I hadn't seen Erin as much over the last two years, I had kids and didn't get to socialize as much. We would keep missing each other - when I was in Hopatcong, she would be in White Lake, when I was in NYC, she would be in BK, when she'd be at a girls dinner, I couldn't make it - and so on. Yes, I always had a blast when I was around Erin. She was funny, sarcastic, honest, inclusive and spontaneous. One of the rare nights we were out together recently, she insisted on taking me to the tattoo parlor with champagne since I had never seen her get one and it was a ritual she had taken most of our friends to experience. She was caring and I looked forward to every Christmas when she'd ask me to be a Secret Santa for one of her kids - pairing the neediest ones with her friends so she could ensure they would have a good Christmas that year. But what struck me about Erin was her discerning approach and thoughtfulness. When going through a hard time, Erin noticed and approached me about it in a way that made me want to open up and confide in her, there was no judgment. I had heard Erin gave the best gifts and got to experience that when Sloane was born. Erin picked out a book for each year of Sloane's future life through first grade, each was age appropriate and contained a message teaching the lesson of the book and making comparisons to character traits she thought I possessed. I was struck by her notes and immediately put them away so Sloane could read them when she was older and understood their importance. When Ryan was born this April, I re-read these notes and made a mental note to call Erin asking for new recommendations - I regret that I waited. In honor of Erin's love for books and to teach, I plan on giving this collection of stories to all of the children in my life as presents and ask them to pay it forward as well. We'll miss you Erin. And we'll read these books and think of you everytime.