And continuing in the theme of birthdays...

May is basically my favorite month ever because not only do I get to celebrate my birthday (which we already discussed, is kind of a big deal), but exactly one week later I get to celebrate one of the greatest blessings in my life: my best friend Kaitlynn.  And to make things even sweeter, smack-dab in between our two birthdays, the Lord blessed Kaitlynn with one of the greatest blessings in her life: her daughter, Brooklyn.

So on Sunday we celebrated one year of life with this sweet miracle:
I'm fairly certain Brooklyn is a fan of birthdays, too.
This is what trying to take pictures with your two best friends looks like when you have a one-year-old involved:

And today, I celebrate 27 years of life and 9 years of best-friendship with this beautiful woman:
This is the girl who is never too cool to dress in ridiculous costumes...just because.
This is the girl who taught me it's okay to cry in front of others.
This is the girl who took me on my first camping trip.
She chose me to be her Maid of Honor.
She once stuffed me in a suitcase.
She was the first friend I told my story to.
We celebrated her engagement, wedding, and first child together.
We've made countless road trips and listened to more than our fair share of Jack Johnson and Rascal Flatts together.
We floated in a hot air balloon together.
Her family embraced me when I felt like my own was falling apart.
My family has welcomed her (and her incredible photographic talents) as one of our own.
She is my reference for job applications and my emergency contact for HR paperwork.
She's brutally honest and loves without ceasing, so I never have to guess where I stand with her. Ever.
I once walked over a mile in the rain in the middle of the night because my heart was broken and she was the only person I trusted to comfort me.
I am a better me because of her.

Kaitlynn, you are the definition of a true best friend, and I am endlessly blessed by you.  You love me in the most Christ-like way imaginable.  You came into my life at a time when I needed a best friend the most.  You are never afraid to call me out when my actions are self-destructive, but you also never shy away from the messes I create as I try so desperately to figure myself out.  Thank you for showing me - and making me believe - that I am worth it.  Thank you for always making time for me in your busy life, even if it's just a quick conversation while you sit in your car outside your house between your insanely long day at work and your home-life duties that await you mere steps away. Thank you for welcoming me into your family. Thank you for trusting me with your heart.  Aaron is so lucky to have you as a wife and Brooklyn is crazy-blessed to call you her mom.  And me?  Well I may not share your blood or wear a ring that professes our undying love, but I'm pretty sure you're stuck with me for life.  Perhaps we better get those "best friends forever" tattoos pretty soon here and make this thing official. What do you say?

I love you so much! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!