Lemonade and Popsicles

One of the only major reasons why I went to Dallas this year was because it’s simply the best to be able to see friends who don’t live nearby. It’s one of the bittersweet things about having long distance friendships. It’s, of course, sad to not be able to see them every day. But when you do see them? It’s a feeling that can’t be beat.
Julia is one of those friends. She’s just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. As I’ve gotten older, finding genuine friends is more challenging and also more important. It’s one thing to have a great time with a friend– enjoying dinners, laughing too hard, spending an afternoon doing nothing together. But it’s a whole different ballgame when you talk about truly connecting with someone– letting your guard down, sharing the gritty parts of life, being vulnerable. 
There are all kinds of friendships out there and depending on the person/relationship, it takes work to see what kind of level you really mesh well at. I seek out the highest level, although I may not always find it. 
I have a couple of litmus tests that work for me. Are you as excited to see the person as she is to see you? Do you get a burst of energy when you hear from them, even if it’s a simple text? Can you be your authentic self around her? Would you be comfortable asking her for help if you needed it? And… the big one… how willing and to what extent are you able to help her if she needs it.
I can’t be a level ten friend with all my friends. It’s impossible and would be unfair to expect that of myself. But, I have a solid group of friends whom I would literally do just about anything for. A friend’s mom is going through something and she just needs me to be there? I’m on the next train. A friend needs courage to make a difficult decision? I’m clearing my calendar to spend the whole afternoon on Skype.
One of the friends I would 100% say is a Level Ten in my book is Julia. I am beyond thankful that blogging brought us together. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I have when I’m with her and I never feel like I have to be anything but myself. We really “get” each other.
Thomas, Julia’s husband, snapped these photos. He’s so talented and even writes a great blog with all kinds of photography tips.
Even though I already miss Julia, we are heading to Alaska together later this month!!! The four of us absolutely can’t wait.

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Sara Elizabeth

Sweet post – couldn't agree more with how hard it is to find those people – and how important it is to be a level 10 friend to those when you do!

Fairy Princess Jord

This is such a cute post. I've been reading your blog for years but just discovered Julia's. You both are so adorable and I can see why you guys are friends. You're going to have the best time in Alaska, I can't wait to read about it!

Sylvia Dennis

You guys look so adorable! I remember chatting about Julia and Thomas when we had coffee in Feb and it was so clear you guys were really good friends. It's so hard at our age to find and keep true friends! Love the dresses ladies! Can't wait to see pictures of Alaska, Lewis and I always said we wanted to go!
xo S.

Savannah Fry

You two are just the cutest. That kind of friendship is just so important, and it's obvious that the two of you support each other a great deal. And, of course, you're both impeccably dressed and incredibly photogenic, which always lends itself to a wonderfully photographic friendship. 🙂

Katie M

Seems like a such a fun time! Can't wait to see your pictures from Alaska, Carly!



It's so awesome to have those friendships! I think another litmus test for me is whether the friendship can sustain even if you go awhile without being in too much contact. If you can pick up where you left off after those seasons of less frequent contact you've got something solid too.

Sweet Spontaneity

Olivia Stieren

I love that term…Level Ten friend! What a perfect way to describe that type of friendship connection. I agree with what Sarah said above – there's something very special about being back in touch with a dear friend and nothing's changed.

Julia Engel

Carly!!!!! This just made my entire day 🙂 I love you so much and am so thankful for our friendship as well. You are such a beautiful person inside and out and I'm so lucky to have you in my life. I wouldn't want you to be anything else but YOU! I can't wait to see you in two weeks. LOVE YOU!!! XOXO