So today is my birthday. I am 46 years old. And I’ll be honest, it feels weird to be officially closer to 50 than to 40.
But last Sunday night, Gulley and I took the kids to watch a Texas A&M soccer exhibition game against Sam Houston and we saw our dear friend, Tiffany. She remarked, “You have a birthday coming up!” I replied, “Yes! And you just had one. Can you believe we’re 46 years old?” and she smiled really big and said, “YES! Isn’t it awesome?”
And I thought to myself, “Okay. So this is what we’re doing with 46. We’re declaring it to be awesome.” So I’m going to go with that. Forty-six is awesome.
(Of course Tiff is such an optimist that you could find yourself on a sinking ship with her and she’d exclaim, “Fun! Looks like we’re going to get to go swimming!”)
Anyway, way back in the early, early years of this blog, Gulley made a list of things she loved about me and posted it for my birthday. And earlier this year she told me it had been ten years since that list and she wanted to do another one for my 46th birthday. It feels a little strange to post a list of things that someone loves about you, but considering she essentially let me tell a whole bunch of our stories in a book about friendship, I can publish this list for her. I’ll also give you my opinion that she has made me sound much better than I actually am, but that’s what best friends are for.
And now, here’s Gulley’s list that she emailed me last night. (True story, it made me cry.):
1. She’s funny.
2. She’s creative and will share her skills with you.
3. She’s the most loyal person I know.
4. No matter what high or low she is feeling, somewhere in every single conversation she says, “So tell me about YOU!”
5. She shares all her beauty products so you don’t have to spend money trying.
6. When you go to her house, not only does she have all your favorites, she improves on them. For example, “If you put that chocolate chip cookie in the microwave for 11 seconds, it’s so good!”
7. She will invite you over for wine and present the most beautiful charcuterie tray you could imagine.
8. She’s protective over her relationships in big ways and small.
9. She makes time to be with her people.
10. She’s humble.
11. If you even casually mention you’re looking for something she will send you 18 links to that thing and help you find the perfect one.
12. She would never post a bad picture of you on the internet.
13. She loves my boys like they are her own. She makes great effort to know them as individuals by discussing the spurs, MLB, and all kinds of things they want to discuss.
14. After spending all day at soccer she comes to watch them play baseball.
15. She’s the most fun person to watch football with.
16. If she can’t take your call she will text to say why. “In carpool line” with multiple heart emojis.
17. She makes me smarter.
18. We have deep spiritual discussions and I know when she says she’s praying for me she means it.
19. Because we live in close neighborhoods we will sometimes see each other while we are driving. We get so excited and wave like crazy.
20. She helps me clean out my closet.
21. She acts like she likes it.
22. For YEARS she picked up my boys from school two days a week. This was not a carpool. I had a need and she filled it.
23. She never once acted put out.
24. One time on her way back into town I called her in tears because one of my boys got a fever 15 minutes before I was hosting the other boy’s birthday party. She came straight to my house and took care of my SICK BABY so I could take seven 3rd graders to a hockey game.
25. She’s our emergency contact.
26. She can laugh at herself.
27. She never flakes on our weekly lunches.
28. Her emoji and gif use is brilliant.
29. She encourages me to rest.
30. Whenever I say,”I feel fat!” She says, “Nobody’s cuter than you!”
31. She’s always up for an adventure even though my child has thrown up in her car 400 times.
32. Her vocabulary is so intelligent and sometimes I have to look up words she says in a dictionary after talking to her.
33. She always drives.
34. She’s always up for one more splash.
35. She’s not easily offended.
36. She knows how I’m feeling based on my tone during one-word interactions. “Well.” “Ok.”
37. The only thing bigger than her sense of humor is her heart.
38. She gives great advice.
39. She always gives a good reaction to my hurt feelings. “WHAT!?! NO! That is why I do not like them anymore!”
40. She’s an encourager.
41. She takes my job at preschool as serious as her job as a writer.
42. Every once in a while we call each other and say, “You ARE the bigger person!” Because the thing about being the bigger person is that no one ever recognizes it.
43. I always feel better after spending time with her.
44. When she cooks something I like she either brings it over or she calls and tells me to stop by and get some.
45. She has adopted my extended family.
46. Because news isn’t news until I’ve shared it with her!
Happy Birthday, Mel!!
Okay, this is Melanie again. I went back through my archives to find Gulley’s original list and only at that moment realized she actually did the first list for my 37th birthday. So that’s another reason we’re best friends. Neither of us is very good at math. But 46 is the new awesome so there’s that.