If it Can’t Be Me, I’m Glad it’s Her.

There are some friends that you have your whole life through, and Whitney has been that for me.  It all started in second grade when a chubby, insecure girl (that would be me) transferred from a Christian private school to public school and a confident little girl (that would be Whitney) decided to take her under her wing.  A lifetime of tears and laughter and AWKWARD STAGES were to follow.

Whitney recently came to visit me here in Seattle.  She is now married to a wonderful man named Cole and has a squeezable little girl named Lucy, but on this trip I got her all to myself.

Providentially, the Royal Wedding aired while Whitney was here.  As girls who happened to be born in the same year as Prince William, we spent a lot of time dreaming that God was going to unite us across oceans and cultures.  Why else would we be the exact same age as the future King of England?  We were practicing here, for the time he would make us his wife.  You can see Whitney got the crown, but I at least got some rolled hair and blue eyeshadow.

As you can see, I do not throw around the term "awkward stage" lightly.

We weren’t only obsessed with crowns for the way they associated us with the Royal family, we also held large parties each year (ok, maybe it was just the two of us on the couch with enough snacks for a large party) to watch the Miss America Pageant.  There will never be another night to compare to the one when Heather Whitestone, the hearing impaired Miss Alabama, took the crown.  We listened as the interviewed contestants, one after the other, said, “If I can’t win, I hope it will be Heather who wins.”  Our hearts sang (and we cried) as Heather did, indeed, win.  We waved back to her on the screen as though she could see us, and wondered if perhaps our future crowning as Miss America would lead to William finally noticing us as we deserved.

This is our debutante ball in high school. I'm not sayin' I wasn't still in an awkward stage, but I'd like to note that Whitney managed to send me a REAL good picture of herself. Since I don't have a scanner, I'm at her mercy.

Life kept happening and somehow in college we still had not been crowned Miss America or the Queen of William’s heart.

With dates, at an Auburn football game. We'd come a long way, baby. And aren't you thankful I finally stopped trying to straighten my hair?

One day we decided that there was a lot more to life than William and Miss America.  Who wants all the drama of the Royal Family anyway?  God brought us our own Princes and some joys came along that we didn’t even know to anticipate.

This is right after I had Pace. The most shocking thing about this photo is that my fingernails look perfectly manicured. The only thing I can figure is that I must have been trying to induce labor. My fingers are NEVER "done"

Here, I am pregnant with Mary Aplin and dealing with a toddler. Again, Whitney looks fabulous and I am very pregnant. Thanks Wee.

So, last Friday morning at 2 am Whitney came and roused me from the bed where I was sleeping with my husband, “It’s about to start!” she whispered excitedly.  And, just like we had done for those Miss America pageants all those years ago, we curled up on the couch in our pajamas (and ate enough snacks for a large party).

“You know what Whitney?” I said. “If it can’t be me, I’m glad it’s her.”

We both agreed, she was perfection. Picture borrowed from here.

I knew Whitney would think of Heather Whitestone and that night all those years ago.  Isn’t it wonderful to have friends that can share inside jokes from twenty years back?


Lunch at Le Pichet


French onion soup, ham and gruyere quiche, and french fries.


Goat cheese and lavendar fondue before dinner. Just doing my best to enter another awkward stage.


Snacks at Golden Gardens park. Eating our way through Seattle.

In all seriousness, I wouldn’t trade a million Prince Williams for this man.


So thankful he didn't know me in those incredibly awkward years 🙂


Lord help her, because I know those awkward stages are coming.


Help me to know how to help them through it without permanent trauma to their self esteem.


I wish they could always learn how to do handstands in the grass with their Daddy, instead of worrying about boys and beauty queens.


But if they do worry about those things, help me remember that You always work things for Your good in the end.

22 Responses to “If it Can’t Be Me, I’m Glad it’s Her.”

  1. Taylor says:

    Abby, I must say it was an unparalleled experience to read this post with your daughters…pointing out pics of their mommy in her awkward stage 🙂

    • Barbara Thomas says:

      I have been to the bathroom twice to get kleenex after reading your blog.
      I have watched Whitney grow into a beutiful young lady and have always heard your name through the years. I didn’t actually get to meet you until a few years ago. You and Whitney have so much to be proud of. Whitneys mother is one of my dearest friends. She is like Whitney and has always been here for me !!

  2. Caroline says:

    I am so glad I’m not the only Alabamian born in 1982 who just knew that somehow, I would meet Prince William and capture his heart! 🙂 And I totally agree–Kate was perfection, and I was so thankful to see a wedding dress with sleeves after years and years of strapless dresses! I enjoyed looking at your childhood photos, and I don’t think you were awkward. You were adorable.

  3. Rebecca Simon says:

    Thanks for being such a great friend to my sister!

  4. Lyndsey says:

    Came to your blog from Darby’s…this post put a smile on my face today. Beautiful!!

  5. Abbie says:

    What a sweet friendship. Also, what a treat that her visit was right at the time of the royal wedding. I posted about the wedding as well:

    Abby, Seattle looks so gorgeous in all of your blog posts. I always had a mental image of it being rainy, dreary, & dull….everyone just huddled around in raincoats sipping on hot coffee to try to make it through the day…looks like I’m wrong about all that. 🙂

  6. margaret says:

    Loved reading these memories and seeing all the pics of you and Whitney through the years! So fun!

  7. Lauren A. says:

    LOVED this post! And I can absolutely relate, as another 1982 baby and one who constantly marvels at the awesomeness of sharing 20+-year friendships. But there’s a big difference in that none of my closest friends are married or have any children… I realize from this we have much to look forward to in sharing that.

    PS: I also remember you and Whitney in all of the stages represented above, and I quite enjoyed those blasts from the past photos…

    PPS: Since I haven’t found my prince yet, I’m still pretty jealous of Kate, beautiful and perfect as she may be. Gonna hold out for Harry now.

  8. Nancy says:

    Precious post about priceless friends. I love it!

  9. Rebecca says:

    This was such a sweet post. I really enjoyed it. I have a friend that special in my life… they are so great, aren’t they? So sweet what you said about your own Prince. May the Lord continue to bless & strengthen your marriage.

  10. Ashley says:

    I still do not have a girl friend like Whitney, but I am still praying for mine to come along everyday!! So blessed to see what I have to look forward to!

  11. Jenny says:

    Loved this post! You two are quite a pair!

  12. Mitzi Chambers says:

    You both have always been beautiful inside and out. Awkward had never come to mind. Glad your time apart is coming to an end. Seriously, don’t you think you both came out ahead of Prince William with your two great, beautiful husbands?:)

  13. Gail says:

    Abby, You are never to old!!! Friend, Betsy, had a “wedding party” in honor of William and Kate. LOL..Even wore bride veils OUT to dinner that night! :O) Mind you she is…..66 yrs. YOUNG!!! LOL….Talk about FUN!!! And, by the way…I think Kate would want to wear your shoes!!!! :O) You have the best!!!!!

  14. Lindsey says:

    such a blessing to have had a life long friend like that! i think it’s awesome she was there to share the royal wedding with you.

  15. Jackie Brown says:

    Dear Abby, such beautiful pictures and beautiful girls, all four of you. Having a dear friend is a treasure, especially onr for most of your life. Friendship is a gift to be treasured!!!
    Whitney’s Grandmother

  16. Sabrina says:

    A true friend is a treasure and you could not have a better one than Whitney. I hope you have a blessed day!

  17. John says:


    What a neat story. I happened to come across it today after church. You guys have a wonderful friendship and are blessed to have each other. As you now know, Heather Whitestone did not marry Prince William – regretfully – she got stuck with me. That’s right – I am Heather’s husband.

    I think that she is doing laundry right now for our three boys – something that I am sure Princess Kate is not doing.

    I look forward to sharing your story with her. She will be so excited to learn about your story and know that she is one of your buddies.

    I suspect that you will hear from her soon.


    • Abby says:

      John, It’s hard to say how excited this comment made me!! I’ve tried to call Whitney about a thousand times to tell her, but I think she is out on a boat at the lake and unreachable at the moment. I, personally, took some joy in the fact that I was doing laundry on a Sunday afternoon at the same time as Heather Whitestone 🙂

      Will you please tell her that I remember her Five Point Star Program, the first point being Leadership? And that I will never forget how beautiful, graceful, and inspiring she was as she danced–all in white–to Via Dolorosa.

      You’re a lucky man, John…but I’m sure she considers herself a lucky woman too 🙂

      Thanks again for saying hello!

  18. Heather Whitestone McCallum says:

    Hi, Abby

    My husband John showed me your lovely story. I loved seeing the pictures of your family, your best friend and you. You and Whitney are beautiful princesses. Oh, yes, I do laundry almost everyday because my boys are famous for getting dirty. My boys don’t want to hear me talking about my five points of STARS Program: have a positive attitude, a goal, a willingness to work, face your challenges and a support team, with God’s help. They say, “Ok, Mom, that’s enough. I’ve heard about it a thousand times!”

    I remember when I watched Lady Diana’s wedding on the television as a little girl with my older sisters. I thought it was neat to become a queen and I was dreaming big. I was so crazy about Lady Diana that my mother and my sisters helped me to find a book about the royal wedding and I still have it in my house today. When Kate married to Prince William a couple months ago, I was in my home with my three boys under 11 years old and my husband. It was interesting to see my boys watching the English Royal wedding, because for them, it was a new, different world and they liked it. This time, I thought how beautiful our wedding with the Groom would be in heaven.

    God has been good to you and Whitney. Your friendship is more valuable than any crown on earth.

    Many blessings to you,

  19. felecia says:

    Angie makes certain I stay focused on the really important people, thank goodness you and Whit are so interesting and intertaining! Who has it better than you two? Brilliant, beautiful, and greatly treasured by so many. Thankyou for taking time to share. Always makes me smile!

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