Saturday is my friend Maria's 24th Birthday. I'm going to be out of town this weekend, so the Maria Birthday Post must go up early. Last year I remember giving Maria 23 presents for her 23rd birthday. I think 24 presents is just too many, so instead, I'm going to list 24 of my favorite Maria memories:
1 When we were in D.C. you ripped your jeans, so we all went to Express and you bought new ones. Because you needed to wear them out of the store, you walked behind the counter so the clerk could scan the price tag, still attached. I think she thought we were all crazy. Especially me, because I took a picture.
2 One Sunday our friends were buzzing because there was a Laura look-a-like at church and you told me you didn’t get it because “she wasn’t even that fat.”
3 The time we snagged an Albertsons grocery cart someone left along 500 West so we could have something to carry all our groceries up the elevator and down the long Northgate halls to our apartments.
4 A couple years ago you came to the Fellowship Opening. I was really tired because I worked ten hours straight and the artists were stressing me out. You gave me a hug. I needed that.
5 That one time we were playing Apples to Apples at Jon’s house. You know which time.
6 When we went to Denver to see the Foo Fighters with your sisters, you guys drove me to Littleton so I could see my newest niece Piper. That was really nice of you, especially because it took us forever to find it.
7 Our walk/runs. I’d walk while you’d run laps around me.
8 The day I moved into 530 with you and Kaila. You moved all your stuff over to half of the bathroom. It made me feel comfortable, like you were excited to have me there.
10 A couple summers ago you and I went down to St. George to Mic’s condo and you asked what the “Fro Stop” was. As if you were high or something. Granted, it reads FROSTOP (You had to be there).
11 Same trip, we started up Angel’s Landing and I thought I was going to pass out from the heat and my little legs were tired so you slowed your pace with me till we both decided we didn’t want to go to the top that bad. So we stayed behind and chatted. I remember what we talked about too.
12 I’m not sure if it was the first day I met you, but it was one of the first times, I admired all your bags hanging on the coat rack by your table. Right then and there you gave me one of them. I still use it.
13 One summer, the ward was playing “Capture the Flag” at Liberty Park and you reached your hand right down Sheila’s pants and grabbed it. This was before I knew you, but I’ve heard the story told so many times I feel like I was there.
14 One night on the cruise, Marni and I went back to our room after dinner while you and Kaila went upstairs to the “club”. It wasn’t long before you came down again, opened the door and said, “They’re playing La Isla Bonita, you have to come up and dance with us.”
15 One Sunday, Jonathan Easterling bore his testimony and told the congregation what an awesome girl you were because of something you did for him that week. I remember being so touched that he would share that with the ward. It warmed my heart.
16 One morning when I still lived up in 619 you called me saying you and Kaila were out of milk and wondered if you could borrow some. Instead of coming to pick up the milk, you both just came upstairs with your bowls and boxes of cereal and ate there.
17 The “Win a date with Jon” contest on the Abel Hour.
18 One night Marni went downstairs to watch a movie with you and Kaila and I was upstairs watching TV at my place. You came up and said Marni told you what I was watching and you said, “A biography on Judy Garland? Are you kidding me?” And you stayed and watched the rest of it.
19 And that just reminded me of one Friday night last year. We didn’t mean to stay in all night, but we ended up watching the three-hour PBS special on Cary Grant. And all his little wives.
20 Any time you recount any story about Ted.
21 That night at Carrabbas when we spent the entire time guessing the names of all Jon's s siblings – thus birthed the guessing game. My favorite subsequent games being with Bryce (who wondered "how do I win?" -- little did he know he doesn't get to win) and then Lex, who had us guessing the name of his brother Lane for almost 10 minutes with our hint being that it had two syllables. The best part was how Lex really thought “Lane” had two syllables. You clapped it out for him like you do when you're first teaching 5 year-olds about rhythm. “Lane! One syllable.”
22 One Sunday when the ward choir (and entire congregation) was performing "Come Thou Fount" for Bishop Pohlman, I realized I forgot ALL the sheet music and had this tremendous fear that no one would know the words and no one would sing and I was stressing out. You took my car home and picked up all the sheet music so we could have it in time for the musical number. This was actually a dream I had, but still, you saved the day in my dream.
23 One night you me and Kaila talked until 3:30 in the morning about movies from our childhood that we wanted to see again and movies that make us cry (mine was the Land Before Time). We couldn't think of the name of this one Disney Movie and had to look it up later (No Deposit, No Return).
24 Two years ago, I went to Austin for the Americans for the Arts Conference. I was walking around the Capitol grounds and wanted someone to talk to, so I called you and you let me talk to you about nonsense for ten minutes.
So here I am headed off to my second Americans for the Arts Conference. This time in Vegas. I think I'll skip the Coca Cola Factory this time. I wish I could be there for your birthday Maria. I feel like I'm missing a lot of good stuff this weekend. Your birthday party, Lagoon, the Tap Recital...someone take a lot of pictures at the tap recital, please!