happy birthday jennifer!

I have seen people do this on their blogs before and, while I have not done it before, I am going to do it today. I am not going to say that this is the beginning of a new tradition, because it might not be. But, for today, I am going to list 31 things I know, love, admire about Jen for the second anniversary of her 29th birthday.

  1. From the very first time I met Jen, I knew I wanted to be friends with her.
  2. Jen is her own person. This is a quality I admire so much as someone who is often trying to “fit in”. Not that Jen doesn’t “fit in”, but she is herself all the time, and I love that about her.
  3. Jennifer is a true friend. Our freshman year in college I was hanging out with this boy who I really kind of liked. One night, when Jen and I were going to a movie with this kid and Jen’s boyfriend at the time, the boys had gone to do something and Jen said, “Chloe, you’re not very nice when you hang out with Ted*.” This was something I needed to hear, but not something very many people would be willing to say.
  4. Jen has a beautiful voice. I have this recording of Jen and her sister singing “Landslide” and it is my favorite rendition of the song.
  5. Jennifer is an amazing writer. I love her blog. I love how she will write poems and songs for all sorts of occasions. Sometimes, I even get a little jealous of her talents.
  6. Jen is one of the nicest people I know. It’s kind of amazing that she has put up with me all of these years, since I am not exactly that. She always keeps me in check when I need it.
  7. Jen is always up for fun. My whole freshman experience changed when we moved in together.
  8. She is a great decorator of cakes and makes awesome ones for her nieces and nephews birthdays.
  9. She currently lives in Kansas, a place she has called home before.
  10. She is a great cook.
  11. Jennifer loves to play games (boardgames and the like). Things have not been the same for us (The Gang, formerly known as Jen and the Gang), since she and Somebody moved to Kansas.
  12. Jennifer has lived all over the place. I knew we would be friends when I discovered that she had lived in northern California. There’s just something about NorCal people. We are super cool.
  13. Jen has great taste in music.
  14. Jennifer is married to Somebody, and I love him by association.
  15. Jennifer is really smart.
  16. Jen has her MPA.
  17. She doesn’t love her job right now, but I know she still works hard because that’s who she is.
  18. She has two brothers and two sisters, just like me.
  19. Jen is a middle child.
  20. She has enough nieces and nephews that I am pretty sure I have lost count…I think it’s 11?
  21. Our freshman year we drove up to Rexburg to visit her older sister, Karla, who had just had her first baby, Kolby (Jen, I’m totally doubting myself as I write this stuff, so correct me if I screw anything up). That is where I was introduced to “Better than Sex” cake. It’s absolutely delicious!
  22. Jennifer is super thoughtful.
  23. A funny memory: our freshman year, I inherited my sister’s car when she left on a mission. I subsequently crashed the car, rear-ending someone on the freeway. It wasn’t totalled, but before I could get it fixed, Jen needed to borrow it to take her sister, Heidi, to the airport. Like an idiot, I bungee-corded (as opposed to tying with a rope) the hood down. On the way to the airport, the bungee cord snapped. The hood flew up, blocked her view (except for a teeny little spot at the bottom of the windshield) and dented the roof of the car. It was awful.
  24. Jennifer is an awesome married friend. You know how some friends get married and they either a) drop you in the dust or b) try to hook you up with anyone they know so that you, too, can become a married. That is not Jen. She loves us just the same as she always has.
  25. Jen is one of my favorite people to do just about anything with because she is so easy going. I never have to worry about whether or not she’s enjoying herself because she makes everything enjoyable.
  26. I love Jennifer’s confidence and have always envied it. I don’t know if she knows that, but it is 100% true.
  27. Jennifer is beautiful.
  28. She has an amazing smile and I love that it’s just a little crooked…and she has a niece who smiles just like her, the lucky girl.
  29. Jennifer is the most photogenic person I have ever known. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever seen a bad picture of her. She also has an amazing talent for self-portraits and has taught Somebody the way. It super fun to see his progression in photos as she has instructed him on just how to smile, tilt and angle for the self-portrait. I wish she would have taught me.
  30. When I graduated and moved down to Arizona, Jen not only drove down with me so that I would have company on the 10-hour-drive, but she stayed for a weekend and helped me and my family paint my new house (well, mine with my sister and my brother) into the wee hours of the morning…and even slept on an uncomfortable sleeper-sofa.
  31. And last, but not least, Jennifer is an amazing example. This is something else I’m not sure she always recognizes. There are times, honestly, when I think, “What would Jen do in this situation?” And when I follow her example, I always feel good about my choices.

Happy Birthday Jen! I love you!

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