Happy Birthday my friend.

Remember that day in our Writer’s in Print and Person class when we turned to each other (relative strangers at that point) and hatched a plot to go to the beach? We were on the road later that day if I remember correctly (quite a feat for teenagers without a car). We locked in our friendship that night when you let me cut your hair in the bathtub of the Tropicana.

Less than a year later we were fleeing DC again, this time to the safety of your hometown when things got too scary after 9/11. You introduced me to the delicacies of fair food. I haven’t forgotten the genius of waffles and ice cream.

I got to spend another first with you when your sweet husband crafted a 30th birthday surprise 4 years ago and Ellis and I got to watch his first fireworks with your family in PA.

I think the mark of true friendship is just being there. At this point we have amassed 16 years of these little and big moments. And “there” doesn’t always mean physical presence.

You have picked up the phone when you knew I was sending out a mayday signal. We have shared countless emails about the big hard things and silly texts about the small things.

I especially love how this blog has become a space for us to connect over the past year-and-a-half. Writing and reading the blog has been a great way to be there for each other. (It is worth it just for the “behind the blog” email we end up sending privately now).

Since our very first encounter you have shown up for me. You are a fantastic shower upper.

I am looking forward to another great year of connecting in print and person.