Let me tell you about my friend Jessica.

GUESS WHAT!  It’s somebody’s birthday!

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This pretty friend with me right here!

Today is the perfect day to tell you why I’m so grateful to know Jess and consider her my best friend.  Just the weekend before last she surprised me with a Christmas gift from her trip to Hawaii – a replica of a Hawaiian newspaper from the day Pearl Harbor was attacked to use in my history classroom some day.  I like this story best (out of all the millions I could tell) because it just shows how well Jess knows me, and how thoughtful she is in that.

Jess and I met on Facebook (it’s okay to laugh, we still do) the summer before our freshman year at Vanderbilt.  After discovering we’re both in the piccolo section of the Vanderbilt marching band, we became fast friends.  Just a week or so into the school year, we sat outside on Commons, eating Goldfish in our pj’s and sharing our entire life story with each other.  Jess was the first person I was that open and honest with at Vanderbilt, and who chose to be that vulnerable and honest with me, and our friendship has relied on honesty ever since.  I’m fairly certain there’s never an unexpressed thought, good or bad, between us.  And if there is, it’s usually because like Jess always says, we have the same brain, and we can usually tell what’s up with the other person.  That kind of friendship is pretty rare – I haven’t had very many of them, and with all the busyness and hustle of Vanderbilt, I’m really grateful to have somebody who can take one look at me and tell how I’m feeling and what I need to hear.

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Freshman year selfies for the win

Last semester, both of our lives took really interesting turns in the boy department.  As I was ending a relationship, Jess was beginning one, and that was kind of challenging.  We were in totally opposite places emotionally, but Jess never let that stop us from having the same kind of open and positive friendship we had before, and I can’t tell you how difficult that experience would have been without her support.  This was also at a time when we realized we actually had to work at our friendship and finding time to catch up and do life together, since we didn’t live in dorms next door to each other any more.  It’s pretty awesome to know that despite all of the craziness, I could depend on her friendship.

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Basically what I’m saying is that Jess has blessed me in so many ways.  I love getting to spend time on this post and share how great she is and spend all of today celebrating the things that make her who she is – the color purple, a love for kiddos, St. Louis, running, confidence – and all the things that make our friendship what it is – Nutella, a growing knowledge of football, Miles & Music, walks & talks – and all of the years to celebrate that are yet to come.  Love you JBloom!

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