10 Things Tuesday: Holly Jo & Rita Friendship Facts

It’s a busy time for me with several things on my plate, so here is non-traditional 10 Things Tuesday list for you. Learn a little more about mine and Holly Jo’s history and how close our lives have always been.

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1. We rode the school bus together for seven years.
We were on a crowded and smelly bus before 7AM practically every morning through our entire elementary school years and we always shared a seat. Sometimes we had a third person in our seat… Including someone who bullied us! We eventually upgraded and locked in our third seat-mate as another one of our cousins. 

2. We were hostesses from an early age.
In college we loved to host parties. As adults we love hosting events at our homes. As kids, we were always ready to put on a show. Seriously… One time we went to the extreme of sitting our teachers down after school and requesting that there be an assembly in the gymnasium so that we could put on a special singing and dancing show for the entire school body. We were serious about these things from an early age.

3. We were once in the same class.
Although a grade apart we shared the same teacher in 2nd/3rd grade. It was a dream come true. By then we both had our own friends–many of which were in our class as well–but even that did not matter. We did EVERYTHING together that year and USUALLY let our other friends be included. (#meangirlsalert)

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[1995: Easter with our cousins.]

4. We did every class and activity together in childhood.
Dance. Drama. Peewee basketball. Swim lessons. We did it all together. And I cannot think of anything one of us did alone. Neither of us ever cared to play tee-ball/softball. We never took any kind of music lessons. (Ironically, our shortest endeavor was dance–something she and I both love to do, to this day. Too much structure, I suppose. We have our own style!) We even shared the same crushes. But don’t worry, MJ and Mingus… We grew out of this years ago!

5. We shared hairstyles at one point.
There was a year or two where we both only wanted to wear a single french braid in our hair every day. Jo was much more insistent about it than I, and I cannot say I ever saw her at school without that braid. She was also very particular about the tightness and smoothness of the braid. (Yes, this is the same big, beautiful haired Holly Jo you know. There was a time she wanted her hair as flat to her head as possible.)

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[1997: Collage made by me for Jo before she moved.]

6. We were “out of touch” for about 5-6 years.
Our most out of touch point in our lives was when she moved a county away, after living a mile down the road, and attended a different middle and high school. It was a pre cell phone/texting/social media era and, with both of us being involved in sports and activities, time together was infrequent and phone calls were non-existent. Even with this, we somehow managed to be close–I even knew most of her closest friends. Getting to a driving age definitely helped and I was able to spend time hanging with her new friends.

7. We attended the same college.
For completely our own motives, we both ended up choosing Bellarmine University for college. Unlike second and third grade, we did a better job of maintaining our own lives and circles of friends, (I ran track and was a newspaper editor/she was president of the activities council.) Still, we had weekly dinner dates in the cafeteria, shared numerous friends, had our first drinking experiences and made a million hilarious memories.

05.03.23 Peat&Holly
[2005: My freshman year at Bellarmine.]

8. We lived together for a year and then shared a room for 6 months.
We shared an apartment for a year while both working in Louisville. Our now husbands (then boyfriends) both lived out of town, so we spent our week nights together and were typically both off to see our men on weekends. Once engaged, we both moved out of Louisville, but my brother and his wife rented us a room to stay in, as needed, since our jobs were both still in the ‘Ville. So a few nights a week, we even shared a bed! When you grow up like sisters, it’s not weird at all.

[2010 – My 25th birthday at mine & Jo’s apartment.]

9. We got engaged and married within the same year.
Although she started dating MJ a little over a year before Mingus and I got together, we were engaged within a few months of each other and then our weddings were within the same year. Her’s was in the city at the cathedral and a reception at Keeneland. Mine was in my tiny hometown church with a reception in a field. Both were awesome celebrations with a TON of dancing.

[2011: At the salon the day of my wedding.]

10. Our daughters and 1st children were born less than 3 hours apart.
Neither of us were trying to get pregnant when it happened the first time, but it happened and when we told each other we found out our due dates were 4 days apart. If that wasn’t crazy enough, we ended up with very similar (LONG!) labors at the exact same time and our daughters arrived within 3 hours of each other.

[2013: SJ & Lou at 2 months old]

BONUS: We moved into our “forever homes” within a year.
She bought and I built, but we both moved into the homes we are in today within a year of each other–pretty overwhelming and scary events for single-income families. We pray for each others’ families every day and hope we are following God’s will. We hope these are our forever homes, but His will be done.


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