A Tale of Two Princesses

Once upon a time (let’s be honest, it was like 12 years ago), a delightful girl decided to teach overseas. She raised a bunch of money and went to training and wondered who she’d meet in this new adventure. Delightful could've sworn it'd be a husband, but God had other plans. The first night, she met this really cool gal with blonde hair and a sparkly personality. They connected quickly and deeply as friends and each thought the other girl was so cool that she couldn’t possibly want to stay friends over the long haul. But boy, were they both wrong. 

They stayed in touch as they went to teach in their respective countries and both made a commitment to visit the other one throughout the school year. One girl (the sparkly one) came to Turkey for Thanksgiving, the other girl (the delightful one) met Sparkly in Italy to travel and talk, ride trains and eat gelato. Neither gained weight from said gelato because they soon realized that Italy's nickname is 'the land of many steps' (you won't find that in no guidebooks.) They made their way through Italy, then spent Christmas at a castle in Austria (I’m pretty sure this has to be some kind of princess foreshadowing), and ended their journey with a multi-day slumber party in Budapest. They had so much fun that they decided to meet up again in Prague for Easter...the more they met up, the closer the friends became.

Now, I’d love to show you pictures of Sparkly and Delightful frolicking across Europe & painting their nails the palest of pink, but once upon a time there were these things called cameras with film and I’m not fittin’ to scan 3 albums (yes, I said albums) for you to keep up with my story.
Hashtag sorrynotsorry.

Moving right along, Delightful decided to return Stateside, while Sparkly stayed overseas. It would be another year before they could hang out again; as soon as the two were in the same country, they made plans to visit in their respective states. Oh, and by this time, most people had these things called mobile phones (they even flipped open--wowee!) and many could now afford something called a digital camera (gasp, I know). Because of this, I can now include some vizzies {that’s visuals, for those who don’t speak Katie}:
When Sparkly came to Texas, they commemorated their multi-year bestie-ness with fun rings reminding them of God’s goodness. They shared a love of cafes, journaling, and talking about boys. This ring signaled them to trust in the Lord for all His best in life and areas of the heart. 

When Delightful went to Pennsylvania to visit, they went to Sparkly’s old college to take a walk down memory lane.
Hey look! Miami...of Ohio, that is.
They drank tea at cafes, and went to fancy places.

They visited boutiques and talked for hours. In a style similar to this movie, they bought a pink purse and decided it would travel back and forth while ‘witnessing’ their milestones when the friend wasn’t able.

They included a card to document the occasions...then they’d send it back in the purse for the other one to read.

At some point, they both decided they were Princesses because they are daughters of the King, so Delightful bought them both Queen Esther crown rings to commemorate ‘such a time as this.’

Sparkly decided to stack the ring on top of God’s goodness, so now they both wear them like this (but not at the same time on their wedding ring fingers in a liberal city...don’t ask!):
Delightful would visit and Sparkly always had fun things planned like concerts,
Coldplay, wassup?!
And jam-packed agendas,

She always included wonderful welcomes,

pampering pedicures and super fun presents,

cupcake shops,
Blue Bird Bakery in Orlando

delicious cafes,

Mimosas in Winter Park

and the cutest little places in her cities.
Dandelion Cafe in Orlando
The Garden patio in Winter Park, FL

The Dessert Lady in Downtown O-town

Sparkly would visit and Delightful would try to show her around Texas with the same flair, but usually just settled for gifts like Sparkly Gold Toms:

They continued like this while passing the Pink Purse back and forth and even while meeting in other cities to hang out:

Boston 2010
Though time has passed on, the friendship has remained. Delightful continues to be amazed and encouraged by Sparkly, even though she hadn’t dedicated a post on her blog until now (well, I mentioned her here but then dropped the ball on the second half of the explanation...oops).

As we both turn 35 this year, I couldn’t think of a better gift for my best friend, Amanda, than the gift of recognition.

She is ahead of the trends (look, she did fruit in water before Pinterest even existed!)

She ran the Disney Princess half-marathon (whaaaa?) I was probably at Starbucks the whole time she was pounding out thirteen.one:
She wore tutu skirts back when Isaac Mizrahi designed for Target and she gave me my love of wearing flowers in my hair before it was a thing.

She decorates all of her apartments & houses with twinkle lights and throws a mean dinner party:

 She married an incredible man
And had an incredible Maid of Honor (MOH) #MOHwiththemohstest #humblebrag #jk

Soon after, she had this adorable little one

And gave her new little princess a castle of her own (newest crown ring member, anyone?)
Though our life stages are not in the same place, she continues to be one of the most encouraging and loving friends that I have. 

I wish I could’ve been at your birthday party this weekend, but know that I was there in spirit. Your sparkle is stronger than ever, Amanda. 

 I’ll jump on a plane soon to celebrate your 35th year, as you did for mine. Here’s to many more years of Sparkle, bestie.