There was this one time that I had to answer this question-

Other than your parents, who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

My answer was this-

One of my best friends, Haley.  She is like an older sister to me- gives me great advice, laughs at my jokes :), listens to me, experiences things before me and tells me all about them, shows me how to love the Lord better and how to receive His love more fully.

[L to R- Molly, Haley, Annie]

You know Haley, bloggites.  She has two awesome kids, Jarrett and Carys, and an awesome husband, Jeff.  What you may not know is she plucked my eyebrows for the first time, went shopping with me for my first homecoming dress, made me buy colored underwear, cooked me breakfast my first day of college, asked me to be a bridesmaid, and shares my love for all things Top Chef.  [This is the shortest list I could possibly make- there are about 10,194 other things I could mention here.  Consider yourself spared.]

Today is Haley’s birthday, and since I could not make a video like I did for my sister, I decided on a more traditional celebration.  Ye old church signage.

[Ha.  Just kidding.  You are not old.  When we are neighbors in a nursing home and they wheel us in to each lunch beside each other and Molly across from us, then we’ll be old.]

Haley, I love you and miss you every single day.  If I was home today, I would meet you and Molly at the mountain, walk around for a while, talk about all your birthdays past, then go to Mexican for dinner.  You and I would have ritas, Molly in her pregnant way would have a diet coke cause it is the only appropriate splurge.  You would then open up hilarious cards from Molly and I, which amazingly end up being the same hilarious card- because sometimes the three of us literally share a brain.  And we would scan the list of classes offered at Cooks Warehouse until we found one that made our mouths water.  I would run home and schedule it.

Instead, I cry writing a blog post to a best friend 3 1/2 hours away.  And I know what you are saying- that everything is fine and Nashville is not that far away.  And that distance isn’t a deciding factor in our friendship.  I can hear you from here. And you are right.

I’m going to call you today, and we’ll talk for a while.  You’ll finish your story that got interrupted this weekend, and I will continue to be dumbstruck by it.  I will tell you that maybe I have a crush, or maybe I’m making myself have a crush just cause I’m bored and seriously, I’ve only seen him once ever.  I’ll ask you to make Jarrett say my name and I’ll love it.  And then we will hang up and I’ll cry and remind God that someday I want to live in your city again.

I thank God over and over again for you and our friendship.  You will never ever know the depth of appreciation I have for you. Happy birthday, sweet friend.  I love you.

Check out other sugary sweet posts at Brody’s Positive Post Tuesday.  Convenient how this worked out 2 weeks in a row.  🙂