Laura and I met at church when I moved to Pennsylvania at age 15. A few months later we went to girls camp together and there our friendship really began. We'd stay up late into the night laughing about boys and high school and all the teenage things, starting a long tradition of giggling together until we felt drunk, staying up too late at sleepovers, pranking our teachers, and making each other squirm with silent laughter in a quiet church with no more than a look. Laura was a rock for me throughout high school and college and she's still the kind of friend who I can just pick up the phone with after a month without contact and be understood instantly. She and I have helped each other through a lot of hard times and enjoyed so many fun times together too. I love her like a sister. My kids call her Aunt Laura.
So when she told me her due date for her second baby was in the summer, I instantly began planning my summer around her birth, arranging to fly from Italy to Utah only days before her due date. I was determined to be there for her, to hold her hand and to document everything. And that's exactly what happened. And I wouldn't have changed a thing. Little Emery arrived in the early hours on my daughter's birthday after a long day in the hospital. I love that little guy and wish I could be nearby to hold him so that Laura could get a few hours of sleep here and there. But I'm grateful I could be there for one of the biggest moments of her life.