Happy Birthday

It is this special lady's birthday!!!
Happy Birthday dear friend!!!

Back in the day when our schedules were a little bit more free and our responsibilities were a less important, a group of girls started a fun tradition of going out to dinner for our birthdays. We referred to it as the Birthday club.  (I know, very creative name, isn't it. Just wait until you hear what we now call our group of friends.)

At the time, the group was pretty big. We got to go out to eat a lot! The group flowed and ebbed as people got married, graduated from college, moved home, moved away, accepted new jobs, had kids, etc. But there became a core group that stayed together. We now refer to our little group as The Girls (I thought you might be amazed.)

The Girls are a very special part of my life. We live on two continents and in four different states. Over the years, there were points in time that we were in three different countries and maybe 5 different states. And yet, we have remained close friends.

What's our secret? Jesus Christ! He is the tie that binds. (name that tune)

We do work hard to stay in contact with each other. Emails, phone calls, blog posts, road trips, plane trips, and the occasional lunch date are priorities for us. 

Back to this special lady's birthday. She happens to be celebrating a special little # for this year's birthday. AND it just so happened that two of the out of state girls were going to be in town on the same weekend. So of course we planned a dinner together. And added on an early birthday celebration for J.

We surprised J with a special scrapbook. 

It was full of memories from the past ..... yikes, I don't know how long. Let me think about this. It is probably 20 years. Is that possible??? Someone correct me on that! Please!

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the photos that are in the book.
 Look at those young ladies. I wish I could remember what was written on the post it note.
It probably said "Can guys and girls just be friends?"

I believe this was on a road trip to Champaign. No that can't be right. That's J's apartment couch in the background. Hmmm....I wonder what fun adventures were going on for that gathering.

My 30th birthday, rock climbing adventure!

J & C's wedding

Then another J wedding :).

P's wedding in Chicago.

K's wedding in Champaign

A little get together when international J was home for a visit.

This photo is taken at Union Station in New York City. J and I went on a mission's trip to Bill Wilson's Sidewalk Sunday School in Brooklyn. That was an adventure, wasn't it!?!

 Then a few year's later, we went out to CA! The only mission work we did on that trip was our own personal evangelizing, or maybe better described as rejuvenating.

And a trip to downtown Chicago.
And to Wisconsin.

I believe this is the one and only picture with the whole Girls Group. Since this picture was taken, the group has grown by two baby girls and two baby boys. And will soon add another baby.
The husband's rarely show up in our group photos. I wonder what it would take to get all of the girls with their husbands together at the same time? I'm not even sure if mine or E's wedding would make that happen. What do you think girls?

 A rare night with no kids and no husbands. I miss the ole' days of playing Dutch Blitz. This was a calm game night compared to our younger days. 

Just simple nights out together.

Happy Birthday J! I am so thankful for my first invite to the Birthday Club. It is how we became friends! It has been an awesome adventure with you! Blessings to you for a wonderful ___th year!
Love ya!

*** These photos are not in chronological order. So stop trying to figure out the hairstyle changes ;)


  1. Love the pics!! What great memories! Happy Birthday, Nel!

  2. What an awesome post! Loved the memories. Happy Birthday,J.


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