The Extended Bloodline, LK&G

If you have ever had a conversation with me for at least an hour, I’ve probably referenced these two humans at least three times throughout. If you’re around me a lot, then I probably bore you with stories of these two on a daily basis. And if you’re one of my best friends, then you’ve probably become good friends with them as well. The infamous Graham Toal Green and Lauren Noel Kelly (aka groanie and LK). The wannabee Lippitt sisters that I never had but can’t seem to get rid of. And while they claim to be Lippitt sisters, there’s no actual blood link between us. That is, unless, you consider Graham and I’s grandparents claim to be kin of Francis Scott Key… But then again aren’t we all kin to him?

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Nonetheless, blood or not, they are whole heartedly members of the Lippitt Clan. My partners in adventure. And the future godmoms to my babies. Add my sister to the mix of our trio, and we’re the four stooges. Not only have we been through almost every phase of life together since middle school, but they have been on so many family vacations with us that even my cousins call them cousins.

We bring out the best in one another. Best, as in the overwhelmingly weirdness of our true selves. We hardly ever get embarrassed. Ever. And we fully believe that no one can ever be too cool for school (aka too cool to make a fool of yourself). Unless you’re Beyoncé. Or Adele.

We very rarely take one another too seriously. But when we do, we’re spilling our hearts out and revealing our built up emotions for the past year. Oh, that’s the other thing- we don’t really like to show emotion or be too sentimental. But when one sheds a tear, it’s fair game and we all let down our walls. We push one another in our faith. Asking the hard questions. Encouraging the right decisions. And revealing our more vulnerable sides. Then lightening up the mood with a joke.

We’re one another’s #1 fans and will go out of our way to let it be known. For my soccer senior game, they drove four hours down and fours hours back, in the same day, to jump around and cheer for me like maniacs. That’s friendship. That’s love. That’s family. That’s the extended bloodline.

Graham:

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This is Groanie. She enjoys long nights of Netflix, tripping over imaginary objects, and her mom’s homemade tortellini. In terms of personality, we’re nearly clones of one another. So much that I find myself bickering with her more than I bicker with my actual sister. We’re both unbearably stubborn. And while she always thinks she’s right, I’m actually always right 🙂 so we tend to butt heads. She may only be (barely) 5ft tall, and, yes, she may still sleep with her blankies; but she’s one fiery spicy ball ready to put anyone who looks down on her or one of her loved ones in their place. Making her the ultimate hero for the underdogs. She’s read every book in the top 20 best seller list for the past 10 years straight, she orders chicken fingers and fries at every restaurant she goes to, and it’s a task sent from Satan himself to get her grump self out of bed in the morning.

On a more serious note, Graham has a heart of gold. She’s dedicated her life to teaching kids with disabilities and does it with a bubbly fun loving spirit. She brightens up the room when she starts talking and her positive energy is infectious. There’s few people who dislike Graham. And if you are one of those people, chances are, there’s most likely something wrong with you. When I need advice, she’s the first number I dial because I have it memorized of course. She encourages me when I’m down. Rationalizes me when I’m impulsive. And most of all, laughs at me even when I’m not funny.

And finally, she stays true to her word. When we were younger, we promised one another to embark on an international backpacking extravaganza. This summer our childhood dream came true. Graham met me in France and we then ate our way through Spain, Morocco, and Italy. We slept on airport sidewalks, washed one another’s hair in public bathroom sinks, and cried when our peanut butter was confiscated by customs (maybe that was just me).

LK:

If we’re being honest, I don’t even know where to begin with describing LK. For starters, I guarantee you’ve never met anyone like her in your life. She insists on wearing purple eye liner every day  but refuses to shave her legs for months on end. She won’t kill a bug but she’ll pose for a selfie with a dead rodent in the street. And she’s extremely down to earth, yet, believes she’s a member of a secret society that sees the number 47 everywhere they go.

But that’s we love her. She always keeps us entertained. Always lightens the mood. And is always full of surprises. But most of all, she has the biggest heart and freest spirit of anyone I’ve ever encountered. She loves Jesus, her family, and her friends. The simple things keep her happy. And LK is so genuinely good natured that she sometimes fails to realize that evil actually exists in the world; which is honestly refreshing to be around. She’s always so optimistic. So quick to forgive. Easy to love. And immediately lends out a helping hand to anyone that crosses her path.

I met LK in seventh grade at a mutual friend’s birthday party. We were partnered for a ping pong game and our competitive nature, ability to talk to a wall, adrenaline-thrill-seeking personality, and easy going attitude enabled us to hit it off. From that point on, I remained friends with LK throughout all of her interesting phases of life (ranging from a punk rock emo girl with dyed black hair to a country gal shooting deer on the farm). We laughingly refer to her as a cultural chameleon because whatever setting she’s placed in, she overly adapts to. There’s a reason she won the senior superlative most likely to win survivor.

But now she’s evolved into her own category. Just good ole LK. A melting pot of all of her past phases and experiences leaving us guessing for what weird fetish or obsession is to come. And while LK experienced many drastic life changes, there are many underlining consistencies that have remained unchanged since I’ve known her: Her compassion. Her spunkiness. Her light-heartedness. Her sacrificial soul. And her ability to brighten up the room with her smile.

In Summary:

This is the most sentiment or display of affection than I’ve ever given these two but it needed to be documented. If this was an actual yearbook, they’d have the first 10 pages reserved for them. Love y’all to the moon and back.

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