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This is Marie Claire. And today is her birthday. So I’ve decided to do a photo montage of our lives. I mean, actually, just the last few years. Because this is what Marie (rhymes with “sorry”) looked like when I met her. [I have many many more incriminating photos, but there are in Atlanta somewhere. Which is too bad because they. are. hilarious.]

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Now she’s turning 20. And she’s one of my dearest and bestest and most wonderfulest friends on the entire planet. I know. I’m 29. She’s 20. It just works. Trust me.

Here are some of our random adventures within the last five years or so:

We go to weddings.

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This may be my favorite picture of us. It says a lot of true things.

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She’s very talented.img_3919

She wears pretty coats.img_2310

But it’s not always fun and games. Sometimes we get really mad. Obviously.img_1295

And sometimes things like this happen. Where there truly is no sensible explanation.img_1356

We were in Scotland last year for her birthday- here she is turning 19 in St. Andrews.img_1800

Dear Marie,

I’m not going to use this public space to tell you how I feel about you. You already know. I would sell it, drop it, make it, change it, drive it, give it, take it- whatever you needed. At any moment. Just to have this in my daily life.

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I love you, Marie Claire. I pray that this year is full of peace and revelation and confidence and life. I pray that God reveals to you every thing you need to know and the things that you WANT to know. I pray that when you look back on your long life (in 70 years), and you’re sitting across from me at the nursing home feeding me apple puree, you’ll say, “You know what year was really great? The year I turned 20. It was only the beginning, but it was really good…”

And then you’ll wipe my chin and say something sarcastic about how you swore life wouldn’t come to this.

And I’ll laugh. Cause you always make me laugh.

Happy birthday, Marie. My life is far better because you were born.