I know you don’t know me from Adam, or Eve albeit, but I’m lucky enough to be called one of Juli's friends. We met 3 summers ago and the friendship that has evolved between us is something I cherish. Yes, we met on Twitter, and I totally get how some perceive that. My parents still don’t quite get it, but it is what it is and how we met doesn’t change how special our friendship is.
As I’ve gotten to know Juli, the one characteristic that sticks about her the most is that she always puts people in front of herself. Family, friends, and even total strangers, it doesn’t matter, if she sees somebody in need she is there for them. She makes me want to be a nicer person!
In the last three years, I couldn’t even begin to describe all the ways she has impacted my life in a positive way. But, just so you have some examples, I’m sharing some of my favorite Juli moments.
1. Soon after I met Juli, she told me about Rhonda, a friend of the family’s who had a horrible stroke. I listened as she shared her concerns for Rhonda, her family, and your family who was good friends, as they dealt with this situation. I know she visited often, took care packages, and looked for any way she could help.
2. When our friend, Trinity, went through brain surgery, Juli was the one gathering up the troops to help. She was by her side in preparation, during the surgeries, and after. She laughed, cried, and supported the entire time. She took time out of her already very busy schedule to help with fundraising as the family struggled to pay bills after the two costly surgeries.
3. Juli is queen of care packages. She gives her money and time to put together individualized packages to bring smiles to others. My kids were lucky recipients of one of these care packages full of games, toys, and fun stuff to occupy them on our long ride to Florida on vacation. They weren’t expecting it, but she wanted to brighten their day and help me keep my sanity on the 14-hour trip.
4. I’m a schoolteacher and last year was rough for me. The roughest of the 8 years of my career and there were days I wanted to give up. I don’t know how she did it, but Juli just knew when I was having one of those days and would send me texts, tweets, and emails of encouragement and support. She didn’t try to fix my problems, she just listened. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the school year without her on my side.
5. Juli is an exceptional mom. Her kids come first (as they should) and nobody could ever question that. She volunteers on their sports and in school. She works hard to give her kids what they need and some of what they want to. It is so obvious that their house runs on love as hugs, kisses, and “I Love You’s” are often seen and heard. Oh and her birthday parties for the kids rock!!
6. This is my favorite example…At the end of the year, I was in a funk that I couldn’t seem to break. One weekend I was supposed to attend a party at Nick and Juli’s, but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t party and hang out with people. I didn’t have the strength. But, Juli didn’t let me get away. No, she packed up her whole family, and some mutual friends, along with pizzas, soft pretzels (she knows are my favorite), drinks, plates, napkins, everything you would need for a dinner and more, and drove over an hour to surprise me. Hands down that is one of the nicest things that anybody has ever done for me and I will NEVER forget it. I still can’t put into words how special that made me feel.
I really could go on and on. I’m sure you could even think of some of your own examples of great things Juli has done.
So why am I writing this?
Simple. Because I love Juli.
Do I think she is perfect? Nope (and we couldn’t be friends if she was!)
But, I know she has a heart of gold and would never intentionally hurt anybody. She makes me want to be a better person!