Jamie and I have been friends for more than 15 years and yet, scrolling through Facebook, I could find only one picture of us together - which is not indicative of a lack of time spent together, but rather the fact that neither of us like to be in FRONT of the camera.
This particular picture was taken in Maui, where for several years, Jamie and I spent a glorious two weeks with friends, writers, and each other. We haven't been back for awhile.
More than anything on this birthday, her 50th today, I wanted to take her back to the island. I couldn't make it happen.
But this is a milestone birthday, and a simple call or Facebook status with a birthday shout-out isn't quite enough. So, in my continuing 2013 theme of 50, I present 50 reasons why I love Jamie. (Hey bestie, don't kill me when you read them, mmmkay?)
1. Jamie is fierce. Like a lion. This is one lady you want ON YOUR SIDE. This is also one lady you don't want not on your side. Because, er, I've been there. It sucks.
2. Jamie is a wonderful mama bear. Fierce, yes, but also loving, compassionate, and smart. It hasn't been easy, but she's raised two beautiful kids into amazing adults. I've been there for the struggles and some of the triumphs. Wow. Inspirational!
3. Jamie is open to learn anything. On her 40th birthday, we went to Interior Design classes. I can't believe it's been 10 years. She rocked that course. I did okay.
4. Jamie takes gorgeous photographs. Don't believe me? Take a gander through her blog posts and marvel at the beauty she captures. The most amazing part? She's virtually self taught. Sure her hubs gets her the technical tools, but Jamie's pictures with her iPhone are better than some photographers'. I am in awe.
5. Jamie is the best BETA READER any writer could ask for. Hands down. If there's a plot hole, she'll catch it. A typos, she'll find it. An inconsistency, she'll call you on it. She's my "cut her foot" girl, my Ideal Reader, and yeah, back off, she's MINE.
6. Jamie can rock a head massage. One week at a writer's conference, brain full of emotional baggage and packed with information - yep, everyone at that event was wishing they had a Jamie.
7. Jamie isn't afraid to speak her mind. Loudly. In public. Sometimes in a mall. *ducks*
8. Jamie loves to read. Mostly the same stuff I do. I treasure when we find an author we both love. She treasures it less, though, because often I drop her books in the bath...or forget to return them altogether :-/
9. Jamie has excellent taste in wine. Nuff said.
10. Jamie introduced me to the DC and GG Club. Don't know what that stands for? Your loss. Mwahahahaha.
11. Jamie gets me. No questions asked. Well, maybe one or two. But it's mostly to get a rise out of me. Few have the ability like she does.
12. Jamie is one of the best cooks I have ever met. She's hypoglycemic (like me) and has to be careful about when and what she eats. But if she's in her kitchen creating, I'm eating whatever she makes because it's all art.
13. Jamie is an amazing grandmother to a beautiful little spitfire. With every photograph, every Facebook status update, you can FEEL the love between the two of them. That is one lucky little girl.
14. Jamie will BOX your ass. Mine, too, if I hadn't chickened out. We decided to take kick boxing together once. The instructor was a little too psycho for me. Jamie toughed it out. I have deep admiration for that. I'm also always a little fearful of her because of that.
15. Jamie can rock a great pair of boots. As a boot lover, that's something to love and appreciate.
16. Jamie has a great sense of humour. The hours we've spent laughing over pretty much everything should have given me killer abs. Not sure what happened there...
17. Jamie is the strongest woman I know. Her sacrifices for her family, her friends...they know NO bounds. I know they know how lucky they are. Me too.
18. Jamie is the kind of wife I hope to be. Fiercely loyal, supportive, loving, and firm when required. No marriage is perfect. Jamie and Rick's is pretty darned close.
19. No one does sarcasm better than Jamie. No, really. It's a
20. Jamie has supported me through every stage of my writing career. From the first day someone told me I could write, to the days I feel like I can't. She's a fan of my work in genius mode, and in idiot mode. She's simply my biggest fan.
21. Jamie isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in. I love that. Sometimes I fear that.
22. Jamie has a huge heart. And when it breaks, it breaks hard. I'm not proud to have broken it a few times, but I am grateful for it's ability to heal, for her ability to heal.
23. Jamie is one of my longest friends. That alone should give her some points. (Save those, baby, you and I both know they come in handy.)
24. Jamie is great to travel with - three (or 4?) times to Maui should be proof. Our adventures are far from over.
25. Jamie puts up with my husband...and offers him deer meat. (He was quite adamant that this be added to the list.)
26. Jamie has the ability to forgive and forget. Thank the heavens.
27. Jamie rocks a Maid of Honor dress. You'll have to trust me on that because I'm not crazy enough to post a bunch of pictures of her without permission. (Refer to #14)
28. Jamie appreciates the finer things in life. But she isn't a snob. Often.
29. Jamie is a writer. She'll deny this until she's 100 (fml if I have to come up with ANOTHER list), but the girl can write. She should do it more.
30. Look in the dictionary under loyal. Pretty sure you'll see Jamie's face. (Hopefully she wasn't scowling that day....should be okay if the picture wasn't taken in November through April.)
31. Jamie is beautiful. Inside and out. No make-up required. *ducks*
32. Jamie is a romantic. She'll deny this, but check her bookshelf. She also appreciates thriller, slight paranormal, and anything written by me :-D
33. The world could be ending, the sky falling, but if I need Jamie for anything, she will be there. Like a rescue mission to Rocky Mountain House when I was in way over my head at a motor bike ralley :-/
34. Jamie has the innate ability to make friends with everyone. The hotel security guard. Her hairdresser. Random stranger on the street. Must be her empathy. (Sucka!)
35. Jamie is a great listener. She listens to me. A lot. (Might also be why she loves wine.)
36. Jamie is a connoisseur of coffee. Tim Hortons. 1/2 water. One sweetner. Two milk. Cripes...it's been a while. I may be off on that :-/ She also enjoys Starbucks. And the Italian Center. Our favorite meeting place.
37. Jamie gives the best advice. On everything from boys (ah, I pity those younger years, my friend) to work, to writing, to general life ups and downs. I have benefitted from her wisdom.
38. Jamie is a problem solver. Thank goodness, since I seem to have had a LOT of problems in the past 15+ years.
39. Jamie has terrible sense of direction. This makes her quite adorable - though, sometimes, it is the cause of much stress in our friendship. I love that she'd rather hand over the keys than brave the unknown. This has changed with GPS. Technology.
40. Jamie loves Apple products. We have this in common. (Sometimes, she shares her cool programs.)
41. Jamie gives kick ass hugs.
42. Jamie is selfless. Overly. I hope for the next 50 years she becomes a little more selfish. She's earned that - and then some.
43. Jamie is great for my vocabulary. Over the years, I've picked up phrases such as "dry as a Buffalo fart" - said lovingly after I neglected to put butter on a cheese bagel we split back in the days of working at Chapters. Some of the other words she's taught me maybe aren't appropriate for this post.
44. Jamie is sympathetic. Whether I've lost a love or broken a nail. I hurt, she hurts. (Okay, slight exaggeration. If I broke a nail, she'd a) tell me to suck it up and b) show me her beautiful shellac nails.)
45. Jamie used to be a figure skater. How cute is that?!
46. Jamie has an amazing smile. It literally lights up a room. She also has an impressive scowl. Watch for this on milestone birthdays, and again, throughout the months of November to April. But after that? Brilliant!
47. Jamie is the BEST email writer. Really gets her point across. Actually, drills it into your brain. It's best if you're on her good side when she writes one. (See #1) She also has a good handle on how to block email, or at least give you the illusion she has blocked you, returning an email seemingly "unread."
48. Jamie would be just as happy lounging in a secluded cabin reading for a weekend as she would be taking surfing lessons on the beach. Someday, I hope we'll have the chance to do both. I love the adventurer in her.
49. Jamie loves me. Unconditionally. Warts and all. (I think...this week, probably....for SURE after today...)
50. Jamie is one of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. We've had our ups and downs, we've weathered some freaky storms and come out the other side in one piece (barely), but when push comes to shove, you couldn't ask anyone better to stand by your side.
Happy birthday, babe. I love you with infinity.