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Friday, August 12, 2016

"Celebration of Love" Day Five - Birthday Twins & Portland Friends

I was challenged by Amanda Barone to participate in a seven-day "Celebration of Love." Being the idealist that I am, I took the liberty of altering the conditions of the "challenge" before passing it on (read more here).  I'm inviting those I tag to spend seven days celebrating anyone who makes your life richer -- your friends, your kids, your siblings, your co-workers, and sure, your spouse!  Or, do nothing except know that I am celebrating you!

Several years ago I was part of a rather elaborate plan to surprise my friend Alina on her birthday with a big gathering at her parents' house.  It turned out that was actually part of an even more elaborate plan her mom had cooked up to celebrate FOUR birthdays, including mine!  Alina and her twin sister, Alona, were born on August 11, and our mutual friend Patricia and I were both born on August 18.  When we showed up at Alina & Alona's parents' house, we found probably 40-50 people gathered in the back yard, a wooden photo cutout that had been painted to look like the four of us (hilarious!), and food & games a plenty waiting to be enjoyed.  I already tagged Alina this week, but I wanted to tag Alona & Patricia as well -- especially since it's birthday week for all of us again right now!

I've had some great times with these girls.  They sort of introduced me to thrift store shopping -- or at the very least they're responsible for getting me hooked on it.  I've probably bought at least half my clothes at Goodwill since the four of us went together that summer.  We've had more than a few movie nights, sleepovers, and even s'mores parties at Alina & Alona's house, and Alona usually made sure a chocolate fountain was involved because she is obsessed with chocolate (and why shouldn't she be?!).  Patricia & I also really enjoyed being part of a couple of different reading groups together over the past several years with some fellow deep thinkers.  It was always invigorating to get together and discuss what we'd been reading.  I love thinking back on the times I've shared with these girls!

In addition to my & Alina's "birthday twins," since I'm running short on days but still have plenty of people I'd like to celebrate, I decided to double up on my themes for today and tag some new friends as well.

Eric & I have been living in Portland since February.  We didn't really know anyone when we moved here, but the past couple of years had been pretty crazy and since we're both introverts anyway, it's been kind of nice to feel like we're somewhat off the grid here.  Nevertheless, even we two introverts would probably be feeling pretty isolated if we hadn't made ANY connections over the past six months, and I didn't want to let this whole week go by without celebrating some of our newer friends.

So today I am also tagging Karen, who we met through a small church in our neighborhood that has become our spiritual home here in Portland; Tracy & Dustin, who were the first of my co-workers I really got to know at PSU; and Kirsten, who also just moved to Portland from Reno with her husband right about the same time Eric & I did.  (Her father-in-law also just so happened to officiate our wedding ceremony...it really is a small world!)  While Eric & I are generally pretty content with spending quiet evenings at home as much as possible, these people have given us some connections and made us feel welcome in our new home.  And we are most grateful for them!

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