Whenever we are in a mall with a BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP in it, our family can’t resist going in.  The kids love looking at all the different animals and then spending all kinds of time looking at the different outfits they could get for their bears.  I have to admit, it is just a happy place to be.

Did you know that BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP has been around for 15 years?  Since the company opened its doors in the St. Louis Galleria Mall on October 27, 1997, it has grown to become a global brand as well as a company with heart.  This year they are also celebrating the selling of their 100 millionth furry friend.  Now, that’s a lot of stuffed animals to love!

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP‘s message has always been that friends count, no matter if they are furry or real.  Reagan has two furry friends from BUILD-A-BEAR, Olivia and Rachel.  Rachel is a bunny and was given to her by her brothers when she was born.  Olivia is a pink tye-dyed bear that she picked out for her birthday a couple years ago.  Both are very special to her and are frequently taken along on trips and tucked in bed with her.

For me, I am so blessed to have so many friends that I can count on.  I remember reading a saying about friends once, and it basically said how women have friends for every situation in their life, and each one of them has a purpose and is very special.  I can totally agree with that.

I have my BFF, Tammy, who I met in college and even though we are opposites in some ways, we clicked and have been close ever since, even though a lot of our friendship has included living apart from each other (like now).  I love that every time we talk, we pick right up where we left off.  I love that I can send a text about something funny and she knows exactly what I mean.  I love that she loves to read, like I do, and we can talk books.  I love that we can really talk about anything for hours and it seems like only minutes have passed.  I miss our Saturday “dates”, but I am hoping to be able to head to Nashville to visit her soon!

My friend, Diana, is a relatively new friend, but when I met her we just clicked.  We can talk for “hours”, as the kids say, and we have a lot of common things going on in our lives.  I love bouncing stuff off of her and getting her opinion on mothering.  Diana is also an avid reader and I can talks books with her for hours too.  I look forward to our coffee “dates” that somehow turn into late afternoon sessions and we didn’t even notice.  I look forward to our kids growing up together and the two of us supporting each other through the teens years with lots of laughs, oh yeah, Diana also has the best laugh!

My friend, Mary lives in the same town as me and in the summers is my walking buddy.  Our families love to get together on the weekends and “hang out” usually playing a game while the kids create some sort of show for us to watch before the night is over.  Mary and I have similar values and similar shopping habits.  There is always laughter when Mary is around and I can count on her to help me out anytime we need it.

I met my friend, April at church and am so glad I did.  She is a go-getter if I ever met one.  She can literally build a house and then decorate it to look like a magazine feature.  She can sing and play the piano.  She can create a beautiful garden out of nothing.  She can be covered in paint and dust one minute and the next look drop dead gorgeous for a night on the town.  She tells it like it is and at the same time, makes you feel comfortable around her.  She is the epitomy of the “Jill of All Trades” and is someone I am blessed to hang out with.  April and I started an after-school program at our church and we have made a great team.  When I am with April, I believe that anything is possible and what better quality is there to have than that?

Finally, my cousin, Melanie is one of the dearest people in my life.  Melanie is the person I talk to most outside of my husband and kids.  We chat nearly daily on the computer and help each other get through our crazy days.  I have known her my whole life and even though as kids we didn’t get to see each other all that often, when we did, we always had fun.  As adults and moms we became close due to our similar values and the simple fact that our kids are the same age and we wanted to build memories for our kids like we had growing up.  Our families get together once a year and Melanie and I get together with our moms once a year.  I look forward to those times so much…even counting down the days….just 24 more days.  If we get to see other more than that it is an extra treat.  We always say how we wish we lived closer (we are 7 hours apart) because we would help each other out with all the volunteering we get ourselves into, or with parenting, or her job, or parties, etc.  But, we dream of one day, after the kids are grown, seeing each other as often as we want.

I don’t know what I would do without these women in my life.  They hold me up when I am slumping, make me laugh when I am crying, and remind me that we are all truly blessed.  Thanks for always being there friends!

Thanks to BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP for reminding us that Friends Count.  Congrats on your accomplishments and may you have many more milestones to come! To learn more about BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP, check out their website at www.buildabear.com.

By promoting this milestone, I was entered into a drawing for a Build-A-Bear gift card from MomSelect and Build-A-Bear Workshop.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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