Sunday, April 29, 2012

What a Juanderful World

I know I'm not "old" (relatively speaking) but as I age I become more cognizant of the value of life. The value of the lovely players on your scoreboard. The value of living and breathing each moment. These thoughts do not consume me yet they are ever-present: life is a short, sweet gift. And I want my teammates in this game to know how much they mean to me.

Enter Juan.

{In our element: rafting, Maupin, Grilling, happy. This is SO us}

I've known Juan for what feels like a lifetime but for what is really about 15 years. To make a long story short, every single year of my life Juan and I go on a rafting trip in August comprised of Dads and "Kids". We started when I was 6 so you do the math... yes, beer is welcome at the "Kids" table.

What began as awkward "Hi, how are you?"s as we loaded into the raft quickly became a deep kinship. Every year, we drive to Maupin, OR together and partake in a valued 4-day trip of rafting and camaraderie. On years when we each don't bring dates: we share a tent. On years that we do, we bunk separately but spend the mornings catching up over coffee- do you like the person in your tent? Do you think you'll date? Did you guys kiss last night? The important questions in life.
{easily my favorite picture of us sharing a tent. That's him in his sleeping bag suit.. yes SUIT.}
Thankfully for me, this friendship has gone off the rafting grid and made its way into my day-to-day life. Currently, Juan and I live in the same building. In the face of the owners of and their strict "no pet" policy; I have enjoyed a pal who is always happy to see me and needs to be fed.
{Juan, Me & my bro.}

Juan is the super-friend. Says what he thinks (i.e. "Oh that's a zit? Don't worry, I only saw it when I looked at you.") yet considerate beyond belief (i.e. "Caitlin, don't get used to this but I'm so happy we're friends.") and an all-around good person. Juan is friends with my Dad and talks continual crap to my Brother. Additionally, his Dad always treats me like family when he comes into town from Peru.

I can't tell you how much I love him. I love, love, love him. He's a family friend. He's a long-term friend. He's a male friend. He's my friend. He is a huge blessing in my life.
{Juan and Me rafting- our annual delight}

Love you Juan, so much. Or shall I say: Te quiero mucho Juan!
Promise to be more present this week: I heard about the sad passing of a former schoolmate of mine last week and didn't feel appropriate publishing posts about shoes and feathers that I had previously scheduled. Hug your loved ones. XO.

Good weekend? Do tell!



LoveT. said...

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Thank you for the Comment :)
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Lovely Greetings ♡

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about your school friend, hope you're ok :(
As for Juan, what a gem! Friends like that are what make the world go round.
Also, where do i get a sleeping bag suit? WANT! Im guessing its just as comfy as my onesie but even warmer!!!
P.S> Im planning a trip to the US of A next year, any advice on must sees? Im guessing Chicago is a given?!

Kate Sparkles said...

Aww you guys are so lucky to have each other. It's awesome having someone you grew up with that feels like a part of your extended family.

Sorry to hear about the passing of your schoolmate. It's always shocking when someone so young dies.

Jax said...

This is adorable!!! You guys live in the same building together? That's just like your dream show, Friends!!! So cute how you guys started being buddies through something so simple and remained really close. :)

Hanz, Fashionista Era Design said...

Awww how sweet is this writeup! I've been where you are! I have my BFF too we are friends for 8 years now close to 10 years actually hhe..but even though i got married, we still remain best friends and i adore him so much!! He is my soul brother i feel in many ways been there always for me and can takl to him about anything too!! So i feel blessed to know him. Thanks for sharing this..Will post this blog post of yours on my facebook page :D and dedicate it to my buddy!! thanks agian! Have a fab day ahead!!

Lindsey @ The Hill House said...

First, so sorry to hear of the passing of your classmate. Prayers for all those affected. :(
I love friendships like this; there is just nothing in the world like them. One question: How do you still manage to look stylish on a camping/rafting trip?? Oh, and the sleeping bag suit absolutely cracks me up! That is hilarious!! Your friend sounds like someone who would be a blast to hang out with!

erika sorocco said...

Ah, the two of you are so adorbs, Caitlin! I think everyone needs a Juan in their life! :P

P.S. A good bronzer is always worth a little extra money - I cannot stand the ones that leave weird colored patches in different areas of the face. :/

Slamdunk said...

What a great friendship to have and preserve over the years Caitlin. We should all have similar positive people in our lives like Juan.

Jamie said...

This was such a sweet post! I have friends like that, too - and I always hug my loved ones, too!

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear about your former schoolmate, I recently just found out one of my classmates passed away as well. Such awful news =(

You and Juan seem to have such a wonderful relationship, that is so lucky and awesome!

The Urban Umbrella

ff said...

This is so sweet...I'm sorry about your schoolmate. We really do need to take the time to value what's around us, live in the present, and let the Juans in our life know how much they mean to us!

Lindsay said...

Good guy friends are the best! The yearly rafting trip sounds like so much fun!

Raven said...

I love love love this. love that you have such a close friend like that. and on a side note, you just seem like SO. MUCH. FUN. Seriously, if I lived in Portland, we would totally be besides. Juan would have some competition ha! AND when I do visit, you and I are meeting up for a coffee or drink or something, no question!

Bravoe Runway said...

I am sorry to hear about a classmate passing away at such a young age. Juan seems like such an amazing friend! I am not sure if I have a friend I've known for 15 years! OMG that's bad!

happy hour 24/7 said...

i LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the "juanderful world" title! awesomness! this weekend was super laid back because the past one was spent with one of my good friends from L.A. which you saw on my tweets and blog post. it is always great to those friends through the years!

| C AND C | Sarmin said...

So sorry about your HS friend passing away...I love how Juan & you have a tradition every year, & been friends for 15 years, that's amazing. Good friends are hard to come by. & how cute, you guys live in the same building.

...Sleeping bag body suit? This is first.

Harriet said...

It's great to have GREAT friends. I think it's a sign of maturity and realizing what actually matters that over time, we realize that we'd rather have a couple of BEST friends than dozens of "friends" who are really little more than acquaintances. Juan sounds awesome! (And it's always a bonus when friends know and get along with your family... it really adds a layer of depth to the friendship.)

Mandy @ In the Fashion Lane said...

What a great homage to Juan. Doesn't life seem so much fuller with great friends? It is amazing to have someone know and love you, keep it real and always be there. You are a lucky lady!

Sorry to hear about the passing. :(