The Blonde One

When we were growing up, my sisters and I envisioned a very similar future for ourselves. Small but odd details seemed to confirm that our lives would forever run in this special synch: across a span of many years, we all lived in the same dorm room at Indiana University (Forest A #418), we all majored in French, and we seemed to go through similar phases in the length of our hair. We would all have it long–then the impulse would hit and we would all cut it short.

Basically, we figured, our lives would be the same.

What the heck–we would probably end up living in the same town and having children at the exact same time. Or something.

During the past year and a half, this theory has completely fallen apart:

1. Heidi now lives in cold and isolated Fairbanks, Alaska. Erica lives in peaceful and quiet Fort Knox, Kentucky. I live in the loud and bustling city of Chicago.

2. I married a scholar; they both married army men.

3. Heidi had a baby within a year after getting married. However, four years her senior, I’m still in a fit of terror at the mere thought of a small being depending on me, pooping in any place other than a toilet, or thinking its nutrition has anything to do with the general area of my chest.

Our different paths really hit home during that roadtrip to Kentucky.

Oh my gosh, I thought. Erica and I are actually different people.

Who wudda thunk it.

She drives to Lowes to get fertilizer and plants flowers. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped at Lowes in my life, much less planted a flower.

She devises intricate systems of ropes and strings with which to hold up her window boxes. Window boxes? It’s a concept I don’t quite understand.

She has daffodils flanking her front porch. I have never even had a front porch.

She sweeps her steps in bare feet. If I ventured outside barefoot I would probably get broken glass, gum, or drug paraphenalia stuck in my feet within 0.5 seconds.

It’s a study in contrasts, alright.

However, we have arrived at our different locations for the same reasons: because of love. We all married godly, driven men whose careers have brought us where we are. We are all willing and eager to follow them wherever God leads. One happened to lead to a sleepy little town in Kentucky . . .

. . . one happened to lead to this windy metropolis.

I know that living different lives won’t drive us apart–our friendship will always be strong. It’s just weird to think that we may actually make different choices. Is that allowed?

But not to worry–wherever life leads us, our uncanny love of large bowls of popcorn indicates that there will always be a deep connection.

I love you, Blonde One!

22 thoughts on “The Blonde One

  1. skippymom

    Your lovely sister makes base housing looks gorgeous. I grew up an AF brat and I remember how hard my Mom and her friends tried to bring some beauty to the plainness. Base housing was fun, don’t get me wrong – but the touches like your sister brings really, really make the place feel like home, although temporary.

    Reply
  2. Wendy

    Oh my goodness! You made me cry first thing in the morning. Wonderful photos — and wonderful thoughts. You three girls are so very fortunate to have one another.

    Reply
  3. Vicki DeArmeyv

    I loved this blog. It was so full of love, appreciation, humor (which you are never short of Jenna :)) and just plain nice to read. Since I know Erica and Heidi a bit more than you, it really shed light on a part of you I did not know, which there are many, but this was so sweet. I totally love your transparency about not wanting children……yet :). You make me smile and chuckle and I like that.

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  4. giselle

    That was so sweet. I love how close you are to your sisters. I too am the oldest of three girls but I always knew our paths would be very different. We are wildly different people, and sadly, not as close as you and your sisters seem to be.

    PS – I’m 30 and the mere thought of children terrifies me

    Reply
    1. Jenna

      I’m turning 28 this year, so I’m right behind ya . . . I used to think the older I got the more prepared I would feel, but that has NOT been the case!

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      1. Holly

        I could have sworn you were older than me, but I guess not. And I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready to have kids. I kind of hope it just sneaks up on me.
        Also, big fan of the blonde one- ok, maybe all three of you :)

  5. Sarah

    awww so cute… and i’m with you on the children thing…. thank goodness my husband isn’t ready yet because i certainly am NOT!

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  6. sweetridgesisters

    This is so sweet, and lovely to read. Perhaps because we are further apart in age, we Slattery sisters have always had dramatically different personalities and looks, though we also have many things in common. What a gift to have sisters, and thank you for sharing your love of yours. As for children- it’s not so hard, really. I am surprised by how smoothly it has gone for me, and how much it has opened my life instead of closing doors. Then again, being the eldest of 9 was great preparation. Still, I feel that there are a lot of social messages about the challenges of raising children but not enough people saying that it is totally great fun to have kids- which it is!

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  7. alongtheohio

    Jenna…I absolutely love it when you post about your family & especially your sisters! The 3 of you are so beautiful and have such wonderful and intriguing personalities…it is such fun to catch these little glimpses into your “sisterly bonds”.

    I also love your description of Erica’s new, Kentucky home. It truly captures the spirit of the area. Also…the pictures are great, per usual :)

    and…
    Erica — I have yellow daffodils in front of my house too!!!

    Reply
  8. Kimby

    This post made me miss my sister! (More than I already do.) But it was so wonderful to read about your special bond and where God led you and why. Hear, hear for godly men! :)

    Reply
  9. Veronica

    Beautiful post. Often the plans we make in our youth fall apart, but it’s often just as lovely, or better, in the end! Isn’t it lovely to have a sister you can also call a friend?

    Reply
  10. Brooke McGillivray

    First time reading your blog today and it is most fun. I’m alot older with four grown sons and granchildren. But this post really touched me as I often think about my boys (I mean grown men!) and how different their lives are…yet how strong those ties that bind are at the core. Thanks so much for posting.

    Reply

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