You're 25! We're the same age for a little while, until January rolls around again. This is now the fourth birthday post I've written to you. Going back and reading those posts from 2011, 2012, and 2013 are a treat! I remember sitting in the living room of the house we rented on Windsor Street in Fredericton. You had started a blog and had been trying to convince me to do the same. I was sitting on the big couch in front of the bay window, and you were sitting in the smaller one kiddy cornered beside me. I created the blog, wrote my first "get to know me" post, and was convinced the blog would be a thing of the past in about a month. Here we are, just over three years later and the blog is still going strong. Seeing me from an education student, to moving to the other side of the country, to moving to the other side of the world while starting my career and seeing through my dream to see the world.
We have this little tradition that I was introduced to when we were living and working together as RAs in Vanier. It's called "Here's the time time..." We pop a bottle of champagne with our friends, and take turns telling a memory that we have of the birthday boy or girl. Then we cheers them and take a sip (or gulp!) of the champagne. So, on Amanda's 25th birthday, I want to look back on a few of those memories that have brought us to where we are today.
Amanda, here's to the time...
/+ You greeted me in "The Pit" of Vanier on my move in day as my first day as an RA with a giant hug. We had known each other for a while at that point, but that embrace was definitely the beginning of what has become a cherished and important friendship in my life.
/+ We won the cheer off together! (and all the other residents in Vanier. But let's be honest - we were DEFINITELY the loudest and most exuberant!)
/+ We were studying in your room with Cara and we asked her to open the window because it was warm. She cracked it approximately 1 cm. I remember how much my midsection hurt from laughing so hard!
/+ You held me while I cried and listened to me while I talked after finding out Grandad had cancer. It was the hardest days of my life, and your bright smile, kind heart and warm hugs made it a little bit easier.
/+ We moved in together in the house on Windsor street...and spent our first night in the house cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning.
/+ We made a homemade advent calendar for the month of December which saw us watch Christmas movies, drink hot chocolate, and get a real Christmas tree.
/+ We drove to the Irving and got blue slushies (you a mixed one of blue and red I believe) on the first day of Spring.
/+ I couldn't find the turn off for the truck stop in Bangor and it was dark, and the GPS was being crazy and making me U-turn, and you were giggling, and I was yelling and freaking out. But we made it, you told me stories about how you went to this particular truck stop when you went in the truck with your dad, and we laughed at a lady who brushed her teeth at the table, and I drank coffee, and we were just us.
/+ (this one is "the times") we were driving around New Brunswick, PEI, and through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont singing John Mellencamp, "Blurred Lines", Michael Jackson (me), and you the country songs you put on the play list that I agreed to!
/+ (again, this one is "the times") you fell asleep while we watched Friends, Gilmore Girls, or during a movie night. I tried not to get annoyed or frustrated because I know it makes you feel warm and comfortable to fall asleep while a TV is playing and people you love are in the room. How can you get mad at that?!
/+ You got engaged and I was there and I know it might have been weird and maybe it would have been more romantic and intimate if it were just the two of you. But I'll never forgot that moment you walked towards me on the beach, and I heard a lady say "Congratulations" as you walked towards me, and I looked up from my book, and there were still tears in your eyes, and you held up your hand and smiled and I said "No way!" and we hugged and I hugged Tony, and now your getting married, and I am so so so so happy for you and that you found your person.
Happy Birthday, Amanda! I love looking back and seeing how our friendship has grown and how much I've grown since knowing you. You have taught me so much about love, life, and being a good friend. I am also so incredibly thankful that I get to share my China journey and adventure with you. That we are getting to see another part of the world together while also working and being adults. You are my best friend, and I love you always and forever.
Here's to ALL of the times, and the many more to come.