Shop the fall collection ➔

I have always believed that friendships are what make a life.

They make the joys more fun to celebrate, the struggles easier to navigate and the memories more vivid for remembering.

But when I became a mom and my life looked more like a twisting, dusty road with an occasional tree down than the mostly-straight-and-clear highway on which I’d been cruising prior, I realized friendships were not just nice to have, they were a necessary asset for parenting survival.

That’s where you come in.

My “always” friend.

The one who is always the first I call when that path takes a sharp turn. The one who always answers that call even when you are in the middle of making lunch with three kids at your feet. The one who always knows what to say when I didn’t know I needed you to.

But more than these times you have ALWAYS been there, there have also been the “never” moments. And for those, I equally thank you.

Thank you for NEVER trying to talk me off the bathroom floor . . . and instead, sitting beside me on it. You know those tears have probably been piling up for a while, and you are ready to be my sounding board until I’m ready to stand back up.

Thank you for never giving me the silent treatment when I forget to call you on your birthday. You know I have a thousand things going on, and that our friendship isn’t defined by a single day. And (let’s be honest) you know you will probably forget mine, too.

Thank you for never forgetting me in the middle of your busy life. I know you have your own struggles. Your own schedule. Your own busy-ness. Your own children to raise. But you always find time to text me from the pick-up line or call me while running errands.

Thank you for never getting mad when I don’t call or text you back right away. Instead, you leave a hilarious voicemail re-introducing yourself as someone I “used to know” because I hadn’t called you back in a week and a half. You know I love you. You know I need reminders. And you know I completely forgot that you called. And you will probably do the same in a week.

Thank you for never calling me out on my imperfections. I know I have them and they have shown up in our friendship (and maybe even hurt you at times.)  But you know my heart is in the right place. You know you have imperfections, too. You know it’s worth it to see past them. 

Thank you for never ceasing to amaze me with your thoughtfulness. That coffee cup you left on my doorstep because the quote made you think of me. That book you sent me in the mail that you thought I needed or would love to read. Those flowers you sent me to congratulate me on a goal I reached in my career. Your selflessness never takes a break.

Thank you for never breaking my trust. To know my words won’t hit another person’s ears because they’ve gone into the vault inside our friendship’s safe space is extra weight that doesn’t have to take up residence on my shoulders.

Thank you for never making me feel guilty for asking for help. You have bailed me out when a babysitter canceled. You have let me drop off my kids within minutes when an emergency came up. And when I pick them up? You remind me you’ll be there for me when I need you again.

Thank you for never letting me off the hook when I start showing signs of believing I’m not going to reach my dreams. Whether you do it with kindness or jokingly threaten to tell the world that secret you have about me from high school if I don’t keep going . . . thanks for never letting me do anything less than my greatest.

Thank you for never making me ask for forgiveness and grace. I know you’ve already given it . . . and you’ll remind me of that when I ask for it anyways.

Thank you for never letting miles come between us.

For never letting go of my hand.

For never letting me feel alone.

For never wavering.

For always being you.

THANK YOU.

Brea Schmidt

Brea Schmidt is a writer, speaker and photographer who aims to generate authentic conversation about motherhood and daily life on her blog, The Thinking Branch. Through her work, she aims to empower people to overcome their fears and insecurities and live their truth. She and her husband raise their three children in Pittsburgh, PA.

I’ll Find Her Again One Day

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby at night

It happened again. Took 15 months this time. But I found myself in the same spot I said I’d never be in. Lost, drowning, on the brink of a mental breakdown—however you want to put it. I was gone in motherhood. With the diapers piling up around me, I was getting mad at my husband for nothing, screaming at my oldest son, crying along with the babies, and in a fog. RELATED: To the Woman Who’s Lost Herself in Motherhood I couldn’t do anything—literally—I couldn’t even pee without hearing a demand. When my children were quiet, my house billowed with...

Keep Reading

I Want Friends Who Grow Old with Me

In: Friendship, Living
Friends laughing

When I grow older, I want my friends to come with me. I want us to sit on porches sipping tea and watching the young walk by. I want us to scoot around on our scooters or on golf carts because none of us want to walk back home from the beach. I want us to sit in restaurants and order whatever we want because life has become too short and we know it, so cheesecake it is. RELATE: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends I want morning strolls together to get the willies out, and...

Keep Reading

To the Mom In the Trenches: Make Room For Yourself

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach black and white photo

“I need to make room for myself,” I think quietly as I shove toys aside with my foot and toss the dog-hair-covered blankets onto the couch behind me. This endless carousel of shuffling clutter weighs on me, but I try not to dwell on that fact right now. Clearing a space for a quick strength class between Zoom calls requires almost as much effort as the class itself. Plastic play food and melodic baby toys lay strewn about the room (the whole house, really). Scattered LEGOs and Hot Wheels wait to attack unsuspecting bare feet at any moment. To say...

Keep Reading

“Old” Seems Less Old the Older I Get

In: Living
Mother and teen daughter smiling

Growing up, my grandparents hosted birthday parties that involved all of my dad’s aunts and uncles gathering around the kitchen table with a deck of pinochle cards dealt among them. After a few games, a “lunch” of sandwiches, cake, and hot cups of coffee would be served.  I remember looking at the people gathered around that table—wrinkled fingers raking in cards, deep, scratchy voices calling out bids and naming trump, laughter mingled with German words I didn’t understand. The kids were never invited to the table, only allowed to watch from the outskirts.  We were too young. And they were...

Keep Reading

I Love Being a Mom, But I Miss That Party Girl Sometimes

In: Living, Motherhood
Girl at bar in black tank top

It’s 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. Freshly showered and ready to take on whatever the night brings. I’ve just gotten dressed and am finishing up my makeup when the phone rings. “Hey, I’m about to leave in half an hour. Do you want to meet around 8 p.m.?” “Sure! I’m almost ready. I’ll be there at 8!” I say excitedly. I finish my makeup and start working on my hair when a text comes through. “Hey, Ash! Just wanted to let you know we’ll be there around 9 but we’re definitely going to make it! I can’t wait to...

Keep Reading

Christmas + ’90s TV Nostalgia? Yes, Please!

In: Living
Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber Full House friends at wedding

Why is it that the older I get, the more nostalgic I become about the ’90s?  Maybe it’s because it was a simpler time: No social media. The only cell phones we’d ever seen belonged to Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell and Macaulay Caulkin in Richie Rich. The height of cool was owning a hair crimper and that clear corded phone (bonus points if it was connected to a dedicated teen line). And you knew it was going to be a great day when you started the tape recorder in time to get all of MmmBop! on your...

Keep Reading

Not Everyone Is Meant to Stay In Your Life Forever. . . And That’s Okay

In: Friendship, Living
black and white shot from behind of a woman

It’s so weird how someone can be in your life, every single day, and then one day not be there anymore. Whether it’s a friend, significant other, or family member. Maybe the relationship ended on good terms. Maybe it was an “I think our time together is done, I wish you the best” type of thing. Or maybe it was completely devastating. Regardless, it’s so strange that relationships can change so immensely and quickly. You may not be at a place of peace with it yet, and that’s okay. Sometimes the end of a relationship can literally be one of...

Keep Reading

There Were No Black Disney Princesses When I Was Growing Up, So I Can’t Wait for “The Little Mermaid”

In: Living
little girl who wanted to be a princess

There has been so much controversy around the Little Mermaid being Black. I try to only focus on the videos of the little girls seeing the trailer for the first time. Every time a video comes up of a little girl’s reaction, I stop to watch it. I stop because that little girl is me. With each squeal, smile, and gasp, the little girl inside of me cries because they get to see what I didn’t. RELATED: We Got a Sneak Peek into Disney’s New “The Little Mermaid,” and My 90s Kid Heart Is So Excited Growing up, Ariel was...

Keep Reading

Grandparents Give Us Bonus Love That We Should Never Take for Granted

In: Living
grandma and grandpa swinging grandson outside

Three of my four grandparents had passed away by the time I was a child. I had a grandma, who was wonderful, but who I really only saw once a year because we lived in different states. All that to say, grandparents were not a big part of my life. So, watching my kids grow up with grandparents in their daily life has been incredibly beautiful to watch. I remember friends of mine growing up talking about their grandparents like they were their favorite people on earth. I remember how heartbroken friends were when their grandparents passed. I didn’t understand...

Keep Reading

Dear Moms, Keep Your Table Open

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Women smiling

The old Girl Scouts saying “Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold” couldn’t ring truer than it does in mom friendships. We all know this time of having young children and motherhood gives us very little opportunity to catch up with old friends or even make new friends, but I say keep your table open to both. You know the old lunch table from our childhood days where you got nervous going back to school not knowing who you were going to sit with? Now as an adult, I always keep my table...

Keep Reading