g r a t i t u d e

didn't someone say:

Life is partly what we make it,
and partly what is made by the friends we choose.

Amen to that.

Paul and I met in college.
A college class, actually: Dr. Candy Young's (Truman State) Public Administration seminar.
That was (gasp!) 15 years ago.
Avery was born about 2 years thereafter.
(I was a college senior when Ave was born; BTW that's not a path we would recommend but has worked out pretty well here...)

Many of my dearest friendships were born in those days, too ~ Nikki Phillips (now Isemann), oh, and her husband Jim! Brenda Goering (now George), the best roommate anyone could ever hope for! . . . Jeff Milke, Rita Hiscocks, oh, and of course, my husband, Paul Wagner. And Tracey Wolff (now Westfield) ~ oh, how I love Tracey Wolff!! and the unflappable Jena Carter!!! This list could go on and on....Joe Bambenek, Debi Weaver, Teri Brickey, and how lucky am I?! - my now sister-in-law, Debbie Wagner. And I would be remiss to not mention Margarita Heisserer...the most special kind of friend & mentor (she was actually my scholarship/work-study boss.) I'm including Dr. Young on this short list as well and have felt especially supported over the years by her husband, Larry, an amazing sculptor. OK, now that I'm thinking of those whom I admire and have always felt so supported/loved/encouraged by: thank you, Elise Gaber!! ~ who started out as my college advisor and soon became cherished friend.

Isn't it funny, some of the people I've just rattled off I haven't spent time with in years.
With others I've been more lucky.

I will, with no exaggeration, be forever grateful that last week Jena & Brian opened their home to welcome Avery and I as Avery (and I) transition into the teenage years. Not only did we spend quality, memory-filled time with them and with Tracey (who lives and works in DC, too); Avery now regards Aunt Jena & Aunt Tracey as friends of hers, as well.

On the flight home, Avery and I started looking at pictures we made. Avery, Jena & I took an afternoon Photo Safari class (it's fun! - you should do it if you get the chance!) so many of these images were created by Avery using her photo-safari discovered techniques. Pictured below, David, photo safari founder/instructor, instructing our classmates:

The Enderle - Wagners are never very good about quickly getting thank you letters in the mail, but are hoping that THIS FUN SLIDESHOW STARTS TO EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE for the many memories. Of all the slideshows I've worked on, this one, that Avery and I did together, may just be my favorite.

Enjoy! ---- all of it, all of it was able to happen b/c of relationships with wonderful people, wonderful friends.

~ amy enderle . . . oh! and thanks to Google: above quote is by TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, who went to college just blocks down the road at the University of Missouri - Columbia.