happy birthday and giveaway winner

Today is my beautiful best friend Andi's 14th birthday!

Dear Andi,

Happy, happy, happy, happy birthday, dearest! I am so thankful to have you in my life. We've been friends so long, I don't even remember when we met. I've spent so many happy days with you - playing dress up (Do you remember when we pretended to be Chinese sisters and found out we were actually princesses?), playing with the goats at my house (That "famous" picture of us in out swimsuits playing on the goat's "jungle gym"), swimming (We were the mermaids and your dad was the evil pirate king), and so many other things.

Do you remember at my birthdays when Miss Manners came? We got all dressed up and had a tea party...That was so much fun :)

And then on your last birthday with us still living there, you, my mom, and I went to the Woodlands and had a girl's date. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and shopped...my mom was expecting Lilly. I remember promising to tell you the moment she arrived. 

When we moved away so my dad could go to the seminary, I missed you so much. You were the closest friend I had ever had, and without you I felt lost. At first I was eager to move to somewhere new - but I quickly started becoming lonely. I lived for our visits to Texas. Eventually, I made new friends, but I still missed you like crazy.

And then came the trip to Germany in the summer of 2008. I'll never forget it! We toured "Lutherland" in RVs, all the major sites of the Reformation in the 1500s, as well as the places where Martin Luther lived. We started our trip in Berlin, where you celebrated your 12th birthday (already two years ago!). My aunt came along too, with her dogs Nellie and Fly. We had an insanely fun time. Remember the Watermelon Man in Schmalkalden? Oh boy. 

Then we moved here, to Oklahoma. Once again I was uprooted, I was torn away from my friends at the seminary in addition to still not being able to see you very often. I was miserable and missed you more than ever. Like at the seminary, I eventually made friends, but it was still hard. 

When my dad got ordained this past August, you and your dad flew up here just for his [my dad's] special day. My sister, Amanda, was there as well - you're one of the only people, outside of our family, that know all my siblings. It was amazing just to talk with you for almost two days...we had a lot to catch up!

Since then, I've only seen you twice - for Thanksgiving and then our visit in March. I wish we could get together more often! Living apart stinks. 

But basically all I wanted to say in this incredibly long letter is happy birthday. I love you more than words can  say. I wish I could be there with you today. Have an incredible 14th birthday, love.


And now for the giveaway winner!

Drum roll please...


And the winner is...

Laura! Congrats, girl. Shoot me an email, and we'll get you set up!