For starters, Happy Birthday. I know this is the first time since I've been alive that I haven't been home for your birthday, and obviously birthdays and special events are a big deal to us.
I wanted to write you a blog post because your real present won't be ready for about a week or so, and it's easier for me to type things out sometimes.
I want to give you the biggest thank you possible. You've truly made me who I am. No matter what crazy thing I want to do or idea I have, you always support it (you usually try and give me advice to rationalize first that I usually don't take until afterwards), but either way you're always there.
We say it all the time that it's pretty scary how alike we are. We both aren't necessarily 'book smart', we can always skip past the history side of things, and we know just the right amount of time you should spend looking inside a museum of any sort. I can thank you for my creative side, which has truly been what made me go into the career path that I did. Always doing crafts growing up, baking, listening to music constantly, and always pushing me to do and be whatever I want in life, even if it doesn't make sense to other people.
Not many people are that lucky. To have a stay-at-home mom, which is a real job in and of itself, that also doubles as your best friend. Thank you for being the room mother in all of my classes in elementary school, and always throwing me the BEST birthday parties to this day, and always giving all of my friends and I a place to hang out at every weekend and after every sporting event or special occasion (and even letting my past, crappy friends come even when you knew they weren't good people ;-) ).
You've taught me so much about being a kind person and making all people feel welcome, but always knowing that you can never let anyone, no matter who it is, walk all over you or treat you bad, which is something I've definitely taken to heart.
I also still can't get over how lucky I am to have a mom that listens to the SAME MUSIC THAT I DO. Taking me to my first pop-punk show (All Time Low nonetheless) when I had just turned 14 and falling in love with the group as much as I have. We have seen A LOT of shows since then and traveled to countless cities to see all of our different band guys. Stood in line for hours. Waited in the hot summer heat. Bought CDs from bands that aren't that great. Taken creeper photos of our favorite people. And always standing in the back at the show and taken in the whole concert, loving every moment side by side.
And finally, being the best travel buddy. Ever. Like I said, we just get each other and we have seen so much together. From all the family trips, to Chicago, to California, and to New York City, and a bunch of other little places, and finally on a road trip ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. Something we have both always dreamed of. Starting in Indiana going to Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and finally to Arizona, my new home. (Not to mention all the amazing stops along the way).
You've helped give me the most amazing life, and I've tried my best to express that into words. I hope you know how hard it was to leave you and how much I already miss our (almost) daily trips to get a Coke or Mountain Dew, or just randomly coming by to surprise you, and spending weekends binge watching too many tv shows. But like you said, we're just a phone call or plane ride away (I don't think it'll ever get easier though). I could say so much more and probably write a book, but I'll try and keep it short.
Thank you so much Mom, for being the best mom, the best concert buddy, the best travel companion, and my best friend. I love you so much.