April Jeppson: Time for friendship, sushi and magenta pants

Published 7:19 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


I have this friend — we’ll call her Dusty. I’ve known her for years. We met 12 years ago when I lived in Iowa City teaching cosmetology. She had just had her second child when she started, and I didn’t have any. I wanted her to come get sushi with me one day. She informed me that she was a meat and potatoes kind of gal, but she’d come along and find something else to eat off the menu.

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That’s the back story. It’s been almost eight years since I’ve lived in Iowa, and I still consider Dusty my best friend. When we worked together, we would talk on the phone on the way to work, park our cars and then continue to talk on the phone until we saw each other. When I moved, I wasn’t sure how our friendship was going to go. I’ve had so many good friends over the years fall to the wayside because of distance.

Moving here was hard. We were a one-car family, and I had two children under the age of 3. Thankfully I had my friend Dusty who I could talk to on the phone. Her conversations were some of the only things that got me through that first year. Honestly, her phone calls have gotten me through some of the worst and best times of my life.

We knew if we were going to stay the best of friends that we’d have to see each other every once and awhile. We chose a midway point: Waterloo/Cedar Falls. We found a sushi place: The Stuffed Olive. I packed up my 3-year-old and newborn and drove the two hours to meet my friend for a nice, long lunch, then I turned around and drove back home.

During our early get togethers, I spent more time in the car than I did actually hanging out, but it was OK. It just felt so good to be with her again. To have her see my little kids and to hold them while I ate, it recharged my soul.

As our lives evolved and our families grew (I had one more child and she had two) we adapted our trip plans. The early days of Monday lunch were over, and now we were adding pedicures and some quick shopping to the line up as well. She was able to schedule herself off on a Saturday, and we would hang out from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Getting home at midnight was rough — maybe we should start doing overnights?

We could get our nails done, get some sushi and then the next day shop till we literally dropped. There were trips where I got most of my Christmas shopping done, and then others where I pushed an empty cart around the store. It didn’t matter if I actually bought something at these stores. It was just so fun to look, try on things and talk to my friend without having to chase around my children. It was like a refreshing stroll in the park. The park’s name? Gordmans, Target, Home, Ulta, Hobby Lobby.

We just snuck in a get-together this past Saturday. Our lives are so busy with kids, sports, jobs, activities. I knew we could meet now, or it wouldn’t be until the end of May. End of May? Absolutely not, I needed some Dusty time now. I also really wanted to hit up Target and see if the magenta workout pants were as gorgeous in person as they were online.

We did it old school. We met up early on a Saturday and just jammed everything into one day. We were even lucky enough to meet up with another friend of ours who happens to live in the area now. Catching up on our lives, laughing about how the teen section of Target looks like our closets from 20 years ago and encouraging each other to buy the pants because “those make your butt look amazing.”

I got home a little before midnight, and I was exhausted. For as tired as I was, I was also refreshed. One day is all it took. One day when I didn’t have to worry about getting the kids to school, cooking, kissing boo-boos, refereeing arguments, coaching, writing, learning, doing. I could just be. Oh, and I got those magenta pants, so that helped a little, too.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.