I've always said March is the best month for many reasons, one of them is the celebration of the multitude of March birthdays. It seems like I know so many more people born in the month of March than in any other month, or maybe it just seems that way because March also happens to be the month in which I was born. But, one of the other important March birthdays is that of my BFF, Lauren Houser, who was briefly introduced in my last post, and today is her 22nd birthday.
I remember meeting Lauren for the first time when I was seven years old. We were at a Snider Football team dinner at Old Country Buffet (our dads were both football coaches, and I lived for that mac and cheese). I remember our moms asking how old the other's daughter was and, after figuring out we were both the same age, one must have asked about birthdays, realizing that we were born a day apart from each other. Not only a day apart, but in the same city, in the same hospital, presumably rooms apart from each other. I should have known then that this would be something great.
As the years went by, we always saw each other during football season, and every so often, our families would run into each other at The Mill. Sometimes, I'd end up going home with her to play school on the awesome chalkboard in the basement, or she and her sister, Caitlin, would come home with me, and my mom would make us all cheese quesadillas.
Freshman year of high school soon came, and Lauren and I ended up having the same honors English block (one hour of English, one hour of keyboarding). We had her father for English (best English teacher I've ever had, btw) and Grandpa Ike (the head football coach, who I've known for my whole life, hence the "grandpa") for keyboarding, causing us to be picked on, called on to answer difficult questions, sent to the locker room to hang up jerseys and any other task no one wanted to do.
Through the rest of high school, our friendship continued to grow. We were both involved in Young Life and had gone to camp together, we were in the same Bible study, we had grown into having the same close-knit group of friends, we both loved doing artsy, crafty things. And before we knew it, we were graduating and going to college in different states.
Freshman year we would stay up all hours of the night Skyping (sometimes one of us fell asleep....LAUREN) and texting and posting crazy things on each other's Facebook walls. We also started sending each other packages in the mail with a CD of our favorite songs at the time and a handmade note just to say "HEY! I MISS YOU!" I'm proud to say that four years later, we still send those packages and Skype as well as a multitude of other forms of communication.
Lauren has been a constant encouragement in my life, especially when it comes to faith. She always has solid, grounded advice, knows how to make me burst out laughing in public places, and is the best sidekick to run errands in our hometown while trying not to be seen. We dream together, we laugh together, we cry together and every time I am reminded how thankful I am for her friendship. As we are faced with college graduation, I am confident we will remain friends until forever, no matter how far the distance (even though I selfishly want it to be less than 3 hours). I am so excited to see what Papa has in store for our friendship and you and the wonderful things and people (and men haha) He will bring into your life!
So, here's to 22 years of life and 15 years of friendship, Lauren. I love you!
PS. Lauren, you better be glad I left my photos circa 1998 at home because you know they would have graced this blog's presence :)