This is one of the hardest blogs I have ever written, how do you write a blog about someone everyone thinks they know? Did you know the entire reason this blog exists is because of my friend Andrea? Today is her birthday, and as you know, each year I select a group of friends to write about. This year Andrea is a part of that group; she is one of my dearest, best friends and chief sister of the heart.
When I was fourteen years old, my friend Christena asked if I wanted to go see her friend Andrea at work. Andrea had a really cool job that required us getting a ride from my Dad into L.A. on a Friday night. We went and hung out, watching Andrea work; she showed us around her workplace and introduced us to her co-workers. I remember thinking she was so cool and nice, but did not really know what to say to her? We hugged goodbye and I remember wanting to be her friend but was not sure how.
I went to a different school so I never really got to get to know Andrea. Life went on and so did I until an article in a magazine, a mutual friend and a little bit of fate brought us back together. It’s a really long story that I won’t bother to explain. Basically, Andrea and I are connected by six degrees of separation in so many different ways…we could never stop being friends even if we wanted to!
We bonded over motherhood, being NKOTB fans, growing up in the same hometown and knowing the same people. Her brother is even a hero in my family for saving my grandparents’ estate!
Andrea is an incredible writer. Years of reading her amazing writing has been an inspiration. I credit her with helping me to become a better writer myself – or even a writer at all!. I owe her big-time for reading my horrible writing all these years. She probably has a permanent twitchy eye from suffering through my early blogs.
We are the queen’s of social media; Thanks to our mutual friend Di, we have been Twitter addicts from the very first year of Twitter. We have communicated daily through blogging or social media for nine years now. NINE YEARS!!! That is a scary thought.
I will never forget our first meet up as adults; we took our kids to Chuck E. Cheese and bonded over crappy pizza while the kids played. Felicity was just a baby and Andrea carried her in a Moby wrap. I remember Felicity animatedly chatting with me across the table; I told Andrea that she would be a talker. Andrea laughed at me…who’s laughing now, sister?
|What a great day!|
After that first meeting we started meeting for breakfast with our friend Di every time I came home to L.A. to visit. Those meetings of the ‘’breakfast club’’ carried me through some difficult times. We could solve the world’s problems sitting at a table drinking coffee and eating Swedish Bacon.
|The Breakfast club. This meeting AB gave me a giant NKOTB button|
Throughout Marty’s illness Andrea was one of my rocks. She listened, worried, prayed and gave me encouraging words. She and I excitedly shared the reunion of New Kids during this time: she wanted me to go to a show with her but I wasn't able to travel. She asked me to do many things during this time and my answer was always, “No. Maybe. Someday.”
When Marty got the call, Andrea was one of the first to know. I will never forget the first time really talking on the phone was the day after Marty’s transplant. I think she was just as excited as we were and she knew how much it meant.
|AB playing a game with the breakfast club juniors|
Last year we (finally) got our year of fun. It was during this time that I realized Andrea was a blessing who filled a huge hole in my heart. She and many other friends fill the role of sister for me -- something that really only matters to me, but they willingly take on the role anyway. I got to watch Andrea run a marathon, go on a crazy trip to Hershey,PA together and watch her embrace her past. I must say that 35 was a great year for us both.
|Hollywood Marathon 2012. This day changed our lives forever|
|NKOTB Town Hall. Meeting these two ladies changed our lives as well|
Thirty-six has been a year of personal growth for both of us. We've both gone on unexpected journeys as women and friends: lots of lessons learned, opportunities seized and realities faced. I love that she is my friend even when I am not very fun to be friends with. I love that we both have wacky senses of humor; we both are Joe girls and understand the nutty things each other does.
I've learned many life lessons being Andrea’s friend, my favorites being her ability to carry herself with grace, to show kindness to strangers, patience and mercy. She never says a bad word about anyone, she has the BEST sense of humor, and she is smart, beautiful and kind. She is also an amazing mom. Any kid lucky enough to be in her kids’ class will get the best party and holiday treats. Just this past week she stayed up until some crazy hour making sea creations for F’s preschool class!
AB, we were meant to be friends and sisters of the heart. You've changed my life in so many unintentional ways I am grateful to be your friend, thankful that you've allowed me to go on this crazy journey of life with you. I look forward to being old ladies in the home, flowered wallpaper, pictures of Joey Mac on the wall, dancing to the Remix. Here’s to 37; I hope it is a wonderful year for the both of us. I’m glad you’re older and go first. Let me know how it feels.
|Airport on the way to Mixtape|
|This is one of my favorite pictures of us. Watching Joe sing PDGG together for the first time ever!|
I would like to thank Lily for editing this blog for me. Andrea loves perfect grammar and I wanted this blog to be grammatically correct. So Lily took this on in her busy schedule as a favor. I know our friend thanks you as well.