Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ten compliments (Monday listicles)

As yesterday was my 48th birthday, I've been reflecting on how incredibly fortunate I am to have an amazing coterie of friends and family. So this is for you--why I love you!

April with the kids at Holden
Laurie reading one of Nicholas' books
1. You are part of our parenting village. You take time to give our children quality attention. This is a priceless gift!

Renay with the kids after Kieran's dance performance
2. You share our values and passion for justice. You believe in advocating for the underrepresented, the disadvantaged, and the discriminated against.
Campaigning in Salem
Gay Pride March, 2008

Jamming at the beach
Playing at Holden
3. You love music and jamming! Years ago we occasionally hosted parties with singalongs or jam sessions, and it's been awhile. There's nothing like getting a group of music lovers together to sing. Time to reconvene another jam session!

With  Nancie and Dave
Dear friends Doug, Kristin,
and Catherine
4. You always come through when we need support. When Chris was in the NICU for 17 weeks and we were in crisis, we had months of meals provided, and constant prayers. When I had a series of miscarriages, my sister called me every day to check in...and friends who had experienced their own losses were right there to provide support. When Nicholas was born and we were adjusting to life with three (and recovering from a miscarriage), our friend Nancie came down from Seattle to spend high-quality time with the older brothers. You are, quite simply, our rocks. We are grateful. 

Chris with Julia, Brad,
Catherine, and Jimmy
Holden porch buddies
April and Shelia
5. You love life, are positive, and fun to be around. One of my favorite things in the world is to hang out with my friends, shooting the breeze, sharing stories, and reflecting on life. You enrich my life just by being you!

Lynn and Jolie with baby Nicholas
With friends of the heart
Kristin and Catherine (NICU survivors)
6. Many of you have experienced loss, providing a unique perspective on what it means to grieve and adapt to devastation. Although I would never wish loss on anyone, when someone experiences some kind of difficult loss (whether it's the death of a loved one, an illness, or some other kind of deep-seated grief), it changes the person. I believe that our Chris has a unique love of life because of what he faced as an infant...and his awareness of it. Anyone who has lost large knows not to take anything for granted. As our dear friend Doug says, "Grief reorders your address book." Not everyone knows how to support friends who go through difficult times. You understand who your real friends are when you are undergoing a crisis. 

7. You appreciate books and love reading and learning. I love my book group (which has changed slightly since the photo at right), and the chance to discuss books with my friends. 

Visiting our friends from Japan, Sue and Gareth,
 in the Cotswolds, England (in 2007)
8. You love to travel the world and appreciate the perspective offered outside the U.S. borders. We made wonderful friends when we were living in Japan, many with whom we are still in touch. Many of our close friends have traveled abroad and feel that's an important part of their lives.

With my close friend (and sister!)
9. You love your care for your parents, you are great and inspiring parents, and you spend time nurturing your family relationships. This might get taken for granted in today's world, but it's important. You are rock solid and share your love and affection with your immediate and extended families. 

10. You know our weaknesses and love us in spite of them. You appreciate us for who we are and accept us. And you are free in sharing your love and wisdom generously!
With part of my circle!
I am humbled to know you and learn from you. The photos in this post represent only a small sampling of my great friends throughout the world. Thank you for enriching our lives!

Thanks to Monday Listicles (organized by Stasha at for organizing Monday Listicles. Check out some more!


  1. What is one of the terrific messages of It's A Wonderful Life. That a life time of friendships makes us wealthy indeed. Yesterday was my husband's birthday.Though he turned the 50 this year.

  2. Wow, what a heartfelt, beautiful post.

  3. What a beautiful post! I do hope you go out of your way to share this with all these special people, as it is a lovely compliment.

  4. Thanks for your comments! I really feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing friends, and I don't know what I would do without them!

  5. My grandpa always said you can judge a man by his friends. Which after evading this makes me like you even more :) wonderful!!! Happy Birthday!