to top


Yes, I did just make up a word: Framily. It will be trending by Friday.

In late July I found joy in spending time in Washington DC with friends who are more like family. I am one of the rare pastors’ kids who got to spend a long time in one place. I grew up in a small lakeside town in Michigan, and I still maintain several relationships that I developed there. One of those relationships is with the Harrington clan. Growing up, Kate, Heidi, Molly, Wesley and I spent many times building leaf forts or playing ghosts in the graveyard. Often times our parents stayed after church on Sundays. And most of those occasions were spent sneaking into the Harringtons’ suburban. I would stay quiet the entire way to their house where Mark and Chris would pretend to be surprised to find me in their trunk. Chris would call my mom (who also pretended to be surprised) and ask if I could stay for dinner. We thought we were the smoothest kids on the block.

Their family has been present in my family’s lives more times than I can count. Chris is on speed dial at this point. These four friends have grown up and are doing incredible things. Wesley is headed to law school, which is great because I’m gonna need him when my Wisconsin County decides to pin something on me. (See: Netflix’s Making a Murderer). Heidi and her husband, Jon, are stepping in to raise and love on kiddos who have been removed from their biological homes. You have to read their blog but grab the tissues first. You’ll be ugly crying in no time. Kate’s giving up a great job to move to the Czech Republic and serve through Global Partners (I might add that her blog inspires me to get out of my comfort zone). She actually leaves today and I’m already stressed. Molly lives just outside of Washington DC and works for Congress and I live vicariously through her. It’s embarrassing.

One thing I appreciate about my life and my marriage is that Patrick and I have separate passions and appreciate the need for them. There was no question as to whether or not I could spontaneously leave for a weekend getaway, so that’s exactly what I did. I met Molly and Kate in DC (also known as the surface of the sun) on a Thursday night. We spent the following two and a half days visiting every major monument, building, restaurant, and person known to mankind. I blamed my aching legs and heavy breathing on terrible walking shoes. In reality, I am very out of shape. We took a few Uber rides and I pretended to be okay with it when really I was singing the Doxology in my head. Each car was a pillow sent straight from the heavens. Some highlights:

Our entire weekend had a theme and it was cheese (from the cheese curds I brought with me to the misunderstood lyrics of the Eurythmics song). If your weekend getaways don’t have themes, you’re doing it wrong.

We opted for quiet dinners and movies in Molly’s adorable apartment that turned out to be smaller than the American flag that we saw in the Smithsonian.

We got dressed up one evening and ended up at Chick-Fil-A.

A cyclist smacked our Uber car with pure hatred of us Midwesterners.

There was a great gathering and loud shouting right outside the White House. What seemed like a terrorist attack was simply a Pokemon Go event and a group had captured the White House. People of the general public, can we not be doing those things? I was sincerely looking for an exit strategy. Thanks.

My flight home was about 4 hours late and I finally pulled into the driveway at 4AM and woke up three hours later for work. It was worth every missed minute of sleep.

These are the things that Framily (see? already trending) weekends are made of. This trip was a reminder of God’s provision and the blessing it is to have friends who are family.

Ashley Cooper

I strive to find joy in each ordinary day.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.