This is Cindy. She is one of those people who so quickly became part of my life I didn't even realize it was happening. Today is her birthday, so today I give you: Ten on Cindy on Sunday.
1. While we were on vacation, she and I spent a bit of time at the beach one afternoon, just the two of us. When Charlie arrived, before he walked up to us, she looked at him, then looked at me and said, "I absolutely adore that man." It's obvious in the way she lives, but to hear it just made my heart sing.
2. That patented smile. Ryan has it. Tori has it. I'd bet the rent money JJ has it, too. You cannot be sad in the presence of the smile.
3. She loves me. It doesn't matter that, technically, I am not related to the Carlsons or the Rices. She loves me like family. There is something wonderful about being loved just because you showed up. This collection of people does it all the time, and I love being part of it.
5. Her approach to her work is admirable and beautiful. You get the feeling that she doesn't work for the school, or the district. No, this woman works for the students. Every child should have a principal like her.
6. I spilled a full cup of coffee on the floor of her new convertible, and as long as I hadn't been burned or hurt, she was okay with it. Her priorities are so perfectly in line with her values - people before stuff - it can't help but make you feel special. And not in the Jerry's Kids way, either.
7. Her life has a soundtrack, as I've often described mine. The number of times we burst into song when we're together is uncanny. Sometimes I swear we must have known each other in a past life.
8. We have cool stuff in common - love of musicals and Rainier cherries, and complete devotion to the Mac operating system among them. Not to mention the people; we've got some pretty cool people in common, too. Even cooler than the Mac.
9. The deep understanding that one dozen donuts is not enough, and the lack of scolding those of us (okay, me) who didn't understand that until the theory was proven.
10. Just look at her face when she's with her grandbabies. You can see the love! It's beautiful, authentic, fun, real and a little bit overwhelming.
Happy Birthday, Cindy. May today be every bit as amazing as you are.