Lene's birthday is one of the most important days of the year. Lene is not ashamed to celebrate! (See Lene's Birthday 2010). And so, because I could not celebrate with her this year, I thought I would list 26 reasons why Lene Kristine Botolfsen is one of my favorite people in this whole wide world.
|at her going away party.|
2. She is very loyal and really cares about people. If you are Lene's friend, she will keep in touch with you, and you will be her friend forever. She devotes a lot of time and money to the people in her life, and that's exactly how it should be. Lene works hard to maintain the relationships that she cares about, and that is admirable. It's exhausting to have as many friends as Lene does, but she takes it in stride.
3. Lene is just so cool. This is what I tell people. That she is literally the coolest person I know.
4. Lene shops and spends money more than anyone else I know.... which makes it a blast to shop with her. One time we were in Banana Republic and she found, and this is a true story, a velvet, purple blazer on sale for a decent price-- but not a fantastic one. And she bought it. Because, what if she needs it when she teaches elementary school? She just might. Or, imagine Lene as a farmer's market. The average customer wanders around and looks at things, talks to the people at the booth, buys maybe a little bit of fruit, and then goes home. Or, if you are me, you buy nothing. ever. But Lene buys....lots of things. Not an unreasonable amount. Not like she's a crazy person. But I was always just in AWE of the way she could talk herself into buying things. :) It was adorable.
5. Lene. likes. kissing. I'm fairly certain that anyone who has ever MET Lene can attest to this fact, because she happens to bring it up quite frequently. Not inappropriately, but contextually and hilariously. In our apartment we had not one, but two mistletoes hanging from the ceiling-- year round. Around Valentine's Day we had a Kissing Booth... that stayed up until August. We had, in one area of our living room, what we like to call the "kissing corner." There was a small poster with kiss marks all over it. We each kissed the poster to signify each boy that we, as 4 roommates, had kissed. When Lene comes into town this August, I think we've collectively got like 4 to add... maybe more.
6. Lene takes an absurd amount of time to do things...like homework. It's not because she's slow. or dumb. The contrary is true, actually. It's because she likes to watch TV or a movie while she does her homework. Why not get some enjoyment out of it, right? When Lene reads this she will protest. She will say that watching something did not make her take longer... but I swear it did.
|yes. lene is the one on the left. and yes. she looks terrifying.|
|me and lene, pretending to be dating Kevin and Geoff.|
9. Lene has amazing style. She is the queen of accessories, and when we shop together, she is somehow able to buy pieces that I could never see fitting into anyone's wardrobe, but somehow, they do. And they are awesome. Like the velvety purple blazer. I would never, not in a million years, consider spending money on something so impractical. But when she wore it.... I found myself a little jealous. Like, why can't I see things the way she does when I'm trying to build a wardrobe? I see solids and basics... and that my friends, is why my clothes are so boring, but Lene's are so awesome.
10. Lene has a collection of Chuck Taylors. Like a gazillion pairs. When I say gazillion, I mean probably like 15. I really have no idea how many. But that's pretty rad.
11. The first day I met Lene, I was trying to move into my new apartment at Banbridge. I found the apartment, but I had no idea where the management place was. That means I couldn't actually get checked in or get my key or anything. So I knocked on apt 12. The one right across the hall. And Lene answered. She seemed very nice, and very helpful. I noticed that she had a little bit of a strange lilt in her accent. But I didn't think anything of it. Why would I? I didn't find out for like another two weeks that she wasn't from our country. (Which leads me to #12) But she gave me the info that I needed, and little did I know that she would change my life. :)
|oh yes. excitement over the little things. you wouldn't guess, but we were at IHOP in this picture. At the traditional finals week dinner.|
12. Lene is Norwegian. She is, by far, my favorite Norwegian. Last year when I was student teaching, there were some visiting students from Norway for like a day. And the girls reminded me of Lene-- probably just because of the way their English sounded. :) But anyway, she is very proud of her Norwegian heritage. I have, because of Lene, celebrated the Norwegian national holiday, May 17, 2 times, and with much vigor and vim. Lene makes Norwegian food, decorates, invites everyone that we know to come over, and then on occasion, makes everyone learn and sing the Norwegian National song. It is so great. And so Norwegian. And omg, Lene and her Norwegian skin gets sunburned worse, and more often, than anyone I've ever seen.
13. Lene speaks English better than most Americans. This is partially because she's just so darn intelligent, but also partially because she was always meant to be an American, I am sure of it. On the 4th of July, she just goes around, with her patriotic shirt, waving her little American flag, and saying, "I LOVE AMERICA!"
14. Lene is not shy.
15. Lene celebrates everyday more, and better, than most people. She is always up for planning more things, doing things elaborately, and making excuses to see her friends-- to spend time with people that she likes. In the last 3 years (since I've known her) she planned a significant number of events for everyone to enjoy. And sometimes, she very gracefully let me help her. We planned a lot of things together, and I don't think I've ever had more fun-- or seriously---been more stressed. The short list includes: 2 For Like Ever parties, 2 Picnic Awesomes (I have, so far, dropped the ball on that this year, ps... maybe we'll do it when you come to visit), 1 bomb halloween party, smoothie nights, 2 17 Mai parties, several events on the roof of banbridge, the Old Maid's Day extravaganza, lotsa blacklight dance parties, countless summer weekends of fun, 2 fully-orchestrated birthday bashes, an excellent going-away party, dinner nights for friends, and omh one time we had a bike gang that had this really hierarchical leadership struture that Lene was the master of-- and we would go Slickgangin like once a week and it rocked...etc., etc., etc.
|black light madness. Yes, Lene's arm says, "I <3 MEN."|
|I was in DC student teaching, but I had to make a presence at the For Like Ever. And Amy did to, of course. So Lene made signs. :)|
|Halloween 2011. At our epic party. And these are my girls. honestly, it's a miracle we were able to gather everyone for one picture. a miracle.|
|Our collection of summer '11 friends. you know, the summer crew.|
16. Everyone wants to be Lene's friend.
17. Lene is very, very smart. And very dedicated to her school work (most of the time). She went into elementary education because she genuinely cares about children and wants to make sure that they learn all the important stuff-- and that they are comfortable at school and have a safe place to go.
18. Lene is very nurturing, and she is going to be an awesome mother. She'll be the cool mom, but also the mom that her kids trust and depend on. I'm so excited to meet her children, btw. because they. will. be. rad.
19. Lene is very organized. She keeps binders full of all her things, and they are all labeled.
20. As a transient college student, Lene still made it a point to collect house decorations-- things that she will want in the future, too. I do not have that mindset, at all, so it was always surprising to me. But awesome. Our apartment was adorable, because of Lene and her decoration collecting habits.
21. Lene likes really manly, manly men.
|Our relief society sleepover. We were obviously up to no good.|
|you know, just a small collection of boys.|
|another small collection. both of these groups of boys came over for dinner as a farewell to Lene, fyi.|
24. Lene has excellent picture taking skills. She takes pictures that actually capture moments, and she's not awkward about it. For some reason, I have a hard time making people pose for pictures. I just do. But Lene doesn't. She makes people pose, and they want to. And she makes people take self-portraits, which are always hilarious. And then she posts the pictures. She has over a hundred albums on facebook. They document her college life, and that's amazing. You only have to look at her pictures to realize what a cool person she is. She experiences new things and she's not afraid. And she documents it, and it's just so great. I think that like 70% of all my pics on facebook are from Lene. :)
|the 4th of July. Night before. camping out for the parade. Because in the words of Lene, "what is more American than a parade?"|
|iceblocking. together. it didn't work. and no, we didn't mean to match that day.|
|we thought this pic was going to turn out cooler than it did. dang it.|
25. Lene gets excited for people. She very appropriately reacts to news that you have. She cares about what you are doing and how you are, and she gets excited. And sometimes, you just need someone to act on the outside exactly what you are feeling on the inside, but just can't let it out.
|In San Diego. At the beach.|
26. Lene has a goal to eat a meal in the smallest and largest cities in every state. Who else thinks of something like that besides Lene?
And last: Since Lene left Provo, there have been many occasions when our friends-- or other people-- have made comments about her absence. They tend to say things like, "you can't replace Lene. there is only one Lene." and it's true.
|Our last picture together, before she left forever.|
I love you Lene! Happy happy birthday. And thanks for being my bestie. :)
And also. I'm so excited to see you on August 6th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!