Posts in "Friends"
Two Years Ago in Vegas
Two Years Ago in Vegas | Freckled Italian

Our trip to Las Vegas started as a belated bachelorette party and eventually turned into a quadruple-date vacation with two of my college roommates, one of their best friends, and all of our significant others.

Raquel’s friend Whitney very casually mentioned that she wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Britney Spears’ show sometime and I think we all surprised her as we very aggressively purchased tickets, booked flights, and found an Airbnb in what we later learned from multiple Uber drivers was an rather unsafe neighborhood.

We had never actually been on vacation together, but it ended up being one of the most fun trips ever because we’ve basically done everything else together, so a spontaneous check off of our collective bucket list (spoiler alert: Britney really is that good) seemed as good a time as any to start a new tradition. And while I had definitely been coming down with a case of baby fever for several months, I don’t think any of us knew at the time that we were basically getting together for one more rager before we all became mothers.

Raquel, Caroline, and I lived together for as long as we possibly could in college—I literally fled from my freshman roommate into Caroline’s empty dorm room the moment her randomly-assigned roommate pledged a sorority and bailed. Raquel and I grew up together at the same K-12 school in Roanoke, Virginia; so when she joined us at Longwood the following year we cobbled together a lease for an on-campus apartment as quickly as possible.

We shared a home and clothes and makeup and made cupcakes on a really oddly regular basis. We laughed, we cried, we studied and read and wrote papers and went to class and the gym and got tattooed and drank a lot of really cheap booze. We blasted Britney out of our laptops every weekend and watched a lot of Food Network in each other’s beds and hardly ever wore pants.

We graduated and fell out and got back together again, literally years later.

One of the best things I ever did was decide to work on these friendships—the ones that started so easily and almost slipped through my fingers through the tumultuous transition from college to “real life.” Caroline and Raquel have seen me at my best, my worst, my most anxious, most triumphant, saddest, happiest. It’s an honor to know someone as well as we know each other.

And now, two years later I wake up to a string of texts about all things motherhood—pumping and tummy time and baby sleep and diapers and clogged boobs and by the way where did my abs go and what the hell are we supposed to make for dinner tonight? And even though I’m a three hour time difference and a whole country away from them, I’ve never felt closer—maybe not even when we all lived in the same apartment.

Whether it’s Farmville or Nevada, a fraternity or a first birthday party, they are my people. Life might look different for us these days, but Vegas remains—and we’ll always have Britney.

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On Standing Still
Summer Holiday Memories | Freckled Italian

Before we moved to California, Rob and I made the drive down to Litchfield Beach in South Carolina to spend two Memorial Day weekends with my best friend Tina, her husband Michael, and a group of their friends--sometimes small, sometimes larger, but always so fun.

We've only done it twice, but every time spring and Daylight Savings rolls around I think about that little yellow house and the gorgeous screened-in patio where we'd all sit with margaritas and chips and queso dip and watermelon, playing cards and catching up and laughing for hours. Tina and I would always wake up early every morning and walk on the beach with cups of coffee, before heading back to the house to start breakfast while everyone else began to wake up.

Even when we're on vacation--whether in South Carolina or Sonoma--it's always the quiet moments with Tina that I treasure the most: walking through the grocery store together for bacon and eggs and kebab ingredients; going to barre together; making a pot of coffee in the morning before taking a walk. They remind me of what it might be like to live in the same place and not have to plan out our time together the way we have for so many years.

Tina and Michael came to visit us in California right after we moved in 2016, and again just a few weeks ago to meet Sophie. Once again there were those everyday things--getting Thai takeout on a Thursday night and a couple of gel manicures on a Saturday morning. It always simultaneously makes me feel happy and sad--thankful for my friendships that have withstood time and distance, and bittersweet nostalgia coupled with dreams of a life all in one city--where you live close enough to each other that they can stop in for coffee on a Sunday morning, or any other made-up scenario that I catch myself daydreaming about when California feels especially far from Richmond or Charlotte. My friend Corri and I used to never actually make plans on Sundays but somehow always end up in my backyard with our dogs and a bottle of wine. I miss that.

I was test driving a car yesterday and mentioned that we were from Virginia but had moved from North Carolina, and further down the road when he brought up front-wheel vs. four-wheel drive, I found myself talking about Minnesota. The salesman looked at me with surprise as he said "You sure have lived a lot of places!" It reminded me that so much of my life so far has been framed by a narrative that's fragmented into here and there and back then and one day. I've always had trouble standing still--focusing on being content with the present and not looking back longingly or charging forward aggressively. 

But now there's Sophie, and for once, I savor every single moment. Whether it's a smile or a nap or a snuggle, she changes so much and so fast that I constantly catch myself saying "I can't wait until she...well I can wait, I'm just excited for her to" laugh or crawl or sleep through the night. I pulled back into the dealership where Rob was pushing our daughter around in the stroller and realized that my whole life was standing there on that sidewalk.

I still dream of being able to drive to see my mom on the weekend, or having a Sunday night takeout and Game of Thrones tradition with our friends back east, of going to Target with my friend Paige and our kids, story time at the library, snacks on her kitchen island as the babies play.

But for now, where we are is just right. 

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Eight Years
Eight Years | Freckled Italian

March is so close that I feel it every day in the chilly morning air, as dew drops settle on the cherry blossom branches right outside my bedroom window, whispering brr brr brr but promising a warm afternoon that always forces me to slip out of the sweater I wear over my tank top and let my bare arms soak up the rays of sunlight on my drive home from the barre studio.

No matter where I am, this time of year always brings me right back to spring in Farmville, Virginia; where I was a junior in college, spending more and more time with a guy named Rob Peterson. My roommates and I shared clothes and sometimes fought over stupid shit but we loved each other and listened to a healthy mix of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and Taylor Swift; and Fearless was the soundtrack to any drive. I'd hop in my car and drive with the windows down from my apartment, across High Street and onto Back Hampden-Sydney road with the windows down. Once or twice a week I'd actually run those 6 miles, Love Story blaring in my headphones even though ol' Taylor obviously never very closely read Romeo and Juliet

My roommates and I were super young and never wore enough sunscreen and got burnt at baseball games; we drank too much almost every weekend and got tattoos in Richmond and sometimes drove 45 minutes to eat burritos from Chipotle. We read and studied and watched movies in bed together and never wore pants in our apartment; and we had our boyfriends over for weekend sleepovers where we'd make big, family-style breakfasts of pancakes and scrambled eggs to sustain multiple hours of Guitar Hero. 

It's crazy to me that Rob and I have been together for eight years now. Crazy in part because it's so significant--almost a decade!--but also because before he was in my life, he wasn't. One day I was getting ready for a Halloween party with the girls and without even knowing it, my life would never be the same. Just a few months later he's bringing me coffee in the library as I'm finishing up a poetry paper before spring break because he's my boyfriend and that's the kind of thing your college boyfriend does; and then a few years later he's standing in front of all our friends and family as I'm walking toward him in a wedding dress.

Time flies, so when spring comes around I like to slow down and really savor my nostalgia. I drink iced coffee and read poems from my Norton Anthology of American Literature and play the same four or five songs on repeat. I never want to forget that magical time--being only 20 years old, living with my best friends, reading non-stop, running really fast, wearing sundresses every weekend, and first getting to know the guy who ended up being my husband.

It's a love story, baby just say yes.

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