I Left My Heart In Denton Texas

Some people only know how to bake their cake and throw it on the ground (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GROUUUNNND).

Other people know how to bake their cake and eat it too.

And REALLY AWESOME PEOPLE know how to bake their cake and share the slice with the most frosting with me.

That last one is my friend Rachel.

She makes and creates, then gives me a slice to try. I love her for it.

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Rachel and I met the summer after I graduated from High School. Florida girl meets Texas girl. We were both living in Branson, Missouri for 3 months with 70 other crazy college students, packed into an old hotel, working at theme parks for some summer moolah, and (for  me) unlearning Christianese and learning Jesus together. I was scared out of my mind when I pulled in to Branson. It was my first home away from home. All the other 70 people had at least BEEN to college and had already started finding themselves and I had just stepped off the graduation stage and hugged my mom goodbye for the first time.

That's why I'm grateful Rachel is one of the first people I met and really connected with, because she took care of my frightened-and-shaky-like-a-chiwawa self. She also made me laugh a lot. She has a gift for giving of her creative talents as well as a gift for loving maternally. And that's what I needed straight out of my mother's arms.

Our work schedules were different, but our jenky hotel rooms were right across from each other, and there were a lot of nights she would sit on my bed while I fell asleep, singing me Mary Poppins' "Stay Awake" and stroking my hair until I fell asleep. Such a selfless, kind, and sweet way to love someone. Her simple love and loyalty have left an impression on me forever. I've also turned into a much more touchy feely person since knowing her (Stacie pre-college was only a side hugger and fist bumper).

We've been a jenkified version of PenPals since then and I couldn't be more grateful to have someone cheer me on from afar as she always has. She encourages me and makes sure to ask me how I've been even if I forgot to respond to her last message. She and her husband, Walter, are abroad in Prague teaching English, researching crazy Physics things, traveling, and taking really fun pictures all the time. She just launched an Etsy store called With Love From Prague and was SO kind to send me something special from it, made just for me. I cried and screamed when it arrived in the mail! She knows me too well; my heart is definitely in Denton. Good thing I live here.

Go check out her shop, she's got the cutest, nerdiest, and prettiest embroideries!

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Stacie Stine

Design Jamboree, Denton, Texas, United States