How can it be that we are turning 40 this year?!  At times it seems like yesterday that we were in high school and at times it seems like forever ago.  I still remember the first time I saw you, rocking your red pleather skirt that resembled a fruit roll-up if I recall correctly.  You walked into school so confident and self-assured.  That is a trait that I admired about you then and that I admire about you to this day.  You are 100% yourself.  You have lived that out in all areas of your life, which is absolutely amazing!

You have this uncanny ability to be so real that it is difficult for anyone around you not to be their real self as well.  And if they aren’t you will call them on it.  I love that about you.  Our conversations are so raw and honest, with no pretenses or sugar coating.  I think we have both needed that particularly through this pandemic.  I find myself telling you things that I didn’t even realize were “things” until we started talking.  I always feel better after having a conversation with you.  I wish that everyone could bring as much care and honesty to a conversation as you bring.

Jennie, I haven’t always been the best friend.  I was so sick for a while that I just kind of disappeared from my friendships.  I want to thank you for never giving up on me and when I was getting myself back to a good place you welcomed me with open arms.  You didn’t shame me, you just met me where I was and loved me just like you always have.  You are an incredible friend, and I can definitely speak to that.  I just hope that I can now be that same type of friend to you.  I am forever grateful for our friendship and for the special place you hold in my heart.

We have had some amazing times together over the past 25 years!  Can you believe it’s been that long?  All of our high school adventures, softball, working at Westroads, football games, our trip to Europe, college visits, navigating our early 20’s, marriages, kids, there has been a lot we have experienced together.  I love watching you be the Boss that you are, managing your career, with your family, you make it look easy, even when I know it is far from that. You are an amazing example for your girls and all girls.  I pray that I raise my girls to always be themselves, just like you!

I love you.  I hope that your 40’s are the absolute best!  I’m looking forward to making many more memories with you and your sweet family.

Happy 40th Birthday, Jennie!

Love, Darcie