Written in the Stars

Carrie_nat_2003_1 I suppose Carrie's and my clicking so well was written in the stars long before we were introduced. I met Carrie for the first time when Matt brought me home to meet the fam. We met in the parking lot of a Chinese restaurant in Walla Walla. I took an instant liking to her because of her characteristic warmth and her genuine interest in meeting me and welcoming me into the family. It was hot, and she was pretty pregnant - and was still gracious, as is her way. I sensed that we had a lot in common and the more we talked, it was confirmed that we had an uncanny number of things in common, right down to being born a day apart. (And we picked Capricorn husbands born a couple days apart - reading the birthday blogs you'll see this is some sort of theme in the Hardy family - birthdays within a day of each other) We can spend hours talking, and have, about deep, emotional things (Pisces, thank you very much) or the little day-to-day details of life. Among her many attributes are her creativity, her dedication to her family and love of her children and husband. She is a truly amazing photographer and makes awesome scrapbook pages (she made this one above). I look forward to seeing her books every time we visit. I always wanted a sister and am blessed to have found one in Carrie.


Through thick and thin ...

Kim_nat_malibu_1Kim is one of the true blue people in my life. Our friendship bloomed in middle school when I moved to Gig Harbor and solidified in high school as we double dated, had Jean Luq coffee sessions at John's and remained friends through the drama that is being in high school.

KimnatgraduationGraduation, 1994

Kim_nat_skiing_1

We've shared a lot of adventures together ... ski trips, San Juans, Malibu, Canada and the most dangerous feat of all: being roommates in college. Since our friendship survived that, I think we're set for life. Our lives are so different now, Kim is a mother of three adorable kids and is brave enough to home school her school-aged girls - but when we pick up the phone and catch up, it's like we're up in her loft with nothing but time for each other. Those phone calls don't happen as often as either of us would like, but the Thelma & Louise soundtrack plays in the background of my memories, always. Kim is an awesome cook - she was creative in the kitchen in high school and I was lucky enough to get in on many of her tasty treats! She's an artist, scrapbooker, amazing photographer and a tried and true friend.


Friends Then and Now

Then Niknat_dorms   

and Nik_nat_banana_split_2 Now ...

Happy Birthday Niki Lou - It's been a few years since we celebrated our 21st birthdays with Midori Sours at the Denny's Lounge in Bellingham. Niki and I hated each other the moment we met. I went to visit my boyfriend and found him in a friend's room across the hall. George invited me in and there was Blake with a pretty blonde girl playing with his hair. I was insta-pissed, jealous, insecure - the works. The boys saw me narrow my eyes at Niki. What they didn't see was hers narrow at me as our emotional cat fight began. (I didn't know she and George were into each other, and she didn't know I was there to see Blake). She left in a hurry and both boys blamed me for being such a bitch. I held that against her too because the feeling was so completely mutual. I had never before seen her on campus and suddenly, she was everywhere. No matter what time I went to the dining hall, there she was. Dirty looks and few words were exchanged.

Until the beginning of our sophomore year when we ran into each other at Western's Red Square. Without ever talking about why, to this day - we both decided to be friends. We talked for awhile until we realized we were late for class and decided to blow off the rest of the day's classes and hang out. We've been friends ever since. We were roommates as well and even had a few sisterly fights. I have a hunch we're friends for life. I love Nik for her loyalty, her thoughtful surprises, her voicemail messages and the way she starts talking when you answer the phone, picking up right where we left off no matter how long it's been since our last talk.


In box 184: the key to my heart

Matt31stbirthday

Happy Birthday to my favorite person on the planet. With all the cool people in the world it's a miracle when we meet up with the One. The One who makes us laugh. The One we can be silly and serious with. The One we recognize as our  true partner in love and life. I am eternally grateful to you, Box 184 - for asking me out until I said "Yes, I guess I do have to eat sometime." :) Your commitment to quality is only one of the things I adore. As listing all of them would take ages, I'll sum up with a sampling of reasons: the words you use -  the fact that though you mock my insistence on talking about feelings, you join me in the conversation - you love with your whole heart and hug me with both arms - your smile and your bright blue eyes - your willingness to grow in new directions together - your delight in trying new things - your taste in music - the fact that you inhale books and love words - your writing - your unique style ... you. I just love all of you.

Riverrage

"Knees Of My Bees" - Alanis Morissette

We share a culture same vernacular

Love of physical humor and time spent alone

You with your penchant for spontaneous advents

For sticky and raspy, unearthed and then gone

You are a gift renaissance with a wink

With tendencies for conversations that raise bars

You are a sage who is fueled by compassion

Comes to nooks and crannies as balm for all scars

You make the knees of my bees weak, tremble and buckle

You make the knees of my bees weak

You are a spirit that knows of no limit

That knows of no ceiling who baulks at dead-ends

You are a wordsmith who cares for his brothers

Not seduced by illusion or fair-weather friends

You make the knees of my bees weak, tremble and buckle

You make the knees of my bees weak

You are a vision who lives by the signals of

Stomach and intuition as your guide

You are a sliver of god on a platter

Who walks what he talks and who cops when he's lied

You make the knees of my bees weak, tremble and buckle

You make the knees of my bees weak


New Year's Baby

Nat_griffinCameron_griffin  I can't believe you're three, Griffin! It seems like a couple days ago that Matt and I came over to meet you. To the left are two of my favorite boys on the planet - Griff is lucky to have such a sweet, fun big brother. I remember finding out about Griff while driving home for Easter. I was having a casual conversation with YaYa when she announced she was pregnant. It seemed like she'd only just decided she might want another little guy ... and now he's three. Unreal. Griffin has a smile that lights up your whole heart. Watching the recognition on his face as he comes toward me and gives me a Griff-hug melts my heart. Happy Birthday, bud! I suppose someone will have to read this to you ... for now. I wish you a happy birthday and a year of fun while you discover new words and continue exploring the world you were born into.


First Impressions

Mark_matt_train When I first met my brother-in-law, I was pretty sure he didn't like me. I don't know if it's because he didn't do jumping jacks and skip around the parking lot, or what. All I know is that I was so nervous and awkward, that while I was sitting next to him at the Chinese restaurant, I used my hands while talking even more than normal and brought my hand down, landing on my fork which then sailed toward and hit him. I like to leave a good first impression, even if it's with tine marks. As I've gotten to know Mark over the years, I've met a strong man who has a kind, generous heart. A man who would give you the shirt off his back. A man with a sense of humor and the ability to crack just about anybody up. He's a loving husband, an amazing dad and I'm so glad he's my brother-in-law. Mark_nat


Old School

Peter_nat Peter and I were really good friends in high school and stayed in touch pretty well the first couple years of college and then ... life happened, I guess. I hadn't seen or talked to him since then. Until our high school reunion last year. It would be impossible to describe the feeling I had when I turned around and there stood one of the people I'd hoped to see the most - Peter Allen.

He was my friend despite my poor dating choices, during the emotional trauma that is being in high school and helped me suffer through my math block. For all those times that he stood by me, offered advice, hugs and just his loyal friendship, I'll adore him and wish him the best.


Happy Birthday Homie

Tom_nat_1 Though it's been years since I've seen Tom, I celebrate him because when I think of Tom and the time in my life when we were close, I smile wide. We met while working at the Postal Crook (a story for another time) and were fast friends with our similar take on things, senses of humor and bonded over mocking annoying customers. Even though he had a fondness for weather the rest of us lament, we were good friends. When I had to move out of my house because the landlord didn't actually own it and the bank was going to foreclose (again, another time) Tom bailed me out by letting move in with him to his supercool pad. I had an awesome room, a converted garage with closet space galore. He gives the best advice, has a great laugh and I enjoyed the times we spent together. He's moved off the continent, oh the things we do for love ;) so though I miss him, I am so glad his heart is happy and that he's found a partner in love and life! Happy Birthday, Homie!


for Sarah

SarahSarah_bday  I am blessed with friends of all ages. Sarah is entering into an age you couldn't pay me to revisit. But, Sarah does things with class and style. And, she speaks up for herself. So I have no doubt she'll survive high school and come out thriving. Sarah is creative, spunky, athletic and loyal. I'm lucky to count her among my friends. Happy Birthday, Sarah. Wishing you a happy heart, the makings of fun memories and success in all aspects.


Sweet Baby, Elise

Elise_is_born Sweet Baby, Elise ... not at all a baby anymore. In fact, she's the big sister to Nathalie_elise_1 two siblings. Elise is the daughter of two of my friends from high school. Kim, one of my dearest friends, and roommates in college is one of the first friends of mine to become a mom. I was lucky to be living in Gig Harbor while she was pregnant and got to share the joy and excitement with her and Randy. I'll never forget the first time I held Elise, shortly after she was born. It was an amazing feeling to be holding someone so new.  Happy Birthday, Elise - wishing you wonder and joy in your learning and discoveries.