The Crew

Blessing: my closest girlfriends, all from high school. We call ourselves The Crew.

I went to a boarding school for high school. No, I wasn’t a bad girl. No, it wasn’t a prep school. It was a small, religious boarding school in South Texas that focused on strong education, valuable work ethic and foundational faith-based beliefs. I truly had an unforgettable experience. The biggest thing for me coming out of boarding school were the incredible friendships that I made. Ones that have lasted for 26+ years.

When you move away from your parents at age 13, I think one tends to form even stronger relationships with those who are in their lives on a daily basis. I had a lot of friends in school. But there are four special ladies who are my ride or die. Those girls, now women, created my family and have been with me through life’s ups and downs.

The Crew circa 1997
Back row: Kisha, Alycia, Ellen, Josie
Front row: Kendra

We met in 1994 during our freshman year in high school. At one point or another, we were all roommates with each other. After high school and college, we drifted apart. For many years, we weren’t in constant contact – especially in our 20s. I think that happens with any long-time friendships… there are ebbs and flows. But we reunited in our 30s and make it a point every single year to get together with all five of us. Our weekend together is my lifeline, it’s the single weekend I look forward to the most each year. And in 2020, I expect that we’ll be getting together a little more frequently for a number of reasons… each one of us turns 40 this year! Plus I’m having a baby!

This past weekend the first of us turned 40. We said we were having a “Galentine’s Weekend,” but secretly we were planning a surprise birthday party for Kisha. I’m not gonna lie – trying to be stealthy and organize a party amongst four incredibly productive yet busy women was not the easiest. However, it turned out amazing! Kisha was surprised… and she even cried a little over our gift. (She’s not a crier at all.)

The Crew circa 2020
Alycia, Kendra, Carl (Kisha’s dad), Kisha, Josie, Ellen

We laughed so hard that we cried. Sometimes we cried, which led to laughter. What I realize when I’m with The Crew is that it is so important to connect and open up. And as I get older, I realize it’s harder and harder to be vulnerable with new friends. Everyone is busy and coordinating schedules is difficult. It’s challenging to invest the necessary time to get to know someone and, in return, be able to openly share with them. That’s why having friends who know you, truly know you, is precious. I feel privileged that even though time and distance can keep us apart, the time we have together is unlike any other friendships I have… and that means the world to me!

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