to Leah and her family so who she is now!