For my 'BIG' day, I asked to celebrate on the beach with people I love. I'm currently on the beach in FL with my husband, kids, and my parents. Life is GOOD!
Today, in honor of my birthday, I'm going to make a list of 40 people who mean the world to me. I'm SO grateful to have these wonderful people in my life. Anybody else old enough to remember listening (and tape recording) Casey Kasem's Weekly Top 40???? Here's mine.....
1 - Scott, my forever. My husband, very best friend, father to my children, the one I want to share everything with.
2, 3, 4 - Tyler, Devon, Emily If you've visited here before, you already know that I love these three people more than I have words for. They bless my life immensely. They grow and change and challenge me. I love being a mom and I LOVE that these are the people who call me that. My Diva and MITs are total awesomesauce.
5, 6 - My parents. They made me as a person and helped me become the woman I am today. I am grateful for their guidance. I love that they are so involved with my kids.
7, 8 - My inlaws. They gave me a wonderful gift in the man I married. I must give them credit for him. He is a good man, in very large part, due to the guidance of his parents.
9, 10, 11, 12 - My grandparents. One grandfather is waiting in heaven, but his love is very much a part of my life today. The other three are still here on earth. All of my grandparents are/were godly people, valuing faith and family above all else. Because of them, my family tree has deep roots and is solid and strong.
13, 14, 15, 16 - My brother, his wife, and kids. My baby brother is awesome. We fought like cats and dogs as kids, but I always knew he had my back. We no longer fight (we're much too old now lol), but I know if I need him he will be there. My sister-in-law and nephews add to the joy. Much like ice cream is good, but better with hot fudge, my brother is great, but even better with his lovely family.
17, 18, 19, 20, 21 - Scott's sister, her husband, their kids. Scott's sis and I were friends in jr. high. That's how Scott and I met. I'm eternally grateful for that. Her husband makes me laugh and her children are pretty fun to be around, too.
22 - My aunt, Nancy. She's my mom's younger sister, but my friend. I call her 'aunt' out of respect, but call her 'friend' because it's the truth. She used to babysit me and now invites my kids to come hang out for the day. When I was a kid, I thought she was super cool. Now my kids think she's super cool. She's even taken a day off of work to go to the animal park with us and some friends and *those* kids think she's super cool. Seriously, how much more incredible can you get? My aunt, my friend, she just rocks!
23 - My dear friend, Charlotte. A true gift from God. Our sons played basketball together years ago and we met at practice. That basketball season is long over, but Charlotte's still a huge part of my life. I'm grateful to have her friendship. I truly don't have words for how incredible this woman is. You know how some people just make you smile when you think of them? That, to me, is Charlotte. Truly a gift! My son calls her 'other mother' and I don't mind, that's how much she's loved.
24, 25, 26, 27 - Charlotte's husband and kids. I love them all. Her husband is a great man and her kids I love. My husband and kids adore the entire family. Rare that two families of five ALL get along and enjoy each other, but we do. I don't hang out with her family because she's my friend, I GET to hang out with her family because she's my friend.
28 - Amanda. She just makes me laugh. The crazy fun friend who gets you into trouble, but you don't mind because you're having so much fun? That's her. If we need to get serious, we can (and do), but Amanda just brings honest pure joy into my life. Our husbands worry that one of them will get both of us because we both say 'I can see benefits to having sister wives'. I think both guys are scared. Scott says I'm enough, two of us would be too much, he would never win. That's probably true!
29, 30 - Mark and Neka We met in high school. I convinced him that if he asked her out, she would say yes. He did, she did, a few years later he asked a more important question and she said yes to that one, too. lol When Scott and I married, Mark and Neka lived in another state. They surprised us and came home to be at our wedding. They still live in a different state, but we clear our calendar when they're in town. I count them as close friends, even with the distance. I sure wish they would get transferred to MO, but am very grateful for the internet and once a year face to face visits.
31-37 - Jeri, Terry, Sandy, Chris, Kristie, Tasha, Char - My PSFs. Girls, we've shared laughter, tears, talked crafts and hooker heels, commiserated over kids growing up too fast and teased each other. Finding emails from you is a highlight of my day.
38 - Ellen. She's just a tiny bit older than I am and just a bit farther on the Mom road. She's my 'what do I do now' girl. Her advice (especially homeschool advice) and wisdom have been very beneficial more than once. I am fairly confident that I benefit more from this friendship than she does and I'm very grateful for her.
39 - Karen. One of our pastors, but one of my friends, too. She can guide on spiritual matters or we can share a cup of coffee (iced mochas, preferably) and talk about our kids. She's such a gentle soul. As a woman, wife, mother, she inspires me to be better. As a pastor, she's taught me immensely and I'm very grateful for her guidance. She knows history like no one I've ever met and can instantly give details of how/why things happened without sounding like she's teaching you... even when she is. lol Then we can go right in to talking about the latest books we've read or movies we've watched.
Last but most definitely not least....
40 - Denise We've been friends since 5th grade. We no longer have sleepovers or cruise around town looking for boys, but when we get together dinner is long and filled with laughter. I am so glad she's STILL in my life. She's just slightly older than I am, but I know she'll roll her eyes when I say she's my OLDEST friend. Love this girl. She was my friend when I was a gawky preteen with bad hair and she's still my friend when I'm an awkward 'old chick' with greying hair. How blessed am I to have a lifelong friend?
Of course, I have many more people in my life I value. I am a blessed woman, indeed.