Category Archives: Merrywood Girls

Vital lesson from college

I failed to mention in my last post as I lavished in my bridesmaidness, that bride-to-be Bri was actually in town visiting this week. You see, she is marrying one of my friends from high school who has now become one of my best friends from college.

ALERT TO ALL COLLEGE GIRLS: Make sure at least one of your best friends dates and marries someone from your hometown.

Why you ask? Because, if you go to college in your hometown and “meet your bridesmaids,” it is a HUGE added bonus if any or all of them become eternally attached to someone who is deeply rooted in aforementioned hometown. Indeed, I am so thankful and lucky that B met and fell in love with this amazing guy because 1) E. is indeed amazing and entirely hilarious and 2) she will forever be tied to (and may potentially reside in) my hometown.

And if being able to hang out with B and E wasn’t exciting enough, Lin was also in town this week. She is not engaged to a hometown boy, but she does have strong emotional ties to a very good hair stylist whom she could not part with after we graduated. We all know that finding a good hairdresser wins a silver medal in the race to someone’s heart (after finding a soul-mate, of course).

So we had a mini one-year college reunion. It was a great week filled with eating, movies, and Catchphrase tournaments. And, if THAT wasn’t enough to put someone over the edge with happiness, I also got a very cute pair of sunglasses from Goody’s that were only $6.50.

Hope your week was equally as sweet! 🙂


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Always a scripture reader

I once read a quote that said something along the lines of “you don’t go to college to meet your husband, you go to meet your bridesmaids.” I always remembered that saying, even though I feel sure that it was written by some lonely single girl who was boyfriend-less in college and was trying to make herself feel better. Still, I always admired her because at least she was looking on the bright side.

Another reason I liked that quote was because for me, it could not have been more true. I went all through those fun college days as single as a one dollar bill. And despite the fact that a boyfriend/husband was not to appear during those years of my life, I did “meet my bridesmaids” as that annonymous sage had so encouragingly proclaimed. Indeed, I was eternally blessed by the friendships I made in college, and hopefully one day I will be able to employ those lovely ladies to stand by me on what is sure to be the best day ever. I am not sure when this day will occur and could add my own line to the quote saying, “you also don’t go to your first year of grad school to meet your husband, you go to meet one more person to add to the bridesmaid list.”

But, to me, that just doesn’t flow quite as well or have the same emotional punch as the preceding part of the quote.

I bring up bridesmaids because even though I am not quite there yet, Brittany, one of my best friends from college, has recently asked me to be in HER wedding. Even typing that now sends me into a state of excitement that makes me want to reprise my “I’m gonna be a bridesmaid, I’m gonna be a bridesmaid” song I wrote the night she asked me.

The one I performed for my mama in which she told me she was going to call me BM for short if I kept it up.

ANYway, to say that I was excited and deeply touched by her invitation would be a huge understatement. I adore this girl and most of my funniest memories are with her. We were friends, roommates, and partners in crime for a huge chuck of college life, and something tells me we’ll always get into trouble together. And if I had to choose two people who epitimized genuine, good, and funny people, she would most definitely be one of them–and her fiance would most certainly be the other. I am telling you…quality people.

I think what makes this so special for me is two-fold. Firstly, even though we are great friends and she will most certainly stand with me on That Day in the future, Bri is one of those people who has deep and lasting relationships with a lot of people. She has a very close core group of friends from high school as well as a solid group of college friends whom she is very close to. Not to mention two sisters and a soon to be sister-in-law. Sufficed to say, the girl’s got people, and as much as I am sure she would love to have 17-20 bridesmaids (literally that is how many names she has been throwing around), it’s just not feasible if she wants to also, you know, invite family and other friends to the wedding. Secondly, I have never been a bridesmaid before. I have participated in some close friends’ wedding by reading scripture (which I loved doing), but those particular wedding parties were small and comprised mostly of family. Plus, most of my really close friends have yet to tie the knot.

So, while most girls are crying “always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” I’ve just been thinking to myself, “always a scripture reader, never a bridesmaid.”

All this might explain why I burst into tears just upon hearing her say, “JT, I have something to ask you.” It was a sweet, semi-embarrassing moment as I screamed yes into the phone. All the while listening to her laugh as I am sure she started rethinking the whole decision when she suddenly envisioned all the stories I could tell on her in my bridesmaid speech.

And it goes without saying that I cannot wait to start preparing it. I am sure there will be a repeat of tears, as well as my bridesmaid song.

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Merrywood Girls

My last year of college (aka last year) I lived in a house with a 5 other girls. We called it Merrywood, and though it was an old house, it was absolutely perfect for us. I also lived in it the year before with a different batch of girls totalling 4 in all, and when a couple of them graduated, my roommate Kara and I could not wait until the Fall when Lindsay and Bri (our other 2 best friends) were moving in. Then we threw in a couple other great girls because we’re sweet like that and because rent split 6 ways is like living for free.

I don’t really remember how we even found this little house the year before. It was one of those gifts you never see coming, but you just praise the good and mighty Lord in Heaven who dropped it in your path and whispered, “here you go sweet girls, have the time of your lives.” It was a memory-making warehouse perfectly suited for extremely loud and frequent laughter and the most random conversations you could ever think of having.

The house was one-story but still quite nice in size. It had a built-on “mother-in-law” suite in the back that was so large walking from one end to the other got me breathing hard. My best friend, Lindsay, and I shared that room. We would yell across the room at night as we lay in our beds and talk about everything and nothing, and laugh at just about anything. We still do that now–but not from our beds because we live in different towns and even I am not that loud.

My favorite feature of the house was the front porch and most importantly the swing and rocking chair that had residence there. Many a deep conversation was had on that porch. The kind of conversations you leave knowing that with each passing one your bond is forged deeper, you become a little bit closer to the God you share, and you grow up just a little bit more.

I know sometimes we look back on life and regret not making the best of the time we had with those we love. I am so thankful to say I have no regrets from our time at Merrywood. I feel like we took up every opportunity to enjoy one another–even in the midst of school, boyfriends, huge stacks of dishes in the sink, family issues, and all the other facts of life. We never fought or had petty arguments. Each of our personalities is distinctly different, but we all blend together perfectly. And we all understood the prize we had been given in each other as well as how rare and precious it truly was.

I laughed so hard, cried so many tears of joy and sadness, played so many games of Mario cart, and ate so many home-cooked meals (compliments of Bri) during all our college years together, and especially when we all lived under the same roof. I put off more homework assignments than every before, but I learned more than I ever thought possible just by being in the presence of 3 crazy and amazing girls. We saw each other through accomplishments, disappointments, exciting times, everyday life, and sad moments. We bonded with each other in a way I had not before, and our I know our friendships will continue to grow and deepen as we experience all that God has in store. I look forward to a future full of marriages, trips, babies, growing old, and many more random conversations–and everything in between and after.


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