Friday, October 16, 2015

birthdays all around!

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I've always been lucky to have grown up with good friends.  Even middle school, the three years that most people try to block out of their mind, was pretty enjoyable for me because I had a great group of friends.  My friends changed as I was growing up, but for the most part, I always had at least one good friend I could count on. Now that I'm halfway around the world and haven't found any new friends, I have an even deeper appreciation for the friends I have, even if they are thousands of miles away.

Two of these amazing ladies I am privileged call some of my closest friends had birthdays this week. I love birthdays and I love my friends, so here's my little celebration of these two lovely ladies!

Somehow, amidst Michael Jackson and Farrah Faucett's deaths and the power outage in Charles de Gaulle airport on our arrival to Paris in the summer of 2009, I found this sassy, loud and always a bundle of fun.  We survived power walking through the cobble stone streets of Paris with the most Parisian lady I have ever met (shoutout to Szcepsy Fierce) and I couldn't be more happy that JMU Study Abroad brought me one of my favorite Parisian wannabes (not unlike myself).

I remember hoping that I'd meet a friend or two in my study abroad program, but figured that since it was only six weeks long, we'd probably all go our separate ways when we returned to JMU.  While that was true for a lot of people in our group, Sara is different.  She's sassy and stubborn, but she's also one of the most caring people you'll ever meet.  She has thousands of friends and, yet, she is somehow able to make you feel like you're the only one when you're with her.   She's a huge Phillies and Eagles fan, which makes her okay in Mike's book, but she also has an awesome FIANCEE who is Mike's beer drinking soulmate.  I'm pretty thankful for that study abroad trip for a multitude of reasons, but Sara is definitely number one.

just because....

Bon anniversaire, Sara!  Je t'aime mermy!

High school can be tough.  Most of my friends from middle school ended up at different high schools, which meant a few years of navigating the halls of Kempsville, while trying to figure out how to fit in.  I joined the yearbook staff my sophomore year to help me find a group to call my own.  Not only did I find a group, I found this girl I am lucky enough to call one of my closest friends.  Her determination and drive, as well as her sarcasm, made the late nights in yearbook worthwhile, as well as serve as a model for me as I navigated high school and college.  She has been by my side since high school and I couldn't be more thankful.  I'm so proud of what she has accomplished and I know that when I get back to the states, she'll definitely be my go-to dentist.  

I can't wait for you to come and visit! Two months and counting!

I love you both and am so thankful for friends like you!