(Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have here of a little Emily. Sorry it's not clearer.)
She was a grade ahead of me in school, and I looked up to her as one a little older and wiser. Emily was even the one who told me where babies came from-- in kindergarten! We walked to school together and played after school. We had sleepovers, or attempted to anyway. If Em came to my house, she was never there when I woke up. She could never last the night away from home, and I always woke up crying because she wasn't there anymore. I think we eventually gave up, and I just always slept over at her house.
Our families spent nearly every holiday together. This picture, judging from the ages of us and our siblings, was our last Christmas Eve in Cleveland in 1991.
In the summer of 1992, my family moved from Cleveland to Zanesville, Ohio, three hours away. Em and I were 9 years old. Her family would move to Oregon two years later, but even though we lived far apart, we always kept in touch. Over the years we saw each other only a few times. One of those times was when we went to EFY together at Ricks College. Check out these awesome pics:
Eventually, Em and I both went to BYU. We never lived together, but we still saw each other. Em is the one who introduced me to the deliciousness of Magleby's Fresh french toast. Yum! Even if we hadn't talked in months, each time we did, it was as if nothing had changed.
I wasn't at all surprised when Em got married at age 20. She was always "boy crazy". ;-) And she was always mature. I was so happy for her that she ended up with Nate. They are so great together. And totally hot!
I remember Em telling me before she was married how much she loved the name Henry. I thought she was kinda crazy, but a couple years later she really did name her adorable boy Henry. And you know what? I like it.
Now Emily lives in Texas and has made quite the name for herself as a blogger. Her writing is fresh and honest and funny and sweet. She captures moments so beautifully with words. I wish I had her talent so I could properly pay tribute to her in this post. I remember how fun her emails always were back in high school. Even then, she was a great writer. And in college she would write me the sweetest "love note" emails full of encouragement and love.
I wish I had more recent pictures of the two of us, but it's been a long time since we've seen each other. I'm so grateful for these blogs that keep us connected. Emily is beautiful and talented and has grown up into such an amazing person, wife, and mother. I'm jealous of all those in Texas who get to hang out with her. Em and I will probably never live near each other again, but I know we will always be friends. It's so rare to find a friend at 4 years old who you know you will never lose. I'm so glad our dads both decided to go to Cleveland. And that our families are still friends. In fact, Em's parents recently visited mine in New Mexico. Mostly, I am grateful to call this amazing, talented, gorgeous, hard-working, kind, thoughtful, [insert other wonderful adjectives here] woman my friend.
I love you, Emily! Happy 25th Birthday!