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Chapter 3- Bakersfield is NOT Baker.

Baker has the worlds tallest thermometer. Bakersfield has oil fields, Buck Owens, and really good people. (I just had to clarify.)

The entire purpose of this trip was to have some girl time with 2 girls that have been my best friends growing up and through my adult life. My little sister Abby. And my good, good, best, best friend of 28 years, Stephanie.

Let's talk about Abby first. She and I are 6 years apart, and weren't close at all while we were growing up. I don't know why. It wasn't until I got married that we started actually being friends. And figured out that we have some things in common. And that we eat pizza from Costco the same way, and have to wipe our fingers on our napkin after every bite. We love the same stores, the same shoes, the same nachos, the same chunky pieces of jewelery. The same things drive us crazy. And though some differences remain, we have become the best of friends and sisters. I love spending time with her, and laughing, talking, and venting about life. It's always good times when I'm with Abs.

As for Stephanie. We were 4 when we met, and
were inseparable since that day. We have so
many great (and some not so great- 5th grade was hard on our friendship) memories. And even though through high school we both had a different set of friends, we were always there for each other when the others weren't, and summertime had a way of bringing us back together.

Stephanie was the friend I was referring to in my post about adoption (apparently I was in a dramatic mood when I wrote that one)- the one who was giving it some heartfelt consideration. Magically, but more miraculously, a baby landed in her lap. And now they are the proud parents to baby Grant. (I like to think they named him after me, but she liked the name way before I got married.)

It was so good to see her, and baby Grant, and to FINALLY meet her 3.5 year old, Elyse. (That girl is immediately entertaining.) It was also good to sit and chat with her mom, sisters, in-laws, and grandparents- to catch up and realize how much I've missed these people, and how good it was growing up with these people in my life.

My visit reminded me of the quote above. It's a good feeling to be able to spend time with people that know and love me... that really know and really love me. And to just be me. To talk about how much life has changed, and how good the good ol' days were. You know, that "Cheers" feeling... where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. It was good.

And baby Grant is a very sweet and a very good baby. I was lucky enough to get to hold him for a long, long time. That's me holding Grant in the collage of pictures above (I stole it from Jocelyn, fellow blogger and Bakersfieldian). Don't mind the shine on my face. It's the curse of the hot Bakersfield sun. There's no way to avoid it. Mary Kay products aren't even strong enough to ward it off.

ANYWAY, the last highlight of my trip to Bakersfield was visiting with my brother Matt and his family. I LOVE them, and miss them
so much. His wife just graduated from hygienist school (so proud of her) and their girls are amazingly beautiful! And sweet. Again, it was a "Cheers" moment. And I hope someday we can all live closer to one another. This 10 hour drive, or 4 hours by air junk has got to stop.


Heidi and Rich said…
I still can't believe you got to come. That was so awesome to have you there. You and Steph are meant to be best friends...I always secretly wished to be included in your group. But let's not forget that horrific year 1992-1993. Do you remember the early morning pick-ups on the way to seminary. Steph did not like me being there but you and your brothers made me feel wanted. (Except when you two would tease Mikey and I.) Anyways- it's amazing what a few years can do to a friendship. You and Abby are buds and Steph and I are friends - I too wish I could live closer to my sister. Well thanks again for being there. I wihs I could have chatted more. Tell Matt and his family Hi!! I loved hanging out with his wife (back in the high school days) and would love to say hi to her sometime.
Laura said…
I am glad to hear that you continue to maintain your long time friendships. I have maintained some of my friends more than 30 years, too.

Also, if I am correct, driving by Bakersfield has a huge Earthquake fault??? I would be panicked if I live nearby the fault.
Hey Maughan said…
When I first met Brian and told him where I was from, he said: "Oh, Bakersfield--isn't that the place with the big thermometer?"

He's lucky I still married him.

The recount of your trip is entertaining. For your sake, I'm glad your back and tucked in to the comfort of home, but it sounds like your trip was well worth it.

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