The Girlfriends...

me (left) and Stephanie

A little fact about me: I have a lot of males in my life (humans and non-humans alike).

My mother passed away when I was little girl and my father was both my father and mother for years and, to this day, manages the most loving and supportive relationship with me and my siblings.  My brothers number four ( and one sister ); my male friends have always outnumbered my female friends. I would talk about menstrual cycles with my Dad (he's a scientist, so this talk was always purely scientifically based, but still...) and have the most inappropriate and offensive conversations with my males friends.  Also, I was never the kind of girl who would have a big group of girlfriends, akin to Sex and the City.  I gravitate more toward the one on one friendships with the girls, that's more my speed.

Full disclosure: I tend to trust males more than I do many females. I am also fiercely protective of the men in my life, like a Mama Bear.  Past boyfriends have always treated me very well, in fact, I'm still good friends with the majority of them.  My husband is an incredible friend and support.  Incredible.  Truly.
I just feel more comfortable around males.  And, for the record, there's rarely any sexual tension involved since I'm more the kid sister type than anything else.

But that said, I treasure the female friends that I do have.  I admire and love them dearly.  They are artistic, intelligent, creative, so beautiful, witty, insanely talented, and... AND they are enormously kind and loving to me. 

The following women, I have known for 10 years, 15 years, 25 years (holy crap!) and what seems like my whole life even though I've only known one of them for a couple of years. 
I respect and admire each of them, for the diversity of their personalities and for their unique loveliness.

Come meet...
This is Jen.  Her husband, Brian, is an incredibly dear lifelong friend of mine and what a lucky treat for me that he married Jen so she could also be in my life.  A few things about her:
1. She has THE BEST laugh. (and a good good sense of humor) 
2. She's modest and humble as all heck.  Given her artistic genius and skill as an animator with Dreamworks (the hair, the texturing on the Shrek movies... that's Jen's doing.) and if you even saw her personal art... my gosh... your heart would melt- she's so so gifted, so phenomenally talented, but there isn't a shred of an ego in her being.
3. She's got the brightest most beautiful eyes, the greatest smile, the most caring and compassionate heart.  Her consciousness of the world around her is astounding and she treats it all with respect.
4. Jen is a remarkably lovely mother.  She and Brian just welcomed their baby boy into this nutty world this past year.  Emmett is a perfect mix of their most beautiful qualities and to see their parenting is an inspiring and hopeful and uplifting thing to behold.
5. As a friend, Jen is always present.  She's a listener and when she does contribute to the conversation, it's always with great thought and insight.  I've never witnessed her being mean to anyone... ever.
6. Jen is pure loveliness.

This is Meaghan (to me, she's The Meggy).  I met her, originally a friend of my brother's, in Boston before college.  
Some things about Meaghan:
1.She's as straight forward as a person comes, but she does so with complete tact.  I admire how she handles uncomfortable social situations, for example, which is usually with a huge smile and an enormous amount of humor.
2.She's a smart cookie.  A witty writer. In her past life, she was in public relations... now she's a research librarian- and a damn good one. 
3. Did I mention that she's hilarious?  She's hilarious.  Our phone chats are really just an hour and a half of us gushing out contorted laughter and snorts.  It's awesome.
4. She has no idea how pretty she is... when she smiles, she glows. 
5. As a friend, she is solid.  Honest, kind, gentle on my sensitive soul, encouraging, and willing to talk things through to the end. 
6.Meaghan is a genuine soul, through and through.

Here's Stephanie.  She's my BFF. ( She's also in the very first photo in this post ).  We're kind of polar opposites, but then exactly the same.  I met her here in Santa Barbara a couple of years ago through her company, Bocage, but she came here from NYC.  We instantly bonded on our California transplant via East Coast status.  Besides that:
1. She is a kick ass designer.  This girl knows her skill, she knows her art, she knows exactly how to get things done.  I drool over her ability to do anything with such perfection.
2. She gets along with every person I've introduced her to... meaning she's socially skilled and can completely observe her surroundings and figure out how to best handle whatever scenario is thrown at her.
3. She is free with her knowledge.  Doesn't hoard it, but shares it generously.
4. I could hang out with her all 24 hours out of the day and still feel inspired to talk more art, more design, more creative explosion of ideas, more life chats.
5. As a friend, she is so incredibly supportive.  She's protective of me, inspires and encourages me to think huge big dreams (not that I had a difficult time with that before, but she strips me of my fears which is not an easy feat).
6. Steph is dynamically stunning.

And I would be remiss if I did not include my friend Karen in here.  But she hates herself in photos, so let me at least say this about her:
1. Karen creates the sweetest illustrations, the most warm and delicately into your soul stories.
2. She lives simply... gardens and appreciates the itty bitty beauties around her.  Even in junior high (I've been friends with her since 6th grade!) she was like this.  
3. She's non-confrontational (but don't get her in a pillow fight... I almost lost me head in one circa 1990) and is happiest kicking back in a quiet spot with her sweet husband and their cats.  I find this always endearing.
4. She's totally responsible and totally authentic.
5. As a friend, she's kind, introspective, sharing, loyal, and true.  And, hell, she's put up with me for close to 25 years, so you know she has great will power and strength in her tiny adorable self.
6. Karen is always always herself, without exception.

I do love the gazillion males in my life, but truth be told, I don't know what I'd do without my females.  
Much love,
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