Monday, August 6, 2012

There Is A Reason

"There Is A Reason" - Alison Krauss

Exactly a year ago from this past Thursday, I received this comment on one of my posts about fighting the blues after another failed cycle...

My dearest Maria! Just spent the last half hour perusing your blog. I have to tell you that you are one extraordinary woman. Your blog is so emotional and so real, and I'm grateful for your honesty. It's refreshing! I find myself offering prayers to heaven on your behalf. Thank you for being so inspiring. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for following me! I'm returning the follow...and cracking open and raising a can of Diet Coke to you, in your honor! HA Ha! Best wishes! 
August 2nd, 2011 12:17 PM

It was in response to my comment on her funny and witty post about a very interesting game of Candyland she shared with her family...

hi from the blog hop! :)
what a cute and "sweet" post!!
i read your intro about getting through your days ups and downs with diet coke! love it! coke is my vice...idk what i'd do without it some days.
your family is beautiful!
i look forward to following! :)
wishing you a wonderful weekend!
July 29, 2011  3:40 AM

And on Thursday night, exactly 365 days after being sent those kind words from Aleisha,
I was standing in the Philadelphia airport.  Waiting to greet her with my brokeass, obnoxious, hot pink, butterfly sticker-covered, homemade sign that read "Welcome to Pennsylvania, Aleisha!"

Steve taped it all. 
And even snuck an extra minute of me anxiously standing and pacing as we waited for her.
Just five months prior, in March, I flew to Utah to meet her for the first time.
We screamed, hugged, and jumped up and down the instant we saw one another.
Isn't her sign so much cuter than mine?!
Visiting Aleisha and her family was one of the greatest highlights of my year.
They made me feel so welcome and comfortable.  I learned so much from that entire experience.
It is one I carry so deep in my heart and think of often.
So, when I saw her unmistakably beautiful red hair through all the people trying to make their way through the door Thursday night,
 I ran straight to her and did the same as in Utah - hugged and screamed and laughed and smiled!
She was here!!
And I couldn't wait to share the next few days together.
Almost forgetting her luggage from all the excitement, we ran to find it and quickly headed to the parking garage.
Steve was our chauffeur and tour guide, as we sat in the back
 learning about Philadelphia.
Hey, I know nothing about the city.  I'm not kidding.
We decided Pat's Cheesesteaks had to be her first food destination.

We sat outside in the muggy air, well past midnight and ate our cheesesteaks "wit wiz" and cackled at inside jokes. I remember sitting there thinking how awesome it all was.  How awesome she is.  How effortlessly she eased into a late night with Steve and I after such a long day of flying and saying goodbye to her husband and children.

I remember it really hitting me she was here, once we arrived home.
Twinkie was there to greet her. 
And follow her around for the rest of her stay.
Meowing at her, hoping she'd feed him infinite treats.
I remember feeling so grateful to my friends and family for making her feel so welcome.
 We visited with Kelly, Addison, and Daxon. (Chloe was asleep.)
Addison told us the tale of Sleeping Beauty and drew us pictures of Olympic divers and butterflies to take home with us.
And made sure to capture it all.
She is becoming a pro with my camera.
Thanks for the cute pic, Addison!

I remember making a quick stop at Taco Bell. 
And everyone looking at us because we were super mucho dressed up for a Friday lunch at the finest restaurant in town.
I remember the look on Aleisha's face when I took her to Charming Charlie's.
I remember ooo'ing and ahh'ing over at least 200 different pieces before we each decided on a few favorites.

I remember heading over to Jessica's house and sharing lots of laughs until almost one in the morning.
I remember watching Aleisha take in our town and so genuinely loving it.
And giving thanks to Jessica who also made a much better tour guide than I ever would.

I love this photo.  Thank you, Jessica.
I remember a girl's night including 3 amazing pasta dishes and a cinnamon bun ice cream sandwich.

I remember waking up Saturday and taking it easy.
And taking a nap.
Aleisha was feeling the effects of her flights.  The insane humidity decided to show up just in time for her.
Utah heat = dry. Pennsylvania heat = fry.
I was feeling nauseous (Yes, the queasiness has begun, but that's not for this post). Not to mention, I woke up with a swollen and mysterious "Shrek eye" that has since gone away.
I remember stopping on the side of the road so Aleisha could take pictures of "all the green" and the "huge sky with no mountains."
I remember the animated welcome we received from Kelly.  And the giant Belgium waffles we ordered and ate over lots of loud, hysterical conversation.

I love this picture too.  Thank you, Kelly!
I remember being thankful for the perfect weather that showed up just in time for our scenic drive through Lancaster. 
Aleisha was hopin' and prayin' to see a real live Amish person and a horse n' buggy or two.
Her wish was granted.
I remember pulling over and taking in the beauty and peace of early evening in the country
alongside my friend.

I remember climbing in the field with Aleisha and feeling so thankful and calm in that very moment.
No, I'm not going to the bathroom in the field.

I remember spending over an hour in the Shady Maple gift shop.  Trying on funny t-shirts and hats. 
Checking out all the homemade goods.

And finding a sweet little something to take home.
I remember being happy my brother got a last minute gig so Aleisha could hear him play and sing.
And meet my family.

I remember being not so happy, as I squeezed the ever lovin' out of Aleisha's leg
 when the creepy, drunk man came to our table and started eating our nachos.
And snort laughing at her and my mom's commentary on it all.
I remember a late night in the parking lot yapping with my mom as the mosquitoes bit our ankles.

I remember not being able to say good night.  As we stood in the hallway talking.  Tired, but not wanting the last night to come to an end.
I remember heading next door to my friend, Stephanie's, house to celebrate her soon to be little babes that will be making their way into the world this October.
I remember Steve taking a drive through Valley Forge Park.
 And watching as Aleisha snapped photos.

I remember knowing we only had an hour left before we had to say goodbye.
And trying to fight back the tears.

I remember us crying instantly
 when we got to her gate.
We were kinda joking here.  But we didn't look much different than this.
It's so hard to say goodbye when you know the distance that separates you.
When you're unsure of when you'll see each other again.
When you know how much beauty that person brings to your life.
I walked away, sniffling.
Telling Steve how badly I'm going to miss her,
 as we waited for her to look up so we could wave goodbye one more time.
And then I remembered how lucky Aleisha and I both were to have had this opportunity once again.
I remembered that though we will miss one another greatly, we will see each other again. 
We are forever friends.
I remembered just how blessed I really was in that exact moment.
I thought about that post she commented on last year and where I was now.
What a difference a year makes couldn't have rang more true.
We all want answers at one time or another. 
 We all feel the need to know when, why, and how sometimes.
But sometimes...
Sometimes, things just make sense without question.
This friend of mine was placed in my life for a reason. 
And this I know is true.
Thank you for everything, Aleisha.
I love you.
I'll be back on Thursday with an update after our appointment.
Aleisha Lovin',


Jen said...

What a fabulous post, with love and friendship shining out! I'm so glad you got to enjoy every precious moment of such a special visit x

Maria said...

As always, you have some awesome pictures!! What a neat opportunity to meet in real life and to have it twice is even better! So awesome!!!

Rebecca said...

What a perfect miracle is so fitting! Looks like you guys had a fun trip.... and the food! Yum! I wanna come visit after we have our babies!!!!! :)

Jenny said...

It looks like you guys had a great time!

Stephanie N. said...

Beautiful pictures and post! :) What an awesome, beautiful friendship you two have established!
Thinking about you lots! Hope you're having a wonderful week! :)

Heather @ A Little Hope in My Pocket said...

What a fun time you had together!

Karen Fieri said...

What a great friendship!! You guys look like you had such a fabulous time!!! :)

carlia said...

this is so special. i am so very happy for you two to have been able to forge such a wonderful friendship. there are definitely people placed in our lives for specific reasons and this is a perfect example of that. i'm so happy for everything happening in your life right now!!!

Angela said...

Awe, this made me cry!!! You are so blessed to have met each other...friendships like that are hard to find. You two look like soul sisters <3 So so glad you got that special time together!!!

JP said...

How exciting! I am so glad that you two had a great visit (as if there was any other option)! I love the little sign you picked up at the shop - very cute and fitting.
You and Leisha look so happy!

Heather Nelsen said...

What a sweet post!!! I LOVE the picture of her looking away and the sun set coming through! Awesome photography my dear. ;) Ahhh! Still so happy for you!!!!!


Judy Haughton-James said...

Hi Maria,
I remember that post you did when you went to visit Aleisha! You have definitely found a wonderful friend and all the great pictures show the whale of a time you have had together. It is really a blessing when we meet persons who are so nice. I am glad that we have linked up through blogging. You are also a very lovely person Maria! It is good to know that everything is going well for you and I continue to send up lots of prayers for you and Steve. Take care and do enjoy the rest of your week.
Love & Friendship always,

Aleisha McD said...

HONEY! What a beautiful post! (And your sign was NOT was cute!) Goodness, I can't wait the video of my arrival without crying...and watching you wait and wait for that first little bit kills me! As I watch, I think, "Hurry it up, Aleisha...she's waiting!" HA HA! I LOVED this post!

I am freaking out that I wrote you on the SAME DATE I flew to you!!!!! THAT IS CRAZY!!!!!! I've told you this before, but I'll say it again, I don't believe in coincidences. And as you mention, things happen for a reason. You and I are meant to be in each other's lives. And our friendship is a unique and special and beautiful thing. I'm grateful for it everyday! Thank YOU for everything! I love YOU! Hug Steve for me and deliver Twinkie the following message: Produce my brush or we break up. (HA HA HA HA!) XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!!!!!

Aleisha McD said...

*watch* not *wait the video*

Jess said...

Yay for great times with great friends!

Irish Carter of Dedicated 2 LIFE said...

Awww..Maria, I loved this post and had so much fun hearing about you and Aleisha. What an awesome memory of her post to you and her coming to see you a year later. I think I liked this post so much because the very first post I ever read of yours and started following you (OK, sometimes stalking, so sorry for that...but you make me laugh, cry, get know, right?) was when you went out to meet Aleisha in Utah. You took a gazillion photos and told your story of it all and I think I ate an entire bag of popcorn while reading was like a girl at the movie theater with her popcorn but I was online reading your blog...haha

So happy for you. Take care of yourself. ; )


KERRY said...

Hi Maria!! These pictures are all so great and really capture your weekend with the lovely Aleisha :) It is so awesome seeing you both in the one photo and you both look fantastic!! Wow, I loved reading all about your precious and fun time together, and I enjoyed seeing parts of your home town as well. I bet you miss her around the place, but what a wonderful friendship you both have :)
I hope you are keeping well and feeling great and know that I am thinking of you and send loads of love your way!! Have a wonderful day xoxoxox

Infertile625 said...

What a sweet post! She looks like a wondeful friend. I live in Connecticut but grew up in Bryn Mawr and this post just made me sooooooo HOMESICK!!

Ashley at flats to flip flops said...

How fun! This blogging world really is awesomeness sometimes! Good luck tomorrow lady! I'll be thinking of ya!

waitingforarainbow said...

Awe, you ladies got to see eachother again! I can tell you guys have a blast together. That sign you picked out is perfect! And yay for diet coke! I don't know what I'd do without it:)
So, I read your post last night, right before bed, and was too tired to leave a comment, but I totally had a dream about you! And Steve! Haha
You both came over, and you were really pregnant. You were telling me that my bedroom isn't decorated very well, and I have a baby now, so it would be haha. Then I got into this big discussion with you about how I'm not sure what to do as far as birth control with Ryan now that we just had a baby. And how after trying for so long to get pregnant, it seems odd to prevent it. And you asked to borrow my doppler to listen to your baby's heart, and I offered you mints for your morning sickness. Aggh there was so much more to the dream, but I don't want to leave a story for a comment. I think my favorite part of the dream, was I asked to borrow your earrings, and you busted out this giant collection for me to choose from. I bet you do have a giant collection in real life;)
Anyway, I can't wait to hear all about your appointment! Are you getting another ultrasound?! Beano will already look so much bigger! I think about you guys all the time. I'm so excited for you!
Hope you're getting lots of rest! Xoxo-Heather

Kristina said...

Love it!! What a fun friendship and bond you two clearly have! Thanks for sharing your weekend with us!! Xoxoxo

Kelsey Harrington said...

I always post on your facebook, but decided to get on an actual computer to write this one out!

I gotta admit.. I'm fairly jealous about these visits! :) I think it's so amazing how women can come together like this and build such strong friendships. There is nothing like a dear friend.

With that being said, I love ya! And I'm super excited for tomorrow and I really think we need to skype soon. :) I wanna see the bumpy and my sweet Beano, and you can meet Jack. xoxo

MrsV said...

This post makes me so happy :) you two obviously had a great time you look like you've been friends forever!
I am not surprised you've found such an awesome friend you are an amazing person Maria :) can't wait for the update tomorrow!
ps your package is being mailed next week as long as everything goes according to plan :D
oxo V

Sarah Marie said...

This post has a lot of things I love, food, cats, friends.....LOVE IT. Newest GFC follower here and I would love a follow back! Thanks in advance!

Miki's scrapbook said...

Hi, Maria! How are you? You have no idea how happy this post has made me :D. I've been living in California for a year and a half (I moved from Argentina) and I miss all of my buddies from my home country so much! I've been a bit blue because my husband and I realized that I won't be able to go visit for a while :(. However, one friend (my last boss there!) recently e-mailed me saying she might come all the way here to visit me; I can barely believe it! :D This post made me realize that happy times are coming and I thank you so much for that.

I've only read this one post and I can already tell how kind you are.

I'm coming from the blog hop, btw.

Hope you have a fun day! ;D


Ashley said...

Maria!! How wonderful that you got to spend time with your friend! I too, believe that everything happens for a reason and the two of you were meant to find one another! It is always so amazing when we come across people in our lives where the friendship is effortless and feels like you have known the person forever! I am lucky enough to have one person in my life like that, but distance separates use now too. :(

I am always a bit jealous (in a good way :) ) when bloggers develop such wonderful friendships!

All those pasta photos have me drooling now! I have my casserole in the oven and am gonna have to chow it down fast before I head into work!

Oh, and I totally want to hear about the drunk guy eating your nachos! :)

Hope you are having a great week. It's almost Friday!!

~Rian said...

excuse me, but it's Friday! Update us lady!! :) Hope you and beano are doing well and that you are getting some rest.

PS. LOVE Alison Krauss!! She is amazing in concert. :)

Happy Weekend!


Tori Grant said...

What a cute post! So fun to read your story about being blog friends! I found you from the hop!

Take care!


Anonymous said...

That's so much fun! I'm happy you found each other!

I found you in the blog hop and followed you via GFC. I hope you can also visit my blog. It's at :)


LOVE MELISSA:) said...

What a great post! You are so loved because you are so great! I love reading you meeting your blog friends. I hope we get to meet one day! Have a fabulous weekend!

waitingforarainbow said...

Hey lady!! Wheres our Thursday update from you and beano?! We'd love to hear from you guys! I know you're both very tired, but we're all DYING for an update! A bump pic would be nice too:)
Thinking of you!

ApplePie said...

I love the pics!

I followed you and I just started a blog, it's dutch. But you could use translate of course. Following me would mean alot!

Our Little Fam said...

Such a great post! Love all the pictures, can see all the happiness! What a great friendship. I am excited to read about your update. Good luck with everything Thursday. XOXOXOXO

Cami said...

Awwwwww!! This made me smile so much. What a beautiful, fun, amazing friendship you two share. <3

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