Well, "Happy Birthday to my bfflaebl*" is what I would say if I was thirteen. But of course as you all know, I am way too mature to say anything like that now, so will just say:
♥ Happy Birthday, dear Valerie!! ♥
* Yes, I had to ask a thirteen year old what bfflaebl stands for because their chat language is beyond my comprehension! It is: best friend forever and ever beyond life
Those who have been reading my blog over the past year first met my wonderful friend Valerie on her birthday last year, learned a bit more about our connection here, found out more than you ever wanted to know about our friendship here, joined us on a couple of our journeys, such as this day, and most recently discovered just what I have to put up with from this woman here. ;) I am delighted that we have found such kindred spirits in one another, and my heart overflows as our friendship grows stronger and more comfortable every day.
Here is my beautiful friend and her husband Mark (of whom I am also very fond):
And here is Valerie in her undergrad years:
I snapped a picture of this photo in her house one day when she wasn't home...shhh, don't tell her! ;)
Here is Reverend Valerie preaching on a Sunday morning (alas, I don't have a photo of her in robes, partly because she rarely wears one!):
Below is another photo of her minister persona* which photo I am "borrowing" from the Maritime Conference website!:
(*Not that she isn't a minister 24/7, but only sometimes do I think of her as Reverend Valerie, more often I see her simply as my friend Valerie. Although, I will say, it is most interesting and eye-opening having a minister as a best friend. Our friendship journey has many unexpected twists and turns...a journey of discovery as we uncover the things that we have in common and as we share our differences. It is also a journey filled with wonder and joy and love and laughter. I feel incredibly blessed to have this amazing woman as my friend (my mom says Valerie is fortunate to have me as a friend too...and who am I to argue with my mother?! lol) ♥
Valerie had this next photo as her facebook profile for a while and several of her other friends commented what a great photo of her, how beautiful she looks, etc. Now I don't disagree that it is a lovely photo of someone, but...it just doesn't look like her at all in my eyes. Very curious.
An...interesting...photo of us both from New Year's Day. When I saw it on her facebook, my comment was that I was not sure which of us had the better look going on, she with her hyperactive eyes or me with my "two pissholes in the sand" (which was her term for my eyes while I was suffering from the double shot of pink eye):
And finally, this next image is one I have posted before, but I just really love this photo so am posting again...so there. Dave took this the day after I got back from my October trip. Can you tell we were happy to see each other again after my being away for three weeks?