Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Dear Sarita

Dear Sarah,

Earlier this week, I texted you about your Myers Briggs personality type and, as I suspected, you and I are pretty close to polar opposites.  This is what I love so much about our friendship – we are so different and yet so very much the same.

As I said to John earlier this week, can you imagine if, on that first night at college so many years ago, we could have seen the twists and turns our lives have taken?

I want to thank you for being someone who has always stuck around.  I want you to know that not all of the friends that I have made in life have done that, so it means a lot to me.  One of the happiest days of my life was watching you marry Andy.  It was such a joy to see your heart so full, in love with a guy who is so perfect for you.  And I get as much joy from watching you be a mother to that sweet girl. 

I will always wish that we could live closer to each other, but am content to know that anytime we get together, we can pick up on wherever we left off.  Since you are the one who knows the most about my crazy life (and my real feelings about it) and you still like to hang out with me, I feel pretty lucky. ūüėä

BFFs 4 Lyfe!


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Dear Ashley

Dear Ashlery,

Girlfriend, I miss ya. ¬†It’s been almost ten years since we spent our first year teaching together up in that tiny little town. ¬†They did a great job when they hired us to work together; we made such a great duo. ¬†I couldn’t have done that first year without my constant companion¬†at Friday Night Football, my dinner date to Chili’s like 5 nights a week, my early morning breakfast buddy, my Spain travel companion… should I keep going??

I think what I love the most about our friendship is that even as different as our lives may be, and for as long as we sometimes go without seeing each other, when we get to spend time together, it always feels like we see each other every day, like there has been no distance or time in the way.

The other day, I had written a comment on Facebook about how I was so glad to have you in my daughters’ lives. I really mean that. ¬†I love that they can see someone so kind and loving, successful, confident, gorgeous, intelligent, who is an awesome friend and family member and a leader in her career. ¬†I feel that it is so important that they be surrounded by strong women, and you are a shining example of that for them.

I often feel like a terrible friend these days. ¬†I know that I have too many balls in the air right now and that my balance is a little off. ¬†Another friend of mine always preaches that people find time for what is important to them and I don’t know, that seems a little unfair to me. ¬†Maybe that is part of my struggle for balance. ¬†In any case, I want you to know that I miss your face! ¬†Thanks so much for always being there to help lift my spirits, hear my whining, and to drag me out for margaritas when I need it the most.

Cheers to pink, sparkly, shopaholic, wine-and-chocolate-loving girl bosses!  Now come over already, will ya??





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5 years

Love is friendship set on fire.

It has been five years since this monumental day:


When I first met John, he was stumbling into our 8:30 AM introductory Education class, decked out in his wrinkly pajamas, looking like he hadn’t bathed in a week.

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but he was certainly intriguing.


We were friends for a long time.  I liked him because wherever we went, whatever we did, we had fun.  He liked me because I bought him breakfast when he was low on cafeteria points.


¬†As our friendship grew into forever, our friends joked that they couldn’t believe that it had taken us so long. ¬†And when he proposed, on one knee in front of 300 students and faculty at the prom that we were chaperoning, there was not a doubt in my mind that this is right.


¬†We had one argument in the wedding planning process. ¬†I wanted a nice car to transport us to our reception. ¬†Mindful of budget, he suggested a bus. ¬†I’ll let you in on a little secret here: while 99% of the time, John likes to let me be the boss (something I appreciate tremendously), when he puts his foot down, I listen (no one in my family will believe this). ¬†We got the bus.


¬†We vowed to love God first, then each other. ¬†We laugh every day. ¬†We argue. ¬†We pinch pennies. ¬†We complain about each other. ¬†We bond over¬†America’s Got Talent and the amazing¬†Jon Stewart. ¬†We have grown our family¬†in the desire to love every minute of our life and we do.


5 years. ¬†1,825 days. ¬†43,800 hours. ¬†2,628,000 minutes. ¬†1 mortgage. ¬†4 different jobs. ¬†1.75 Master’s degrees. ¬†2 beautiful girls. ¬†2 sweet angel babies. ¬†21 states. ¬†3 countries. ¬†75 viewings of the movie Frozen.¬† 1 NICU stay. ¬†1 PICU stay. ¬†3 half-marathons (those are all him, but I’m a great spectator). ¬†1 mission trip. ¬†4 anniversaries in a car. ¬†Approximately 200 rolls of sushi and Lord knows how many ice cold beers.

It has been a wild, crazy, beautiful, wonderful, roller coaster ride. ¬†I’m so thankful that, through it all, he is my constant. ¬†We are not who we were when we said our vows five years ago. ¬†Praise the Lord for that. ¬†Stronger, closer, fiercely in love with each other, with our family, with our life. ¬†Whatever comes our way, we walk together.

0812Happy anniversary, Jefe.  There is no one better for the celebrations, no one better for the trenches, than you.  What a beautiful life we have been given to lead together!!!!  (Did I get enough exclamation points in there for you?  Maybe I could add a couple more?!!!?)  I love you more than the sun and the stars.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Love, Mags