Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Series: Happy Birthday Olga

Today is my dear friend Olga's birthday. As you know, each year I select a few friends to write birthday blogs for and this one is long overdue. I really couldn't have written it sooner since she never had a way to see it until I made her a Facebook page!

I met Olga in 1999 when we both started attending the same church. I remember seeing her pregnant in church and thinking she was beautiful, shy and quiet. Eventually through our kids, I got to know her as a fellow young mom. Her son Chase shares a birthday month with Elizabeth and is exactly twelve months older than Elizabeth and 18 months younger than Conner. So we were always in Mops together or picking up kids from the nursery at the same time.

Through our kids we became friends. We used to have playdates for the kids, go to the same bible studies and just chit chat. I went through a very hard time, a true testing of my faith and learning experience and when I did Olga was right there for me. That is when we truly became friends.

Olga is an example that beauty isn't just skin deep. She is the most beautiful person on the inside just as much as she is outwardly. I love her kind heart, willingness to listen to others, pray for them and encourage them. She has encouraged me countless times throughout the years. She has always been there for me time and time again.

We eventually became neighbors and our kids went out of each others houses freely. I often joke that her son Chase was my third child in the summer. He would always be at our house during the early weeks of summer vacation. Chase is like a brother to Conner and Elizabeth, they have all known each other their whole lives.

Because our family lived away from our extended family there were many holidays that Olga invited us to spend with her family. From Memorial day and Fourth of July bbq's at her mother in law Pam's to Thanksgiving with her family in her home. She always cared if we had somewhere to go and checked in to make sure we had plans.

Through Olga, I learned many lessons in friendship. She taught me what being a good friend is and how to listen and pray for someone. We have taken many long walks on the St.John's parkway behind our houses. Listening to each other along the way while the kids got their energy out. Truly something I will always look back on with fondness in the years to come. I am crying as I type those words because I know this is something that I will miss dearly. Another reason to love the picture on the top of this blog, it is a place that I spent many days walking alongside a friend.

In recent years, I have been able to become friends with Olga's daughter Mackenzie. I truly hope that I can learn from Olga how to raise an incredible daughter. She is truly a reflection of her mother as a person of kindness and beauty on the inside.

My kids never could say Olga when they were little, they called her "Oga" and we still do refer to her as that in our house at times. She has been a second mom to Conner throughout the years, I know he will miss her just as much as I will.

Thanks for being my friend through the good, the bad and the sometimes really ugly. Thanks for being my shoulder to cry on, my prayer partner and my sister of the heart. As the years have passed by, I have treasured every moment and will for years to come. I will miss you more than words can say but know that I am never far away.

I will always be here when you need me, I am just a phone call away and maybe I can find someone in Visalia to call to tell you to get on Skype! ( Kenzie sometimes messages people on FB trying to get her mom to get on Skype!)

I love you Olga and I am so very thankful that God blessed me with you as a friend.

Thankful our kids are friends

The path walked with a friend is never lonely at all

We need a new picture