Letters from Me, Day 4: Kristi Lin Blackmer, South Glens Falls, NY

Dear Kristi,

Can you believe we've known each other for almost 9 years? That's twice as long as I've known half of my friends! It's hard to believe you were ever NOT in our lives, but it's incredible to look back and see how far we've all come from when we first met.

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But let me take a step back. As you may have heard, I'm doing a letter writing project where I write one letter a day for 365 days. I love love love getting mail addressed to me and only me, and I thought this would be a way to GIVE that feeling (and maybe even GET some back in return!) I love pen pals, and you've been one of the best over the years. You are great with finding the perfect notecards or crafting your own designs. And you always write the sweetest things.

Really, I just think you're the sweetest.

I met you when you were....17? Right? Just a kid, really. But it was evident back then that you were someone special. To my brother, in a big way, but also to all of us. You went out of your way to do nice things for our parents, Josh's friends and for me, and it endeared you to us so fast.

I told Josh is his letter that I really treasure the time that we spent all living at my parents' house. Even though it was close quarters, I felt like we all got to learn and get to know one another on a level that other people just don't get. We were roommates, siblings (in-love!) and friends, all at the same time. I remember fondly our "art nights" where we would put on music (I remember Ani DiFranco and Death Cab for Cutie) and I'd haul out all of my art supplies and we'd just paint and draw and sculpt things from paper and string and make whatever came into our heads.

We made magic those nights, and every time, I'd find a new reason to love you more.

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You're creative. You find new ways to do all of those everyday things that people do. It's not good enough for you to just make lunch. You've got to make it a work of art, make it healthy, make it fabulous. Your blog, Lifestyles of the Poor and Vegan, has been such an inspiration to me. Seeing all you do with the ingredients you have makes me more creative! I love seeing the things you make, reading the posts you write, and watching you lead a life that is colorful and full of energy and pizzazz.

Your creativity shines through in all you do...and it's lovely.

You're loving. I watch you each time we're together, with my brother, with my mom, with my dad, with your family, with your friends. You take care of people. You make sure they have what they need. You watch out for them. You go out of your way to make them happy, and bring them joy. Seeing how Josh fell for you right at the start of your relationship, I wondered, who is this girl and can she live up to the grand gestures that Josh makes for the ones he loves? And you have. More and more than I'd ever have guessed. You two are perfect for each other because you're *both* so loving and caring and genuine. You truly deserve the love and care you give one another, and we are lucky to have it bestowed upon us as well.

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You're smart. Like a whip. I knew it first from just conversing with you. Then it became more apparent when we were playing board games. Now, here you are, in school for something you're passionate about, kicking ass and taking names. You throw yourself into what you love and don't look back, and that drive is going to take you far in this life.

Last thing Kristi Lin, Itter Kritti, Sister Krispy...you are beautiful. Every hairstyle, outfit, glasses combination I've ever seen you in - you've been beautiful. Your light from inside shines out, and you've got such a flair. I'm so proud of you for embarking with Josh on a new healthy lifestyle, and it's just caused you to show even more beauty. I love shopping for you, because it's like shopping for a cuter, funkier more bohemian version of myself, and I always have so much fun.

Here's to a year ahead of adventure, fun and joy. Love you lots, KLB.

Love,

Amanda