So first, let us recap!
This past weekend, we went to a party at a local pub called Cameron's (we've been there before, and we love it) for our cast's birthday party. This year, the Bawdy Caste turned 18! Yay! The party was full of drinking, laughter, and karaoke.
The cutest couple EVER, Jules and Matthew
Mid West! I really hope this isn't a real gang sign.
Everyone, meet Jim Norman, aka "NAWMAN." Norman is originally from Ohio! He is my midwest buddy and I adore him. He works with our cast director, Jared, at the local high school as a teacher. I love hanging out with Norman because he gets my funny midwest quirks and he also has a much heavier accent than I do, so people make fun of him instead of me (just ask him to say warm Napa cabbage salad)! But seriously, Norman is an awesome guy-- and no, I won't stop calling you Norman, Norman. Midwesterners unite!
Directly after the party, Patrick and I left for Disneyland! Because of all of the hard work Patrick has been doing and is about to be doing (he is booked with training classes and on-site trips through the end of the year), we were rewarded with a trip to Disneyland, all expenses paid (or, well, the hotel and a really great meal paid) by his company. As always, we did a ton of walking, and my legs have still not recovered. We spent the first day in DCA and the second in Disneyland (but we stopped in DCA for lunch), and I got to meet a bunch of characters that I've never seen out before... including Frozone (not pictured) and Santa!!!
Max, Goofy's son, from "A Goofy Movie"
I got in line to see Buzz but he had to go take a break so Woody came out instead!
A tiny pie from room service! MMM!
On the Mark Twain. Fun fact- Walt Disney sold Tom Sawyer's Island (the island that the Mark Twain sails around) to Missouri back in the 60's. There is no proof of this that I can find, but if it's true, that island has a Missouri zip code!
My charm bracelet! Patrick bought it and some charms for me for my "300 days since I quit smoking" present. I LOVE it! I even went a little charm crazy and bought seven myself in addition to the five Patrick got me.
Disneyland was all decorated for Christmas! Yay! We even got to be around for the tree lighting at 5pm!
I'm a record catch!
I met Santa! Yay! Now let's see if I get those earrings for Christmas :)
Dug! (Up, 2009)
I know, I know, that was a TON of recapping, right? Sorry to bore you guys! But seriously, there wasn't much to say other than all of that was a grand ol' time and I enjoyed myself immensely. But you all know that I'm always good for some pictures!
Now, on to the important part!
Let me take you back to 1997. I was just 5 years old when I met her, a little girl wearing a overalls and a backpack twice her size. Her hair was insane, she had some serious Hermione Granger bangs going on, and she became my best friend-- just like that. We lived pretty close to each other, though neither of us knew this until we we were allowed to cross the main road to each others' houses. When you're a kid, car rides are always long, even if they're just a mile long. We grew up playing Bratz dolls and exploring in her house, irritating her brother, poking holes in the neighbor's bike tires because he was a jerk, and being the other's sister that she never had.
As we grew up, we didn't exactly know what we had. We always had other "best friends," and we still do, but our friendship was always the strongest of these relationships. It wasn't until we were older that we realized, "Hey, you're really not going anywhere, are you?" When it came time to enter high school, we didn't know what we would do because we were going to different schools. We cried on the last day of middle school and worried every time we hung out that something would change.
But let me tell you-- nothing changed. We grew up, we shared secrets, we spent months apart only to reunite like no time had passed. We took prom pictures together, attended each other's graduation ceremonies and cheered like lunatics, and while she went away to college, I stayed home and went to community college. We never expected some of the things that happened in our lives, but it made us stronger as a pair. After a couple of years, she moved down the street from me (and stayed there when she wasn't staying up at her place at her college), and up until I left for California, we spent almost every single night in her kitchen or her garage, just talking and laughing and making fun of each other the way girls do. Our moms became best friends, too, and as we got older, her brother stopped being a jerk and started being my brother, too. Her family adopted me in every sense of the word and mine took her in open-armed. To this day, she is the first person I call if I'm too upset breathe, the first to know any good news I have, and the first to comfort me with the bad. She would do anything for me-- like the night she drove over a half an hour to come get me at 10pm, got a speeding ticket, spent most of the night listening to me talk, and spent the entire next day making sure I was alright. She has always been the strongest person I know and has carried me through more than I could ever thank her for.
Our "best friend" piercings, which neither of us have anymore. Later, we replaced the significance of a piercing with something a little more permanent.
I was an only child until I was 14 years old, but I've had a sister since I was 5.
Erin, if you by chance read this-- too bad, I'm not taking it down. Also, remember, I have worse pictures than this, so you have to be my friend forever. I love you, I miss you, I'm so damn proud of you and the woman you've become, and happy birthday!