Monday, September 2, 2013

A heart-shaped cake and sprinkles of joy

Nearly 23 years of friendship piled onto my porch swing and memories flooded my heart. Growing up next-door neighbors, Katie and I used to sit on our childhood front porches dreaming of the day we could drive away from our seemingly boring lives. Now we dream of when we can drive across the state to see each other to escape our chaotic routines.

She's like home to me. Wherever we are, we pick up where we left off. We interrupt each other's stories with updates that lead us to many tangents that usually find their way back to where we started. We laugh at jokes nobody else would think are funny.

And we grin at each other across all the noise when our three boys and one girl play. Seeing our kids be friends is one of the sweetest parts of a life-long friendship. 

We had sent Katie's boys a birthday present in the mail recently because Simon just turned 3 and Charley is getting ready to turn 5. {And, just a side note, Charley doesn't like cheese, therefore he calls it all stinky cheese, so I had to get him this when I saw "stinky cheese" in the title. And, really, who doesn't like cheese?!}

Cate, my 6-year-old girl who remembers everything, suggested making Charley and Simon a cake. So we did. She chose the heart-shaped pan. She and Ben chose the aqua blue icing with fish-shaped sprinkles. And we baked the cake one afternoon and then decorated it before school the next morning.

And it was then, while I was spreading blue icing onto a heart-shaped cake, that I forgot the frustrations of the week, laid down the emotions that had been distracting me, let go once again of thinking I could control our next steps, and let my heart be filled with joy.

Joy comes from friends who know you better than anyone but love you anyway. Joy comes when you're raising the next generation to know friendship. Joy comes when your girl wants to make a couple of boys a cake. Joy comes when the conversation that has been happening since October 1990 continues into college and married life and motherhood. 

While my husband was snapping many pictures trying to get all four kids to look and even smile, he finally said, "Silly faces!" and everyone but Simon participated. And then Greg said, "These last ones are good ones." They're the good ones because they're the real ones, where joy overflows from a heart-shaped cake, ongoing conversations, lots of boy energy, and history piled on a porch swing. 

{Edited 9.3.13: I'm going to link this with Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party. She's asking people to reflect on their summers and while this doesn't directly do that, it actually does. What I learned this summer is to be more present and continue my journey to embrace imperfection. Life is lived in the moments, and this is a reflection on some moments this past week as summer temperatures still soaked our bodies in sweat and filled our hearts with joy.

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  1. A beautiful testimony of friendship. Thanks for sharing Kristin. Have a wonderful Labor Day.

  2. KristinHillTaylor9/02/2013 10:28 AM

    Thanks, Beth. Hope you're enjoying the long weekend with your husband!

  3. Kristin,
    What adorable pictures of you all...what a gift to have such a friendship and for your kids to be part of it :)

  4. KristinHillTaylor9/04/2013 7:43 AM

    Hi, Dolly! This is one of those things nobody tells you - watching you kids befriend your dear friend's kids is the BEST. Hope you're having a good week!