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Jill

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S: YOUR Life Is a Beautiful One

FC: YOUR Life Is a Beautiful One | A Collection of Sentiments about Jill Theresa Anderson, by Those Who Know and Love Her

1: Jill Theresa Anderson: As I sat down to try and figure out what to get you, my very best friend in the world, for your 24th birthday, the only thing I could think was that I wanted to show you just how much you mean to me. My default, as you well know, is to make a scrapbook. However, as I began the project, I realized that one major thing I love about you is not only how wonderful you are to ME, but how wonderful you are to EVERYONE in your life. And so, I sent out a message somewhere along the lines of this one to everyone in your life that I knew (and some I'd never met but I knew you loved): "Hello all! I am putting together a lil birthday gift for Jill that requires a bit of assistance from you all. I have long known how incredible of a person Jill is, but living with her has shown me that tons of other people realize it as well. I think Jill is more people's 'go-to person' than anyone I know. She is so good at maintaining close relationships with such a large number of people, many of whom live very far away. And she would have a terrible time narrowing down a list of the most important people in her life because there are just so darn many of you. She is one of the least selfish people I know, constantly putting others before herself, jetting all over the country (and world) to maintain relationships and show people how much they mean to her. Anyway, I don't think she has a clue how much SHE means to SO many people. So that's what this gift is all about. Please respond with a favorite memory or inside joke you have with Jill. Please also tell a reason or two why you are happy to have Jill in your life, and take this opportunity to tell her how much she means to you. If you have a photo or two you'd like me to include, feel free to include that as well." Or something along those lines. =) These are their responses, and they are my gift to you. Love, Andrea

2: Amanda Wolff | f r i e n d s

3: Jilly, Jilsy, La Jill! I was recently asked—by a super-important investigator who was importantly investigating your super past—to explain how I met you and “the nature of our relationship.” Suffice it to say that I probably gave her too much information. My conversation with this very serious lady (briefcase + badge + note pad!) was a lovely opportunity for me to sing your praises and reflect on the gift of your friendship in my life. I told Ms. Too-Important-to-Smile that you were among my FIRST friends at Marquette when I met you at the Christian Leadership Retreat; that our shared passion for life and service and faith was discovered then and has been the foundation of our relationship since; that, despite our different commitments, we remained close throughout our time in college and shared many wonderful memories, most notably our semester in Chile. “What did you and Jill usually do when you got together?” she asked me, referring to our sometimes planned and sometimes spontaneous mid-day meet-ups or evening “study” sessions. What a delight it was to tell her how we would drink tea at your apartment while laughing and listening to music, books and notebooks open in front of us. I felt like I was transported back to those moments, which were like breaths of fresh air in the midst of our hectic and wonderful lives. Remember when you visited me in Oshkosh after freshman year? Or when you, Lizzie, and I would get together for wine in Santiago? I loved going through our friendship, year by year, in my head—and then telling some of my favorite memories to a perfect [stone-faced] stranger! I told her how I never saw as much of you as I would have liked but that all of our time together, whether at Alterra or Gesu Mass or somewhere else, was extremely fruitful. She asked about our time abroad, of course, mostly interested in whether or not you had developed potentially “coercive relationships with any foreign nationals”. I didn’t have much along those lines to share (does that cute guy from the club in Chile count??), but I made sure she had plenty of other stuff to jot down on her little legal pad. “Jill is hard to keep track of,” I told this woman. “She’s always doing a language immersion here or visiting a friend there. Or she’s off doing service in this country or meeting up with family in that state She manages to pack so much into even the briefest of trips, and she has more friends than anyone I know— but she is always present. To all of it, to everyone.” That’s what I told the investigator, and that’s the truth, mi querida Jill! You are such a gift to everyone in your life and you are certainly a light in mine, for which I am most grateful! I didn’t need Madam FancyBadge to pay me a visit to know how much you mean to me, but it was certainly a timely conversation. On your birthday, know that I am celebrating YOU—and so are many others. You have touched so many lives, including mine, and you remain one of my dearest friends. I have always admired how beautifully open you are to everything and everyone that Life puts in your path. I admire your optimism and your energy and your passion and your faith in people. I admire your realness, your ability to balance who you’re becoming with where you’ve come from. I admire your commitment to your family and your friends and the effort you put into maintaining all of the MANY relationships in your life. I admire your strength of character, your work ethic, and your natural leadership. I respect you. I learn from you. I love you, Jill! May even the slightest amount of the love you pour out each day be returned to you today. May you feel how special you are, how dear you are to so many people, how many gifts you have been given, and how much you inspire me. Feliz cumple, Jill! Te quiero mucho! Un besito y un abrazo enorme, Amanda

4: Jilly! You are one of the most amazing people that I know! You are like a sister to me, the best friend someone could ask for, a person I always know I can trust, and the most kind person that I have ever met. I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if we had not been randomly paired up! It was fate that we became friends! Even from the beginning when you immediately helped my mom and I move in and loft my bed, I knew we would get along. Little did I know how close we would actually get. Thank you for holding back my hair, dealing with my craziness, always being there to vent to, our night chats in bed, putting a smile on my face when I needed it, reassuring me of my abilities, and just always being there for me. You have always put me first and all your friends and family as your number one priority which I deeply appreciate. Thank you for being an inspiration and a role model. When I think about somebody that I admire I think of you. You have accomplished so much in life and should be so proud of yourself for the person you are! Thank you for pushing me to go to Pittsburgh and for being there when I needed you most. I would not be where I am today if it was not for you, I am serious!! Whenever I need somebody to talk to to cheer me up or I want to tell somebody good news, I automatically think of you! I love you so much!!! Happy Happy Birthday!!! Thank you for being the best best friend ever!!! Love you! Andrea | Andrea Grober

5: Jill, you are the most amazing person I have ever met, you are truly my soul-mate and I am blessed every day to have you in my life. You are everything a best friend should be and you deserve the best! I am so proud of everything you have accomplished and I truly cannot wait to hear your story unfold every day for the rest of our lives. We have so many great memories together especially ones such as our pre-basketball rituals...oh the days. Obviously living apart from your best friend is never easy but you and I both know what Jay would say, "Suck it up cupcake!" Love you Jill Theresa Anderson! Love, Ashley | Ashley Weiland

6: The time that I've known you has been relatively short, but it has never, ever been short of wonderful. You are one of those people who possesses a uniqueness—and excellence—to your qualities that can't quite be replicated nor explained, but can be appreciated and admired. I have heard and witnessed so many examples of how you are a remarkable friend and family member to so many. From the big things (eagerly crisscrossing the country to visit friends or a newborn niece, for example) to the little (sneaking out to buy a coffee for a friend/roommate who is having a stressful day), you astound me in the ways that you thoughtfully, creatively, and earnestly bring joy to the people you love. And yet, you don't sacrifice your sense of self to share so much energy and love with others. I don't know of anyone who is as passionately, vibrantly, intelligently, and consciously alive in the way that you are. You’re the kind of person who will, in the course of one night, absolutely annihilate someone in a game of Cranium, tell them something that is incredibly considerate and sincere and well-timed, but then invite that same person to dance around the kitchen like a goofball to R Kelly's Ignition and remind them that life should be fun. In sum, in about every way imaginable, you are a fantastic person. | Jill, You are perhaps the most caring and warm friend that anyone could ask for. Your ALWAYS positive attitude is amazing. I will never forget how you would climb between the bleachers at cheer practice and go to sleep at 5:30 in the AM. Waking up early is probably the one thing that you is not good at!!!!!! I was so fortunate to have you as a North Cedar Cheerleader!!!!!!! Big Hugs Always, Becky Corbett | Blake Shultice | Becky Corbett | NC

7: So not long after I commissioned I was getting ready to leave Milwaukee and move to New Mexico for my first assignment. I packed my car with all my worldly possessions that I didn't want to leave to the movers, said goodbye to my roommate and went to drive away and my car had been broken into. Luckily they stole only my luggage when there were so many things in my car. The window couldn’t be replaced that day so I was delayed a day in my departure and you and Mary and Stephanie came over to console me. Once I was feeling a bit better, I made the realization that every one of my uniforms was gone having been in my luggage. You told me she would keep an eye out for the uniforms and if you ever saw a bum on the streets wearing my BDU blouse you'd go up to them, introduce yourself and ask if you could take a picture with them to prove you had seen my uniforms! Probably the best thing anyone could have said or did to cheer me up and make me laugh, and I'll definitely never forget it! You have the best spirit, you’ve always been able to cheer me up or help me out and you’re an honest, trustworthy, selfless person. | And here is a bit of a different note as far as a story about you: I'm out here in Afghanistan on my first deployment. Been working my butt off, flying like crazy and I'm constantly exhausted. About a month ago we had an influx of new crew members from my home squadron as well as from another squadron who offered to help us out with our manning requirements. Anyway, the radio operator that came to my crew is this awesome girl, blonde, full of energy, always happy and always willing to help everyone else out and cheer people up. I realized after about 2 weeks that this girl reminds me in every way possible of Jill Anderson. I can't get over it, similar mannerisms, same great attitude about life and it's absolutely astonishing how this makes me 1. Miss the real Jill Anderson who I haven't seen in forever and who it's hardly possible to describe how much I love and appreciate 2. Appreciate this new person on my crew who reminds me of this great friend of mine. And 3. Constantly think about you and your fantastic personality and remind me of how much I love this girl. You have always been such an amazing friend, and there are so many awesome memories I have of our time in MKE. From videotaping each of us randomly when we're drunk to playing tri-service football where you were the greatest quarterback ever, to Notre Dame basketball. I miss getting to see you do a fun made-up dance just because you’re bored with not dancing while we're just standing around. You’re definitely one of those people that you have a million amazing memories of your times together so I hope these few notes help. One final note, you are the most supportive, true, dependable person. You’re someone I've always been able to count on and someone whose opinions and thoughts I've always valued. I consider myself extremely lucky to be your friend. Chaps | Chaps

8: J for joyful. I for instinct! L for lovely! L for Longevity M for mustache! (hahaha there is no M, but Jill is too awesome to keep to four letters!) | Jill: Your the best cuh in the world! I am so glad you're mommy and daddy decided to brown chicken brown cow. Without you I don’t think I would have survived the summer of 2011! Thank you for being you. I can't wait to see what God has in store for you... I know it is GReAT... Something of a Mother Teresa / Lady Gaga...but changing the world for the better and the best! I can't wait to be on the street and be like yah I know Jill Anderson... She's my adore cuhhh. (and if I ever need a smile I think about your ride down the Richmond river) stay sweet cuh! And make some Jill babies! This world can't only have one of you... Take you're time though! ...(how painful was it to read all those your / you're errors) bahaha. Luv u cuhhhh. | J: Truly one of the most genuine positive spirits I have ever met! I: On the ball every second of everyday. She keeps you on you're toes! L: gawjuz!! She has the most beautiful green eyes and is more adorable then 'adoor' table. L: With Jill there is no 'we were friends once' ... Jill is a friend for life. Thank goodness :{D. I would do 'Anderson' but that's frickin long! | Christine Kistler

9: Jill, how is it that whenever I think some of the coolest things I've done, you are always in those memories as well? From our first trip to Torres -- when I broke the tent pole -- fail, to climbing that ridiculous volcano in Pucon, we have truly done some awesome things together. Oh wait, did I just see Rio from the sky? Yep, hang-gliding too, we were together! And Museum. No words... I am so fortunate to be able to share those experiences with someone who is as excited, okay, probably more excited, about doing such things as I am. Even in the not so awesome times, those 2 months of daily hospital visits, you continued to display that infectious optimism of yours, which I've truly come to respect and try to emulate. I wish you the greatest birthday, and I cannot wait to see where our next adventures lay. Love you! Christy | Christy Haller

10: Ok, well I have only known you for a total of 7 months, yet it seems like a lifetime. It is so crazy how God can bring people into to your life through so many different avenues. You and I instantly clicked and had an indescribable sisterly bond from the get-go. You moved into my apartment in April/May of this year and that is always a scary thing when girls who barely know each other move in together. You have the worries of will we get along, is she clean, does she take too long in the bathroom, and so forth. Well not a single thing was a problem; we got along like peanut butter and jelly! In those short two months that we lived together I got to know you and you got to know me and we created a forever friendship. One that I hope will sustain all time. You are an amazing, charismatic, and smart woman full of integrity! And I wish you an absolutely wonderful birthday and am so thankful and grateful to have met you and be a part of your life!! Happy Birthday Jill!!!!!!!!!!! I love ya!! Love, Cori | Cori Blake

11: You’re the bomb.com! You always cared so much about how everyone else was doing and put yourself second to most. My favorite thing about you is that you encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone in high school to try out and actually do jazz choir as a freshman. I had so much fun going to those practices with you and you always made me feel better-even if it was just a smile from across the room! A more recent fun memory was when the girls in our class got together at your parents house in Ankeny and did some catching up and ended the night around the piano singing. I was sad you couldn't make it to my wedding but was so excited the couple times you sent me a text leading up to my wedding just to let me know you were thinking of me. You’re awesome. :) Love, Emily | I’ve never met anyone as selfless as you. Looking back, I now know that I took our friendship for granted. Now that I’ve matured and realize what is truly important in life, I’ve found that you knew what those things were early on in life and helped teach us all and mold us into who we are today. It’s funny. I haven’t seen you in years. I haven’t really talked to you more than an occasional Facebook message here or there. But when sitting down to write this note, I find myself overwhelmed with memories and emotions, and not knowing quite how to put them so that it explains just how amazing of a person you truly are and how much you mean to me. What I think I took away most from getting to know you is a deeper understanding of what it means to be a good person. I didn’t fully understand, back in high school, the importance of being kind to everyone and putting forth all of your efforts in everything you do. I know that you did. And by your befriending me, I was able to have my eyes opened to the wonderful things one person could do and achieve if they just cared. You cared about me, regardless of what I had done or the words that had slipped out of my mouth without thinking. You saw the good in me when I couldn’t, and shaped me into a stronger person. We should all be so lucky to meet someone as amazing as you. Beautiful, smart, funny, charismatic, hardworking, gosh are you hardworking, and willing to give your very last ounce to whoever is in need or whatever the cause. I took a lot more away from our relationship than I could ever have given, and I just want you to know how much you have truly impacted my life. I am truly blessed to have a friend in you. Love, Erin | Erin Kistler | Emily Banks

12: Hey Jilly! So it’s your birthday and what that means most to mean is that I've gotten to have you in my life for another year, and I'm not sure I can put into words how lucky I feel because of that but I'm going to do my best! Thinking way back to the very first time we met, outside the DET for ROTC orientation day. I remember my mom making a comment to me something along the lines of "She's a nice girl, you should get to know her.” If there is a time I wish I had taken my mother advice sooner this is it, cuz of course I waited alllll the way until Notre Dame (the year you coined G$) to realize how freaking awesome you really were (and still are). I wish I could go back and write down every favorite memory I have with you, but 1) my brain isn't big enough to remember every time we've hung out and 2) it would take up so much time and paper I think I'd be arrested (or chastised by the trees), So I'll just write down of few of my most favorites. ~The relay at the AF Marathon ~Costa Rica, of course, this is and always will be on my list of favorite trips. ~Every year at Notre Dame. Esp when we took second! With you, me, Joeli and Cat as the dream team! ~Circus night - a story that will live in infamy probably forever. ~Lady Freaking Gaga Concert - Never seen a sexier group of Gaga fans in my life. ~Snowboarding, if you take out the part where you damaged yourself. :) | G$ | On top of all the amazing times we've shared together, I just wanted to make sure you know what an amazing person I think you are. I've always been amazed at your ability to connect to people. We all joke how no matter where we go, you will find someone you know. It's never been a surprise to me, because anyone who has met you should know that you are someone worth getting to know and def someone to keep around :) To call you my friend is definitely a privilege, to know that you are one of my “three best friends that anyone could have, who will never, ever, ever leave each other!!” is one of the greatest things in my life. You have a ridiculous number of people who love you in your life and I'm lucky to be one of them. I love you girl. G$

13: Your best personality traits are your sincerity, kindness and level-headedness. You always help someone out when you can and you never judge someone based on their beliefs, which is what I respect about you the most. My favorite memory of you is of one particular night when you visited D.C. We went to National Harbor around the 4th of July for the amazing fireworks show and, of course, to people watch. Afterwards we went to a snazzy wine and cheese restaurant for dessert and waited an hour and a half for cheesecake that never came because our waiter forgot about our table. In classic fashion, you weren’t upset; you even consoled the waiter to make him feel better and calmed me down when I tried to demand free cheesecake. We ended up paying for the dessert and joked that it’d only be a sliver of a slice anyways (sure enough, it was). Then we went back to my place to eat the depressingly small desert and we watched the awesomely bad teen drama “Teen Wolf”. Good times. -Gregg | Gregg Johnson

14: You are hands down one of the most amazingly unique people I know. I have never met someone like you. I'm so blessed to have you as a friend and value so many of your awesome characteristics.You are an intelligent person, always challenging yourself to learn more about the world around you...both here and in all the countries you’ve visited. You use your experiences to teach others, I love being enlightened by all sorts of new things. You also ask deep questions that make me think about, religion, life and our purpose, sometimes things that would have never crossed my mind. I love that about you. You care so much about the people in your life and I am so fortunate to be one of those people. You are always there for me whenever I need you. It might be via Skype, text, or phone call thanks to having to grow up and have real adult lives...lame...but you’re always there. You are someone who doesn't beat around the bush...you tell me exactly what you think, except for when it comes to hair...then you lie...lie through your teeth and tell me it looks good, only to find out years later that it, in fact, did not look good...I've let that go though, definitely let that go. Some of my favorite memories include playing sports together in high school, especially softball. You always rode with me to practice and we jammed out to Spice Girls. Ashton and I laughed the whole way home from every away game thanks to your endless entertainment. You are always full of energy and that positive energy rubbed off on all of us, even when we were down. When you used to catch for me and I was not throwing well, you gave me the screw ball. I couldn't help but crack a smile. I have been fortunate to get to travel with you several times. I think it is at least partly because of these road trips that I have gotten to know you so well. I'm not only thankful for the places we got to visit together, but the trip there was just as awesome, great talk time. You’re fun whether we're sitting around someone's living room or gallivanting around foreign countries. It doesn't matter where I am, if I’m with you, it's a fun time. You played a key role in getting me drunk for the first time and with Noelle's help was quite successful...Apple Bottom Jeans...Boots wit the Fur...There have been several memorable Milwaukee moments since, along with others, and I'm sure more to come. You are one of the best beer pong partners and most fun people to wrestle with...however in both situations I ended up slightly injured. I don't know from experience, but you might be a fun person to make out with in a photo booth too, or so I've heard...Slutty, Screechy, Lovey. You, as well as your family, have also impacted my interest in music. I love singing with you and listening to new songs you suggest. You have helped me to appreciate the beauty in music. You have such good taste. When people don't have an appreciation for music it makes me sad because music brings to mind so many good memories for me, many of them involving you. Songs that make me think of you: Love Shack, Wannabe, 1000 Miles, Oh Happy Day, Dancing Queen, Everywhere. You can make ANYTHING!!! Anyone can just ask you...you'll tell them. Good thing too, cuz man are you cheap..."sorry it's almost a minute. Gotta go. Bye." Glad you got over that!! Can't believe that same girl has a fancy pants phone now... Lastly, you and I share many smelly moments. Your farts have a distinct smell...I always know when it's you. I love that I can be gross and share my BMs with you. One time we farted in a bag...and opened it in Adreanna's face. Turns out she didn't like that all too much. While we are on the topic, I have also had the good fortune of seeing your ass several times. Apparently mooning me never got old. I will conclude with some of our favorite lyrics "And just to clear the air, I ask forgiveness for the things I've done you've blamed me for. But then I guess we know there's blame to share..." Oh, also, SHOCKER! You taught me all about SHOCKER! Love, Heather

15: Heather Scott

16: I remember this group of 4th graders at Lowden Elementary who were so excited to have a new music teacher and this blond girl with a huge smile came up to me, said "Hi, I'm Jill" and I was hooked! You had this wonderful group of friends who were all about performing! It didn't matter if it was music or sports or reading aloud. Enthusiasm filled the room when you all arrived for class. The next 7 years were filled with fun, excitement, tears, anger, happiness, and above all, friendship! Some of the best times I had with Jill and company were spent driving to Anamosa for "The Hobbit" and "The Wizard of Oz". You were so comfortable on stage but even more comfortable with the new friends you made. I don't think you have ever met a stranger... :) I think there was only one time that I have ever witnessed you nervous/scared and that was when you were playing Dorothy and your voice wasn't quite cooperating with you. You wanted to do so well with your performance, like always, so we had to be creative with your talking, or lack of it for a few days. Even during the shows you were told to only sing the rainbow song and to back off on the rest of the songs. You were such a trooper and did a spectacular job as Dorothy! I was sooo proud of you and the rest of the kids in the show! We had a great time! Then high school started and I got the pleasure of coaching you and others in softball. Wow!!! Who knew how much fun and craziness that was going to be!!! Hard work + fun = a great few summers! I love all my NC kids but I have to say that since I wasn't blessed with a daughter that you were as close to a daughter as I could have had. I certainly miss seeing your face and hearing your laughter but I know that you will always be my girl. All of us have been blessed to have you be in our lives. So with that... Happy Birthday Miss Jill! I love you, miss you, and hope that one of these days we can hook up and go get some Hardees again! God Bless!!!! Oh... one more memory... The day that you decided SHE'S GONNA BE THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT!!!!!! Almost time to start that campaigning Jill... :) You will ALWAYS have my vote!!!!! -Jackie :) | Judith Plüschau | ________________________ | I love you Jill!! Happy Birthday! Miss you lots, and love all our memories together from basketball in Iowa to traveling around Germany and Spain with you. Come visit soon! Love, Udith | Jackie Hawkins

17: Jill remembrances: Cards at our house on snow days. The musicals, skiing in Colorado, remember "AT EASE SOLDIER" ???, playing with the new golden retriever puppies in the backyard, bike trips, Karla's dance recitals, our trip to Chicago, summer softball games especially when I put you at the catcher's position and you thought it was a position for a weak player, HMMMMM what position did you play in high school????? So many good times. Have a great birthday Jillybean!!!!! Kris and Bob | Kris & Bob Plueger

18: Jill Anderson. That name SCREAMS faith, optimism, joy, kindness and exuberance to me. If there was only one person I could spend the rest of my life with alone on an island with, you’d be right at the top of my list. Even through I was only able to spend one year with you at Marquette, I was astounded by your positive attitude, hard work ethic and extreme amounts of awesomeness. One of my first memories was running around campus doing only God knows what – but carrying a gigantic rabbit. I don’t even really know why we were doing it, I just know that it was incredibly fun and I truly don’t think that we could have had a better first escapade. To me, you represent a friend that will be true forever. As we recently caught up on a spontaneous whim in North Carolina, it was clear to me that our friendship hasn’t missed a beat. You are, and always will be, that fun-loving, very kind and hilarious human being whom I grew to love within hours of meeting as a freshman in McCormick. (And danced my brains out with at Kildare's!) It is no secret that I have a little dream that someday you’ll meet my brother in the Air Force, fall in love and have a magical life as my SISTER-IN-LAW!!!! Really, I couldn’t choose a better one. Jill, you are extremely important to me and you always will be. I really hope you know that you are one of the best humans I have ever had a chance to meet and that each person you run across is a bit better for knowing you. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays on this day and for years to come! Love you to the max!! | Laura Goeser

19: I love how you have never changed and will always be that person that will make me laugh when I need to, and make me cry cuz I’m laughing soo hard ha. You’re always there to be my friend no matter what and be anyone's friend if they don't have one! You are the type of person that if you want to do something, you will do whatever it takes to get there and won't let anything get in your way! The one thing that I wish I could share with you is that you somehow are happy even when something is wrong, and of course your crazy, fun, spontaneous, down to earth, daring personality!! You always have these crazy/creative ideas (like with your camera), I'm jealous of you for that!!! :) I miss the times when we were all in basketball and we had our crazy/funny stories and moments ha!! Peanut butter n jelly ;) Ha our road trips when we came home from college, think it was our freshman year ha we all just kept taking crazy goofy pictures cuz we could and we were that cool! I wish I got to see more of you; I really miss you a lot!! And all of us girls together! Love you Jilly bean!! | Lauren Schroeder

20: My dearest Jill— Happy 24th, darling! What a year to remember—you are a traveling woman! I am so proud of you for being so brave and full of ZEST, as always. You are sunshine to my life. Here are some memories that make me smile and laugh, girl meeting outside the Chapel of the Holy Family for CLR (first Marquette friend—I immediately adored you!), overalls party at the Square Dance, fun in the Commodore, crying/homesick Lizzie in the McCormick basement with Jill and Tim Kellen, dinners with Joeli, Henry and Charlie’s huge stuffed bunny?, first Snowball, WINE-filled slumber party at Joeli’s (thanks, Jack!), sleepover at Matt Thompson’s house (interesting.), racquetball/basketball with the boys at the rec plex, PB&J, “I’m with Stoopid” sweatshirt, intramural soccer (yeah, Team Mom!), balloon animals after margaritas at La Perla with your high school girls, North Carolina visit with Laura Goeser and buds. Am I forgetting anything?! I’m sure I am, but my little brain can’t remember all of our fun times! You are an absolute saint, Jill Anderson. You and Terese Hagerty need to be canonized. In our most recent visit, which consisted of grown-up talk and catching up at Café Hollander with Amanda Wolff, I began to worry that we are growing up. I quickly realized, however, that no matter the number of candles on our birthday cakes or years between our HELLOs, Jill Anderson, we will be the same old Jill and Lizzie who first met as timid (NOT!) little MU babies. Thank you for being an inspiration and blessing in my life. May this upcoming year be blessed with health, happiness, travels, family, and friends! Love you, Jill! My peace I leave with you. Love, Lizzie PS—Enjoy our beautiful Snowball picture! | Lizzie Traudt

21: So many memories with you. I have known you since kindergarten and we became best friends the first day. Snake bites, black eyes, broken arms and staples in my head when I was with you. We were quite the pair. You used to pull me in the wagon behind your bike with a garden hose as the attachment between bike and wagon. Not sure if that was safe or not. I played sports with you all of my life. I would not be who I am today if I had never met you. You are such an amazing friend :) Love, Mal | Mallory Gritton

22: Jilly-- Since having you come into my life six years ago I have been blessed by one of the most special people I will probably ever meet. You are the most generous, considerate, smart, funny, motivated, pretty person I know. I am so impressed by you and the way you live your life. You inspire me to "grab life by the balls" and go live! You know how to make me smile and laugh when no one else can. When I'm super stressed you know how to listen and say just the right things. You can have the most serious intense conversations or just sit in silence. You are my bestie...I know we are supposed to have one memory to write about but that is impossible to me so I am just gonna touch on a few. I have SO many fabulous stories with you. Japan: Man masturbating by the bus, Japanese pancakes, penis blood; the numerous nights spent drinking Strongbow at Mo's in MKE; someone creeping on me from the parking garage, Our weekly morning stroll to LLab...you were always in such a good mood; Spring Break over St Patty's day with Joeli and Chapps and G Money-eating chips on the balcony at like 3 in the morning and giggling uncontrollably..., meeting my husband and peeing in front of a dumpster, eating what a burger; The Halloween when I threw my shoes at you; this one day at the downer theater...; The Patrician; body for life; Joeli's wedding; Circus Boys and Circus Night; Costa Rica with G-Money!!!; Big Red; surprising me at the air force marathon this year and running the whole entire race together....I could probably wright memories for hours. Most of my favorite memories from school and in the past six years include you in some way. You are so special to me and I am not the best with words... I hope the next 24 years will be as amazing as the last six years have been after having you in my life. I am so glad to call you friend. LOVE you!! Mary | Mary Kelly

23: My memory of you is from when our parents used to do traveling dinners or adult dinners at each other's houses. I was put in charge of Noelle, the Andersons and the Fiegens pretty regularly when they got together (and I think I was only like 12 at this point!). One time all the kids were at our house and I made cream of chicken soup for dinner. Well, I got a little distracted and the soup scalded. It had chunks floating and was really burnt! To this day-we still joke as a group on how I made everyone take as many bites as their age of this awful soup. Jill, you are an incredible person and it has been great getting to see you grow from the little kid with spaghetti sauce all over (you couldn't eat anything without getting messy!) to the incredible young woman that you are today! Enjoy all the future adventures that life has in store for you--I can't wait to see the next one! Love-Maureen | Maureen Hrdlicka | While I sadly don't have too many memories (yet) of you to look through, I think the memory that jumps out first and foremost was the moment I initially met you at your place in Colorado. I had awoken before you had left your bedroom and was sitting on the couch reading a book in the relative dark of early morning. As you left your room to go to work, you were startled to see someone fairly unfamiliar sitting on your couch. However, it didn't take you even a moment to get over the shock as you came bounding across the room to offer me a warm and welcoming hug (requesting me to forgive your morning breath). It was at this moment that any unease with visiting melted away. I think this is what best defines you - your ability to break down any real or perceived barriers that people construct and place between themselves and others. Whether it is your jubilous smile, inquisitive personality, or warm hug, you are able to connect with anyone who is lucky enough to cross paths with you. -Michael | Michael Roy

24: Jill -- You are such an amazing person. Ash has said you are her soulmate and it is very apparent. It has been so fun getting to know you these past few months. This is just the beginning of our friendship! Looking forward to a trip out to CO. Love You and Happy Birthday!! Love, Mimi | "GOT YOUR GOBBLER!" Love, Molly | Mimi Kelly | Molly Peterson

25: Jilly, I couldn’t have asked for a better roommate, bridesmaid, or friend. You are a joy to be around and I love you so dearly! You are so positive and always see the best in everyone and everything. I love being around you, your smile, and you inspire me to be a better person. When I first found out you were moving to Colorado Springs I was so excited, not because it was just another person I knew, but because it was you. I look forward to the next few years we have together in the Springs, and the memories we can make. Not only are you dear to me, but to Chris as well, and perfect for an Aunt to little Abigail. Your hair is the only hair I would ever iron...with an actual iron...on an ironing board! Nikki | Nicole Tripputi

26: Noelle Plueger

27: You are my oldest friend and while we've known each other for almost 20 years at this point (so weird, yes?), I feel like our friendship constantly evolves in directions that I never would have expected. Somewhere between playing hotly competitive games of NERTS for hours on snow days and sharing our latest adventures with each other from thousands of miles away, we grew up together, learning important life lessons, sharing obnoxious life experiences and becoming (gasp) adults along the way. I can think of very few people who have impacted who I have become more than you. I think the most fundamental and touching part of our friendship is your unconditional support. Living abroad is tough but you make it so much easier than it could be. You understand what my life is like here, you always think to make sure I'm doing well, feeling good and enjoying myself to the utmost degree. Words cannot describe how comforted I feel by simply knowing you understand, you care and that I can count on you for anything from an uplifting phone conversation and randomly receiving delightful handwritten snail mail letters and doodles to the deepest of belly laughs punctuated by an abundance of virtual thumbs up and smiley faces. More basically though, what makes you such a special person is that you genuinely care about people. Few people experience the unconditional support that you show to every single person in your life. I can always count on you for kind words, a good laugh or a swift kick in the ass :) Sometimes what I need most is not coddling and reassurance, but someone to challenge me and force me to look at my life from a different perspective. I come away from every conversation with you having learned something new - about myself, about people, about grace, about life. And, you always know just the right combination of coddling and tough love to get the job done. How do you do that? On top of being an awesome friend to everyone whose life you touch, you are a dang good time, lady! Any and all Milwaukee trips, Ankeny adventures, marathon skype conversations, class reunions, quiet nights at home - time spent with you never seems to disappoint. Our Vietnam and Korea adventures will go down in our history as three of the most unforgettable weeks of my life, not only because we were together on a crazy new adventure and I was able to share my Korean life with you, but also because you forced me to step out of my comfort zone (in more ways than one, I might add ;) ) in ways that I never thought possible. You have this special spark inside you that lights up every room into which you walk. Please don't lose that spark - it's one of the most unique, delightful and infectious things you have going for you. And so, it all boils down to this: I consider myself dang lucky to call myself a friend of yours. This life is beautiful one and you serve as a reminder of that – always. Love, Noelle/Noelley/Pluegey

28: Pamela & Alexandrea Martin

29: Jill! I just wanted to take the time to let you know how happy I am to have you in my life! I am so thankful that Andrea introduced us. One of my favorite Colorado memories is when I had the privilege of road tripping back from Iowa with you. I am so refreshed by your honesty, and the compassion you show for others. Your smile brightens my day, and you bring joy to everyone around you. I hope you are a part of my life for a long time to come! Love, Rachel | I met you my junior year of college while studying abroad in Chile. These were, by far, some of the best and most memorable months of my life. I was even lucky enough to spend my 21st birthday with you in Buenos Aires, Argentina! You are one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met. You have a spark inside of you that will never disappear. You are truly the type of person that gives me hope in the world and its future. Thanks for being such an amazing friend to me and to everyone you know, Jillie Bean! Love, Robin | Rachel Ogorek | Robin Link

30: There are two stories about you that stick out the most to me. The first one is the funny one. We had a basketball practice over Christmas break when you were a freshman. I did not know you, or your family at that time. It was also the first full practice I ran without either Bix or Behrens so I was a little nervous. We were winding down and we had a team free throw contest where everyone shot 10 and the whole team ran, or not, based on the team total made. It came down to Amber Pickering as the last one with free throws left. Amber was a nice post player, but free throws were not her strong suit. As a defense mechanism she always made fun of herself during FT drills and that day was no exception. As it became clear the team would have laps to run, every miss by Pick added to the total. Amber was kind of chuckling with each miss and finally you blurted out, "Pickering, you're pissing me off!" The second story you may not even remember. You were staying at our house and I kind of forced you and Andrea to watch the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." The movie is fairly funny throughout but has a rather tragic and unexpected ending. After R.P. McMurphy was smothered to death in the final scene, you were sitting on the floor in front of me on the couch. I could see you were crying a bit and leaned over and gave you a little kiss on the head. You reached back and squeezed my arm a little as if to say thank you. I think the two stories show the breadth of your personality perfectly. Love you, Bruce | Friends by Veronica Ann Cech Friendship . . . . . . is you. . . . is love. . . . is shared. . . . is forgiving. . . . is understanding. . . . is shared secrets. . . . heals many hurts. . . . is not judgmental. . . . is shared laughter. . . . is slow and steady. . . . can be angry at times. . . . is dependable and true. . . . is more precious than silver or gold. . . . is meant to be savored like fine wine. . . . is not perfect, much like we are not perfect. . . . does not hold grudges or demand perfection. . . . makes all the wrong things in life, right somehow. . . . is meant to be gulped like lemonade on a hot summer day. . . . is always there, through times of trial, happy times and hard times. . . . just happens, but once discovered, needs to be tended like a beautiful garden. . . . is a road to be traveled slowly, remembering the sights and sounds. . . . is strength when you are too weak to notice its there. . . . is a cherished moment of mutual understanding. . . . reaches into your heart and grabs a firm hold. . . . is a refreshing rain on a hot day. . . . is sunshine through the clouds. . . . cannot be forced or induced. . . . is relaxed and comfortable. . . . is a shoulder to lean on. . . . is an ear to whine to. . . . gets better with age. . . . is shared tears. . . . is shared pain. . . . is shared joy. . . . is shared. . . . is love. . . . is you. Love, Cindy | Jill, you have one of the brightest smiles and care with every ounce of your soul. You have always been there for Derek and Andrea and we hope you know that it goes both ways for us. Even though you have wonderful parents, you can always know that we think of you as another daughter. You have helped Andrea to be able to continue with Americore and are grateful to you for that. Keep on smiling! This is a poem that I thought fit you:

31: You have always been there for everyone and at anytime. I know that you are one of the people that I could call whenever and you would do whatever you could to help. I think of you as a sister and I love you like a sister. Love, Derek | Jilly, I am so happy to have you in our family. You are my special Granddaughter. I loved watching you cheer, play basketball, sing, playing in band and most of all watching you in plays. Happy Birthday! Keep having fun with life! Love, Grandma Noreen | Seehusen Family: Bruce, Cindy, Derek and Noreen

32: You are a great person! I love this photo of us from when you and Yettie went downtown Iowa City with me. Though I still think it was very exciting that you rode on the same plane and got to know our foreign exchange Joachim on his way from Minnesota to Iowa. I couldn’t think of anyone better than you that I would want telling him about us as he's about to meet us for the first time. I think you definitely talked us up enough to raise our awesomeness level in his mind. Take care, ~Stacy Edwards | Here are some of my favorite memories with you :) Bitching and complaining at ASBC about dumbasses! Calling you when I (thankfully) broke up with my last boyfriend. Kicking the Maxwell Marathon's ass! St Patty’s day run in our coolest green boxers! Encouraging the healthy growth of fingernails ;) Talking about how hot your brother is Looking at pics of baby Winnie! Talking about photography and fun, artsy stuff Gossiping.... Enough said I love you Jillybean! Xoxo! | Shea Blalock Hicks | Stacy Edwards

33: Jilly Bean! First off, I've always liked you because your middle name is my first name (so, immediate cool points!). Second, you've always been such an outstanding role model and a great person for me to look up to; you were the big sister (in addition to my other two) that always made me feel cool about myself and included in things, even though I'm younger! There are countless tales the Fiegen and Anderson kids can recount...including trips to South Dakota in one car and burnt chunks in Campbell's soup! Happy, happy birthday, and I look forward to following you all around the world in your adventures (even though it may be through Facebook and your beautiful pictures!). Love, Theresa | We love you very much and are so happy to have you as a part of our family, you are the perfect fit for the Weiland family! Words of wisdom from Jay: "You can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster." Love, Pam, Jay & Andy | Theresa Fiegen | Weiland Family: Pam, Jay & Andy

34: My Darling Jill, I can't remember the first time we met although I THINK it was at our house on the back deck when Josh was home at some point. The more important thing is that it feels like forever ago. You were not only immediately a "niece", but a daughter and friend to me. There was an instant connection and that connection was shared across my family, especially with my 'lil Tara. Sharing photography with the two of you and seeing the two of you learning and growing together in your art was a special experience for a mother who has loved photography all her life. You are such an inclusive, loving person demonstrated when you took Erin in as your own little sister. I have special memories of laughing, laughing and laughing...and crying on occasion, through movies, sing-a-longs, story-telling and just plain hanging out. I guess if I had to pick a favorite memory it would be when I got to accompany your Mom and Sandy to visit you in Milwaukee. You were quite the host and getting to share my own photography with you at the art museum was awesome! It would be closely followed by getting to spend an hour just with you in the car on the way to Corpus Christi to surprise Jerdog. You have touched so many lives and I hope that this book gives you a glimpse of the span of your spirit. You joyously embrace the gifts of light, love and laughter that God has blessed you with. I am honored to walk with path with you and love you so much. Big hugs and kisses, Shellie | Shellie Kaiser

35: It was cuz-love at first sight. Meeting you for the first time at your cozy family home in Iowa was like catching up with an old friend. Through our love for photography, travel, foreign languages and musicals, we pretty much attached at the hip Siamese twin-like instantly. I can't place one memory over the other but to highlight a few... Screaming defying gravity in the trailblazer through the snow. Having the Murano pulled out of a snow bank after shooting a Iowan sunset (sorry Mom) Jumping photos in Muir Woods HUGE GINORMOUS Ghiradelli sundaes at Fisherman's Wharf Yankee Clipper, 'nuf said. There are so many more but I am going to stop here. I am so grateful for our friendship and family ties. You continue to amaze me through your passion for life. Giving back is on the top of both of our lists and I know you are going to make a huge difference in this lifetime on so many lives throughout the world. Sending my love from Cali, Tara | Tara Layman

36: Great-Aunt Rose Marie

37: Jill, It has been great watching you grow from a little girl to an extremely charming young lady. It has been so fun to watch you participate in school plays with your outgoing personality. We feel almost like an extra grandpa and grandma to you. We appreciate that your family felt comfortable enough to move in for overnights with us when your school was involved in State ball games etc. Have a fantastic birthday. Love, Uncle Joe and Aunt Evie | Happy Birthday Jill Theresa!! So happy for you to have a schoolmate as your roommate! Wow! Bet you couldn't have planned that any better, huh? God works in mysterious ways, doesn't he? You are such a SPECIAL grand-niece Jillie! I noticed your middle name is the same as your beloved grandmother, Agnes. What a beautiful sister she was. I'm sure she is sending down her prayers to you. Thinking of you reminds me of your aunt Kristal & Chris Larson's wedding dance in Hoven. You already know what I'm going to say, don't you? When they auctioned that garter off you enjoyed, as I did to raise the bids by giving you a dollar at a time & the excitement of it all! What a great time we had when RoseMarie & I were able to fly in a private airplane to Joeli & Brad's wedding!! Thanks to your cousins Jim & Cindy Lutter. We felt like celebrities!! Don't suppose we'll get that opportunity again. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Jill. Looking forward to seeing you when you get to Hoven again. So happy your mom is singing with us for our beautiful Symphony Concert in the 'Cathedral of the Prairie' Dec. 4th. Lots of Love & Hugs to you, Great-Auntie Alice | Uncle Joe & Aunt Evie | Great-Aunt Alice

38: To me, you are like sunshine: the day seems brighter and warmer when you are around. Like the sun – you are on the move; you have a zest for life and take opportunities to experience all that the world has to offer. You are inclusive – everyone can bask in this sunshine and feels better for having had a moment with you. You have a dazzling, beautiful countenance and when you smile, everyone around you lights up. It is sheer joy to know this loving, bright, intelligent, and beautiful young woman who was just a sunny spot of a child when I first met her. Happy Birthday Jill – and many happy returns! Huge Hugs & tons of love, Erika | Flower girl at Chuck & Erika’s wedding (1994). This photo is proof-positive that you always have such a great smile on your face! A genuine Jill smile is something (like the rest of you) that one can always count on. Jill – We Love ya, Kiddo! Love, Chuck, Erika, and Zach | Reuer Family: Uncle Chuck, Aunt Erika & Zach

39: Hey Beautiful, So the word on the street is that it is your birthday. Really, could my little Jilly be getting another year older than her Fairy God-Mama?? That just means your catching up to me, but you will never catch me!! When I think about you the first thing that comes to my mind is your beautiful smile. You are the most welcoming, inviting, and giving person. You always seem to put others before yourself and that is something that is so special about you. You make me laugh when I hear about all the different adventures you have been on, and it makes me think back to my 20’s and all the things I did and would do again if given the chance. You are making the most of every day you are given and that is exactly what we are supposed to do. Memories of you are: -how to boil the perfect egg (still haven’t gotten that one down!) -your trip to SD with your friends to see baby Jacob -all the great Christmas memories growing up at G&G Reuer’s house -opening your Christmas present and really having T-Bone’s gift! (Grandma was great for that!!) -watching Sex and the City for the first time with you in Texas (I live under a rock!) -watching you be a pirate with Jacob and Addie at Adventureland -going on rides with you at Adventureland I could go on and on, but I think you know you are so special to me. I love you as if you were my own daughter and will always have a very special place in my heart for you. Have a Happy Birthday and may you have many, many more!! Love you, Fairy GodMother | Aunt Kris

40: You are one of my favorite people in the entire world and I have the privilege of being your aunt. One of my all-time favorites is you not letting me out of your sight at Walt Disney World after I got separated and lost from the rest of the family. You had promised Gma Anderson you wouldn't lose me in Florida and from that moment on I couldn't even go to the bathroom by myself! You took care of me when I had my LASIK eye surgery. You always make time for the Ackers even though we know how incredibly busy you are. We also share a love of Harry Potter. I love you to pieces and hope you get stationed in Omaha! Love, Aunt Kristin | Aunt Kristin

41: One word to describe her is CRAZY! "Cedar Rapids" they think that is the funniest story about her thinking it was "see the rabbits..." The picture with the Rock Band was when Jill cam eto stay at our house so Mom and Dad could go on a trip! Zoe the car...lots of memories with that! Just hangin' out! Cruisin' Cousins!!! You took us to the playground when you lived in Clarence. Love, Joe and Adam | You are such a smile in everyone's day! Even when you were very young you would bring smiles to all. When you were about 4 the three J's stayed with us for a few days. Tom and I remember the jellie shoes that you constantly wore and your underwear were way too small...so you were constantly digging them out! As soon as Vic and Lar returned we said, "That girl needs new underwear!" One year on your birthday we called you and you were too into watching "Saved By The Bell" that you wouldn't take our phone call. We still laugh about that! Jill, you are such a thoughtful, insightful person. That Christmas when you gave us all a framed note with things that you love about us really demonstrated that. But...it goes on and on. I love hearing "Lor" when you first see me. I can hear your tone of voice as I write this! Your smile is very contagious. You walk into a room and everyone can feel the JOY of you!!! In High School when we were in Clarence for a weekend you took a bunch of amazing photos of the boys...and then later put them in a collage for a gift for me. I still treasure those photos and the gift of it all! You love family and it shows. You are always on the lookout for the next family gathering and want everyone to be able to be there. Of course now you want all of us to move to Colorado!!! Your photography skills are such a gift...and you are willing to share that gift with everyone. What a genuine, loving person you are!!! Love you!!! Aunt Lori :) | The Schuchs: Uncle Tom, Aunt Lori, Joe, & Adam

42: Grandpa Arnold | Jill, you are a shining light in everything you do. You are very intelligent as shown by everything you have accomplished. We are so proud of you. I kid you about the Big Five but I am sure there are more. You will always be a shining light in my life. I love you more than words can express. Have a joyful and happy birthday. Love, Gpa P.S. Jill, do you remember when you stepped backward off the dock? I never saw such beautiful eyes!

43: Grandma Ethelmae | Dear Jill, It is not easy to put into a few words exactly what you mean to me. All your life you have been very kind, loving, and thoughtful. We’ve loved sharing the special memories you created for us with your telephone calls and emails, sharing your bed in Clarence, bringing your friends to the lake so Grandpa could show off his malt making skills and always including us in the great things going on in your life. Thanks for always letting us know you loved us and that we were special to you. Keep your strong faith. Happy Birthday. Love, Grandma

44: Happy Bday jizlle! What comes before part B you ask? Part A that is, I hope you were not to much of a wet blanket and cranked it up to 11 on your special day. Thank you for being such a great aunt to the girls, sister to Joeli, and for being the bueno-est sister-in-law a gringo could ask for... also, go pack Love Brad ...PS I made Joeli write this for me while making me a banana cream pie - WAAPPAAHHH | Brad, Ellie, & Audrey

45: Aunt Jill, I can't believe you took your long Columbus day weekend and hard earned money to come see me only a month after I was born! You spoil Ellie and me with your love and laughter (and gifts). I love you so much! Love, Audrey | Aunt Jilly, I remember when you and Grandma came to stay with mama a week before I was born. You guys waited and waited as I put mama through 40 hours of labor. When I came out you took the prettiest pictures of me! I can't even count all of the times that you have gone out of your way to come visit me. I love you so much. Thank you for loving me back! Love, Ellie

46: Jill, You never cease to amaze me. You are such a kind, talented, and beautiful woman both inside and out. We have too many memories to count, something for which I am very thankful. Even though you are my little sister, I want to be like you when I grow up! You bring out the best in people and always make them feel good about themselves. You know how to tactfully tell someone to "go to hell" or that they suck, but in the sense that they fix their problem and appreciate that you've helped them do so. You have the biggest, most selfless heart, and would do anything for anyone at the drop of a hat. I am so proud of who you are and feel so blessed that you are my sister. Thank you for being you and for helping me to be me. I love you more than you'll ever know! Love, JRae PS: I like him...he wants my boobs!! | Joeli

47: Sooooo many great times in the ole SA!!! Many more great times to come, love you! Your Bro | Jeremy

48: Happy Birthday to My Little Twinky, Words cannot express how much I love you and how proud I am of you and all of your accomplishments. You are truly the most amazing, most caring fun loving person Jill. In the back of my mind, I always kind of wonder – what God’s plan is for you? So many different paths to take and really exciting to think about where they will lead. Each year is a year of change and excitement for you, as you always have big things going on in your life. So to offer up a few birthday wishes to you and why I love you so much – *I think about you every day and I love it when you come home. There is always excitement when you walk in the front door *You understand the importance of friendship and are a best friend to everyone *You are so much like your Mom, except for your bedroom *Laughter is one of the biggest limbs on your tree *I am the road, the road is me, and we are one . . . it just amazes me all the different places you have traveled. Oh the bed bugs! *You have so much passion, a heart of emotion, the sparkle in your eye, and a smile that is so inviting to all . . . you capture everyone’s attention *I always wonder if you will someday buy a horse for your birthday. Think of the time when you and I are in the Black Hills and I’m on Fat Pat *Always loved watching you participate in sports (soft ball & basketball games) and then the musicals – Hello Dolly ! What a show . . . . *When it comes to the computer HELP DESK and getting ready for retail meetings, I can always count on my administrative assistant J *Talented is your middle name *It is so great to think that someday you could be a high ranking elected official or president of a major company, you are a leader Jill and have so much wisdom *We both love Lady Gaga – is that like so WILD? *You always do the Right Thing *Everyone wants Jill to have their name at Christmas J Such a deep thinker when it comes to gifts and surprises *You always have fun and know how to connect to any age *If anyone is up for a challenge, it is always you . . . you go marathon woman I hope you have the best birthday and go all out to celebrate. I love you Jill! Dad | Dad

50: Happy Birthday to you! Where do I even begin this letter...how about the day you were born? On Sunday, December 6th, 1987, Dad and I went over to our friends (Mark and Katie Bray) for CHILI! Well.you can see where this is going, right? We just hung out, ate chili, and then I started to get a “feeling” in my stomach. I wasn’t sure if it was the chili, or contractions, but I knew something was going on! SoWe went back home about 7:30 pm. Joeli and Jeremy were farmed out to Gma and Gpa’s, so it was just Dad and me at the house in Belle Fourche. Well, it turns out I was having contractions – not just gas. Dad decided he needed to take a shower...really? I am in labor and want to go to the hospital! Dad thought it would be awhile, so he wanted to be clean and fresh...whatever! So...about 8:30 pm we headed to the hospital. And, about 10:30 that night, our lives changed! Forever changed! Our little Jill (who just didn’t look like a Rachel!) was born! What a beautiful sight you were! You were born in a very COLD operating room...not a nice, warm, birthing room like your brother and sister were. Poor thing, you had it rough from the start! Maybe that’s why you always like to be cool, not hot! | Mom

51: Well, to make a long story longer, you and I got to stay at the hospital until Wednesday! We had a good time bonding...I’m sure there were a few visitors, but mainly it was you and me. Me and my beautiful baby Jill. As you grew, Joeli and Jeremy always had you for a shadow. Wherever they went, you wanted to go, too. Maybe that’s why you still want us all to live together? You loved (love!) your family so much. When we moved from Belle Fourche to the farm outside of Bennett, you LOVED the animals that we had on the farm. Our little black lamb, Emily, loved you as much as you loved her. And we had Socks, the cat (can you believe we had a CAT?) and Annie, our dog. From the start, you have been taking care of all of us. Your heart is bigger than any one’s I know. You always worry about everyone but yourself. My caring Jill. When I think of all the memories we’ve made together, I laugh and cry at the same time! The fun roadtrips to Gma’s and Gpa’s; to Hoven, Redfield, the Lake, Milbank. To California, Florida, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Colorado, Texas, Milwaukee, the Mall , wherever we go, we make memories! My memory-maker Jill. Now, there are some memories that are very sad, and I don’t need to write about them...but we both know that the memories we have made, even in the saddest times, are very special, too. We have shed lots of tears together, and I’m sure we will in the days ahead. But, they help make us who we are. My emotional Jill. There are also some absolutely hilarious memories, too! Mixed right in with the sad, I might add! Like the blue ink Kleenex episode the day Grandpa Reuer died...the senior picture episode...oh, dear...the really bad cockney accents we love to share while driving down the highwaysWE COULD PUSH AH BEDS TOGETHAH!...the choir memories from middle school and high school...trying on hats in Target...telling stories about each other at family gatheringsMy funny Jill. The friends you love and have shared with our family make my life better. I love all of your friends soooooooo much! There are hundreds and hundreds, of course, but Andrea, Ashley, Noelle, Heather, Lauren, Andrea G, Jeremy L, G-Money, Mary, Steve, all the guys and girls you ran around with in high school, college, and beyond... they are So very special to me, too! (I’m sure I’ve left some really important ones out, but since I know Andrea is reading this letter, I am putting her FIRST! ) You are a dear friend to so many people. This world is truly a better place because you are in it! My peace-loving, friend making Jill. You have a spirit in you that knows when to speak and when not to. You are so brave, and have often stood up for what you believe is right, even if you didn’t know what the consequences would be. Your conscience has always been your guide, and that is a true gift. You are not afraid to tell your friends and family the truth, even when it is hard to say it or hear it. That is yet another gift that you possess. My very perceptive Jill. You know how to appreciate everything! Yes, I know I taught you a lesson in saying “THANK YOU” and meaning it, but I’m pretty sure you already had that in you. You have a way of looking at life and appreciating it for all it is worth. You can look at a situation and make the best of it. When I am complaining about someone or something, you are the one that makes me re-think, and be more positive. You are the one who helps all of us find the beauty in every single situation. My wise daughter Jill. You, who has traveled the world, and who loves to share all that you have learned. The people you have met, the friends you have made around the world, all of them are blessed by knowing YOU. I’m sure they, like I, cannot imagine their lives without you in it. And so many have yet to meet the amazing Jill! My world traveler Jill. Oh, Jill, I could probably write for hours! You have so many traits that I admire and love. Your love for family! Your feet! Your love for nature! Your kindness! Your love for beauty! Your generous spirit! Your adventurous qualities! Your smile! Your eyes! (yes, both of them!!!) Your patriotism. Your joyfulness! Your artistic talents! Your dry skin! Your kindness! Your giggle! YOU’RE love for good grammar! Your wisdom! Your sense of humor! Your love for music! Your goodness! I thank our wonderful, loving God, for blessing me (us!), our family, our world, with a beautiful, healthy daughter on December 6, 1987. Jill Theresa Anderson is a gift to all. A gift to be shared, to be cherished, and to be loved with all our hearts. My dear, beautiful, Jill, I love you so much it hurts. Thank you for being you. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together making more beautiful memories...when can I move in? Love, Mom

52: Well, dear, Happy Birthday!!! I hope you have a better understanding of just exactly how much you mean to this little mundo. In fact, we need you! So now it's my turn, right? I wanted to wait and write my letter to you until after I'd put together the entire book, but now I'm thinking that may have been a mistake. How can I possibly follow all those beautiful, wonderfully articulated sentiments? And how can I come up with something that hasn't already been said? So while there may not be a lot of originality in my response to my own questions about what some of my favorite memories with you are, what you mean to me, why I love you, etc...I promise that my response comes straight from the heart: | Andrea | que bonita la vida

53: Jill. You are my best friend. Kindred spirit. Soul friend. Whatever you want to call it, you're it. So much of what others have said applies to our friendship as well...I love that we can pray AND play together. I love making music with you. I love when you say, "She DID! She DID say that!!" I love that when I was going through the hardest time of my life, acting like someone very different from myself, you still believed that I was in there somewhere. You believed that I was a good person, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Because you believed in me, I was able to start believing in myself again, even though I thought I wasn't really in there anymore. I hope to be able to stand by you throughout our lives in the way that you've stood by mine thus far. I can't even begin to list the number of memories, inside jokes, hilarious happenings, tearful songs/prayers/nights...there isn't a book in the world that could be long enough, and we both know I couldn't afford it anyway! But just to name a few: basketball camp your freshman year and those fateful "Want to be my friend?" notes (we really do need to thank Joeli for prodding us in that general direction), Finding Nemo, play practice ("Just look over your shoulder!"), sports, playing in the rain/mud, Eurotrip Rounds 1 & 2, raodtrips to South Dakota, MKE fun, and now, the incredible blessing of being your roommate (we live in CO now, and everyone else can suck it!). I don't know what I would do without you. You're a constant reminder that this life is a beautiful one. I can't wait to spend the rest of our lives adding to the memories. Love you more than words can say. I hope this book can convey some of it for me. Love, Andrea

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  • By: Andrea S.
  • Joined: over 5 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 1
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    • By: Heather S.
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Jill
  • Jill's 24th Birthday Gift!
  • Tags: None
  • Published: about 5 years ago

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