Happy Birthday, Natalie :)
I met Nat back when I started up Kids Praise at my church. Somehow Sherry Bouquet knew we were destined to work together. (Little did she know. . . it was all because I needed her in there to help me handle the Gamble boys! HA.) And not only did we work together, we directed the best darn children's Christmas program to ever hit the stage of Bethel Baptist. . . Journey to the Center of Christmas!!! (Nat, I know you just sang that song right now, even after all these years!) It was a spoof off Star Trek and it was a blast. In fact, the thing that cracks us up more than one of my former 5th grade students, Miranda Bednar and the conveeeeeeertible, is the Easter Bunny (disguised as the Energizer Bunny complete with bass drum) who had a show-stopping part in the middle of the Christmas Overload song. Seriously, we can laugh about that for hours.
Nat and I became fast friends. We just hit it off. I don't know why. Well, actually I do. I had prayed hard for a good friend. The girls I grew up with in the church had all moved away. I was back home from my first teaching stint and I. WAS. LONELY. One day she walked into my life and our friendship has just flourished ever since. She is one of my truest friends. And I miss her terribly.
I thought it would be fun to list some of the things I love about her and some of the things we've done together. I know they won't make much sense to the rest of you, but at least we'll get a kick out of them.
- She set me up for my first online dating thing - believe it or not, I was QTPIE. Her idea, not mine.
- We feverishly scrapbooked together until the wee hours of the dawn.
- She won't eat orange cheese. Ever.
- She's a die hard shopper.
- She always has the best hair cuts.
- Many a cold winter night we spent together out on her deck soaking in the hot tub while it snowed.
- She was in my wedding and put up with the idiots at Bride-n-Party who screwed up the dress order so I didn't have to.
- She was a cheerleader. I was her polar opposite.
- She's an amazing drama coach. I'd just yell at the kids and tell them if they couldn't behave then I'm not going to waste my time on Sunday afternoons.
- She introduced me to Recee's Sticks. Best candy bar out there.
- She took over my job at Bethel. Before I was hired at Highland. A little tension at the time, but it's all ok now though.
- We both understand that it's ok to vent to each other about the job at Bethel.
- She loves VBS almost as much as I do.
- She saved the day at Jr. Jam by having AAA. Somehow we broke the church van key in the lock in the door. Thankfully we were not stuck at Cedarville University all night with twelve 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.
- She let me use her binoculars once. (It's a long story.)
- She almost died in my car from kidney stones. . . on the way back from getting our hair cut at an overly priced, but amazing, salon.
- She's from the town of LaRue, Ohio. I still don't really know where that is.
- She prayed for me for a long time to meet my mystery man. And I did!
- She is a huge Cleveland Indians fan.
- She's an amazing mom to Baeleigh Quinn.
- We've counseled together at Junior Cramp (where we put up with whining and/or crying children all week) and at Winter Camp (where we nearly froze our butts off).
- Her cat Alley loves me more than her.
- She didn't get mad at me when I warped her Creative Memories self-healing mat.
- We saw Riverdance with my sister in Columbus back when she had bigger hair.
- She's a wonderful friend. And I love her.