You know you love your friends when you sign up for a wedding in Chicago. In January.

Right about now, our plane from Philadelphia is wheels up and heading west to a place also affectionately known as “the Windy City.” I’ve packed 67 layers of clothing and I still think I’m woefully underprepared…I wonder if it’s appropriate to wear one’s parka indoors to a black-tie affair?

But, I love my friend (and her soon-to-be hubby), so Chicago it is. She’s the one I trained with for years. She’s the incredibly positive one who never failed to make me laugh, no matter how long practice lasted or how exhausted we felt. She’s also the one who would forget to hydrate enough during breaks and we took turns reminding to drink lest she pass out in the boat (again) and scare us all half to death. She’s the one who hung out with me under a bridge during a lightening storm ~ for HOURS ~ until it was safe to row home. She’s the one who stood next to me on that medal podium at Nationals.

She’s also the baby of our team from years past, so it’s making me feel a little nostalgic (and very old) to think of her in a wedding dress.

We love you, Jess and Gareth – thank you for having us be a part of your day!