When I was 14 years old, my family moved from West Texas (read: home of sombreros, tacos, and 360 days of sun) to Vancouver BC (read: rain, hockey, rain, hockey)
As any 14 year old would be, I was less than thrilled. Upset, really. I was about to start high school and the last thing I needed was to move to another country. My dad tried to persuade me with the knowledge that Vancouver was a coastal city by the sea and full of beautiful green trees and mountains topped with snow.
I wouldn't buy it. I told him I didn't want green. I didn't want ocean. I wanted desert thankyouverymuch.
But as I'm sure you can imagine, we moved anyway. We drove for four days from El Paso, through California, and north to Oregon, Washington, and finally, Canada. Somewhere in Oregon, I saw it.
Holy smokes, I thought, this is beautiful! Why didn't anyone tell me this place was beautiful?
(I know, how very 14 of me.)
But folks, it got better. Not only was Vancouver even more beautiful than I had imagined, it held three of the bestest friends I could have asked for.
See, my first day of school, I walked in and the teacher sat me down next to the first girl on the class roster. Allyn, Heather.
I plopped myself down, nervous as the dickens, and tried not to make eye contact. She peaked over at my class schedule, which I still had in front of me, where the school counselor, trying to be helpful, I'm sure, wrote on it, "New student from Texas." Heather perked up.
Do you like horses?, she asked.
Oh, for Pete's sake.
No. I don't like horses.
Oh, I do, she replied.
Damn. I lost my first friend.
Apparently, legend has it, when another girl, Jenni, asked if I liked horses, I said yes, afraid of repeating the previous episode with yet another potential friend.
Thankfully, they both, with their friend Courteney, became my friends anyway (even if I was a bit shifty when answering questions).
And nearly 15 years later, I am still so proud to call Heather, Jenni, and Courteney three of my nearest and dearest friends. Our group is a little bigger now, having added three husbands and one toddler. But I am endlessly grateful for this group of dear friends.
We rang in 2013 up in Canada with these very people. Tucked away on an island, in a 3 room cabin by the sea, we played games, taught the little one to say new phrases, whipped up delicious food, and celebrated the year that had passed and the year that was coming.
Here are some of our favorite scenes from our time.
All images taken on an iPhone 4s and edited with VSCOcam.