Then again - sometimes I can be too sentimental for my own good.
The details of Rachel's birthday bonanza started months ago when I decided to put together a photo album/scrapbook as a present. After working closely with her mom, her fiance and her friends & family in Michigan and Arizona and Georgia - her one scrapbook turned into two volumes and reduced me to 4 hours of sleep a night.
But it was all worth it to see her open it up.
After the dinner and the cake and the family had all gone home, Rachel and I sat on the floor in front of the coffee table, Mart on the couch snapping pictures as she unwrapped the two, black, leather bound books. As she flipped through the pages, she cried.
Afterwards, we sat on the couch, exhausted from the day but still unwilling to stop talking about it.
Just 48 hours later, we were sleepily piling into the car with Leslie and Misty for her birthday celebration. A dinner of tapas at San Chez in Grand Rapids, followed by drinks and dancing at The Bob. We had directions, we had a hotel room and we had a case full of CD's.
And we had a really good time.
We feasted at San Chez, ordering rounds of food and even indulging in desserts. When we were full (and some of us warm and happy from the sangria) we walked down the street to The Bob. We took breaks outside on the terrace when things got too warm but for the most part we drank and we danced and sometime after the dance mix of Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" and before the DJ took us back to old school with Kick Saigon's "Love Is On The Way" for a final song, I leaned into Rachel's ear and yelled, "Are you having fun?"
She nodded. Emphatically. Then she threw her arms around my neck and yelled back, "Thank you!"
When we got back to the hotel, we didn't want to go to sleep. I woke to Rachel and Leslie singing "Baby Got Back". When we woke, we hustled out of the hotel room and feasted on breakfast quesadilla's. We may have been cranky and hung over...but we didn't want to go home.
Tonight I talk with Rachel on the phone...and it's clear neither one of us wanted her birthday to end. It seems sometimes, as though those good moments, the ones when you feel loved by your friends and carefree - can sometimes become fewer and farther between. Maybe that's just life. Or maybe that's just if you let them fall.
The massive build up to just one event left the two of us sort of tired, sort of drained and sort of aching for more.
And really...that's how you know you've just had one of the best moments with one of the best friends you'll ever know.