Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Girlfriend Guide: Ellen

Today's edition of the Girlfriend Guide features my dear, sweet friend: Ellen.  I met
Ellen through mutual friends when Shawn and I moved to New Orleans.  We spent
years meeting up at parties and running into each other at various friends' houses
before becoming really close friends ourselves.  I have always admired her gracious
nature and calming demeanor, she is just one of those women you meet and instantly
want to be friends with.  She tells the absolute best stories and can make me laugh until
I start snorting.  Ellen and her husband, Logan, recently moved to Switzerland after
she accepted a teaching position there.  They are currently busy taking care of their
sweet puppies and spreading the Montessori love in Europe, while we count the days
until they return home again.  I hope that you enjoy her personal account of what
friendship is all about: she's a smart lady, that Ellen...
 1.  What is your personal definition of friendship?
Friendship is built on mutual trust, caring, loyalty, and respect.  People who can truly
be themselves around each other.
2. What qualities do you look for in a girlfriend?
Until I was about nine years old, I was a big tomboy and was never interested in being
friends with girls, so I feel a little behind in my girlfriend-seeking experience. Since then
I've looked for girlfriends who are caring, honest, easy-going, loyal, unpretentious, and
love to laugh (aka giggly).
3. How do you balance spending time with friends and fostering 
relationships with work family?
It can be difficult to balance everything, but it is very important to make time for
friends. Meeting friends for coffee regularly or inviting friends over for dinner just to hang
out was what I used to in New Orleans. Now it's a little more difficult since I'm so far
away. Email, Facebook, and Skype are lifesavers, but I almost miss my friends more
because it reminds me that we're so far apart.
4. What advice would you give other women about having healthy, 
happy friendships?
Find girlfriends who can make any situation enjoyable, not just the fun things. Be flexible
and understanding and make sure that you are there when they need you.
5. How has having strong friendships enriched your life?
Forming longtime friendships has been very rewarding and I can't picture my life
without them. I feel well rounded because I see different perspectives and experience
new things with friends. Friends have inspired and motivated me to explore and
pursue different interests and goals.
6. What is your favorite girlfriend memory we have shared?
My favorite girlfriend memory is the girls spa-like weekend with Mere and Jess, (and
Isabelle of course) at Liv's house last summer. We hung out in the pool, went to a
great restaurant, bowled with fake names, etc. It was so relaxing and fun just to be
together and talk without distractions. We were all at such different points in our lives
and it was the perfect time to be together.
Girlfriends like Ellen:
Girlfriends like Ellen are genuine, gracious, and always positive.  She is 100% drama free
and brings a ray of sunshine into every room.  Ellen is always up for an adventure and I
am guaranteed an unforgettable memory every time we are together.  She is the kind
of woman who brings a house warming gift every time she comes over, sends hand
written thank you notes expressing her gratitude, thinks of every little detail before you
have a chance to worry over it.  My favorite thing about Ellen is how considerate she
has always been with our children.  Though she does not yet have children of her own,
she understands and appreciates how important our little ones are to us and always goes
the extra mile to include them and enjoy the role they play in our lives.  That's such
an amazing quality in a girlfriend.  She is one of the most considerate people I know and
I strive to be more like her everyday.  You are truly an amazing human being,
Ellen, especially when you get down on the kitchen floor and do the caterpillar with
me.   Thank you for being so wonderfully you and please, please come home soon!
The Girlfriend Guide has found a very special place in my heart and, though this week
brings the last of my girlfriends, I have no plans of seeing it go.  With that I extend
an invitation to all of you to share your girlfriends and insight about your most
treasured friendships.  If you are interested in participating, please email me and I will
send you all the details.  I already have some pretty amazing bloggers lined up with
their stories and would love to read more!

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