Be still, my heart! When I look back at this post, one word repeatedly comes to mind: richness

Yes, there is the superficial component of richness in vibrancy and color. Most of Texas does not see a fall with the colors that adorn the trees in the Northeast!  But there is so much more than that. 

My friendship with Elina has a truly multi-layered history. Our families knew one another even before our individual journeys to the United States.  After thousands of miles of travel and resettling, we managed to end up in the same city. Fast-forward through junior high, high school, college, and beyond, we have still managed to preserve a rich connection.  It is difficult to verbalize the warmth that I feel seeing the growth of Elina and Ross's family, and the wonderful life they have created for themselves.  I met and befriended their incredibly sweet son Ari who enhanced this friendship even further (after spending a couple of days with them, I have even added some super secret new words to my [toddler] vocabulary!). I hope we continue to be involved in each additional chapter in our respective histories!