Gratitude, Personalized.

I turned 39 last Monday, and I pretty much loved it. I got to have some amazing celebrations with family and friends, and one such celebration took place last Saturday, when a group of some of my favorite kickass women treated me a to night out.

All through that night out, I remember looking around the table and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude to be surrounded by so many strong, smart, funny and generally awesome women…and they were all there to celebrate with me!

To express my gratitude, I had this grandiose plan to write each of them a personal thank you note on fancy stationery.

Well, it’s almost a week later and I have not yet purchased any fancy stationery…so the odds of me finding the time to do so, and write those individual notes, are getting slimmer by the hour.

S0, allow me to take this opportunity to do what I do best: shamelessly exploit the existence of this blog to publicly acknowledge awesome people.

I heart these ladies.

I heart these ladies.

They wined and dined me and would not let me pay a cent. They tried like hell to get the fairly lameass DJ to play SOMETHING worth dancing to…and when he didn’t, they wandered the streets of New Haven trying to find somewhere we could dance. We never did, but just the same I wouldn’t trade a minute of that night.

Each has brought something awesome to my life for which I am grateful:

Cari: You are a perfect combination of New York-style attitude and genuine kindness and caring. I would never be stupid enough to piss you off–anyone who would is obviously a complete moron–but I count myself lucky to have you as a friend. You are a smart, hilarious, straightforward tell-it-like-it-is hot mama, and I love you for it. THANK YOU for celebrating my birthday with me, even though I missed yours. ❤

Karin: What can I even say to convey how lucky I feel to be your friend? You have brought dance back into my life, both literally and metaphorically. Your friendship, your support and your sweet-ass choreography have brought me so much joy and laughter, and I continue to aspire to be as strong as you someday. THANK YOU for dragging me out of my seat even though the music was meh. (That’s a metaphor, too, you know. Love ya.)

Anna: Let’s not even talk about the fact that you were like, in the Olympics, which automatically makes you a complete badass. (I guess I did just talk about it…uh…moving on…) Instead, let’s talk about how much I admire your amazing spirit of compassion, combined with a no-nonsense, let’s-get-shit-done attitude, and how much I appreciate your sense of humor–especially in more stressful moments– your insight, and your sweet dance moves. THANK YOU for being brave enough to move my cookie out of the way when they were bringing the cake. I sincerely apologize for the 2 seconds during which I legitimately considered stabbing you with my butter knife.

Maria: It’s the quiet ones you have to look out for…that’s you, my friend! You have one of the best deadpans I’ve seen, and an uncanny knack for remaining calm that I admire greatly and wish I could duplicate (unless there’s another yet-to-be-revealed side of you that I’ll look forward to meeting someday!) You were probably the best person to be sitting across from me when I got the “We’re in the ER!” text! THANK YOU for celebrating with me, and for keeping me cool when I panicked about the Tough Mudder obstacles.

Kathrin: Another quiet one–but watch out! I’m so glad I get to work out with you 2+ times a week, because for someone so soft-spoken, you kick serious ass. You always inspire me to add more weight, see if I can do more, push a little harder…and you are one of the kindest people I know. There’s something about you that just radiates warmth, and I count myself very lucky to experience it. THANK YOU for being there.

Samm: Where do I even start? You embody friendship to me. I admire your kindness, your wisdom, your continually optimistic and honest, unmuddied outlook, and your loyalty. If I could go back to my 20’s, I would try like hell to be more like you, although I know there’s no way I would succeed in being that cool. THANK YOU for being my friend through some crazy adventures, and making me always strive to be the best version of myself that I can.

Leah: So how often do you play the straight (wo)man to my dramatic outbursts? I’m not sure I can quite convey how grateful I am to have you in my life; it’s like having a piece of solid ground to stand on when life feels like a swirling vortex of doom. (Me? Being dramatic again? WHAT?) You are one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and funny women I know and I can only hope I am deserving of the gift of your friendship. THANK YOU for arranging to bring all these wonderful women–including yourself!–together for my birthday. It was an amazing night, and you made it happen.

As a special gift (and since Karin forgot the Homeys tattoos), I give you all this:

Who remembers his name?

Who remembers his name? Was it Jerry?

If I haven’t said it enough yet, here’s one more THANK YOU for a special night I won’t soon forget, and for the privilege of calling each of you my friend.

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