Excerpts from letters dated 6 August 2008 and 12 August 2009.
6 August 2008
This week all my dad's brothers (with the exception of Ryan who just got switched to another job at Ford and can't take off work) and their families are staying at Hood River. I'm driving back and forth from work so I can hang out with them in the evenings, but it's a really long commute; it takes me an hour and a half in the mornings because of traffic once you hit 205 which means I have to leave at 6:30. It's really hard, haha. But driving through the Gorge is incredible, especially in the morning. Anyway, I took the day off on Friday (my birthday!) so the plan at the moment is to interview the missionaries in the morning (I'll explain that in detail later), maybe lunch or something in the afternoon with Kaitlyn and Geneva (she's here this week too) and Ashley Alberts if she can make it, and then family party in the evening: dinner, cake, presents. Nothing too fancy, although they are starting the Olympics in celebration of me. How cool is this: they start on 08-08-08 at 08:08:08 in the morning. I sure hope their clocks are set right in China, because you wouldn't want to screw that one up. Anyway, I'm excited for my birthday this year. I haven't been excited in a while, birthdays really aren't that big of a deal once you've passed like . . . 11. But it'll be fun with the family this week and not having to work.
12 August 2009
On Friday evening [7 August] I was talking to my mom on the phone as I went to get the mail. I opened the mailbox and saw a large stack of envelopes and the top one was addressed to an Elizabeth. I wondered if Annie's new roommates were already getting mail, so I pulled out the stack and started looking through. They were all addressed to people like "Harry Reid," "Sarah Palin," or "Ms. Moneypenny," and they were from "Nancy Pelosi," "John McCain," and "Mr. Bond," and I was so confused until I got the one for Terry Tempest Williams from Sandi Brinkman and I realized what they all were: Andy had sent me a birthday card ripped into 21 pieces and put into 21 different envelopes addressed to a variety of people. I opened one to figure that out and just started laughing. My mom thought it was pretty hilarious too. Megan spent the night on Friday so I decided to wait to open them all until she showed up so she could help me tape them all together. It was one of the funniest birthday cards I've ever received. I talked to him on Sunday and he said he was trying to think of a way to get back at me for his birthday because I called and left him 21 messages for his 21st birthday. I still think mine was better, but it was pretty hilarious.