Today is my best friends birthday. I won’t share how many years she has but it is more than me.
With the exception for three months where I lived in Indiana, we have always lived a plane ride away. So we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as we like.
But as a birthday challenge of sorts, I wanted to see if I could reconstruct all the times we have seen each other.
We first met in April of 2006 at the Young Republican Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. More specifically, she was sitting in front of me on the shuttle to the hotel from the Romanian Embassy.
We saw each other again at the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) Cleveland Board Meeting but we weren’t really friends yet.
It would be at the YRNF Fall 2006 Board Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. This was when we would become friends. I had just lost my race for State Rep back in Maine. This was also the board meeting where I met Bryon.
March- We had a YRNF Board Meeting in New Orleans.
Then there was the Young Republican National Convention in Hollywood, Florida in July.
That fall I lived in Indiana. I know there was an evening I was staying the night near Chicago and my work partner and I took the train in to have dinner with her and another good Chicago friend. Sadly, I don’t have a pic. It was 2007. I still used a flip phone. Don’t judge.
She also took a flight to Louisville to work on a campaign. We knocked on doors somewhere in Kentucky. I don’t have any pics of that weekend either.
A friend and I drove up to Chicago one weekend and we went to Navy Pier.
Sometime in the Fall of 2007 was also the YRNF Board Meeting in Houston, Texas.
By the holidays, I was back in Maine. Her family didn’t celebrate Christmas so she came to Maine to celebrate with my family. She flew into Manchester, NH and my Michigan Best friend (who still lived in Maine at the time) came with me to pick her up. During a blizzard.
We celebrated the holidays in Maine.
It’s not a Sullivan holiday without a trip to the range.
We then took a trip to Boston. There were Irish pubs…
…and Scorpion Bowls…
…and some wicked bad karaoke.
We also walked the Freedom Trail in the freezing rain.
And we went to Cheers and these guys were our dates for five minutes.
I was still living in Maine and I was traveling out to Albany for the New York State Young Republican Leadership Conference and she decided to fly in. (This weekend was also when Bryon and my love story began)
I had missed the Young Republican Leadership Conference that year because it was the same year as the Maine Republican Convention. I guess when scheduling it, Maine didn’t matter or something. But we had a Maine Young Republican Conference in Portland and she flew in for that.
She flew in that Fall to help with some campaigning. There was a hurricane in the Gulf of Maine that weekend. Luckily, it was far enough out in the ocean that we really just had rain. But we ending up painting signs in a barn.
Oh and there was some more bad karaoke.
And then there was the YRNF Fall Board Meeting in Nashville.
First there was the Spring YRNF Board Meeting in Orlando.
Then there was the Young Republican National Convention in Indianapolis. And I have no pics from us. I feel like she may have worked and drove in late. Or maybe I was a jerk friend who spent too much time hanging out with my boyfriend. I was also running for Northeast Regional Vice Chair and I know I was consumed with that.
Since I have given you a lot of pics of bad karaoke, here’s one of Bryon singing good karaoke.
The Fall 2008 YRNF Board Meeting was in Kansas City, MO. I was recovering from tonsillitis and I barely left my room. I emerged for meetings because I was the Northeast Regional Vice-Chair and had to be there. So no pics. But we were both there.
We both happened to be in Indianapolis for two separate events. I was in town to watch Bryon’s alma mater’s basketball team play Butler in the Bracket Busters. She was in town with her boyfriend for a race. We met up for dinner at St. Elmo’s Steakehouse. This was the winter of illness so I was out of it because I had bronchitis.
That spring she came out to visit me in Albany but I had picked up a really bad case of Gatroenteritis while working in the ER. But she still came anyway, but I was not any fun.
We did not see each other this year. This is a sad year.
And the beginning of 2012, she came out to Albany for my engagement party
Then there was my wedding
And her wedding in Mexico
We didn’t see each other in 2013. We were too busy being newlyweds.
I flew out to Chicago in February for your baby shower. We went to the Sears Tower and we were both pregnant and stopped to rest on every bench we saw and used the bathroom every time we saw one. A far cry from our old days. No pictures because we both feeling tired and pregnant.
Her family came to visit mine in Albany. It gives me goosebumps to think that this would be the last time she would see Bryon.
Bryon had been in the ICU for 4 months and been transferred to NYC. She made plans to come to NYC on Bryon and my birthday weekend and she arranged with my father to meet halfway between Albany and NYC so she could bring my daughter to see him.
But that weekend never happened.
Well it did. Just not the way you planned. But it ended up being a funeral weekend in Albany. I was grateful to have you there for me.
Bryon’s funeral was there the day before his birthday. We went out for hibachi for his birthday with some friends. My daughter and I were so sick that night (from a gastrointestinal illness, not the food). I laid down on the couch and was too wiped out to even move. I remember thinking “How can I do this alone?” You took turns with my parents taking care of my daughter through the night and then went to whole foods to buy me some probiotics in the morning before driving back to NYC to get your flight.
Life goes on. And she you made sure to make time for me this year.
First was Vegas in Feb.
And my daughter and I came to visit you in Chicago in July.
We were supposed to go to Disney in September, but Hurricane Irma had other plans.
I realized that I needed to use my Southwest credit from our canceled Florida trip. So I came out to see you in March. We took the girls to Wisconsin Dells and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Memorial Day Weekend we, along with my Maine best friend, went to Cedar Point in Ohio with the girls. To make up for the missed Disney Trip
Then we met up with some friends for a kid free trip to Austin, TX for my 40th. That trip was…interesting. Austin was great but it turned one of my friends were not really my friend after all. It’s seems stupid now but it was a lot for my brain to process. But she was loyal to me, like she always is.
I say we need to do a re-do. With the trip into wine country.
A year with a lot of change…good change. But I did not get to see her that year. There is next year, I said.
So I was supposed to be going to Chicago to see her this weekend as well as a wedding in Wisconsin. And all know how that turned out.
Let’s hope everything is cleared up for the rescheduled wedding date this Fall,
And this is where our story currently is. It is so cool to see our girls growing in these pics and that they will grow up together. Who would have thought that a friendship forged during drunken YRNF weekends would turn into a friendship that spans two generations?