This family holds a very special place in my heart . . . Erin & I first met when we attended the same small Bible college in southwestern Ohio. Our rooms were on the same dorm hall, and we quickly formed a friendship that has only grown stronger over the years.
Erin has a smile that lights up any space she is in, and even though we grew up in different states, and then met our husbands and moved even more miles away from each other, she is one of those friends who I could always call or text, and we could pick right up where we left off the last time.
Over the past several years, Erin & I and a 3rd friend from our college days (Jamie) have gotten on to the app Marco Polo. We all live in different states, but we have done so much video chatting back and forth, keeping up on our daily lives, our families, and the crazy stories we have to share.
Last fall over Labor Day, we all met up in Omaha and spent an amazing weekend together. Even though Erin & I had seen each other a few times in person over the years, I hadn't seen Jamie since her wedding day 16+ years ago. So to be able to see each other again after all of those years . . . it was incredible. We laughed until our sides hurt (or until we almost peed ourselves--hello motherhood) and even cried as we talked about life and different things we were going through . . . that weekend was such a gift to be together.
In January, Erin hopped onto our video chat with the results of some recent scans she had had done. Over 10 years ago, she battled and beat breast cancer. But she had some weird symptoms that had recently shown up and was currently on a chemo pill for a few tiny spots that had appeared on her lungs. And out of the blue, our worlds were all rocked with the news that doctors had discovered cancer in her brain. Let me just say, there is nothing that can prepare you to hear those words from one of your best friends.
If she didn't do any treatment, they gave her several months. With chemo & radiation, their best hopes were 6 months of life. So, of course, Erin put on her boxing gloves once again and is in the battle for her life. And let me just tell you, this girl not only fights well, but in between punches, she is pointing everyone around her straight to the heart of Jesus. She challenges me with her strength and her spirit of peace, even in the midst of the battle.
At the end of May, she reached a major milestone . . . her 40th birthday. So her family threw a party for her on a Saturday afternoon, and Mark & I made the trip to go and celebrate with them. Jamie and her husband Jeff also drove down from Nebraska, and we had a wonderful (albeit, short) time together again.
On Sunday morning, we all went over to Aaron & Erin's home, and I took some pictures of this amazing family. Cade is just about a month older than our Ian, and then Libby is 7, and she adds such a fun spunk to the crew. Then, we just hung out and talked for several hours before giving big hugs, saying "see ya later's" and hitting the road to head back home.
Here are some of my favorites from one of my favorite family's . . .
Jamie, Erin, & I 💕