Happy Birthday Paula!

Today is my best friends birthday… “Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Paula! Happy Birthday to you!” She is officially 27… what’s even more crazy is this is my 24th birthday to celebrate with her! We met as little girls when our brothers (also best buds) played tee ball.

In honor of her 27th Birthday here are my top 27 favorite things about her:

27- Her passion. This is actually one of the things I love most about her, I just didn’t want to start it off small. Paula has this incredible passion that far exceeds most. It usually doesn’t even matter the cause. If it matters to her, she’s passionate about it. The great thing about that is she knows how to love and love hard, she knows how to work and work hard, she knows how to serve and serve hard.
26- Her sense of style. I know that might sound materialistic but she’s got fantastic taste.
25- Her love of pizza and ability to consume any amount of it and chug coke along with it. Seriously? How can you be as tiny as she is and still have an addiction to pizza and coke?
24- Her label maker.
23- New Kids on the Block. We so have to go to their concert!
22- Blue Christmas lights…
21- Mr. Incredible… that’s all I can say.
20- Her heart for missions and serving. Paula will never turn down an opportunity to give or go! She always counts others as greater than herself. No matter the task, she’ll be there.
19- Her ability to clean. She used to come over and she couldn’t play/hangout until she had cleaned my room. She just couldn’t relax enough to have fun.
18- Too many three way calling. We’d call boys we’d like for the other while the other one was silent on three way. We were real winners!
17- Straightening her hair after church and before MYF. What you don’t understand is this before straigheners. So she would literally hunch over the ironing board and I would straighten it that way. The problem: I burned her too many times and it took so long I always wanted to quit before were done. Too many times she had to go to night church with half curly, half straight hair.
16- Her perfect 80s hair and matching outfits. She might have hated it then, but I was so jealous of her. She always had the best 80s clothes and matching bow and perfect (big, crazy) hair!
15- Late night “pillow talks” with our countless slumber parties. Paula has a gift for talking once you really get to know her. And when we’d have slumber parties it always seemed the later it got the more it talked. We’d joke about how her talking was my lullaby because I always feel asleep. I love it though!
14- Her love and gifting for teaching. Her first year might be giving her a run for her money, but she will overcome. She is passionate about teaching these kids in such a raw way that is lacking in our society.
13- The farm days – forts in the hay, adventures to the creek, cleaning the shower, brother-sister monopoly, and… the attic.
12- I love her relationship with my family. She is a part of our family, not just my friend. At times I think my family would have loved to do a trade. She loves my family unconditionally.
11- Her drive. Paula hadn’t ridden a bike since we were kids and this past year after conquering the half marathon again she decides she’s going to ride in the MS150 (you know, that small bike ride to Austin). She bought a bike and just a few months later, she did it!
10-Encouragement. This is a huge gift of Paula’s. If you ever are feeling down, giver her a call. She can find the good in the situation in no time! Plus, by her words she’ll some how pick you up and motivate you to get going and follow Christ through all things!
9- Her laugh. It wells up within her and becomes this infectious moment for anyone near! Love it!
8- Her love and devotion to her family. Family is a huge priority to her. When so many our age start seeing and talking to family once a month and on special occasions, she still has solid relationships with her parents and all 3 brothers.
7- Constant. She has been there through me through EVERYTHING. Poor girl! She was there when I strongly denied Christ, when I kept dating the wrong guys, when I struggled with stupid thing after stupid thing, etc. She never judged. She was there, always offering love and grace. She was so much like Jesus in that way.
6- Lots of late nights in the Red Room… what a fun (and depressing) year!
5- Hope and pure belief. Paula has dealt with more in life than most realize or even know. The hope and pure belief that God is in control of things challenges me constantly.
4- I don’t know how to word this – but Paula is so gifted in being aware of people that just need love. Since we were little girls she always reached out to those on the “outside.”
3- Car dancing, hands down. Paula is like most Africans (truly from Africa)—there must be a constant rhythm in her head because she is always ready and willing to dance.
2- World’s best smile – seriously it spans across her whole face and you can’t but smile also.
1- Her perfect balance. Paula and I have been best friends for 24 years now. That’s a long time—2 ½ decades. Our friendship continues to grow strong. There is a balance that has formed over the years. We couldn’t be more different, especially when we were growing up. We’ve always thought that I would need to marry someone just like her and vice versa. So know I am on the prowl for her man version of me! I have a few ideas… but none are quite ready yet… J

I couldn’t ask for a more loving friend! Paula is all these things and more! If you don’t know her check her out: http://paulatripputi.blogspot.com/.

That picture at the top is one of her bday parties when we were younger. We were SO in love with NKOTB!!