Sunday, February 17, 2013

30 Years of Life: 25 years of Friendship

Senior class trip: Sioux Falls SD 2001. Thank goodness for curling irons and perms, eh?

Prom, freshman year. You went with my brother. I stayed home and tried to grow taller. PS, it didn't work.

Freshmen in college. Right? You were playing basektball at DSU and I was a state FFA officer at SDSU. I can tell from my nasty home highlights and your buffness. Holy crap, let's do that workout! mmm, maybe not.

 An actual nice, mature picture of us from our senior year of high school. I didn't know it was possible. We really grew up and blossomed at a young age. So lovely are we.
Five minutes later. If there's any "type" of picture I have more than tongue-sticking-out pictures, its butt shots. So maybe that's your "thing". Congratulations. :)
Alright, I know. Its fun to rib you a little bit, but the truth is that you mean the world to me. I don't know what I'd do without you and I'm so lucky to have you in my life and the lives of my family. I'm nodding off at the computer so I better cut it short. There's more to say, but its going to have to wait. Until then, one more letter that put it into words pretty well. Just pretend I'm writing it to you instead. Enjoy the rest of your birthday. I hope David spoils the crap out of you. You deserve it.

Dana turns 30: Picture of Youth

Road trip! Thankfully nobody let us drive. That was never a good idea. We didn't have a problem driving fast, but I'm glad I never met us on the road. Thanks for keeping me safe, and shame on you for never letting me drive your cars. I only ran over you once, and that wasn't even with a car.

 Over the years, I've gotten kind of a bad rap for being "that person" who sticks her tongue out in pictures. And yet, when I flilp through my pictures of you I see the SAME THING. Truce?
 We could publish a book with the correspondence from our youth. We'll title it Lock Up Your Daughters: They Are Probably Crazy.
 I LOVE the stack of moderately sized film cameras on the table. Hehe.

A couple more posts, hang in there.

Dana Turns 30: Flashback 1996

I know I'm posting these out of order, but I think you'll enjoy them anyway. Right Dana? :) PS, I still remember the calf Norman and SO wish I had a picture of him. I probably have gotten one from your mother, but that would have required some forethought. Also, the idea of you at the salebarn picking out a calf cracks me up! Let's do that again sometime k? :)

 I don't remember helping you babysit any cousins so clearly "Mean Old Brice" put the kibosh on that. Or I was off showing cattle or something.

I don't have great pictures from this Dance Line performance, but I have this. Man, were we cool!
Marching band! So many great memories stem from the work and trip required for marching band. Quite a few of them are even happy memories. Here's our practice uniforms, obviously. Where's Waldo? Also, are you even carrying your trumpet?

If I still knew how to play an instument, and owned one, you better believe I'd call you up and play you a song. Instead, I'll probably have the kids call and sing to you. I guess they're kind of like an instrument. Full of spit, loud and people get pretty cranky if you drop them.


VanZanten Family Vacation

The amount I had to look to find something awesome from Dana was way too easy. She sent this in 1999. Just take a look at the envelope. I'm not a hoarder...just following directions.
She clearly stole the dinosaur stickers from the letters he brothers were supposed to write for their friends. :)

Here's what was inside. In my opinion, a treasure. On a side note, I remember sitting the back of a VanZanten vehicle, writing letters on the way home from ball games using the headlights of the vehicle behind us to see.

I think this picture was from 1998, on a band trip to Chicago, but you get the picture. It'd be a close reference to the letter.
This picture was most definitely taken at a livestock judging contest. I drug Dana along because we needed another body and her brothers were already going anyway. (at least one of them, I'm not sure if Andy has seen livestock yet). hehe

I expect a letter from the next family trip you take too. :)


On turning 30


Welcome to the world of 30. Since you plastered my picture all over Facebook (thank you for that, by the way), I figured I'd take a turn and share a few stories and pictures here, in a few installments that will post throughout the day. Enjoy. :)

We met in Kindergarten. Mrs. Poppen's class. I look at Gage's Kindergarten class and pray everyday that he starts a friendship and real and wholesome as ours. Who would have known that 25 years later, we still adore each other. I remember the story your mom tells about calling Mrs. Poppen to ask if 'The Franken Girl' was ok for you to hang out with. Thank goodness she said yes. :) Check out this picture I found of us...there you are in the your white dress, red bows, curled hair and fancy black shoes looking mighty fine. At the other end of the Kindergarten girl line is me, in my Little House on the Prairie dress and lion mask. Crayons are still awesome.

Summers were always difficult. You spent a lot of time in Colton with family, church and activities and I did the same in Madison. The 7 or 8 miles that separated us in the summer might as well have been an entire state. Thankfully, our parents were great about letting us sent letters back and forth. And fortunately, some have survived the test of time. I like this one best.

Throughout elementary school, it was pretty evident that our teachers didn't want us in the same class. Or maybe our parents requested that, at any rate, we were reunited a few times, and especially enjoy joint adventures like this fourth grade field trip. How is there only one fanny pack in this picture, and two pairs of Hammer pants? Also in style: windsuits, tight-rolled pants and cheesy grins.

And then we graduated. Through high school, some of our activities overlapped, others did not. We went our separate ways after CHS, attending different colleges. I really thought the separation would make life between us awkward. I feel so fortunate that our friendship is stronger now than ever before. Getting married and having babies has taken the 400 miles between us and given us something to talk about every day. I value the time we can spend together so much, even if that time is 10 minutes of virtual chat a day. It keeps me sane.

My favorite part of us? Sharing the joys and challenges of being Moms. I think its what we've always been meant to do. Gage was so lucky to spend a day with you last summer. Knowing my kids know you and love you means the world. Thanks for the letter. Anytime I see your handwriting in the mailbox, my heart leaps with excitement and anticipation. You never let me down.

Have a great birthday. Check back again later. I have some great letters you sent me and pictures of some high school adventures. I just need to do a little censoring first. :)

Love you dear,